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IN MEMORIAM…..



Fr. Leonard Carrieri, M.SS.CC.
Fr. Leonard Carrieri, M.SS.CC.

    On June 20, 2009 our Missionaries around the world received word of the death of Fr. Leonard Carrieri, M.SS.CC., who at age 95 was our oldest member and for all of us, a shining example of religious life lived well. Born in Naples, Italy in 1914, Father Carrieri entered religious life with the congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1925.  He professed first religious vows in June, 1930 and was ordained to the priesthood on October 25, 1936.He received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 1939.

 

After serving in several offices for the congregation, he was transferred to Argentina in 1947. He worked there as Novice Master until 1954 when he came to the United States to assist Fr. Roque Longo, M.SS.CC.  at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Camden, NJ, and became active in ministry to the Latino faithful.

From 1960 to 1966, he was called to Italy to serve as Superior General of the congregation. Returning to the United States in 1967, he served as Episcopal Vicar of the City of Camden. He was appointed as Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows parish, Linwood from 1975 to 1984.  He was Pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – Fatima from 1984 to 1989 and was very active in the Spanish Cursillo movement in South Jersey.   He retired to the community house, Villa Pieta, in Linwood in 1989.

Fr. Carrieri remained active in his retirement offering daily Mass at Villa Pieta and was much sought after for spiritual direction and preaching. Fr. Malcolm MacLeod, local Superior of the congregation, said, “Fr. Leonard exemplified the spirit of our Founder in witnessing to great love and infinite mercy of God for all people.  He shall always be remembered as someone who lived out the consecrated life with sincere dedication and commitment. His devotion  to Our Lady of Sorrows, the patroness of the congregation was an inspiration for his fellow Missionaries and for the faithful.”

Fr. Carrieri wrote extensively on the life of the Founder of the congregation, newly canonized, St. Gaetano Errico.   Until just before his death, he actively wrote spiritual messages for his own website that many found consoling and inspiring.

Fr. Leonard was well known as a sculptor.  He won national and local awards and his sculptures can be seen throughout the Diocese of Camden as well as in Italy and Argentina
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The province of NTT is one of the poorest in terms of economy, education and basic facilities.  It is a country where the population is polarized between the rich and powerful Muslim majority and the minority Christians and Hindus.  Income of the people is derived from the agricultural sector and is barely enough to sustain their daily life. They lack the means to provide education and Catholic instruction for their children although they have sound faith practices.

 

I am of good conviction of living among the people here for the past 3 years, that we, the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts can play a small but significant role in the lives of these good faith-filled people.   Our challenge and our hope is that we can be a helping hand to them:  building places of worship and a strong faith community, pastoral care, aiding in the areas of education, medical facilities, job training, adequate shelter, clean water, etc.

I am sure that if God wills, we can work together, to ease the burdens of the people, so that the presence of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts really will be a ray of hope to some if not all.”

Fr. Jaison Abraham, M,SS.CC.


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