Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Leonard W. "Moose" Wagner, O. Praem

Birth: October 4, 1912

Death: March 11, 1989

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Leonard Wagner was born in Cleveland , Wisconsin , in 1909.  After graduating from St. Norbert High, he joined the Order in 1931 and professed solemn vows in 1936.

Frater Leonard was assigned to the Southeast Catholic faculty in 1935, where he taught German and Latin through 1937.  After ordination in 1938, he taught at St. Norbert High and was prefect of the college.  In 1941, he joined the faculty at Central Catholic and assisted at St. Willibrord.

With the title of “The Longest Reigning Novice Master,” “Moose,” as he was called, took over the novitiate in Madison in 1946, and remained at the helm until the opening of the new abbey in 1959, when the novitiate was moved. 

Novice-frats spent their entire first novitiate year under the tight control of Moose, imprisoned on the 11 acres of the Madison property: studying and praying, planting and weeding, pruning and harvesting, mowing and shoveling, laundering and cooking, building and destroying, …and showering once-a-week.  Is your “Opera diei” still on your desk at all times?

After the novitiate moved to the abbey, Moose remained as superior on the Madison property, which became a house of studies for those men at the university, until his retirement to the abbey in 1969.  He spent his final days at the Guardian Angel Nursing Home until his death on Wednesday, March 11th, 1981 at the age of 71.

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