(1917 - January 8, 1996)
taken from FMS Poughkeepsie Province Newsnotes, February 1996.
the midst of the Blizzard of '96, Brother Peter Leonard, famed missionary
member of the Poughkeepsie Province, died at Champagnat Hall, Bronx
NY on January 8th. Peter was 79 years old and had been professed as
a Marist Brother for 64 years.
will always be cherished as the brother who exemplified radical poverty
in our community; often he would travel around the world carrying little
more than a knapsack. Peter loved the simple life and he came to apostolic
mission with great fervor.
highlight just his international experience, Peter has worked as a missionary,
teacher, and builder since 1948 in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam,
New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. His home mission included work in
Savannah GA, Lawrence MA, New York City, Eugene OR, Pine Ridge SD and
these recent less active years, Peter has been a helpful chauffeur and
community member at the Champagnat Hall community in the Bronx.
wake and rosary service were held at Mount St Michael Academy on January
12th, concluding with a Mass of the Resurrection, that wintry evening
in the school chapel. Mrs. Mary Oakley, Peter's sister from San Jose
CA, his niece, Eileen, and several cousins and personal friends, joined
many brothers of the NY-NJ area for the final commendations and prayers.
Adee, Mount Chaplain and friend of Peter, presided at the Eucharist,
and Brother Paul Ambrose, former Assistant General, offered a stirring
and beautiful eulogy.
he many reflections on his many years of Marist life, Paul captured
Peter's spirit. "He was a man on the move. His Motto: Do the good
you can, and then get out. He contacted me at the end of each job and
always said, "Do not ask me where I want to go but you send me
where you think I can help out."
was buried in Marist Brothers cemetery, Esopus, New York.