Brother Leo Quinn, O.S.F.
Brother Leo's attraction to the Franciscan Brothers began when he studied under them in St. Paul's School on Court Street in Brooklyn. After graduating there, he attended St. Francis Prep and St. Francis College on Butler Street. In 1926 he received a degree in Mathematics from the College. He entered St. Francis Monastery on September 8 of that year, the first graduate of St. Francis College to enter the Congregation. Born Daniel Quinn on August 9, 1905 in New York City. Brother Leo was the son of Lawrence and Anna Gavigan Quinn. Irish immigrants who eventually settled in Brooklyn in 1913. Brother Leo remained in Brooklyn for the rest of his life, living at the Butler Street Monastery for thirty-eight years and then residing in the new St. Francis College Faculty House on Joralemon Street until his death in 1981. Brother Leo was received into the Congregation on April 8, 1927, professed first vows on May 10, 1928 and final vows on May 16, 1931 in the Monastery Chapel. From Butler Street he taught briefly in the parish elementary schools of St. Peter, St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Francis Xavier. From 1929 to 1933 he served on the faculty of St. Francis Prep. and in 1933 began his remarkable work of more than four decades at St. Francis College. During that period Brother Leo also earned a Master's degree in Math and Philosophy from St. John's University in 1934, served as Master of Brothers in temporary vows from 1940 to 1942 and as Dean of the College from 1946 to 1949. To the thousands of college students who learned Math from Brother Leo he was a genius in hid field and a delight as a teacher. These characteristics were not accidental, for Brother Leo's pursuit of advanced studies in Math was unusual for his time. His dedication to that goal gave him the determination required to overcome the obstacles which attend all such pioneering efforts. As a result, Brother Leo helped pave the way for a later generation of well educated Franciscan Brothers and advanced the professional reputation of the Congregation. Brother Leo is remembered not only as a bright and clever teacher, but more importantly as a man faithful to Franciscan simplicity throughout his life. Though quiet by nature and small in stature, Brother Leo was full of energy, quick of movement, always extending a friendly hand, a warm face and smiling eyes. His many terms as a teller for Chapters were acknowledged by the Brothers as they dedicated the 1981 Chapter to his memory by acclamation. These fine qualities of Brother Leo became inspiring memories to the many friends of St. Francis College and the Franciscan Brothers who mourned his death, which came after a short illness in Holy Family Hospital on March 25, 1981.