Statement of Bishop Paul S. Loverde on the Death of Father Leo Zonneveld, C.I.C.M

On Saturday, September 19, Father Leo Zonneveld was called home by the Lord. He was a member of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly called the Missionhurst Society, a religious congregation founded to evangelize in foreign lands. The central office of this missionary community in the United States is located in Arlington.

Father Zonneveld possessed the heart of a missionary, eager to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to everyone. After having served as the U.S. Provincial, he began full-time priestly ministry within our diocese specifically at the parish of the Precious Blood in Culpeper. He lived among his parishioners as a good shepherd, caring for their spiritual welfare, overseeing the growth of the parish and reaching out to those in need.

Father Zonneveld also served on a diocesan basis as a member of the Finance Council and a judge on the Tribunal. He was also the Dean of Deanery IV and a diocesan consultor. After retiring as pastor in Culpeper, Father Zonneveld lived with his community in Arlington. The cross of illness became his and on September 19, he passed from this life to the next.

Along with his Missionhurst confreres, his devoted parishioners, and his many friends, I shall miss his supportive presence and his priestly witness. May the Good Shepherd give him eternal life!

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015