Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

Memory Book


Memories of Father Locatelli

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Sweet memories

Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

One of my fondest and sweetest memories was... It was early spring of 2004 when I met one of the sweetest people in the world. At the time, I was a young, naive Sophomore promenading in the beautiful garden of Santa Clara, the Mission Gardens. Like little curious youngsters, Jacob and I were looking in the windows of Nobili Hall, a Jesuit residence at the time. A kind-hearted man walked up to us and greeted us. He was dressed in black with a white collar. With animation, I was thinking, "It's a Jesuit! A priest! A father! He's talking to us!" He began chatting with us and the next thing we know, he was giving us a tour of the Mission Garden and the Mission Church. It was very fascinating. Just as he concluded the tour, he offered us something to eat, to drink, and... ice cream. So sweet of him... and we were complete strangers. To this very day, this moment remains closely to our hearts. I was a stranger, and he invited me in. I was thirsty, and he offered me something to drink. I was hungry, and he offered me something to eat. He was surely living the Matthew 25:31-46 life as God wanted us to. He was like our grandpa and we his two "rare birds." In many ways, Papa Locatelli , as some would call him, reminds me of this man we had met. Perhaps it was him; we may never know. Although some of us may not know Father Locatelli personally, one cannot deny how many lives he has touched directly and indirectly. Just look at how President Locatelli shaped and transformed Santa Clara, and how he fostered our school values. Maybe the three C's may mean nothing to us as a freshman, as a sophomore, as a junior, and even a senior, but I am sure if we were to reflect back, we can see how the school that Locatelli had served have been wonderfully molding us into "educat[ed] men and women to be leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion." Remember all those rigorous classes...on ethic, religious views, etc.? Competence. Remember all the readings we had on globalization entering Santa Clara? Conscience. Remember all those immersion trips and SCCAP activities? Compassion. Locatelli was a man of competence, conscience, and compassion. I am beyond amazed by how much he did and accomplish in such a short amount of time. He is aware of the needs of others and the world around him. And most of all, he was full of life and compassion. I still remember how he would invite us to eat at Sobrato Hall. I remember all the inspiring letters and emails he sent us. I remember his warm smile as he shook our hands at graduation. Yes, Paul Locatelli did many great things, but it was the small, simple things that he did that is truly cherished and embraced. I'm thankful that God had put Papa Loc as a faithful steward of Santa Clara during the years I was there. Arrivederci.