Open Love Letter from a Former USF Professor

124
1183
Cuttler dons African garb while attending Father Godfrey’s homily, dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela, at St. Agnes Catholic Church. (Photo courtesy of Sasha Cuttler)
Cuttler dons African garb while attending Father Godfrey’s homily, dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela, at St. Agnes Catholic Church. (Photo courtesy of Sasha Cuttler)

Editor’s note: In an effort to keep the piece as is, the author has permitted me to clarify the context of the sort of love referenced below, for the reader. It is unusual for men to talk about non-romantic love. He talked of a love that is rarely discussed: agape. 

   Agape is not only known as a love for God, but can be described as a brotherly and sisterly love. As he stated during our chat, “There is more than one kind of love in the world…[including] non-sexual love. I am all about reclaiming that love.” 

   He intends to have understood that “… it is a force that people should claim and use as a tool in their work.” Sasha believes this sort of love can be a powerful force for political transformation.  

I love Reverend Donal Godfrey S.J. At first blush, it may seem peculiar that I am professing my love for Donal Godfrey. After all, I am a Jew, and Donal is a Catholic. I am a nurse, and Donal is a priest. I was born in the U.S., Donal was not.  On the other hand, as a Jesuit, Donal has the initials “S.J.” (Society of Jesus) while my initials are also S.J. (for Sasha Jonathan). I like to think that it also represents the ideal of “social justice” which Donal and I both support.

My love for Donal is an expression of solidarity as well as affection. While I taught in the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco, Donal was the Director of University Ministry. One day, a student asked if she could make up an examination because she was going with Donal to demonstrate outside the U.S. military’s School of the Americas. I was happy to oblige, as one of my dear friends lost her husband and brother to death squads in El Salvador. It is possible that the killers received their training at this school and I was glad that Donal was leading a non-violent protest that honors the memory of my friend’s family and the martyred Jesuits in the same small country.

I also love Donal because he made my students cry. I asked him to come speak with my students, many of whom had lost friends to the AIDS epidemic. Donal had compiled a marvelous oral history of the Most Holy Redeemer parish, in the Castro, which was at the epicenter of the outbreak. Rather than lecture, Donal suggested that we each talk about how the epidemic affected us as individuals and as nurses. Our salty tears of loving memory transcended the many differences between us at that class session.

I was really touched and honored that Donal posted a photo on social media of the two of us together, he in clerical robes, me in African garb. I came to hear Donal give a homily in honor of the late Nelson Mandela. Is this cultural appropriation? I do not think so; my intention was instead to celebrate the life of another man who fought for social justice against terrible odds. Donal and I are certainly more similar to the other than either  one of us is to Nelson Mandela. Imitation may not always be the sincerest form of flattery, but at times it certainly can be.

My love of Donal is a challenge to those who may be uncomfortable with warmth and love between two men. What’s to stop me from shouting my affection from the rooftops? After all, I love both my father as well as Father Donal. Homophobia is of course part of the answer. But I think there are other reasons. Does my love for Donal mean that we agree on everything? I would hope not. Indeed, no one would question my love for my partner or my daughters yet we disagree on many things. People like Donal Godfrey will not settle for mere tolerance of superficial differences among human beings. I love Donal because he is a pragmatic idealist working to create, nurture and embrace a better world. This is not the sort of love that is born from exchanges of candy and flowers, but it makes me smile as though it were.

124 COMMENTS

  1. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for
    me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!

  2. Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this
    post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site.
    You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to
    write some material for your blog in exchange for a
    link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.
    Cheers!

  4. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during
    lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded
    on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

  5. Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to know so much approximately this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you just can do with some p.c. to power the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  6. Generally I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  7. hey there and thanks for your info ? I’ve definitely picked up anything new from proper here. I did then again experience several technical issues using this site, as I skilled to reload the web site many times previous to I may just get it to load correctly. I had been pondering in case your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading cases instances will very frequently affect your placement in google and can injury your quality ranking if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can glance out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you replace this once more soon..

  8. I loved up to you will receive performed right here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you want be turning in the following. sick without a doubt come further formerly again as exactly the similar nearly very frequently within case you shield this hike.

  9. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with useful information to paintings on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community shall be thankful to you.

  10. You know therefore significantly with regards to this topic, made me for my part believe it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. At all times handle it up!

  11. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have performed an impressive process and our whole group shall be grateful to you.

  12. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something
    new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this web site, since I experienced to reload
    the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality
    score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.

    Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Ensure that you update this again soon.

    My website … rebelmouse

  13. This is very fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in search of extra of your excellent post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  14. naturally like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality however I will definitely come back again.

  15. I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours lately, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  16. I’m now not sure the place you are getting your information, however great topic. I must spend a while learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  17. Thanks , I have recently been searching for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive about the supply?|What i do not realize is actually how you are no longer really a lot more smartly-favored than you may be now. You are very intelligent.

  18. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i’m glad to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most without a doubt will make sure to do not put out of your mind this web site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  19. I liked as much as you’ll obtain carried out proper here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you want be handing over the following. unwell surely come further previously once more as exactly the similar nearly very incessantly inside of case you defend this increase.

  20. Terrific work! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this put up higher! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  21. Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity to your submit is just cool and i could think you’re an expert in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay updated with approaching post. Thanks one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  22. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vibrant transparent idea

  23. Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness for your submit is simply spectacular and i could suppose you are a professional on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to seize your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you one million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  24. Hello there, just turned into aware of your blog via Google, and located that it is truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate should you proceed this in future. A lot of other folks will be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  25. hey there and thanks in your info ? I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did on the other hand expertise several technical issues the usage of this site, since I experienced to reload the site many occasions prior to I may just get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, however slow loading circumstances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could injury your high-quality ranking if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot extra of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this once more very soon..

  26. hello there and thank you in your info ? I’ve definitely picked up something new from proper here. I did on the other hand experience a few technical issues the use of this web site, as I experienced to reload the website a lot of instances prior to I may just get it to load properly. I were considering in case your hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances instances will sometimes impact your placement in google and can damage your quality rating if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m including this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot extra of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  27. I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more here regularly. I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!

  28. You are truly a just right webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a fantastic task on this topic!

  29. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to return the want?.I am attempting to find issues to enhance my website!I suppose its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  30. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i’m glad to show that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most unquestionably will make sure to do not disregard this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  31. hey there and thanks on your info ? I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however experience several technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I may just get it to load properly. I have been wondering if your web host is OK? Now not that I’m complaining, but slow loading cases occasions will very frequently have an effect on your placement in google and can injury your high quality ranking if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m including this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  32. That is really fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  33. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  34. You are in point of fact a just right webmaster. The web site loading pace is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a magnificent task in this subject!

  35. Hi there, I discovered your site by way of Google at the same time as searching for a related matter, your website got here up, it seems to be great. I have added to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

  36. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired! Very useful information specially the closing phase 🙂 I handle such information much. I was seeking this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and good luck.

  37. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours nowadays, yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s pretty price enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net will be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  38. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided
    us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  39. Everything wrote made a ton of sense. But, what about this?
    suppose you added a little information? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added a post title that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Open Love Letter from a Former
    USF Professor | SF Foghorn is a little plain. You should look at Yahoo’s home
    page and see how they create news titles to geet people to
    click. You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get readers excited about everything’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it might make your blog a little livelier.

  40. I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours these days, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s beautiful worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the web will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  41. Someone necessarily help to make seriously posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular post amazing. Excellent activity!

  42. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  43. I want to show some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a trouble. After surfing throughout the world-wide-web and obtaining principles which were not pleasant, I believed my entire life was done. Existing without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you’ve fixed as a result of your guideline is a serious case, as well as ones which could have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your website. Your primary skills and kindness in controlling all the details was priceless. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a step like this. I’m able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for your specialized and effective guide. I will not hesitate to refer the blog to any person who wants and needs direction on this issue.

  44. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he the reality is purchased me breakfast mainly because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to talk about this, I really feel strongly about it and enjoy reading a lot more on this subject. If probable, as you turn out to be expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with much more details? It truly is highly valuable for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    [url=http://seeleyajpf.wix.com/sneakerssyaf]jordans free shipping[/url]

  45. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was performing a bit analysis on this. And he in actual fact purchased me breakfast considering that I located it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and enjoy reading alot more on this topic. If attainable, as you turn into expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with far more details? It is actually extremely helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this blog post!
    [url=http://www.jordansnsv.350.com/testpage.htm]cheap jordans free shipping[/url]

  46. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was performing a little analysis on this. And he actually bought me breakfast given that I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading alot more on this topic. If possible, as you develop into expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with far more details? It really is highly valuable for me. Big thumb up for this weblog post!
    [url=http://puacity.com/blogs/post/28]jordan shoes for sale[/url]

  47. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  48. I in addition to my pals were analyzing the good tips and tricks located on your web site and then quickly I got an awful feeling I had not thanked you for those strategies. All the boys were so warmed to learn all of them and have now really been enjoying these things. Appreciate your being quite considerate and also for considering certain superior subject matter millions of individuals are really desirous to learn about. Our honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.
    Cheap Louis Vuitton Wallet outlet http://www.liaentries.com/logfile.cfm

  49. hey there and thank you for your info ?I definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..
    Michael Kors jet set http://www.elderserviceplan.org/services/Michael-Kors/Michael-Kors-jet-set.html

  50. Excellent goods from you, man. I have take into accout your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely magnificent.

    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the best
    way by which you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it wise.
    I cant wait to learn much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

    My page :: Transformers Age Of Extinction Hack

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here