Leon Mancinelli, O.P.
Birth: April 9, 1931
Profession: December 25, 1958
Died: August 22, 2001
John Anthony Mancinelli was born in Gibbstown, Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey, in the Diocese of Camden. He was the son of Pantaleone and Philomena (Cameli) Mancinelli. He was educated in the public school system and graduated from Paulsboro, NJ, High School in 1949. He then worked for approximately two years for the Del Monte Company.
He was drafted into the United States Army and did his basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, followed by specialized cold-weather training in Colorado. He then served for approximately a year and a half in Salzburg, Austria. After his discharge from the Army as a Private First Class, he returned to southern New Jersey, living in Camden and working for the Sealtest Company. It was at this time that he met Fr. William Athanasius McLoughlin, O.P., chaplain of the Dominican Monastery of the Perpetual Rosary in Camden, who influenced greatly his decision to become a Cooperator Brother in the Order of Preachers.
In mid-1957 John Mancinelli entered the Cooperator Novitiate of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph at St. Joseph’s Priory, Somerset, OH receiving the religious name Leon. He made his simple profession there a year later and was assigned to St. Stephen Priory, Dover, MA. Approximately two years later, he was assigned to St. Dominic Priory, Youngstown, OH where he made his solemn profession on December 25, 1964. Two years later, he was assigned to St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, and three years later to St. Vincent Ferrer Priory, New York City.
In the summer of 1975, he was reassigned to the Priory of St. Dominic in Youngstown, OH where he spent close to twenty years, many of those exercising a hospital ministry at Southside Hospital in that city. In late 1994, for reasons of declining health, he was assigned to the Province’s Center for Assisted Living at St. Dominic Priory, Washington, DC where he would spend the remaining almost seven years of his life. He died in Georgetown Hospital in that city. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for him at St. Dominic Church, Washington, DC with the homily preached by Fr. Dominic Keating, O.P. His body was laid to rest in the Dominican Friars’ Plot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in that city.