Jacklyn Gonzalez ’07 knows about the strains of undergraduate life at
the University of San Francisco. From pulling overnighters during
finals week to being the first female in her family to graduate from
college, she’s been there, done that. Now a graduate theology student
and resident minister intern for University Ministry, she goes out of
her way to offer guidance to younger students.
“As a former
undergraduate, I understand, in some manner, what our students are
going through and I enjoy being a mentor to them,” said Gonzalez, a
resident ministry intern (RMI) in Hayes-Healy Hall.
One of 17
RMIs for University Ministry who live on or near campus, Gonzalez
encourages students to explore the spiritual side of their life and its
connection to their experience at USF. In short, Gonzalez, like the
other RMIs, acts as a pastoral presence in the residence halls, and
organizes and takes part in a variety of programs and volunteer
opportunities, including community action, spiritual retreats, and
“As a Jesuit university, we encourage our students
to be aware of their own ability to explore God, the divine, their path
towards enlightenment and meaning, and eventually connect that to their
life experiences and their connection to the world,” said Don Crean,
associate director of University Ministry.
Gonzalez, a fan of
comedian George Lopez who loves to laugh, said she was inspired to take
on the job of resident ministry intern by a previous RMI who worked
with her during her years as an undergraduate at USF.
a great role model to me and ever since then, I really wanted to
participate and felt called to this type of ministry,” said Gonzalez, a
Catholic who believes there are many paths to God or the divine.
intern for University Ministry’s liturgy and music program, she is
involved in preparations for the 9 p.m. Sunday student masses and
special masses at Xavier Chapel in Fromm Hall and St. Ignatius Church.
offer my service to the church as a minister of the Eucharist, which
involves the distribution of the body of Jesus Christ during the Mass,”
USF resident ministry interns practice a range of
religions, including Catholicism, Buddhism, and Protestantism, among
others. They also come from diverse backgrounds and professions,
perhaps none as surprising as Ricky Nogueiro’s.
Zimbabwe until he was 21, Nogueiro earned a bachelor’s degree in
finance from Central Connecticut State University in 2008. From there,
he went on to work at a New York-based hedge fund, inputting data and
conducting financial reconciliations while watching his bosses make
billions of dollars off the housing crisis by short-selling stocks.
found it to be offensive,” said Nogueiro, who has seen life from the
other extreme in Zimbabwe, where 1 million citizens are forecast to
starve in 2009. “Hence the switch to social justice and San Francisco.”
a resident ministry intern in Hayes-Healy Hall, Nogueiro has applied to
the Asia Pacific studies program for spring 2009. He hopes to transfer
into economics from there, where he can better help his countrymen.
believe that the skills I will obtain from these programs will enable
me to converse on many levels with business people, leaders, and
politicians to advocate for the rights of those that don’t have a
voice,” Nogueiro said.
Working as an RMI is fulfilling because
it allows him to tap into his faith and passion for social justice to
educate students about issues facing the world through concrete
examples, including community action and immersions, Nogueiro said.