The wake for Father Edwin Leonard will begin with vespers at 3 p.m. Nov. 29 in St. Sebastian Church, 476 Mull Ave., Akron, and will continue until 6 p.m. Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries will preside and Father Anthony Suso, pastor of St. Columbkille Parish, will be the homilist.
Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa, will be the main celebrant at Father Leonard’s funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Nov. 30 in St. Sebastian Church. Father Dennis McNeil, senior parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, Willoughby, will be the homilist.
Father Leonard, 65, died on Nov. 22 while preparing to celebrate Mass. He was parochial vicar at St. Columbkille.
He was born July 21, 1956 to the late George Russell Leonard and Ann F. Kennedy. Father Leonard was educated at St. Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire; The Ohio State University, Columbus; Borromeo College, Wickliffe; and Saint Mary Seminary, Cleveland.
Bishop Anthony Pilla ordained him for service to the Diocese of Cleveland on June 9, 1984 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Father Leonard’s first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Mentor. He was transferred to St. Hilary, Fairlawn, on June 14, 1989 to serve as parochial vicar. On July l8, 1994, Father Leonard was appointed parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Wooster. He was transferred to Holy Family Parish, Parma, on June 20, 1995 and served there until he was appointed parochial vicar of St. John Neumann Parish, Strongsville, on June 12, 2001.
He was appointed administrator, Annunciation Parish, Akron, on Nov. 19, 2002 and was named pastor on June 10, 2003.
Father Leonard was granted permission to live at the Jesuit Retreat House from Nov. 29, 2006 until March 20, 2009, when he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Parma. In addition to this assignment, Father Leonard served as chaplain of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, effective Sept. 7, 2010. On June 13, 2017, he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Columbkille Parish, Parma, where he served until his death.
Father Leonard loved to teach the faith and to preach homilies that helped the faithful deepen their relationship with the Lord, said those who knew him. They said he also would be remembered for his perseverance despite his physical challenges.
Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Akron.