Leo Ranker, OFM
1903 – 1938
Fr. Leo Ranker, OFM, was born in Tiffin, Ohio, on Nov. 19, 1903. He worked at the United States War Department in Washington, D.C., and first encountered the friars in the person of Fr. Godfrey Schilling, OFM, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.
He went to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., to join the friars. After graduating, he entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 20, 1930, and professed temporary vows Aug. 24, 1931. Fr. Leo made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1934, and was ordained a priest at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on June 15, 1937.
He had hoped to work in the South among black Catholics in North Carolina, but two days short of his first priestly anniversary, Fr. Leo died in St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on June 13, 1938. He was 34 years old, a professed friar for nearly seven years and a priest for just short of one year.