Leonard Hacker, SJ
MARSHALL ISLANDS, 2001, featuring a 2000 painting of Fr. Hacker by Chris Calle, Scott 774
Leonard Hacker was born in Buffalo, New York, on January 3, 1914. He studied at Canisius College and the University of Buffalo, and after his graduation from the latter in 1938 entered the Society of Jesus. Fr. Hacker came to the Philippine Islands as a missionary, but during World War II was a prisoner of the Japanese in Luzon from 1942 to 1945. He came to Majuro in the Marshalls in 1952. He had a huge impact on the growth of the Catholic Church and educational advancement in the Marshall Islands particularly on Majuro, where he built the first school and first Catholic church, and on Ebeye where he moved in the late 1970's and built the Queen of Peace School. Among his many works was the founding of Assumption Elementary School and Assumption High School, where he also taught. In 2000 he was made an honorary citizen of the Marshall Islands. Kessai Note, president of the Marshall Islands at the time of Fr. Hacker's death remarked: "Everywhere I look in the Marshall Islands I will see and feel reminders of Father Hacker. We all benefit from the vision of a better future for our children that Father Hacker laid out for us."