On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, Leo E. Gillen, of Mt. Lebanon passed away peacefully at the age of 86. Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent and Julia Gillen, brother James, sisters Mary and Lola (Sr. Mary Patrick) Gillen, and beloved wife of 43 years, Rose. Leo is survived by a sister, Kathryn Kobily, and brother, Stacy (Martha), as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
At age 13 Leo entered St. John Vianney Seminary in the diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He was ordained a priest in 1962 and served for many years until God called him to the vocation of Holy Matrimony with his beloved Rose. They made a home together in Mt. Lebanon where they both taught school until retirement. Leo remained active in parish life and ministered to adults seeking initiation to the Church through the RCIA program. Leo was a gifted artist and produced countless wood carvings, reliefs, and figurines, usually of his favorite saints. Friends and family were always excited to receive his hand-drawn greeting cards, which he would faithfully send on holidays and feast days. Leo loved to read. He could never pass up a book about Joan of Arc or Thomas More; among his favorite authors were Dickens, Chesterton, Belloc, and Thomas Merton. He often gave books as gifts, thoughtfully chosen for the recipient.
The life of any party, Leo could get a smile out of anyone at any time. He was light-hearted, friendly, humorous, and perpetually positive. His fun-loving nature was infectious, and his joy for life ever apparent. Leo possessed a deep and sincere faith, which warmed all in his presence. It was impossible to spend time with Leo without feeling special and important and cherished. He lived the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. A wise, gentle, and kind soul, Leo gave generously of himself and was dearly beloved as a husband, a brother, an uncle, a godfather, a neighbor, and a friend. Leo’s life was a wellspring of blessings to those who knew him.
A Mass of Christian burial will be Celebrated at Ss. Simon & Jude Church, 1607 Greentree Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15220, on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 10am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Sisters of St. Francis, Congregational Advancement Office, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania, OH 43560. www.sistersofsf.org/donate-online/
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