Reverend Martin Charles Leonards
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Rayne, LA — - Reverend Martin Charles Leonards, 72, pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and St. Benedict the Moor in Duson, LA died peacefully on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Lafayette General Medical Center.
News of Fr. Leonards death has been greeted with sadness by people throughout the diocese. His commitment to Catholic education and gentle devotion to the people entrusted to his care will always be remembered.
The Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rayne, LA on Friday, August 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m Mass.
Father Leonards will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery #2, Rayne, LA.
Fr. Leonards was born on January 8, 1942 in Rayne, LA. He attended St. Joseph School during his elementary school years. Thereafter he attended Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette on December 17, 1966. He served as Associate Pastor in the parishes of Sacred Heart in Broussard, LA and St. Anthony in Eunice, LA. Along with his current assignment, Fr. Leonards faithfully served as Pastor of the parishes of St. John the Evangelist, Mermentau, LA; St. Margaret, Estherwood, LA; St. Peter, Gueydan, LA; St. Alphonsus, Maurice, LA; St. Theresa, Duson, LA, and St. Benedict, Duson, LA.
He is survived by his sister, Jane Frances Leonards of Rayne, LA; one nephew, Gerhard "Boo" LeBlanc, and his children Hailey, Hudson, and Holden LeBlanc of Rayne, LA; one niece, Anne LeBlanc Guidry and husband Matthew, and their children Emma, Anna, Sarah, and Jacob Guidry of Rayne, LA; one brother-in-law, Alfred "Popcorn" LeBlanc of Rayne, LA.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerhard J. and Annie Victoria Schatzle Leonards; one brother, Charles Gerhard Leonards; three sisters, Theresa Ann Leonards LeBlanc, Cecile Louise Leonards, and Barbara Mary Leonards.
The pallbearers will be his cousin, Rev. Michael Schatzle, and other priests in the Diocese of Lafayette, LA.
Vigil Service will be held Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The Vigil Service will be prayed by Fr. Michael Schatzle.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rayne, LA from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and will resume at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Friday, August 8, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church in Duson, LA or Rayne Catholic Elementary, Rayne, LA.
Friends may view the obituary and guestbook online at www.gossenfuneralhome.net.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Gossen Funeral Home, Inc. of Rayne, LA, (337)334-3141
Gossen Funeral Home Inc
504 N Polk St Rayne, LA 70578
Published in the The Advertiser from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8, 2014