Saturday, February 24, 2024

He was as soon as referred to as the satan. Now he’s baptized.

Leon Robert Blais’ arms shake as he pulls a .45-calibre semi-automatic handgun out of his backpack.

He fires into the air, a warning for everybody to remain again. The look on his face is difficult, however his arms shake a lot he has to place the gun on the bottom, so he can rummage in his backpack for the important thing he’s taken.


The Sept. 23, 1995, headline in The Spectator about Leon Blais reads: “‘Dangerous child’ behind breakout solely 15.”

Standing with police


Leon Blais stands exterior St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in downtown Hamilton the place on Fridays the De Mazenod Door Outreach arms out greater than 500 meals a day to Hamilton’s most needy. Many within the line have identified Blais for many years, each from his lifetime of crime and his lifetime of habit that adopted.


Sgt. Pete Wiesner, who leads a workforce of police that works with susceptible folks to attach them with assets and divert them away from the prison justice system, has witnessed a metamorphosis in profession prison Leon Blais and now counts himself as an ally.


Leon Blais first got here to St. Patrick church excessive on crystal meth and in want of a meal. Later he began volunteering. That became a full-time job, the place at present he may be discovered doing every thing from choosing up meals deliveries, to mowing the garden. His canine Christina is all the time with him.


Father Tony O’Dell, who calls Leon Blais “my best success in some ways,” says Blais is trusted by the company of St. Patrick church.

Addicts and Mob hitmen


Leon Blais, proper, was born in Might 1980, the second of 4 boys, to Kathryn and Leon Blais.


A childhood picture reveals Leon Blais together with his brothers at Christmas.

The primary arrest


As a teen, Leon Blais couldn’t be named as a result of he was a younger offender. As his notoriety grew, The Spectator gave him the nickname Rudy.

A police capturing

Life altering toke


Leon Blais received his begin volunteering at St. Patrick church by choosing up trash.

The baptism


Whereas Leon Blais was initially immune to turning into a parishioner at St. Patrick church, that modified too. After being drawn in by the music, he discovered religion.


Leon Blais is seen right here packing up bagged lunches for the De Mazenod Door Outreach. Final 12 months, they served 122,000 meals and now they’re serving 500-plus meals a day.

Chalk butterflies


Leon Blais turned an curiosity in chalk artwork into a whole program, together with artwork lessons as soon as a month on the ministry’s gift-shop, humankind: Items That Matter.

A pivotal second

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