Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

Letters

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A good woman in the ministry

I loved the article about Sharon Kugler and her chaplaincy [Winter 2008 SCM]. I loved her advice to get up out of your chair and actually give someone a plate of food or refill of a drink, as an act of service. And I loved her way of defining the goal of young people as trying to overcome differences, finding ways to resolve conflicts, and going deeper in understanding and relationships.

Hooray for a good woman in ministry! Hooray that she describes the gifts of a Jesuit education with clarity and wholesome attention to service!

Sometimes we get frustrated that injustices don’t seem to be righted, but then we see someone like her, who truly is “the change we wish to see in the world”! Thanks for a great and inspiring profile.

MARTINA NICHOLSON ’72
Santa Cruz




This is the way

One winter afternoon in my freshman year, I met Prof. William Sheehan [In Memoriam, Summer 2008 SCM] in his narrow office adjoining the chemistry lab. I had hoped that, armed with a basic question regarding helium and its electron activity, I could unlock the mystery of who Prof. Sheehan is and find a successful path through his physical chemistry course.

Prof. Sheehan pulled a blank paper from his desk, drew a three-dimensional coordinate system, began his stoic explanation and abruptly stopped midsentence. He then mumbled quietly: “God created man, man has a free will.”

Exploding with excitement while pulling a fresh sheet from his desk, he added: “No, no, no. This is the way.”

The helium explanation details that followed no longer mattered to me—Prof. Sheehan was showing his overarching model and path to understanding. Many times during the next 45 years I have returned to this brief encounter with a terrific teacher and have worked to unlock and apply the mystery to which he pointed.

PATRICK FINLEY ’68
Berkeley