22 June 2011

One Good Priest Makes a Difference

I saw this post at HSMom's blog, and it is a fitting farewell to Fr. Gregory Lockwood, who leaves for Kansas City to begin his new assignment on July 1.

I cannot publicly confirm who the new pastor at St. Elizabeth's will be, but the faithful who assist at the Extraordinary Form are understandably anxious that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite continue to be weekly celebrated in the South County area. This initiative of Fr. Lockwood, which was begun with the permission of His Grace Archbishop Carlson, has a solid and growing congregation of faithful. The celebration of the EF alongside the OF in the ordinary Catholic parish is precisely what is contemplated by the Holy Father and made clear in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and the instruction Universae Ecclesiae.

And not every person can make it to one of the two Oratories for the EF, for different reasons. Some do not want to leave their territorial parish. The West County Oratory has limited space. Even St. Francis de Sales Oratory might be a bit far, or, because of the huge space it can be a little difficult to cool in the summer. I know of at least one person who has MS, who can occasionally attend de Sales, but in the summer cannot because heat negatively affects her condition.

Obviously, anyone who reads this blog knows my position regarding the EF. It should be available at every parish, every day. But at this time, with the situation as it is in the Church, it is a good beginning merely to have it available on a close area-wide basis. This is what the St. Elizabeth's EF Mass represents. This is what Fr. Lockwood began. There are priests able and willing to say this Mass in the Archdiocese.

It would be beyond a shame if this very healthy development were ended. Pray for Archbishop Carlson; the Mass has many enemies.

Anyway, the post:

Farewell to Father Lockwood

For the past 15 months, Father Gregory Lockwood has been pastoring the flock (under the title of Parochial Administrator) at our parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Unfortunately for us he is leaving the St. Louis Archdiocese and will take new positions as Vocations Director for the Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph as well as Parochial Administrator of Christ the King parish there, effective July 1, 2011.

When Father came to St. Elizabeth's, we had not been regulars there for many years, though it was the parish in which we lived. Over the years since we were married there in 1999 and then began our family, my husband and I became better acquainted with, and grew to love, the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Our desire to grow as Catholics and raise our children in the 'old' rite drew us away from St. Elizabeth's and to churches where it was, or still is, regularly celebrated.

We were familiar with Fr. Lockwood, having assisted at Masses he had celebrated on Sunday afternoons at another parish, and so when we learned of his assignment to St. E's, just a mile from our home, we were delighted. It was not long before we were attending the regularly-celebrated TLM at 1:30 on Sunday afternoons. It was perfect for our family on many levels.

Our two boys learned to serve the TLM literally at the feet of Fr. Lockwood. As they learned their Latin responses, when to (and when not to!) ring the bells, how and when to reverently assist in getting the sacred items Father needs, etc., Father was always patient and encouraging to them. And though 'Hekyll and Jekyll' as Father sometimes fondly referred to them, still have a way to go in perfecting their service at the Altar, I know they will never forget where and with whom they first began as then-8 and 10 year old boys.

Father has been helpful in our spiritual growth, always guiding us in his wise but down-to-earth manner. If there were one recurring, but ever-appropriate theme imparted to us by Father it would be that in all of life's situations, 'someone needs to be the adult'.

Thank you, Father, for all you have done for us at St. Elizabeth of Hungary church. Your steadfastness, your humor, your compassion, your guidance and direction will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. You were our faithful shepherd, and we love you! We pray that God will bless you abundantly in your new parish and position in the Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph.

* * *

A farewell gathering for Fr. Lockwood will be held following the 10:30 a.m. Mass (and prior to the 1:30 p.m. TLM) on this Sunday, June 26, in the cafeteria (lower level) at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. All are invited!


Patrick Kinsale said...

It is nice to know that St. Louis has so many diocesan priests it can afford to send so many of them out to other dioceses or even countries.

thetimman said...

Patrick, St. Louis has many fine priests, but lest anyone get the wrong idea, Fr. Lockwood was not assigned outside of the Archdiocese. He accepted an offer for a new position from the Bishop there and was given leave to go.

pbewig said...

Fr Lockwood announced at Mass last weekend that Msgr Cronin will be the new Pastor.

thetimman said...

Thanks-- I didn't know that info had been published yet.

timh said...

Progress in N.Texas:

Anonymous said...

I have long wondered this, and this seems as good a place to post the question as any other:

What is the difference between a "parochial administrator" and a "pastor"?

TLMer said...

The TLM community will also have a small informal shindig after the 1:30 p.m. Mass.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 15:49. He's a married priest, he cannot have the title pastor. Jobs are basically the same though. I think we need a reform of the reform of the reform. This is one of JPII's introductions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:44, that can't be the reason, or at least not the only reason. I have seen other, non-married priests with the title of parochial administrator.

Anonymous said...

perhaps timman can chime in, but that is at least one of the reasons for the title.

T. Korpal said...

I attended one of the last Latin Masses at St. Elizabeth's today and was deeply saddened by Msgr. Cronin's pronouncement of an end to the sung Latin Mass (and Latin Masses of any type)at the parish.

What was more disappointing were the words in Msgr.'s statement, something to the effect Latin Masses will end because I can not say Mass in Latin. I guess the 21st century load is so great a Monsignor can not learn the Latin Mass-or does not care to. I'm nearly 65 and found the Msgr.'s statement totally bankrupt and devoid of any Catholicity. He certainly made a grand statement about the state of Holy Mother the Church.

Then, in his gospel, the visiting priest from Holy Trinity in St. Ann, Father Ochoa (sic), provided a failed attempt to connect today's gospel and the end of Latin Mass at the parish, providing no succor or support for those anguished by it's end. I certainly appreciate, and now more fully understand, his recognition of that fact that Holy Mother the Church hurts people and has done so throughout history. Thank God , it is the Message not the human messenger we must keep in mind. Still, his reference to following the Savior's lead and seeking deeper waters in which to find what we seek totally overlooked historical elements in the choice of this Mass. This Mass was the deeper waters we sought, and found, in pursuit of our longing to be closer to God and to celebrate the holy Sacrifice in far deeper waters the Church denied to us for so many years. Finding no offense in Father Ochoa's comments about the end of the Latin Mass at St. E's I, nevertheless, was prompted to wonder how his words would play to his Hispanic parishioners if his comments about Latin at St. E's were changed to reflect the end of Mass in Spanish at Holy Trinity.


T. Korpal

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this post is a few pages down at this point and may not get the visibility of the great comment T. Korpal provided.

We were not there at 1:30 Mass today, we were at the Low Mass this morning at SFdS, but in my mind, it seems that Monsignor Cronin has endured at least some suffering in recent past in his own right. I believe that he was willing to provide this Mass in this form for the little community at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Parish - indeed, Father Lockwood seemed to indicate that there was a good chance of this and I think this is what he was led to believe. However, the Monsignor will act in obedience to his Bishop, as he should - regardless of how that will play out or the consequences of that decision. One wonders though if Monsignor is taking the heat for a decision that was out of his hands.

The stark reality is that this current Catholic administration in Saint Louis, like so many others, does NOT want the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, or Traditional Catholicism integrated into or part of Parish life. It seems to be content in having it relegated to its little corner and niche at SFdS and Ss. Gregory/Augustine, though may be happier if it disappeared altogether. To quote Timman in a more recent post, "... the process of liturgical renewal and restoration is best served by the Extraordinary Form spreading throughout the life of the Church." and ideally, that should be done at the Parish level.