On January 21, 2013, we will commemorate the 11th death anniversary of former Medjugorje parish priest, Fr. Leonard Orec. He was born in Posuski Gradac in 1928, and died in Zagreb in 2002.
Fr. Leonard attended the elementary school in Posuski Gradac, Grammar School in Siroki Brijeg (1940 – 1945), as well as in Varazdin and Sarajevo. He spent his years as seminarian in Sarajevo. He received his Franciscan habit in 1946, and he was ordained as a priest in 1951. He worked as educator in Split and Kraljeva Sutjeska. He received his post – graduate title of doctor of science at the University of Theology in Ljubljana in 1956, with the thesis of “Relation of Mary and Christ in devotion of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina ferom 1463 to 1878”.
He was a lecturer at the Franciscan Theology School in Sarajevo from 1958 to 1961, and later he served as the Secretary of the Province. He was the educator of novices in Humac from 1967 to 1977. At the same time he also served as the Vicar in our Province (1973 – 1976). He served as a parish priest in Germany, in a town Blankenau from 1977 to 1988. In 1988, he came to Medjugorje and served as the parish priest until 1991. In 1992, he founded and led famous charity institution “Medjugorje – Mir”, that was based in Split. He did that until 1997. The book “A Hill of Goodness – the third Hill of Medjugorje” was published in 2001 and it was about that work.
Since 1997, he served in the Centre of Franciscan Order in Rome. He was also a member of Croatian Marian Society and participated at many Marian Conferences, national as well as international. He was a regular member of Croatian Society for Science and Art in Sarajevo. He wrote for many local Catholic papers such are Krsni Zavicaj, Nasa Ognjista, Dobri Pastir and other. He was buried on January 23, 2002 in Posusje.