Archabbot, Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (1979-1983)
A native of Pittsburgh, Leopold Joseph Krul had arrived at Saint Vincent in 1931 as a boy of thirteen and had completed his studies in the prep school, college, and seminary. He entered the novitiate in 1938 and was ordained in 1945. After ordination he earned a master of arts degree in classical languages from Cornell University, and during the 1940s and 1950s he taught Latin and Greek in the college while also serving in several administrative positions, including that of college registrar. In 1960 Archabbot Denis named him prior of the archabbey, a post he held until 1966. From 1966 until his election, the archabbot, like Archabbot Egbert Donovan before him, served as chaplain at the Catholic Student Center of Penn State University. When elected, Archabbot Leopold was sixty-one years old and fell under the new term limits for abbots, which required him to resign from the office when he reached the age of sixty-five, although he would be eligible for re-election at that time.
During his four years in office, Archabbot Leopold’s contributions to Saint Vincent were far-reaching and impressive. He reorganized and strengthened the community’s monastic formation program and established the Human Resources Council to develop and oversee policies governing the education, guidance, and placement of the monks. He reinvigorated the community’s prayer life with renewed emphasis on traditional spiritual devotions, frequent private prayer, and the Divine Office and led a thorough and productive reassessment of the community’s educational, pastoral, and missionary aposto-lates. He gave regular conferences to the monks on monastic spirituality that fostered the continuing spiritual growth and development of the Benedictine community. In his role as chancellor of Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Seminary, he guided these institutions through shoals of inflation and enrollment fluctuation, and implemented the financial and administrative restructuring required to ensure their future success. He also made important contributions in preparing the college for its smooth transition to coeducation. His pastoral responsibilities and activities, which extended even beyond Saint Vincent, included many speaking engagements at various Slovak organizations and functions, and numerous conferences and retreats for religious communities of men and women.