Southern Nevadans are honoring the memory of Monsignor Patrick Leary who left a legacy at Catholic Charities of southern Nevada and beyond. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez takes a look at the impact of his life.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Leary led Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada as C.E.O. for nearly a decade, and died last week of heart problems at the age of 63. He’s being remembered for his leadership and heart.
A funeral for Monsignor Patrick Leary is scheduled for Saturday.
In the Catholic Charities cafeteria where the masses are fed, one of his mottos is painted on the wall for all to see and digest.
One motto reads: “In this dining room the blessing comes with the meal, not before it.”
Vicar General of Las Vegas, Robert Stoekig reflects on those words, “…remind them that they have dignity and they are sharing that meal together.”
Leary came to Catholic Charities to bring it out of financial strain and help it grow. Those he led said he has done that, and some. They say Leary is able to champion and motivate those around them to really reach out and help others.
“Social services is the heartbeat that he saw as connecting everything here, because who are in need, that's where you hear their stories, that's where you're able to you know initially give them a bag of groceries but maybe also connect them to other services in town,” Stoekig said.
Beyond being a dynamic leader, he had charisma that spanned out into the community, and was able to make people comfortable with his wit and humor.
“…that sort of wit and the ability even in the midst of a tense situation to crack a joke that cuts right through and puts people at ease. And that was helpful not only with staff here and relationships in the community; it's also helpful with clients because as you could imagine when we have long lines of people all needing something sometimes just the ability to get everyone to laugh just softens things until everyone can be met,” Stoekig said.
Under his leadership, many programs have grown and flourished at Catholic Charities, and while it is uncertain of what Las Vegas’ future will hold in the next ten years, for now, those seeds he planted will be harvested. And those in charge say Leary’s legacy will carry on.
“Because the seeds that he implanted in each person here is a dynamic to do better in giving service and love to the community that are in need,” said Bishop Joseph Pepe.
The funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10 o’clock at the Guardian Angel Cathedral on 302 Cathedral Way, in Las Vegas.
Statement from the Diocese of Las Vegas
The Diocese of Las Vegas announced today that the funeral mass for Monsignor Patrick Leary, the CEO of Catholic Charities who on passed on Saturday, December 8, 2012, will take place at the Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10 am.
Due to the overwhelming support received from the community and the number of lives impacted by Monsignor Leary’s ministries, space and seating will be limited.
“Monsignor Leary leaves behind a strong legacy here in southern Nevada and we understand that due to the holiday season and the limited space at the Cathedral, not everyone who wishes to honor his life may be able to do so this Saturday. Therefore we are contemplating other opportunities in the coming year to commemorate Monsignor Leary’s life, his ministries and his legacy and we want people to know that there will be other opportunities to honor him in the coming months,” Father Bob Stoeckig, Vicar General of the Diocese of Las Vegas said.