Fr Leo meets Pope Benedict XVI
Birthday greetings today to priest and Chaplain of the Guardian of the Redeemer CMF, Fr Leo McKernan!
From his humble beginnings in Ashley PA, Fr Leo’s path in life has led him to meet popes and to preach retreats around the world. But for those of us in the Diocese of Scranton, our love and respect for Fr Leo springs from his dedication to Jesus, and his self-giving service as a diocesan priest in Christ’s Church. Four of my own children were baptized by Fr Leo. His celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always reverent. You can sense his own love and desire for our Lord in his priestly prayers and gestures of the Mass. With the help of the Holy Spirit, his preaching brings forth the rich meanings found in Sacred Scripture. As the second of the six children in his family, his own experience of youth and family life, with its times of both suffering and joy, enables him to relate well and with compassion to our own family situations. Whether in homilies or retreat talks, Fr Leo, when inspired to do so, has the courage to speak boldly and forcefully on an issue, and doesn’t hesitate to challenge his listeners. Over his 26 years of priesthood, many have benefited from his counsel, be it in the Sacrament of Penance, in the personal spiritual direction they sought from him, or in simple friendly conversation. He has always had a special place in his heart for new movements of the Spirit, like the Guardian of the Redeemer CMF, Catholic Radio & TV, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and other groups and communities to which he generously devotes time. Fr Leo has a true gift for bringing people of different groups together in collaborative efforts.
Along with our birthday greetings and prayers for Fr Leo, we remember his parents, John & Marjorie McKernan. We are truly grateful that they were open to new life, and we pray that they are now beholding the face of Christ in the eternal peace and joy of His Kingdom.
Happy Birthday, dear friend!!