Lecture on Social Justice by Father Paul Locatelli
As I entered McGuire Hall and took a seat, I gradually realized how crowded the lecture hall was becoming. After Father Linnane was introduced he spoke a few words about Father Locatelli and his title as President of Santa Clara University and how much respect he had for this fellow Jesuit college.
Father Paul Locatelli opened up with stating his topic would be the mission of justice in a globalizing world. He said that love is our calling and love is also a gift we all share. Father Locatelli explained that to achieve a well-educated solidarity we must integrate contact with concept. I found this idea quite interesting and insightful. He then continued to share of his experiences in El Salvador and how he believes it is important for everyone to have an experience with a country like El Salvador. Although I have never had the opportunity to visit a poverty stricken country to do service, I know many who have, including my brother, and how life-changing an experience like that can be. I truly do hope to one day have such an opportunity.
Father Locatelli went on to speak about the Jesuit colleges and universities worldwide. Before this lecture I had not been aware that there are one hundred and fifty Jesuit colleges and universities across the globe. Before this year I had never really thought of the Jesuit institutions as a bigger picture than just our Loyola College. Father Locatelli explained that the measure of these universities is who the students become. I find this really true because once a student is accepted into the college of his or her choice, it is then the responsibility of that university to mold their students into model citizens. Father Locatelli added that the focus is on educating the whole person as to benefit the world we live in.
Father Locatelli greatly emphasized the concept of globalization in ways I had never considered prior to now. He explained that globalization is a new reality facing our world and that it calls for experience in intellectual inquiry. He believes that globalization focuses too much on economy and that there is a high price with economic growth as it causes growing inequality among us. I now realize how true this statement actually is and how it applies and affects our country, and our world. Father Locatelli then shared a personal story about a book he read and how technology is another driving force behind globalization, however, is it for all people? Is it for people living in poverty? This is something we tend to forget as we are not in this group of people and how all sorts of technology are constantly at our fingertips.
Father Locatelli went on to speak about the various diseases and gritty realities of our world that we need to address, the dimensions of globalization, and what justice truly means to us. He then ended with stating the five themes of Jesuit education. First, he said we must use knowledge to overcome poverty and the growing problem of economic inequality. Next was the theme of technology and science and the fact that they are great opportunities, however they are discluding a large portion of the population and should be used for good. Third was religion and cultured religion and the issues in science and the importance of inter-religious dialogue. Another theme was that of the culture of life and how we must look at our whole lives from birth to death. Finally was the theme of ecological sustainability, specifically the problem of global warming and how it will, and is, affecting our generation as college students and what our world will be once we are middle aged. This is a problem that is gaining more light and attention throughout our society, which is definitely a positive element, however, does not seem to be truly improving at a noticeable rate.
Father Paul Locatelli is an extremely intelligent individual that is doing a lot of good around the world. I learned a lot from his lecture and gained a lot of new insight about things I may have otherwise never considered.