Joan Lawson Promoted to Chancellor, Diocesan Archivist

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, bishop of Youngstown, has promoted Joan Lawson to the role of chancellor for the Diocese of Youngstown. Lawson was appointed archivist in March, a position she will retain; effective Sept. 1, she will succeed Vicar General Monsignor John Zuraw as chancellor.

Lawson’s new duties make her the primary record keeper for the diocese, reporting on and recording parish data and ensuring that acts of the diocesan curia are drawn up, authenticated, arranged and safeguarded. She will also have a role on the administrative board, while serving as ex-officio on the Priest Personnel Board, the Diocesan Task Force, Presbyteral Council, Pastoral Council and College of Deans.

“Joan is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith,” says Bonnar. “In her short time as archivist, she has begun to establish not only a strong foundation, but also protocols to ensure that our records are preserved and our story is not lost. As a woman, Joan brings a necessary voice and perspective to the workings of our local Church. I know that she is a hard worker and now I look forward to her becoming a trusted advisor.”

Lawson, a Youngstown native, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Youngstown State University, a master of arts in history and certificates in historical agency administration from Northeastern University in Boston and from the Seminar for Historical Administration in Williamsburg, Va. After extensive professional experience in public history and administration, she later earned a Master of Religious Education degree from Loyola University of New Orleans.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to serve,” Lawson says. “As chancellor, not only will I be safeguarding important documents and pieces of diocesan history so that it can be preserved, I will also have the opportunity, through my administrative work, to learn more about every parish and every aspect of our six-county diocese. I feel blessed to be able to serve the faithful of our diocese in this way.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.