Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

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Memories of Father Locatelli

Your memories of Father Locatelli

  •  A Rabbi Story

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    Paul has been a kind friend to many, including me. When he left Santa Clara for Los Angeles in 1986 I sent him a note with a story I heard from my mother about a man who went to see his rabbi as he prepared to move to another town. "Rabbi," he said, "all my friends are in this town and I am afraid that I would have no friends in my new town." "Do not be afraid," said the rabbi. "You will keep the friends you have made in this town, and the qualities that brought you so many friends in this town will bring you many more in the new one." I was touched deeply when Paul told the story years later, as he bestowed on me an endowed professorship. I remain one of Paul's many friends in this town and know that he has many more in his new one.

  •  FATHER LOCATELLI

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    As a classmate and sharing an Econ class in our junior year, I recall the warmth and friendliness that Father projected whenever we talked, and his great sense of humor and dedication that never left him during his presidency. My wife, Janet, and I returned home to Fresno in early evening last night, and I asked her to watch the beginning of the memorial sv/Mass online, as I was not able to do so. When I got home, she said the service was so wonderful, that she observed the entire Mass et al. Paul will be missed, but never forgotten! Byron, '60

  •  peace maker

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I just happened upon Santa Clara University's website while doing some research for my grad classes. I remember Fr. Locatelli's face-his peaceful demeanor. I did not know him-not even enough to even know his name. I do know his peacefulness and his power of prayer. Almost thirty years ago in 1977 I won a two year scholarship to Santa Clara. I was not even college material at that time. I could not recieve the scholarship because my parents and I were not residents of California at that time. I was so excited, I went to see the campus anyway-out of curiousity. I was drawn to place my feet on the campus. I am sure I met Fr. Locatelli. He was the one who gave me the news that I was unable to use my scholarship. I do not know if he knew I already knew because of some calls I made. He was so pleasant I will never forget. It is a part of my soul and spirit, even though I live a lot differently that I did then, with influences that as christians, we must constantly be aware. I am so glad I met him. I am sure he prayed after me. I never felt bitter, but at the same time I never gave up my quest of going to college. I hope God forgives me of some of the bad choices I have made, and also I hope God blesses Fr. Locatelli for what he did for me when he did not even know me. He gave me confidence and support of my character that has kept me in appreciation of others in my life at school. Its important that I stop, take a minute, recognize a good person. I do not do that often. There are so many good priests that I would love to thank that are still alive. I pray that in the essence of Fr. Locatelli, I may communicate gratitude of others' efforts that make myself and this world a better place. Gail Claiborne-Owens

  •  Courageous Leader

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    Courage and Connection Having worked here at Santa Clara University for nearly 28 years I have a number of memories of Father Locatelli. Two memories that stand out for me are representative of the courage as a leader that he possessed and the connection he made with people. Leaders are forced to make unpopular decisions from time to time and Paul could always do what he thought was best for SCU. His decisions to discontinue football and eliminate the Greek system created considerable controversies and it would have been easier to accept recommendations from individuals and committees that said maintain the status quo. Paul did not wavier as he made and stood by many, many difficult decisions. The second memory I have took place during a women’s soccer match in Buck Shaw. Paul and I were visiting for a bit and after a few minutes he headed out. We were standing on the top of the end zone seats about forty feet from the stairs leading to the concession stand. This stroll would have taken me about 12 seconds but Paul did not get to the steps for twenty minutes. He was saying hello, shaking hands, thanking someone, arguing a point and answering questions. He wanted to connect with the students, alumni, friends, faculty and staff of SCU. Leaders must also stay connected to people in the organization and Paul knew the importance of that. SCU will miss Paul as person and president and so will I.

  •  Thank You

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I didn't get to meet Father Locatelli but am an admirer of his life's work. I hope he gets whatever rest he needs before taking on his next project. God Bless You, Paul. Father Nathan Castle, OP, Director, Catholic Community at Stanford

  •  A Life's Work

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    Working daily and directly with Fr. Paul Locatelli, it was impossible not to feel his passion for Santa Clara University and the potential its students had to change the world. He had a vision that energized, focused, and drove so much of what he did. Graduates - and even current students - could and should pay attention to injustice and use their education and best instincts to overcome it. He lived and breathed a world view that informed so much of what he did and inspired commitment in others. I will always treasure his earnest smile, his way of reaching out to people, and his unfailing belief that the world can be a better place if we all work consistently toward that vision.

  •  Time Under the Trees

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    When Fr. Locatelli became President, he was determined to hold "Open Hours" under the trees where anyone who wanted to talk to him about anything would know he was listening. He never needed the trees. Any time his eyes caught yours, he was listening. He's listening now.

  •  An alpha male full of love

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    The finest human specimens are energetic visionaries who wish to infuse in others the most important parts of their identity. Father Locatelli ascended to the university presidency in his 40s (exhibiting will to power), and immediately went about implementing his vision. We all know about his ambitious vision for the university and his successful implementation thereof over the long haul. But let us consider also, as an example, his visions with respect to El Salvador. In the wake of a massacre of jesuits there, he increased the university's involvement with the nation. why? He had a vision, the vision was being violated, and he did what was in his power to bring about the world that he wanted to see. There are many examples of Father Locatelli wanting the world to be a certain way, and putting his own and university resources into the creation of that better world. For him, a better SCU was just one of his many visions. In that sense, his continued involvement with SCU after his promotion in the Jesuit hierarchy is extremely informative. By definition, his new job was a full-time commitment, and he would do it with maximum effectivity if he left SCU behind, which many in his position would have done, but because his vision of SCU was so psychologically important to him, his motivation to continue to allocate time to SCU was strong, and so he did continue involvement with us. His pursuit of the plurality of his passions is why I call him energetic; no passion can be left unaddressed in the heart of men like Locatelli. Speaking of passions, those are one reason why I refer to him as brimming with love. Like all people who deserve to be taken seriously, the status quo of the world was never satisfactory for him; and ultimately, you will only find the status quo patently unacceptable if you harbor feelings that your fellow man's lot *should* be better. And it his relationships with his fellow man that most powerfully reveal him as an alpha male full of love. Tellingly, he exhibited the psychological construct of generativity: a desire to help young minds develop. Before his ascendancy to the presidency, he won teaching accolades, and as president, he made a genuine effort to get to know students, and to be a mentor. Later, when I asked him what the best part was about his job as overseer of all jesuit institutions of higher education, he said that it was the frequency of interactions with people who were extremely interesting and passionate. I asked him, and he answered affirmatively, if he regularly found himself in a position of mentor/advisor to other university presidents. In sum, it is clear that Father Locatelli was a strong-willed alpha male with a well-defined and many-faceted vision for the world, and that one of his core desires was to help others--students, and later all jesuit educators--become stronger themselves. After all, we know that it is valuable to teach a man to fish. I close by noting that all great people have many talents that go unrealized. In Father Locatelli's case, the obvious example is his prowess in the classroom, which he retained as president but was just too busy to use with any regularity. It is with this in mind that I exhort all members of the SCU community to honor his memory properly by not only loving him for and judging him by his accomplishments, but also accounting for his appreciable potential to have been greater still.

  •  my close encounters w/ Fr. Locatelli

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I first met w/ Fr. Locatelli 37 yrs ago when a close Jesuit associate of mine Fr. Jerry Phalin. At the time I was in U.S Govt service and my 2nd child April was ready to be baptized. Also at that time while in Govt service with the approval of the San Jose Bishop Piere Dumain, I was a functional married deacon and as a result I and Fr. Locatelli baptized my daughter April jointly in the University Mission Church. At that time Fr. Locatelli was the Dean of the accounting Dept and had not yet become a President, SCU. As a result of the joint baptism, I became am extremely close associate of Fr. Locatelli. Over the years I had many opportunities to visit with him, not only a Jesuit Priest but also as President of the SCU. One important extension of our freindship was that from the time I was 11 yrs of age until 21 yrs of age I was a DISCALCED Carmelite Friar, and as a result during my Carmelite training I had completed the ignition spiritual exercises of 30 days each, 3 times during those 11 yrs, twice at USC and once in Rome. My two children, my oldest son Eric and my youngest daughter April both graduated from SCU and the training and spiritual direction they recieved at SCU under SCU's guidance by Fr. Locatelli has left a lasting positive spiritual influence on my children as well as myself. Enclosing these remarks, I know that Fr. Locatelli is united with our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Holy Father St. Ignatius founder of the Jesuit Order. Just prior to Fr. Locatelli to Rome, my wife Puri and myself had an opportunity to briefly visit with him and Puri had this opportunity to meet him. Our visit was the result of an unfortunate unprofessional behavior of an SCU alumni and part time legal professor, who became very instrumental in removing under a temporary Court Order full custody of her children. The sad part of this situation is not only the pain and the emotional injury this female attorney Rebecca Sue Jones- brought on both Puri and myself but the terrible psychological, emotional stress brought on to the children, shortly after Fr. Locatelli went to Rome on November 8, 2008 at the Catholic Church of St Francis of Assisi, Puri and I were married by Msgr. John Sandersfelf of Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi. While he was alived and now that he is in heaven, I feel that knowing him and having him as an influence in my life is truly been and is a BLESSED GIFT from our Almighty God..

  •  In Memoriam

    Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

    I had the privilege to occasionally work with “Papa Loc” through my student involvement as an undergrad and he epitomized the three Cs he so deeply instilled in the SCU community — leading with competence, conscience and compassion. His "can do" attitude was infectious and motivated me to take an active role at SCU beyond the classroom. He always made himself accessible for students, faculty and staff and will be deeply missed. I fondly remember chatting with him over a meal about the importance of being a citizen of a global society and proactively taking action in order to be an agent of change. These words resonate with me even stronger today in both my personal and professional lives. You have left an indelible imprint on SCU, Fr. Locatelli, and your legacy will endure. Thank you for your selfless acts of kindness, dedication and commitment to making SCU the prominent example of Jesuit higher education it is today.