Welcome to ThirdSamuelive!

Fr. Samuel Leonard’s story is awe inspiring. He says, “As a teenager I felt called to the priesthood and attended a high school seminary in Canton , Ohio for three years. After leaving there, I met Mary and we married. She and I raised six sons and four daughter; and then 42 years later, Mary died from ovarian cancer in 1998. Six weeks after her death I spoke with my spiritual director, telling him that I was having constant thoughts of becoming a priest; and I was already 64 years old! He encouraged me to do something about those thoughts, and my inquiries to my diocese confirmed that I had passed the cut-off age of 60 for entering the seminary. Letters to two other seminaries that accepted older men proved fruitless as well. I traveled to the Basilica church of the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio, was prayed with by one of the Franciscan Friars who advised me: turn this matter over to our Blessed Mother and she will guide you. I did; and nine months later received a letter from a young friend, who knew of my desire, who was also considering the priesthood. He mentioned the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), a relatively new missionary order of priests that had no age limit, and included a priest’s name and telephone number. I phoned, was invited to make a 30-day discernment retreat, and was accepted. I entered the IVE seminary near Washington, DC, and 3½ years later was ordained a Deacon. Nine months later I was ordained a priest in my home parish of St. Barbara in Massillon, Ohio by our local Bishop, Thomas Tobin of Youngstown. The date was March 19, 2004, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. The entire process of my becoming a priest I see as a divinely appointed grace. I am truly grateful to our Blessed Lord, to His Holy Mother, and to St. Joseph.”

Fr. Samuel currently serves at Our Lady of Peace Shrine/Church in Santa Clara, CA. The pastor, Rev. Jose Giunta IVE, says that he is pleased to have Fr. Samuel’s help. “He’s very good at his ministry. People like his homilies and the way he talks to them.” The Institute of the Incarnate word doesn’t have an age limit for entering to study for the priesthood. Fr. Giunta says. “It doesn’t matter if he’s 20, 30, 40 or 70. If we have signs that God is calling him to be a priest, then age is no problem. Father Leonard lives a live of virtue, a life of prayer.”

Some of his friends have come up with this site so that others might benefit from his homilies. Those who have heard his homilies say they are inspiring, and have helped them grow in the Faith. We invite you to join us for the same reason. Click here to listen to his homilies. Father Samuel’s Mass schedule is updated every week. You can find his schedule here.

God's blessings!