On Thursday, 25 April, 2024, the Knights of Columbus (Monsignor Watterson Council 1711 of Westfield, NJ) dedicated the newly refurbished kitchen in Mercy House to the memory of Leonie.

 “Mercy House,” situated in Jersey City, is a boarding house, resource and referral center under the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. It offers a special outreach to women who are facing a crisis during their pregnancy.

A plaque has been placed on the doorway of the kitchen in her honor. 
Leonie was recognized for being an outstanding doctor.  Her concern for the unborn and for their mothers and dads and her commitment to the pro-life life cause were praiseworthy. 

Especially impressive was her leadership role in Natural Family Planning and NaPro technology, for which she had received national recognition.The celebration was a joyful one.

There were two priests on hand – a Father Sullivan from Mercy House and Father Paul Houlis who shared his blog of a prior interview with me, was in the background. There were members present from the Knights of Columbus, including our Council’s Grand Kight, Kevin Morrissey, and my good friends, Ben Chiang (who gave Peter his hat, after Peter said, “Nice hat, Ben!”) and Carlos Perez-Santalla. (The Knights provided a generous check for the kitchen project, and we Watsons chipped in.)

Cheryl Riley and Annette Miller were there from the Archdiocese. And there was also a nice little crowd of local Mercy House folks. The spirit was light and joyful.  The kitchen was super-nice. I am sure that Mom is quite pleased!

Richard Watson

  • Dr. Watson is a former President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA).