Sister Mary Leonard (Formerly Sister M. Margaret James) died in Camilla Hall on January 15, 2023, in the 65th year of her religious life.
Mary was born on April 13, 1938; her parents James and Mary (Lynch) Leonard raised their family six children in St. Clement Parish in Philadelphia.
Mary attended St. Clement Elementary School (1944-1952) and West Catholic High School (1952-1956). Later, while in the Community, Sister earned an A.B. degree from Immaculata and an M.A. from St. Charles Seminary in Religious Studies.
Mary entered the Community on July 16, 1957; she received her habit and religious name Sister M. Margaret James on January 16, 1957. When the Community received the opportunity, Sister returned to the use of her baptismal name. Sister Mary pronounced First Vows on January 16. 1960.
Sister Mary’s teaching ministry extended from January 1960 through the school year ending in August 2003. For forty-three years, Sister served children, parents, and parishioners in many different parishes. Sister served in Most Blessed Sacrament, Philadelphia; St. Thomas More, Arlington, VA; Bishop Denis O’Connell in Arlington; Sacred Heart, Philadelphia; St. Anselm, Philadelphia; Good Shepherd, Philadelphia; St. James, Savannah, GA; St. Cyprian, Sunnyvale, CA; Immaculate Conception, Levittown; and Immaculate Heart, Girardville.
In August 2003, Sister went to Camilla Hall to serve our Sisters as a staff member. Sister Mary worked tirelessly on behalf of our Sister residents until the recent past when Sister’s health began to fail. Sister Mary was beloved by the local community and the community at large.
In addition to her IHM Community, her Local Community at Camilla Hall, her loving sisters Patricia (Leonard) Merk, Bernadette (Leonard) Burns, her sister-in-law Gail, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews survive Sister Mary. Sister Mary’s parents James F. Leonard and Mary A. (Lynch) Leonard, her sister Kathleen A. Leonard, her brothers James F. and Joseph Leonard (Sue), and her brothers-in-law Frank Merk and John T. Burns predecease Sister.
Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald celebrated Sister Mary’s Funeral Mass on Wednesday, January 18, at 10:30 a.m. Rev. John Oulds and Rev. Michael Callaghan, C.M. concelebrated this beautiful Liturgy.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to:
Camilla Hall Nursing Home
IHM Mission Advancement Office
230 IHM Drive
Malvern, PA 19355