Leander Hartdegen, OFM
1897 – 1988
Fr. Leander Hartdegen, OFM, was born in Philadelphia on June 12, 1897. He was one of nine children, of whom five became religious. He and his brother, Fr. Stephen Hartdegen, OFM, both served Holy Name Province faithfully for many years.
Fr. Leander spent five years at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 16, 1922. He professed temporary vows Aug. 20, 1923, and made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 20, 1926. He was ordained a priest May 25, 1929, in St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Buffalo, N.Y.
After ordination, Fr. Leander served as lector at St. Stephen’s in Croghan, N.Y., and pastor of the Castorland mission. In 1933, he was transferred to St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson where he was the assistant novice master from 1934 to 1939. He also ministered as a hospital chaplain at Paterson City Hospital, Valley View Sanitarium and Passaic’s Hopedell Hospital.
In 1944, he became pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Obernburg, N.Y., and served there for 11 years. In 1955, Fr. Leander became chaplain at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Two years later he went to Greenville, S.C., to be the assistant and chaplain to the Poor Clare Sisters. He was there for 17 years and also directed the charismatic movement and cared for the religious of the diocese.
In 1974, he retired to St. Anthony Friary in Boston but continued his charismatic ministry. Ill health necessitated a move to the infirmary in Warwick, N.Y., and he died there on July 20, 1988. Fr. Leander was 91 years old, a professed friar for 64 years and a priest for 59 years.