Lawrence McLeod, OFM
1904 – 1990
Br. Lawrence McLeod, OFM, was born on June 10, 1904 on the Upper West Side of New York City. He worked for nine years as a drugstore clerk before entering the Order. Br. Larry received the habit at the novitiate at St. Bonaventure, Paterson, N.J., in 1932, professing temporary vows one year later.
His first assignment was to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, where he worked on the St. Francis Breadline with Br. Gabriel Mehler, OFM, founder of the breadline. Br. Larry also served as sacristan. He was then assigned to St. Anthony’s Friary in Asheville, N.C., as cook and housekeeper, and endeared himself to everyone by “his kindly Franciscan ways.”
Br. Larry professed his solemn vows in 1936 and returned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish to serve on the breadline, and as porter. In 1950, he was assigned to Holy Name College in Washington, where he served for three years. In 1956, Br. Larry was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., as housekeeper, chauffeur, and guestmaster. In 1968, he met Peter Young, a young diocesan priest, who introduced him to Alcoholics Anonymous, a ministry to which he remained faithful until his death.
In 1971, Br. Larry was one of the four friars who opened St. Francis Chapel in the Northway Mall, Providence, R.I. For 15 years and countless hours, he ministered there in many capacities. In 1986, the Albany Citizens Council on Alcoholism gave Br. Larry its Council Award, citing him as “the one special person in the community who has helped rebuild the lives of those suffering from the disease of alcoholism.” Even while living at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J., Br. Larry continued his AA ministry.
He died on Oct. 29, 1990 at Holy Name Friary. Br. Larry was 86 years old, a professed friar for 57 years.