Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Father Locatelli Lecture

Olivia Silvestri
On Wednesday night, October 3rd, I attended a lecture on the significance of justice in the globalizing world. The speaker was Father Paul Locatelli, who is the president of Santa Clara University and the secretary of the Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education. Father Locatelli came to Loyola to share his mission of spreading justice throughout the world. During his lecture, he focused on globalization relating to a new reality, students, and faculty.

“Poverty is pervasive,” said Father Locatelli. As technology increases throughout the world, we forget about the poor, who are not able to experience technology on such a high level. Even though technology creates great opportunities, it also makes people feel left out. This takes away from the idea of globalizing as a whole. Religion and culture are other major issues that make globalizing the world difficult. How would Christians interact with Islamic people? Father Locatelli used this example to prove that trying to globalize the world is not easy.
Father Locatelli explained that when visiting other countries, mainly ones that are less fortunate than America, your worldview changes. In particularly, he talked about his visits to El Salvador for the past twenty years. I can relate to this feeling of looking at the world differently, because like Father Locatelli I have traveled to countries such as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic where poverty exists.

Hurricane Katrina was an example Father Locatelli used to show a lack of justice in America. After this tragic event, many of the effected people quickly experienced poverty, and race and class became an issue. Inequality became present, where justice should have been served.

In class we discussed the Peter-Hans Kovenblach essay, The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education. The essay focuses on the promotion of justice, the service of faith, and the ministry of education. Father Locatelli’s mission encourages us to practice these three Jesuit ideas. This essay and Father Locatelli’s speech shared a similar message as well. Their message is to reach out to others around us and spread justice. Also, both Jesuit priests point out the importance of education.

Father Locatelli stated that education is the only way that we can overcome polarization. Education is so important, which is why justice has to become part of it. The Jesuits, here at Loyola, and at other Jesuit schools such as Santa Clara, teach this and involve justice within the classroom. As a freshman, I have already seen how well the Jesuit teachings are incorporated into our classes. I strongly believe that I will benefit from these teachings and they will make me a well-rounded person. Unfortunately, there are so many students that do not get this valuable opportunity.

The Jesuit teachings focus on integration of the whole person. This is why they have strong feelings towards the commitment of understanding faith and justice. I feel that as the Jesuits continue to spread this message, justice in the globalizing world will improve. Of course it will not be easy, but every little step towards progress is beneficial. Prior to Father Locatelli’s speech, and reading the Kovenblach essay justice was just a word to me. However, I now realize the powerful meaning of it.

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