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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father Leonard Thome



"Bro. Bill Campbell and I had arrived in Mokpo, South Korea, on the evening of January 14. In that city (Mokpo) where Father Len had lived and ministered for 18 years, we received the news of his death on the morning of January 15. For the week that I stayed there we were surrounded by reminders of who he was and what he had done: by the people, places and things that were familiar to him and that had played an important role in his life."

"Close by the entrance of our school property in Mokpo is the tiny brick building he and the other first Marianists in Korea lived in for years. Of garage dimensions, that building, unimaginable as a residence, is now used for storage by the school's tennis team. There too, of course, are the high school and the present Marianist residence and other campus facilities - all buildings Father Len had seen and lived with from the ground up."

"More important though, were the living reminders of his life. Three of the Brothers in the community - Brothers Beda Ahn, Pedro Shin and John Ko - had known him and lived with him. There are lay teachers from the school who had worked with him, Columban and Seton Sisters for whose communities he had been the confessor for many years and, of course, many former students. From those who heard of his death there was always an expression of sadness at his loss and a memory: a kind man they said, a good priest. A man who had it hard here because the language was never easy for him, even after 18 years. But still he served, they said, and - a good priest! A good Marianist! ..."

(Provincial Timothy Eden, PAC February 15 1991)

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