Francis Leibold, O.P.
Born: Oct. 8, 1921
Professed: Mar. 27, 1948
Died: Apr. 5, 2007
On the evening of April 5, 2007, our beloved Cooperator Brother Francis Leibold died quietly at Mohun Hall at St. Mary of the Springs in Columbus, OH, where in his declining years he had received loving care from the Dominican Sisters and staff. He was 86 years old.
Born in Cincinnati, OH, in 1921, he received his early education at Summit Country Day School and at St. Xavier High School, before moving on to Xavier University from 1939 to 1941. During World War II, he was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers and served his country with distinction.
In 1946 he entered the Dominican Novitiate at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, as a Cooperator Brother candidate, was clothed with the Dominican habit, and was given the religious name Francis. Upon the completion of his novitiate, Brother Francis made his simple profession of vows on March 27, 1948 at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and six years later made his solemn profession at St. Stephen Priory in Dover, MA.
As his first assignment, Brother Francis volunteered to serve as a missionary in the Province’s mission in Fukien, China, where he labored successfully from 1954 to 1959.
However, the major part of Brother Francis’ Dominican life was spent with the St. Thomas Aquinas community at Providence College, Providence, RI, where he served faithfully in a variety of ministries for forty-four years. It was there that he earned the admiration, respect, and gratitude of the entire Providence College family, faculty, and students alike.
Because of his failing health, Brother Francis spent relatively brief periods in nursing homes in Rhode Island before moving to Mohun Hall in Columbus, OH, in January of 2005.
On Monday evening, April 9, the Office of the Dead was chanted by the Dominican community in the Chapel of Mohun Hall, and the Funeral Mass celebrated the following morning with Father André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., local superior at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, OH, as principal celebrant and homilist. Burial took place in the Dominican section of St. Joseph Cemetery in Somerset, OH.
In the Order of Preachers, the role of a Cooperator Brother is to be of service to the entire community in whatever way is needed, in addition to participating fully in the prayer-life and religious observances of all. That Brother Francis Leibold fulfilled that role to an extraordinarily faithful degree will be his constant legacy in the Province of St. Joseph and his reward in eternal life with the God he so generously served.