Rev. Robert V. Lott
Founder - (1939-2002)
Father Lott was a visionary who saw outside of normal boundaries. He dedicated his life to teaching others to help themselves and their communities. Driven by the social gospel to serve those in need, he was a vigorous advocate for programs benefiting the elderly, and a prolific developer of low-income housing. Father Lott asked others to reach for goals that would intimidate most, and his sermons and liturgies inspired those around him to put God's words into action.
Born in the Bronx on November 23, 1939, Father Lott was raised in St. Frances of Rome Parish in Wakefield. He studied at All Hallows High School, and graduated from lona College. Shortly after, he entered St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie and was ordained on May 29, 1965. After ordination, he pursued advanced studies in Liturgy and earned a Master's Degree in Sacred Scripture. His first assignment was at St. John the Evangelist in White Plains, where he worked with the New York Apostolate for the Deaf. Father Lott served as Assistant Pastor of St. Peter's in Yonkers and St. Joseph's of Greenwich VIllage. While at St. Joseph's, he co-founded and served as Chairman of the Caring Community, and he led that organization in the purchase of Village Nursing Home.
Father Lott was a former member of Community Board 11, and the co-founder and former Chairman of The Council of Senior Centers and Services. He was appointed Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish on East 96th Street in 1987, and Administrator of St. Lucy's Parish in 1998. At the former, he operated a soup kitchen and a shelter for the homeless. In 1988, he founded SFDS Development Corporation, now known as Lott Community Development Corporation. Through that non-profit organization, which he lead as Chairman and President until his death in 2002, he developed over 800 affordable apartments in East Harlem ranging from housing for the homeless to a model-assisted living facility for the elderly on Fifth Avenue. The Caring Community, Presbyterian Homes, and Village Care of New York have all honored him as Man of the Year.