Requiem Mass for Fr. Leo Joseph, O.S.F.

Requiem Mass for Fr. Leo Joseph, O.S.F.

by the Rev. Harry Allegree, St. John's, Lakeport

Well over 100 people gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lakeport on Wednesday, February 11th for a Requiem Mass in memory of Friar Leo Marie Joseph Brown, OSF (1947-2015). Fr. Leo died on January 23rd, after battling cancer for nearly five years. He served as Priest-in-Charge of St. John’s, Lakeport from 2009-2014. In his last months, Fr. Leo was lovingly cared for by the team of Hospice of Lake County and many dear friends, especially his assistant, Roland Simpson and Mischa Workman. He is survived by his two brothers, Paul Valentine Brown of Brooklyn, NY and James Michael Brown of Hartford, CT.

Bishop Barry Beisner celebrated the Requiem Mass, assisted by the Rev. Susan M. Reeve, Deacon at St. Brigid’s, Rio Vista. The Rev. Dr. Jude Hill, SSF, Minister-Provincial of the Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas, assisted as Eucharistic minister. The Rev. Harry R. Allagree, retired former Regional Missioner serving St. John’s, Lakeport, was master of ceremonies. Mr. Melvin Taylor provided musical selections from the Baroque period, with Christmas and Easter themes. At Fr. Leo’s request, and in accordance with ancient custom, there was no sermon, eulogy or public sharing of remembrances during the service.

Following the Requiem Mass, a reception was lovingly prepared by the parishioners of St. John’s and held in Carey Hall, where those attending were able to share their memories of Fr. Leo with one another. Mr. Paul Brown, one of Fr. Leo’s two brothers, was present and shared some reflections and his appreciation for the celebration of Fr. Leo’s life and ministry.

Bishop Beisner and a small party of about 20 people made their way, after the reception, to Little Portion Hermitage in Kelseyville, in the Cobb Mountain area, for the interment of Fr. Leo’s cremains at the outdoor Sepulcher (columbarium) in front of the Hermitage chapel. Five of Fr. Leo’s late friends and acquaintances are also buried there.

Please click here to view additional photos from this special service.


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