Although he was never a member of the Ordinariate or this community, Dr. Thomas Howard (RIP) was a very important figure in the establishment of the group which became Saint Gregory the Great: the two series of meetings held at our founding Pastor’s last Protestant parish to discuss what the erection of the Ordinariate meant and whether an Ordinariate community should be formed were led by him; and, after that decision was made, he was our catechist. While we waited for Fr. Liias to be received (Tom was his sponsor) and then Ordained as a Catholic Priest, many of us worshipped at Tom and Lovelace’s parish, Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly.
Father David Barnes was at that time Pastor of the parish and became Saint Gregory’s first Barnabas, among many other benefits and blessings giving us our first home in the Church. Father Barnes is quoted in Tom’s obituary in Aleteia as follows: “
Fr. David Barnes, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, first met Howard when he was a freshman in college seminary at St. John’s Seminary. Later, Howard and his wife became his parishioners at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Beverly, Massachusetts.
“Having Tom and Lovelace as parishioners and friends was like finding gold,” Fr. Barnes, now director of spiritual formation at St. John’s, said in an email this week. “Their joy, humility, and zeal for the Lord made the parish just that much better. Tom, of course, was a master of words, but his mastery of the English language was always about bringing joy to others and building others up. Tom could strike up a conversation with anyone and build them up.”
Probably no one save Tom knows how many people were led into the fullness of the Faith by his efforts — and that does not include those who were, and will continue to be, helped by his many writings — but those of us who were privileged to know him personally, even in a very slight way, were singularly blessed. May he rest in peace!
In acknowledgement of his many good works, EWTN and THE JOURNEY HOME will be honoring his memory with a special program this coming Monday. They write as follows:
Join us this Monday, September 13th at 8PM Eastern on EWTN for a special Journey Home tribute to the late Dr. Thomas Howard, a prominent Evangelical whose path to the Catholic faith has served as an inspiration for countless fellow pilgrims over the years.
Marcus Grodi and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson will look back at the legacy of Dr. Howard, and feature remembrances and clips from Steve Ray, Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., Ken Craycraft and many others as we recall the great gift of Dr. Howard’s faith and friendship.