SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 29, 2000 - Santa Clara University and
Sacred Heart Parish in San Jose collaborate again this year, in
their fourth annual dramatic liturgical celebration of Our Lady of
Guadalupe. During the ceremony, the recipient of this year's
Juan Diego Scholarship, a four-year tuition scholarship to SCU,
will be officially announced.
The Misa Guadalupana will take place on Sunday, Dec. 3, from
2- 4 p.m. in the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, followed by a
reception in the Brass Rail, Benson Memorial Center. The liturgy
will be bilingual and the performance will be primarily in Spanish
with English commentary throughout.
Out of 15 applicants, Oliver Leopold, a 22 year old Latino from
San Jose, was selected as this year's scholarship recipient.
Leopold is a transfer student from De Anza College and is
studying electrical engineering at SCU.
Leopold is originally from Peru. He and his four siblings moved to San Jose nine years ago
to be with their mother and father who had moved to the area one year earlier to find
employment and housing. Leopold's father is a driver for FedEx Ground and his mother is
Leopold is the father of a six-week-old boy and has been a member of Sacred Heart
Parish for nine years. He serves as a regular tutor in the new Sacred Heart Parish
Homework and Computer Center.
"Receiving a full tuition scholarship to SCU has been a major turning point in my life from
which I have realized the value of higher education", said Oliver Leopold. "The Juan
Diego Scholarship will allow me to contribute to my family and give back to the
The Juan Diego Scholarship is a need-based scholarship funded by SCU. In order to
qualify for the scholarship, applicants must either plan or have applied to be a freshman
or transfer student at SCU. In addition to completing the application process issued by
Sacred Heart Parish, the applicant must meet SCU admission requirements. As part of
the criteria, a Sacred Heart Parish committee selects applicants based on their parish
involvement and youth leadership.
For applicants that applied but were not selected for the scholarship, Sacred Heart
Parish offers a support group to help students complete their college education through
The Juan Diego Scholarship began officially in 1998 in conjunction with Sacred Heart
Parish, following a conversation between Father Mateo Sheedy, former pastor of Sacred
Heart Parish and former SCU provost and religious studies professor, Steve Privett, S.J.
in December 1997. Privett is the current president of the University of San Francisco.
This year, SCU is funding two Juan Diego scholarships: one for Oliver Leopold, the other
for Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, the first Juan Diego Scholarship recipient.
Hernandez is the first of her family to attend college. She is a member of Teatro
Corazón and will be participating in this year's Misa Guadalupana celebration, playing the
role of the Virgin Mary.
Among many Latin Americans and the Roman Catholic community, the celebration of Our
Lady of Guadalupe recalls the appearances in December 1531 of the mother of the
Savior on Hill of Tepeyac outside of what is now Mexico City.
The play, to be staged during a bilingual Mass and performed by the Teatro Corazón of
Sacred Heart Parish, tells the story of Juan Diego, the man to whom the Lady of
Guadalupe appeared. He brought news of the appearance of Our Lady to the local
bishop, along with her wish that he build a church for the indigenous people to honor
The celebrants will include SCU students and faculty and parishioners of Sacred Heart.
Sponsors include: SCU Admissions Office, Alumni Office, Bannan Institute for Jesuit
Education and Christian Values, California Arts Council, Campus Ministry, Center for
Multicultural Learning, Center of Performing Arts, Comunidad Latina de la Universidad de
Santa Clara, Eastside Project, ethnic studies, financial aid, modern languages, National
Endowment for the Arts, Pastoral Juvenil de la Parraoquia del Sagrado Corazón, pastoral
ministries, Program for the Study of Women and Gender, religious studies, and Sacred
For information on the event, contact Ana Maria Pineda at 408-554-6958, Lulu Santana
at 408-554-4639, or Laurie Laird at 408-554-5013.
For media interviews with Oliver Leopold and Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, contact Barry
Holtzclaw at 408-554-5126 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
For information on how to contribute to the Juan Diego Scholarship Fund, contact
Janiece Oblak Bacon at 408-554-6824.
or information on SCU, visit www.scu.edu.