Father Leonard Carrieri, M.SS.C., former superior general and former pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Linwood and Our Lady of Fatima/Mt. Carmel, Camden, died Saturday, June 20, at Our Lady’s Multi-Care Facility in Pleasantville.
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 Oct. 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 and worked there as novice master until 1954 when he came to the United States to assist Father Roque Longo, M.SS.CC. at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Camden and became active in ministry to the Latino faithful.
From 1960-66 he returned 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 1975-84.
He was Pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel/Fatima from 1984-89 and was active in the Spanish Cursillo movement in South Jersey. He retired to the community house, Villa Pieta, in Linwood in 1989.
Father Carrieri remained active in his retirement, offering daily Mass at Villa Pieta and was much sought after for spiritual direction and preaching. Father Malcolm MacLeod, local superior of the congregation said, “Father Leonard exemplified the spirit of our founder in witnessing 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 to his fellow missionaries and for the faithful.”
Father 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.
Father 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.
He is survived by cousins with whom he was raised, Maria Sacomanni, of Tuckahoe, N.Y.; Franca Carrieri, Donato Carrieri and Michele Carrieri, Naples, Italy, and many nieces and nephews and his religious Confreres of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Linwood, following the viewing, 9-10 a.m.