RINGWOOD, N.J. — Leonard Lencewicz, OFM, 91, a professed Franciscan friar for 60 years and a priest for 55, died May 28 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake was held there on June 1. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on June 2 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Butler, N.J. Burial followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Leonard was born on May 26, 1927 in Worchester, Mass., to Michael and Mary (née Woroniuk) and baptized there on June 26 at St. Mary’s Church. He attended St. Hedwig grammar school in Cambridge, Mass., and Rindge Tech High School. Following graduation in 1945, he attended Northeastern University in Boston, taking courses in accounting and civil engineering.
He was received into the Franciscan Order, taking the name William, on July 14, 1956 at St. Raphael Novitiate in Lafayette, N.J., and professed first vows one year later. He made his solemn profession on Aug. 22, 1960 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained on March 2, 1963 at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.
Following ordination, Leonard completed his fifth year of theological studies at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston before being assigned to St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J., in 1964, serving there for one year. After another brief assignment at St. Francis Friary in Providence, R.I., Leonard moved to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he lived for the next 16 years. During that time, he returned to Northeastern University and completed his bachelor’s in accounting. He also took classes related to gerontology.
In 1983, Leonard began a series of short assignments assisting at parishes in Massachusetts – St. Mary’s Church in Walpole (from 1983 to 84); St. Casimir Parish in Maynard (1984-85); St. Mary Star of the Sea in East Boston (1986-87); St. Margaret’s Parish in Burlington (1987-88) and St. Thomas the Apostle in Millis (1988-89). He also worked as chaplain at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, Mass.
Though Leonard retired to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1993, he remained active, assisting at nearby parishes. In 2014, he moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, where he died four years later.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.