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!