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Sr. Ellen Leonard, CSJ - d. 8/18/22

08/20/2022 5:33 AM | Anonymous

The CTSA prays for Sr. Ellen Leonard, CSJ, who died on Thursday, August 18.  Sr. Ellen was a longstanding member of the Society who served as a member of the Board of Directors in 1992 - 1994.  she was honored the Ann O'Hara Graff Award in 2004.

Sr. Ellen presented numerous times at the CTSA's annual convention.  Her presentations available through the CTSA's Proceedings are as follows:


Sister Ellen Leonard, CSJ

who in the 71st year of her religious life, entered eternal life on Thursday, August 18, 2022

Visitation will take place on Monday, August 22, 2022

10:00 – 10:25 a.m.

St. Anselm’s Church

1 MacNaughton Road, Toronto ON

Followed by a celebration of a Mass of Christian Burial

Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery


Sister Ellen Leonard CSJ (formerly Sister Loyola)

died peacefully at the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, 2 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, Ontario

on Thursday, August 18, 2022, in the 71st year of her religious life.

She was predeceased by her parents, Hugh Leonard and Mary (nee Barry) Leonard.  She is survived by her beloved sister, Anne Leonard.  She will be sadly missed by her family, her faithful friend, Mary Rose D’Angelo, sisters in community, colleagues and friends. 

Sister Ellen was born in Toronto and was baptized at Blessed Sacrament Parish. Following graduation from St. Joseph’s College School, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto in 1951, where her aunt, Sister Ignatia Leonard, CSJ was a member of the congregation.  

Sister Ellen entered the teaching profession and taught elementary school for many years before pursuing further studies and obtaining a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in 1978.

Sister Ellen was among the first women to study theology in Canada, and to teach at the Faculty of Theology at St. Michael’s. Following Vatican 2, Sister Ellen welcomed the opportunity to teach seminarians and laity, encouraging all, and women in particular, to participate more meaningfully in Church leadership. When asked in an interview “about what are you most proud” she replied, “working with women students”.

The advancement of women’s equality was the central priority for Sister Ellen both in the Church and in academia. Through talks given in parish halls or at conferences on the role of women in theological education she educated others about women’s equality.

Sister Ellen had a joy and zest for life and loved music, bridge, painting and skiing.

She possessed a generous, joyful, spirit, incisive intelligence and was a mentor to many. She loved the study of theology and was loved by her students and colleagues at the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College.

In recent years, Sister Ellen experienced failing health and moved to the residence of the Sisters of St. Joseph, where she was assisted with her care by the very generous and dedicated staff. Sister Ellen was supported by her sisters in community as well as many close friends and colleagues.


Visitation will take place on Monday, August 22, 2022
at St. Anselm’s Church,1 MacNaughton Road, Toronto ON
from 10:00 - 10:25 a.m.
Followed by the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial
Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fontbonne Ministries

791 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M4M 1H6


  • 09/14/2022 2:26 PM | Paulinus I. Odozor, C.S.Sp
    The death of Sr Ellen Leonard is indeed a sad occurrence for many of us who knew her in the days when she was Dean of Theology at St Michael's college in Toronto. When I came to study at the Toronto School of Theology in 1987 she was the first high official I met at TST. She was kind beyond measure. Many of us who had come from Africa at that time did not know how things worked around here. Sr. Ellen was our constant guide and most helpful resource person. I ran into into her several times over the years after I left Toronto. she retained her warmth, constant smile, and genuine interest in the well-being and progress of her former students. She was a genuine Christian and a good religious. May God grant her rest.
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