A permanent deacon lends his care to those in need

LISA JOHNSTON | lisajohnston@archstl.org
Deacon Del Leonardo carries three pagers and a cell phone on him at all times. It's a necessity in his work as a full-time evening and overnight chaplain at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, but Deacon Leonardo doesn't mind all of the buzzing and beeping coming from his hip. Rather, he sees those as opportunities to be with patients "in the moment" who are critically ill or close to death. The 72-year-old never imagined that he would become a permanent deacon, or a chaplain for that matter, but he knows in his heart that this is exactly what he's supposed to be doing.

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