Name: Fr. Lou Leonhardt
Years ordained: 53
Current assignment: Administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Hills and canonical pastor at St. Mary parishes in Lone Tree and Nichols.
How did you know you were being called to priesthood?
It probably goes back to the fact that Mom dragged her three boys off to daily Mass. By sixth grade I knew the priesthood was for me. It was a good fit for life.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass?
Wednesday, June 24, I was in Texas, the Fort Worth area. My brother Father Bob asked me to come down for his golden jubilee and to give the homily at Mass. That was very special. The other was the funeral Mass for Father Harry Linnenbrink, who was a friend for many years. The family asked me to be the principal celebrant and the homilist at the funeral Mass. Those were the two most memorable Masses.
What is most rewarding about being a priest?
People, and helping them in any way we can. And celebrating the Eucharist with people. I can’t imagine celebrating the Mass alone. My ecclesiology is people.
What is most challenging about being a priest?
What is your favorite Scripture passage?
I have three:
John 15: 9-12: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”
Second Corinthians, Chapter 4: 5: “For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.” (This was the verse that appeared on the Holy Card for our ordination Mass.)
Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child in her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
What is your hobby?
I don’t think I really have a hobby. I like to talk. I golf four or five times a year. I used to fly until it got too expensive. I enjoy motorcycling … it’s just a marvelous form of transportation.