Diocesan News

Book tells story of priest, history of diocese

LINCOLN (SNR) – Msgr. James Dawson, a retired priest of the Diocese of Lincoln, has recently written and published a book about his life.

“It contains many of the stories you’ve heard over the years,” he said, “as well as an account of the growth of the diocese in the last 60 years.”

Those who know Msgr. Dawson will recognize the title, “A Banker, A Teacher, A Priest,” from his oft-mentioned childhood desire to be either a banker, a teacher or a priest – and the fact that his priesthood gave him the chance to act as all three.

After his ordination to the priesthood in 1954, Msgr. Dawson served not only as a parish priest, but also as a teacher and school administrator, and vicar general – overseeing diocesan finances among other duties – so, he said, he was a teacher, a banker, and a priest.

Msgr. Dawson served at St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings; St. Teresa, St. Mary and the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln; St. Mary in Denton and St. Michael in Cheney. He was also superintendent of Pius X  High School in Lincoln and diocesan superintendent of schools. He retired from active ministry in 2005 and has resided at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital since 2014.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Msgr. Dawson’s care at Madonna, and to the high schools of the Diocese of Lincoln, as well as Villa Marie Home and School for Exceptional Children in Waverly.

Msgr. Dawson founded Villa Marie School, which opened in 1964. The school, staffed by the Marian Sisters of the Diocese of Lincoln, provides a loving, home-like atmosphere for up to 24 children with special needs, both day students and boarders, and strives to prepare the students to function effectively in social situations, to live independently, and to use their skills in productive employment. Instructions are geared to each student’s individual needs.

The book sells for $10 and is available directly from Msgr. Dawson at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, 5401 South St., Room 432. Visitors may use the 52nd street entrance.
Books are also available by calling Msgr. Dawson’s niece Diane Reinsch at 402-440-7226 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is a $5 fee for shipping and handling of out-of-town orders.

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