Leo F. Armbrust
Leo F. Armbrust
Vita Nova means “new life” in Latin, and was founded by Father Leo Armbrust, a man who believed that foster youth deserved a better quality of care. Through the efforts of the Vita Nova team members, its volunteers and its benefactors, older foster and homeless youth are given the opportunity to lead lives characterized by independence, self-determination and personal responsibility.
Leo F. Armbrust was born in the Cincinnati suburb of Hamilton, Ohio but moved to South Florida in 1959. Leo served as a Catholic priest from 1977 until 2008. During his priestly ministry he was stationed at numerous churches in three counties, and taught at both the elementary and high school levels. Leo was the main celebrant of Palm Beach’s WPTV’s Sunday mass for six years. He also served as commentator for Miami’s WTVJ during Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1987 and for Miami’s WFOR during his visit to Cuba in 1998. He served 13 years as a Catholic Chaplain to the University of Miami Football Team and 10 years as Catholic Chaplain for the Miami Dolphins Football Club.
Among his many civic and community affiliations are: Board of Directors, National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame; Advisory Board, Roger Dean Stadium; Chaplain of Legatus; and Chaplain of The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.
Leo’s dedication to the needs of children was recognized with his appointment in 2000 to the Palm Beach County Community Alliance. The Alliance is a distinguished, competitively chosen 25-member group charged with planning for the conversion (by 2003) of the County’s foster care to a community-based system.
He huddled with business and civic leaders in the 1980’s to develop the concept of Vita Nova. From 1996 he has worked full time in bringing this dream to reality. He presently serves as Founder and Chairman of the project that maintains an independence from, is not affiliated with, and is not financially dependent upon the support of either church or government.
Among his many duties, Leo enlists support for Vita Nova among potential donors and corporate partners, agencies and organizations, and civic and governmental leaders.