He initially succeeded his father as priest of the church in Kremenets but he began thoughts of becoming a [[missionary]], first to the new mission of Urmia in Persia, but then for America. In 1906, the young and dynamic [[Tikhon of Moscow|Bp. Tikhon]] of the North American diocese found him a suitable candidate for the [[Rector]] of the new seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and his family arrived in the United States in October 1906, and he quickly assumed the position of rector of the Minneapolis seminary where he began the tradition for Orthodox pastoral education in America. He was editor of the ''[[Russian Orthodox American Messenger|Russian-American Orthodox Messenger]]'' from 1914 to 1930. He was the dean of [[St. Nicholas Cathedral (New York, New York)|St. Nicholas Cathedral]] in New York where he was the main advisor of the ruling bishops.
Fr. Leonid, with Fr. Alexander Kukulevsky, represented the American diocese at the [[All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918|Council of 1917-1918]] in Moscow, Russia. The many church dissensions he experienced during his journey back to the United States through Siberia and Japan were those that he would combat through the remaining decades of his career. Fr. Leonid's experience at the Moscow [[Sobor]] placed him a leadership position at the [[All-American Sobor#Fourth All-American Sobor|1924 Council]] in Detroit as he pursued a course for American autonomy based upon the decisions of the Moscow Sobor.
He was saddened by the repose of his wife in 1925,