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Long-time elementary school teacher and die-hard Cubs fan, Sr. Leonard (Adeline) Kania was a Chicago native who grew up in St. Hyacinth Parish on the city’s northwest side. Taught by the CSFNs at St. Hyacinth, Adeline joined the community in 1938 and graduated from Holy Family Academy, Chicago, in 1939. She earned a bachelor''s in philosophy from DePaul University.
Sr. Leonard began her 65-year teaching career in 1941, teaching primary grades at St. Blase in Argo, IL. She taught youngsters at Holy Trinity and St. Ladislaus, Chicago; St. Michael on South Shore Boulevard; St. Valentine, Cicero; St. Emily, Mt. Prospect, and St. Patricia, Hickory Hills, all in Illinois.
Sr. Leonard spent almost 30 years at St. Patricia’s, 18 years as a 1st-grade teacher and 12 years as a part-time math lab instructor. She particularly enjoyed one of the many benefits of her tenure there – the opportunity to teach the children of her former students. When she was transferred, parishioners packed the church for Sr. Leonard’s farewell mass.
Sr. Leonard was known for her devotion to Mary, for her love of her students and of teaching, and for her kindness to all she encountered. She worked for many principals; one described her as follows: "Good teachers explain, superior teachers demonstrate and great teachers inspire. Sr. Leonard was all three."
In addition to teaching, community life and the Cubs, Sr. Leonard was devoted to her family, including her surviving sister, Bernadette, and many nieces and nephews.
In 2006, Sr. Leonard transitioned from part-time teaching to retirement to Nazarethville, Des Plaines. She remained active, helping out whenever possible, including brief stints on the switchboard to afford the receptionists extra breaks.
After a brief illness, Sr. Leonard died quietly at home the morning of Feb. 25.