Welcome to the Winter 2022/2023 Newsletter written by our very own Sister Marilyn. To read a printable pdf version with photos, click here. Stay up-to-date on everything that is happening at The Leo House of New York City. Learn about improvements we’re completing to improve your visit with us. Hear about special guests who have touched our lives and our hearts during their stay. We love our guests and we hope you love staying with us at The Leo House.
Winter Newsletter 2022/2023
Goodbye Warren and Lucy
Farewell and may all be well! We thank them for the combined total of eighty-three years of service and employment you gave to The Leo House. September 2, 2022, was the official retirement date for Warren LeCruise and his wife Lucy Morales. They are pictured in the front lobby where Lucy had been front desk and reservation manager for years. Warren was chief of staff, and Facilities and Maintenance Staff Manager. He knew The Leo House building top to bottom, front to back, and sideways! One could say, ‘he came with the building plans.’
How does one say goodbye to those who have been your friends and valued employees for so many years? Not easily, for sure.
The Steuben Day Parade
Pictured above is The Leo House banner carried each year in New York City’s Steuben Day Parade. The event is celebrated yearly on the 3rd Saturday of September and it honors the heritage of its German-American citizens. Other celebrations honor its Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, Dominican Haitian-Americans, Italian-Americans, and other with parades, music, and festivals. The famous Macy’s Day Parade honors Thanksgiving Day each year.
German Heritage at The Leo House
A German businessman in Germany had the idea of a safe haven for German immigrants in New York. Once here guests were assisted by German-speaking Sisters of Saint Agnes who managed The Leo House on a day-to-day basis. With this strong German background, The Leo House joins the Steuben Day Parade each year to celebrate its heritage.
Pictured is Warren LeCruise, other Leo House employees, Board Members and friends at a recent parade marching up 5th Avenue from 68th Street to 86th Street. Each year, Warren made sure the banner was at the starting point and assembled for marchers to carry it along 5th Avenue. In the photo, The Leo House contingent is followed by a Canadian-German segment that came to New York for the day and its festivities. A German meal and ‘suds’ always follows the parade, either home-cooked, catered, or at a German Restaurant.
Recognizing the Loss of a Few Friends of The Leo House in 2022
Since January 2022, The Leo House was saddened by the loss of a Board Member and of two friends who by word and deed considered The Leo House their ‘home away from home.’
Francis D. Coleman – Board of Directors, The Leo House
Francis Coleman (Dan), pictured on the left with his wife, Inga, died on March 7, 2022. He was a Board Member for The Leo House for over 50 years and was a talented investor and financial advisor. According to Michael Coneys, President of the Board, “The Leo House would not exist today were it not for Dan’s enormous amount of work and prudent financial stewardship.”
Dan’s life-long commitment to civic organizations and his dedication to God and the Catholic Church were exemplary. He was a true patriot who loved his country and served the Church generously through a lifetime of service to a number of religious and civic organizations.
Rev. Rinaldo Damian – Friend of The Leo House
Father Rinaldo Damian was from the State of Massachusetts and before his ordination in 1988, he had obtained a Bachelors and Masters degree in music from the New England Conservatory of Music. After ordination he received an additional Masters and Doctorate in Liturgical Music from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He served as an Associate pastor in MA and in 1977 began part-time work for the Military Ordinariate as a Catholic chaplain in the VA Medical Centers of both Providence, RI, and of Miami, FL. On retirement he returned to the Diocese of Worchester, MA. Father Damian traveled frequently to New York for piano and music classes at Julliard. His home-away-from-home was The Leo House and he acquired many friends among the staff while here. He is greatly missed.
Rev. George F. Riley O.S.A. – Friend of The Leo House
According to the homilist at Father Riley’s funeral service, “he loved being an Augustinian priest, and the Augustinians loved him.” After his ordination in 1962, Fr. Riley was assigned to Villanova University as a student, then as an instructor. He also served his community and Villanova as an administrator. Of special note was his work with Alumni relations and work on various fundraising campaigns. He was gregarious, friends to everyone, and possessed an outstanding sense of humor. When work took him to New York, The Leo House was always his home-away-from-home and for 50 years he ministered each weekend to various parishes on the South Jersey Shore. In recognition for his 60 years of service to Villanova, the Augustinians renamed its healthcare fund to “The George F. Riley O.S.A. Fund for Augustinian Healthcare.” Sadly, he passed away on September 16, 2022.
Thank You Donors
In July 2022, an appeal letter was sent to those on The Leo House mailing list and to those with email addresses. Financial assistance was requested to assist in constructing an ADA Room here at The Leo House.
ADA refers to the American Disabilities Act, and a room to accommodate persons with disabilities has been in great demand. We take this opportunity to express gratitude for the outstanding response to this appeal. The short notes of encouragement and support that accompanied contributions are a treasure.
Gallery of New Employees
The Leo House has a lot of new employees to welcome you on your next stay. Alexander Wallace is the new Facilities and Maintenance Manager.
Four women, Angela Shannon, Martha Cruz, Crystal Anderson, and Tracy Watson join Michelle Nurse in Housekeeping. They clean rooms and prepare for new guests.
Michael Bowden is the new manager for Dining Room Services and Joseph Brady is the new Human Resources Manager.
Four gentlemen join the Maintenance team. They are Shawn Mack, Kerjhan Trotman, James Hiddleson, and Mark Humphreys. Painting, scrubbing, mopping, hauling are actions describing their work. When tasks are completed, areas sparkle!
Thank you for your Support
That sums up our Winter Newsletter 2022/2023. We hope you enjoy learning about new happenings at The Leo House. We hope to welcome you soon back to New York City.