It is with great sadness that the St. Thomas campus community mourns the loss of Deacon Leonard Paul Lockett, valued faculty member and contributor to St. Thomas Campus Ministry. He passed away April 25 after a long illness.
A beloved supporter of the St. Thomas family, Lockett leaves a legacy that will have a lasting influence on Eagle scholars and stakeholders for generations to come.
“We are deeply and profoundly saddened by the passing of Deacon Lockett,” President Fr. James Murphy, CSB said. “His influence was powerful on so many fronts. His wisdom and compassion were profound, his intellect highly respected. His dedication to and love for faith and teaching were always evident during his life. St. Thomas was privileged to have him impact our students, faculty, and staff. He will be missed immensely by the St. Thomas Basilians, his faculty colleagues, and by everyone in our expanded community.”
Lockett served with distinction as the Vicar for Catholics of African Descent for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, providing the African, African American, and Caribbean Catholic communities with spiritual, cultural, educational, and social development.
Lockett was profiled on CW39 in 2017 during Black History Month. “I love teaching African American Ministries, especially the history of the African American in the Catholic Church,” he said.
Lockett owned a provocative yet reasoned voice in the civil rights movement beginning as the vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People youth council at his high school. In referencing a 2018 Mass of Remembrance for activist and minister Martin Luther King Jr., Lockett said that “the purpose of the celebration is an opportunity for the local Catholic Church to call to mind a man of God who was a prophet in the true sense of the word. (King) made this nation aware of her shortcomings in the areas of equality not just for the Negro, but all her citizens caught in the deadly grip of poverty, homelessness, and the lack of a quality education.
“I believe if Dr. King were with us at this moment his message would be the same, ‘Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.’ We have to remove ourselves from the concept that MLK Day is not just the third Monday in January but that every day of the year we should be out striving to keep Dr. King’s dream and vision alive.”
After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from the University of St. Thomas, Lockett went on to become a Theology professor for the University, and Theology faculty member at St. Thomas and the institution’s assistant director of campus ministry.
St. Thomas extends its deepest sympathies to his wife Ava and son Adam ’17. A virtual memorial Mass will be held in his honor Tuesday, April 28, at 9:00 a.m., available through Facebook Live. More information will be shared once arrangements have been finalized. Please keep Deacon Lockett’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
[CLICK HERE for Deacon Lockett’s In His Light: See that you do not despise one of these little ones]
Catholic. Basilian. Teaching Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge since 1900.
So sad! Great man! Will miss him.
Me & My Husband, Clarence Brooks are praying for the Family. We are sadden for the Family’s loss, we love Deacon Lockett.
My condolences to Ava and Adam. I first met Leonard on Retreat at Holy Name. Retreat Center. He was with his church home at the time St. Mary the Purification and l was with my current church home St Philip of Jesus. We became friends from that time. My wife Mary(deceased) and I was involved with Leonard organizing the Afro-American Deacons and Wives Annual Christmas Party when served as Vicar as for Deacons of American Decent.
Correction to last two lines of the above comment:
“when he served as Vicar for Deacons of African American Decent.
We all will miss dcn Leonard he was a very amazing man with a heart of gold and always there for u when u needed someone to talk to he truly a man of god rip Dcn Leonard god keep u and watch Down on us down here
My longtime family friend! Rest well Leonard Lockett, until we meet again! Prayers to his family…..
St. Mary of the Purification will sorely miss Leonard’s kind smile, words of encouragement, an gentle chuckles that echoed the halls as he spoke fondly of his son Matthew. Ron and I met Leonard through his cousin Fr. Al Dixon, S.V.D.(deceased). Leonard was contemplating becoming a deacon but wanted to marry first. Ava and Leonard were married and along came Matthew. Their holy family was now complete. Leonard expressed his desire to serve the Lord from an early age. Now his walk with God is even closer, and I am sure that his chuckles are deeper as he baths in the light of his heavenly father.
St. Mary of the Purification will sorely miss Leonard’s kind smile, words of encouragement, and gentle chuckles that echoed the halls as he spoke fondly of his son Matthew. Ron and I met Leonard through his cousin Fr. Al Dixon, S.V.D.(deceased). Leonard was contemplating becoming a deacon but wanted to marry first. Ava and Leonard were married and along came Matthew. Their holy family was now complete. Leonard expressed his desire to serve the Lord from an early age. Now his walk with God is even closer, and I am sure that his chuckles are deeper as he walks in the light of his heavenly father.
The family has my sympathy for the loss of such a blessed and devoted person. I lived in Port Arthur before moving to Houston in 1964 where I am a member of St. Mary of the Purification.
Emma Victor Joubert
A great teacher of African American studies (at UST), and a dear friend. He will be missed! Our deepest sympathies and prayers to Ava and Adam.
Leonard married my daughter and baptized all of my grandchildren- he was going to marry my other daughter and counseled her and her fiance when he became ill. Leonard was a great man I will never forget him and will always pray for him. My condolences for Ava and Adam-God bless you.
I’m so sorry to hear that Deacon Leonard passed away. My deeply condolences to his family and relatives. May the Good Lord lead Deacon Leonard into Heaven.
I met Deacon Leonard when I was at St Mary of Purification church in Houston as parochial vicar and I truly recognized Deacon Leonard was a man of prayer and faithful servant. I vividly remembered the way he proclained the Gospel and servered in the Eucharist as deacon so reverent and devotedly. I truly admired him and wished that all ordained minsters shall serve the Eucharist like him. I will remember him and offer him a holy Mass to pray for him tomorrow at 7:00pm.
May he rest in peace. Amen
To Ava, his wife, and Lorie and Adam, his children, my deepest sympathies! Leonard’s prophetic voice challenged, consoled,
and inspired to very many during his life-time which included the years before his ordination to the Order of Deacon. I will always be grateful for his friendship. I was blessed to have been able to speak with him two months ago during a long conversation from Houston to Kingston, Jamaica. He eased my anxiety about the seriousness of his condition with an assurance of an improvement of his condition. May the Lord bless and strengthen his siblings as well as they reflect upon his life of service. Rest in eternal peace my brother!