Date of death: 9/21/2019
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1957
Fr. Sebastian Leonard, OSB, 88, a monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died on September 21, 2019, at the monastery. He was a jubilarian both of profession and priesthood.
He was born in Indianapolis, IN, on September 4, 1931. Fr. Sebastian entered Saint Meinrad minor seminary in 1944. He was invested as a novice July 31, 1951, and professed his simple vows on August 1, 1952, and solemn vows on September 8, 1955. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1957.
Fr. Sebastian received a baccalaureate in sacred theology from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1958. Appointed choirmaster for the monastic community, a position he held for four years, he also began teaching history at Saint Meinrad College and the School of Theology.
He earned an MA degree in modern European history at Georgetown University in 1962. He then studied at Oxford University, where in 1968 he was awarded a doctorate of philosophy in modern history.
In 1971 he was appointed an associate dean of students in the School of Theology and director of Conley Hall. He taught history in Saint Meinrad College until 1976 and in the School of Theology until 1983.
In 1983, Fr. Sebastian was assigned as associate pastor at St. David Church in Davie, FL, where he served for 11 years. He returned to Saint Meinrad in 1994, and the following year took an assignment as chaplain and professor at Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. He served there for the next 20 years, becoming the longest-serving chaplain in the school’s history.
Since 2015, he had resided in the monastery infirmary.
Fr. Sebastian was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Ellen Falvey, Winifred Strack and Sr. Delia Leonard, SP; his brothers, James, Joseph and William F.; a niece, Maureen Reeser; nephew, Vincent Maxwell; and cousin, Mary Agnes Spellman. He is survived by a sister, Margaret Maxwell (and husband John); sister-in-law, Patricia Leonard; and nieces and nephews.
The Office of the Dead will be prayed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, in the Archabbey Church, followed by visitation until 9 p.m. Visitation on Wednesday will be from 8 to 9:45 a.m. in the Archabbey Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. All times are Central Time.