1899 – 1973 (April 29)
Leo Augustine Hart was born on December 17, 1899, to Daniel Hart and Mary Kearney in Andover, Massachusetts. He was baptized there on December 24, 1899, in the Church of St. Augustine. He received his early education in Andover, and after attending three years at Punchard High School, entered Villanova Preparatory School, Villanova, PA, as a postulant. He began his novitiate on June 15, 1918, professed first vows on June 25, 1919, and made solemn profession on June 25, 1922. Leo received a B.A. degree from Villanova College in June 1922, and studied theology there as well. He was ordained to the priesthood at Villanova on August 2, 1925 by Thomas J. Walsh, bishop of Trenton, New Jersey. He spent a year at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., where he specialized in Psychology and Sociology.
In 1926, Father Hart taught at Villanova's summer school, followed by an assignment to teach at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. In 1927, he became sub-master at Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York. In 1928, he was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, and attended Loyola University for two years, after which he received an M.A. in Sociology. He ministered in the mid-west also at Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in the parishes in Michigan, namely, St. Matthew in Flint, and St. Clare of Montefalco in Grosse Pointe. In 1935, after a short stay at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Jamaica, New York, Father Hart served in St. Augustine Parish, Andover, MA. On November 25, 1935, he was appointed assistant pastor at St. Augustine Parish, Philadelphia, PA., where he remained until 1971, when he retired to St. Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA.
Father Hart wrote a biographical sketch of the life of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, in order to extend and perpetuate a devotion to the saint that survived for over seven centuries. On April 29, 1973, Father Leo Hart passed away in Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, at the age of 73. A Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated in the chapel of St. Mary's Hall. Interment followed at St. Mary's Hall Cemetery and later his remains were relocated to the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.