Hardly ever leaving his modest home at St. Leo's Church in Dorchester, [Leandre Jeannot] was hailed for his relentless work with the community, bringing the French-Creole language to Catholic churches throughout Dorchester and Mattapan, and being the only Haitian priest in the area to preside over weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
Born in Haiti in 1929, Jeannot, who had become a political opponent of Haiti's powerful regime, was no stranger to adversity. He was forced to flee Haiti in 1959.
"The Haitian family here has to sustain not only itself but three or four families in Haiti," Jeannot told the Globe. "Everyone, even myself, compromises their living here to participate in that. Without the diaspora, Haiti would not survive."