Brother Leo J. Monahan, O.S.B., 92, a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died peacefully Thursday, July 4, 2019, at the monastery infirmary.
Brother Leo was born November 7, 1926 in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania. He is the son of the late Raymond Monahan and Ethel Feeney Monahan. He was one of five children. Surviving are his brother Robert J. Monahan, of Stillwater, Minnesota, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two sisters, Mary Ann Manovich, Helena Jane Monahan, and one brother, Charles R. Monahan.
He attended Pitcairn Elementary School. He graduated from Pitcairn High School in 1944.
He made simple profession of vows as a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey on July 2, 1957 and professed perpetual vows on July 2, 1960 before Archabbot Denis Strittmatter.
In 2017, Brother Leo celebrated his 60th jubilee as a monk at a ceremony in the Archabbey Basilica.
At Saint Vincent, Brother Leo served as an electrician in the Facilties Management Office from 1955 to 1967.
From 1967 through 1992 he served as coordinator of facility services for the Archabbot’s Office and Chapel as well as the monastic community spaces. He resided in the monastery infirmary following his retirement. In recent years he was limited in his mobility and lived in the assisted care wing of the monastic infirmary.
Over the years Brother Leo developed a strong interest in classical music, especially opera, and became a well-known opera buff within the community. He regularly attended performances of the Pittsburgh Opera and knew the founder of the Pittsburgh Opera Company, Dr. Richard Karp, who also taught at Saint Vincent College.
He was a regular listener to the Saturday afternoon performances broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera in New York and was well-versed in the backgrounds of the great operatic performers of the past including Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso and Elizabeth Schwartzkopf and many others. He knew the history of opera along with the personal histories of the great performers and enjoyed responding to the questions of the opera quiz held each week during the intermission of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.
In his senior years Brother Leo took great comfort listening to opera when he was no longer able to attend the performances because of declining health.
The body of Brother Leo will be received at the Elizabeth Roderick Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019. Viewing will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the center’s parlor. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the Vigil Service at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Father Thomas Acklin will provide the eulogy at the vigil service and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki will be the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 8 in the Archabbey Basilica.
The rite of committal will be held in the Mary, Mother of Mercy Chapel at Saint Vincent Cemetery immediately following the Mass.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund, Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Rd., Latrobe, PA 15650.