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.

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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!