By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — Brother Lee Barker, S.C., who worked magic in the lives of young people – including many at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School – died March 25 at the age of 92 at Mobile Infirmary.
Brother Lee arrived at McGill-Toolen in 1998 at the age of 73 but connected with young people through his ministry, which included magic.
“He served and helped many young people,” Fr. Dan Good, a McGill-Toolen alumnus and pastor of St. Philip Neri Parish, wrote in a Facebook post. “Brother Lee always made you feel special and loved. I give thanks to God for the gift of his life and pray for his happy entrance to heaven.”
Brother Lee’s obituary said “whether he was teaching a class, administering a school, or helping a young person overcome homesickness, Brother Lee had a profound influence on everyone with whom he came into contact. He will long be remembered not only as a skilled water ski instructor and discernment facilitator, but as a GIANT in the Province for his leadership, prayerfulness, warm smile and southern charm. To many, he epitomized what it meant to be a Brother of the Sacred Heart.”
Along with serving at McGill-Toolen, Brother Lee was a vital part of Saint Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Brother Lee was a vital part of Saint Stanislaus, serving as principal from 1966 to 1976. He also served as teacher, coach, Junior Master, Provincial Councilor, Provincial Vocation Director, Local Religious Superior, Director of Residency and Guidance Counselor in the Bronx, N.Y.; Alexandria, La.; Metuchen, N.J.; Daphne, New Orleans, Bay St. Louis and Mobile.
Brother Lee was born Eugene Colon Barker on Sept. 22, 1927, to Dr. Charles Barker and Aline Coulon. He was a native of Thibodaux, La.
As a pre-novice, Brother Lee entered the formation program for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart on Sept. 9, 1945, at Metuchen, N.J. and there he professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1947. The Brothers’ chapel at Saint Stanislaus was the site of his final vows on June 10, 1953, and in 2017 there was a great celebration when Brother Lee marked the 70th anniversary of his first profession.
Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother and sister, Charles Barker and Pamela Barker Dupont.
Funeral services for Brother Lee are postponed until such time as the pandemic has passed and people can gather to properly remember, pray for and celebrate Brother Lee. Edmond Fahey Funeral Home in Bay St. Louis, MS is in charge of the arrangements.