Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

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Memories of Father Locatelli

Your memories of Father Locatelli

  •  1 of your biggest FANS

    Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2010

    I have a Goodbye letter of my very own to share with those who also loved Father Locatelli. This email post below was in response to Paul’s original email that he was “stepping down as President of Santa Clara University” back in 2008. I continue to miss Father Locatelli & also know his presence will continue to be felt wherever we are walking here on our lovely SCU grounds. 3/14/2008 Dear Father Locatelli, As I sit here with tears in my eyes, I feel compelled to reply to you directly, which I have never done before today. Please know how excited, happy, & proud of you we all are! To be selected & pressed for service to the task of "fostering cooperation in the quest for excellence among Jesuits and their colleagues" etc, is a considerable calling indeed. One that another might have thought daunting or overwhelming. But as I understand who you are "from a distance", & have seen you head straight into Campus challenges to deal with them & overcome, I am confident you will be given God's grace when your strength is low, & the perfect words to say when you are at a loss. I want to congratulate you, but also say, you will be greatly missed. Of course I will keep you in my prayers & hope to hear from time to time how you are doing via a Campus posting in future when you move full time into your new life. Change is hard sometimes, but also a good thing, for new beginnings refresh us, keep us humble, & turn our eyes to the Lord for each new step. That is a good thing. ;) Although I am not Catholic, I have found love, joy, & a passion for excellence here on the SCU Campus I had not experienced much in any of my past Employers: Stanford, ASU, etc. Well, I better head on home for now... & begin dealing with letting go of the "BEST CAMPUS PRESIDENT" I have ever seen in my lifetime! May God continue to bless you abundantly "Mr. President" Locatelli. Sincerely, Mary Sue Crawford

  •  How fitting....

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    at the funeral Mass for our beloved Papa Loc I should turn to the inside cover of the program, which showed his official SCU media picture as President, that below were the words of the prophet Micah which resonated with me the truth of his devotion and love for who he really was.....simply a Jesuit priest...... "What does the Lord require of you ? Only to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God" Game over, he wins AGAIN was my thought.....this coming from a former student he taught more than accounting classes to.....he taught me life lessons I adhere to more than 32 years after graduating from SCU. When I last saw Fr. Paul about two years ago at SCU he jokingly said that after having taught me and been known as a hard grader why I would even want to talk to him ! Again that self deprecating humor he had perfected over the years. I simply said "Father I know I may not have been the best student in your intermediate accounting classes but I did learn values from you that transcend debits and credits.....besides I am a tax guy anyway." With his quick wit he came back with the comment he was sorry to hear that I had gone to the dark side with a career in taxes, but then promptly told me, with that smile of his, that he'd try to change my grade 30 years after the fact for my extended efforts....May he rest in peace with our Lord and may we all continue his good works in our lifetimes. We love you and will always remember you Papa Loc and are better for having had you grace our lives. A.M.D.G. (having also been Jesuit educated in high school we were instructed from the first day of classes to always head up our papers with the above latin phrase "For the Greater Glory of God" and having closed with it here I am sure Papa Loc would have given me half credit for at least having it somewhere on the paper...the way he graded I'll take it !! LOL) Robert J. Watson, CPA BSC '78 , MBA '81

  •  Learning for Life

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I can remember at my Freshman year Parents Weekend in 1995, Father Locatelli, stated that Santa Clara University's mission was to not just teach us a subject, but teach students how to learn for life and adapt to the circumstances we face. Since graduating from SCU in 1999 I have thought of these words so often when facing changes and challenges, in my personal and professional life. My SCU education did not end in June 1999, I am constantly learning from the global classroom. Thank you, Father Locatelli, for sharing this with me at such an impressionable age. It so far is the greatest learning moment of my life.

  •  True Leader

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    Fr. Locatelli was Santa Clara's President during all 6 years that our children attended school there. His wisdom and kindness was always appreciated by our family. we will all have fond memories of this great man and his enduring leadership - during the scant years that he led our children through their higher education experience. He will be dearly missed by many....

  •  A Vision for Us All

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I remember Father Paul as a wise, compassionate leader who changed the face of SCU with his emphasis on academic excellence, service to the poor and and dispossessed, and a building campaign that integrated the campus and made it whole. Paul's latest interest was in bringing together Jesuit Universities world wide to have an international impact. Regretfully, that task remains; but we who care about educating the whole person and seeking justice both locally and across borders will continue his work.

  •  Thanks, Paul

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    We give thanks to God for Paul --a humble leader, a creative visionary and a loyal friend to many, including us in El Salvador.

  •  Paul Locatelli

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    Well done, Good and Faithful Servant. May the heavens open to you with this resounding praise and subsume you in the peace and joy of God's love.

  •  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.

  •  A Postcard, Inspiration, & Thanks

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I was in Rome a few weeks ago on holiday, and while there a long overdue task came to mind. In 1996 my mother had a severe stroke. At the time she was working at Santa Clara University in Human Resources. During those first weeks after the stroke, friends at the university arranged for a special mass to be said in her honor. Paul celebrated the mass in the Mission, which my family and several friends attended. It meant a lot to us all. While our family on the whole had sent a thank you to the many people who helped us during that difficult time after my mom’s stroke, I thought while in Rome it would be good idea to send a fresh, personal note of thanks to Paul for his kindness and prayers so many years ago. I wrote the thank you on a post card while sitting in St. Peter’s Square, and mailed it to his office at The Jesuit Curia. Little did I know at the time that Paul wouldn’t have a chance to read it. After returning to home I learned of Paul’s illness and like everyone who knew him, was shocked by the news of his death this week. As I sat in the Mission Gardens last night attending the Mass of Christian Burial, I reflected on what Paul’s life had meant, the example he gave us all a person of God and the life time of good work accomplished in so many ways. One of his brothers in the Society of Jesus remarked last night, “Paul was a Jesuit’s Jesuit.” Indeed. The Jesuits changed my life as a student at Santa Clara University. The many lessons they taught me -- Ignatian Spirituality and Service to Others, among others -- and the community of friends I still have from those years, are constant and permanent reminders of the very things Paul’s life was focused on: Love of God, Love of Others, Service to All. The remembrances shared about Paul’s life last night gave me fresh inspiration to follow the example Paul gave us. My parents have two nearly identical photos of Paul on their picture board in their guest room. In both, Paul’s smiling and waving to the camera. One photo, I took on my graduation day before I crossed the commencement stage to shake then President Paul’s hand as a new grad. Five years later my brother Scott took the same photo before he walked across that same stage to shake Paul’s hand for the same reason. I wish I’d had the chance to shake Paul Locatelli’s hand one more time, embrace him in gratitude and love, and wish him well on his journey. Not to be. But last night after the mass, I ate a simple meal of pasta & red wine as a quiet, personal tribute. Godspeed, Paul, and peace to you. We will rise again, indeed. I look forward to that day, to see you again.

  •  Fr. Locatelli's Graduation Party

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I was at the funeral yesterday evening, which seemed perfect. A little less formal, and "pomp and circumstance" than I might have expected -- but I think Fr. Locatelli would have liked it that way. And still it continued and continued, for maybe 15 minutes (which is a long time!) -- until the crowd gathered grew quite used to it. I was thinking about the ceremony afterwards...and of all the nice parts of it, the part that I remembered most was that cheering crowd -- it seemed to perfect. And the more I have thought about it, the more I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that Fr. Locatelli arranged it. If I had to describe the noise, I would say that it reminded me of nothing so much as a group of kids cheering and throwing up their mortarboards at the end of a college graduation ceremony. As an educator and the President of SCU, I can't imagine that any day would be a happier one for Fr. Locatelli than the annual graduation day -- a mark of success, achievement, launching a group of fine young women and men into the world... And where are SCU graduations held? In the Mission Gardens. And where were we gathered? In the Mission Gardens. And Fr. Locatelli, by all accounts, hated long-winded affairs with lots of speeches -- said he didn't want one. And everyone who spoke said that what Fr. Locatelli loved more than anything was cooking for friends and family and gathering with them over food. When the cheering broke out, we were an hour into the ceremony (which lasted a total of two). The tables in the Mission Gardens were being loaded with the most gorgeous spread of antipasti, breads, meatballs, sausages and red peppers, wine, desserts... I am CONVINCED that those cheering, happy crowd noises were actually Fr. Locatelli looking down and saying "I've GRADUATED! I'm fine and happy beyond belief -- enough of all this talking! My family and my friends are here -- and we need to have a party! So -- get up, go get some wine and food and eat and drink and be happy together in my name!" That is what I will remember most about Fr. Locatelli's funeral: that he wanted us not to spend our time talking, talking, talking -- but to be family together, and enjoy life and each other and be grateful for all we have, and do all the good things that it's within our power to do!