Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications was the representative of the Irish Jesuit Province at the retirement of Ms Terry Locke, President of Loyola Press, a Jesuit apostolate and publishing company of the USA Midwest Province. Loyola Press and the Irish Province came together three years ago to further the development of the online prayer website Sacred Space, founded in 1999 by Alan McGuckian SJ of the Irish Province.
Today, Loyola Press look after and develop the technical side of the website whilst the Irish Province provides the content. Last year Loyola developed and launched the Sacred Space prayer app, which has been downloaded by thousands around the world. Terry Locke was hugely instrumental in driving the cooperative venture between the Press and the Irish Province. She was a welcome visitor to the Province on many occasions and was accompanied by the Irish Jesuit Paul Campbell, who was until recently the Publisher at Loyola Press.
Paul, who now works as a curate in Georgetown, flew in from Washington DC for Terry’s retirement lunch in downtown Chicago on Thursday 22 June. He had warm words about Terry concerning her work, but most movingly he spoke about her late husband, Barry Locke, who had just passed away after a short illness, the previous Friday. Paul spoke of how Terry had cared for him with such love during his illness. He added that as boss in Loyola she brought that same loving spirit and commitment to her work and to those she worked with.
These comments were certainly endorsed by the representatives of the many different departments of Loyola Press. They all spoke warmly about Terry’s considerable gifts, including her vision, work ethic, and commitment to the Ignatian ethos. They particularly noted that her formidable drive and business acumen was tempered by a deep kindness for her staff.
One woman recounted a telling experience of Terry. She spoke of how her ten-year-old daughter had to come in to the Press on a few occasions. She had sternly warned her not to bother Terry in any way and to keep well away from her office. One day she found out that her daughter had been in with Terry every time she’d been to the Press. Upon chastising her daughter verbally, the young girl replied: “But mum – she’s my friend”.
Terry Locke spent 21 years at Loyola Press. Under her tenure the Press went from being a small operation with a staff of twelve to becoming the foremost catechetical publishing company in the United States, with a staff of 100 and a multi-million-dollar turnover.
Staff, board members, Provincials, Jesuits, family and friends from home and abroad came to pay tribute to her. Not one word was superfluous. It was clear she will be sorely missed. Happily, however, after Terry’s own tour de force of a final address, those present were assured that she will not be relinquishing work and further commitment to Jesuit ministry for some time to come.