Remembering Deacon Leonard Lockett
It is with great sadness that the University of St. Thomas community mourns the loss of Deacon Leonard Paul Lockett, alumnus and former professor at UST, who passed on April 25 after a long illness.
Lockett also served as a faculty member and assistant director of campus ministry at St. Thomas High School.
Fellow UST alumnus and friend of more than 25 years, Larry Payne ’72, remembers Lockett fondly:
“He was the kind of man who, if he said ‘I will pray for you,’ you knew he would pray for you and it would be a powerful prayer,” Payne said. “He has been a friend, confidante, historian and colleague in my life.”
A Port Arthur native, Lockett attended Sacred Heart High School where he served as the vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People youth council. He went on to earn two degrees from UST, a bachelor’s degree in theology followed by a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology.
“He was very good at connecting the dots and seeing a full picture when it came to socioeconomic and political issues,” Payne said. “When he applied the Gospel and Catholic Social Teachings to them it allowed him to make very strong, clear statements on the matter.”
Lockett looked to Dr. Martin Luther King as a lifelong role model and kept the work of King alive in front of him while he worked.
He proudly served 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.
He was conscientious in his role as deacon, and lived his life as an example of what a Catholic man could be.
Lockett is survived by his wife, Ava, son Adam and daughter Lori. Our condolences go out to them in this time of grief.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.