Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

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Memories of Father Locatelli

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Remembering Fr. Locatelli

Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2010

I was editor in chief of The Santa Clara in 1989-1990, Fr. Locatelli's first year as president of SCU. Whenever I interacted with him I found him friendly and always reachable despite a first year marked by many challenges: the murders of his fellow El Salvadoran priests, the Watsonville earthquake, a troubled fraternity and a student body that was calling loudly for change in the school's environment. To me it seems he addressed issues large and small equally. He was committed to the Jesuit ideals of educating the whole person, of being a person for others and not shirking from living in this imperfect world of ours. Years later, I was traveling alone in Munich and, of all places, I ran into him as we traversed the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp. It was a solemn place and a serious moment. But he recognized me; we stopped and spoke briefly, compassion and gentleness and warmth pervading that very sad place. Hope still living and life going on in this imperfect world of ours. It is a powerful memory of mine. That was the last we spoke or saw each other. Time and life march on. But today I reflect that I was privileged to have known him, however briefly.