A Calling to Make a Difference
The trip from San Francisco to SCU’s Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley is just across the Bay Bridge, but some days Diego Salazar Galvis, Th.M., S.T.L ’20, says it seems all uphill.
“My life is commute, work, and study,” says the 25-year-old Colombian native.
His journey from Bogotá to Berkeley has not been easy. The cost of living coupled with missing his family—even the awkwardness of speaking English in class—can all be overwhelming. Yet Diego says that those challenges disappear when he reads the words of Philippians 4:13 inscribed on his silver bracelet: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
“Every time I struggle, I look at it,” he says. “It is a phrase that helps me get through certain moments in my life.”
When Diego was growing up, his Catholic parents—a dentist and a doctor who often treated the poor and homeless—were models of compassion for their four children. Diego was a teenager when, at their grandmother’s urging, he and his twin brother, Daniel, joined a Catholic youth group. Through his experience, Diego realized that helping others would become his vocation.
“I like the good life—who doesn’t?” he says. “But money is not everything.”
Diego earned degrees in theology and philosophy at Pontifical Xavierian University, the historic Jesuit university in his hometown, with the goal of serving God by teaching. But to do that, he needed a master’s degree. A Bible advisor urged him to apply for a scholarship at Santa Clara University’s JST, which allows him to attend school nearly tuition-free; a part-time office job on campus helps him cover the remaining costs.
“God is calling me to make a difference,” says Diego. “JST made it possible.”
By increasing the scholarship funds and living stipends available to students in Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology doctoral and master’s degree programs, we will not only attract, matriculate and retain the very best religious and lay students in the world, but we can relieve some of their financial strain so they can focus wholly on their scholarly and ministerial formation. With donor support, the Jesuit School of Theology will continue, through the students we educate, to help meet the needs of the contemporary Church and the many diverse communities it serves.