Patrick C Leary, OFM
1935 – 1997
Fr. Patrick (Celestine) Leary, OFM, was born on Christmas Day, 1935, in Lackawanna, N.Y. He attended Bishop Timon High School, Buffalo, N.Y., as a member of the fourth graduating class. After studying two years at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he was received into the Order in 1955 at St. Raphael Novitiate, Lafayette, N.J. Fr. Patrick professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1959, and was ordained in 1962.
An excellent student, Fr. Patrick studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, receiving a master’s degree in philosophy. He taught for one year at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., before returning to Catholic University to complete a doctoral program, but was hospitalized and required therapy for an illness that was to endure for the rest of his life.
He became assistant librarian at Holy Name College, Washington, serving until 1979, when he moved to the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure to work in a similar position until 1986. While there, he became a beloved associate chaplain of the Olean Police Department. Fr. Patrick then moved to Boston, where he assisted at St. Anthony Shrine, hearing confessions and providing spiritual counseling.
He died on Nov. 16, 1997 in Boston. Fr. Patrick was 61 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 41 years, and a priest for 35 years.