It is with great sorrow that we come together today with the departure of our president and dear friend, Fr. Julio Giulietti, S.J. We have all come here to seek the truth, and to know and understand what has happened within the university walls and what has become of the reputation of WJU. In this light, please invite anyone to read the blog and feel free to comment as you wish.

Any posts with profanity are not welcome, otherwise, please speak your mind. You are a part of this university and we want to hear your voice!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A cold winter for all of us

It is snowing in DC and cold. It’s the same weather and emotional feeling in Wheeling where Sr. Francis Marie Thrailkill was recently named the second interim president at Wheeling Jesuit in six months.

Sister Thrailkill must be courageous. Did those who discovered her tell her she will be interim president for 18 months after a six month disastrous attempt at leadership by Mr. McAteer? Or that Fr. Giulietti was illegally and violently discharged from his duties as president six months ago and to this day not given any reason for his dismissal?  Or that the highly touted presidential search of last fall came up with no viable candidates?  Does Sister know that until the leadership of the Jesuits of Maryland exonerates Fr. Giulietti from any wrong doing then her attempts to make piece with thousands of alumni will be limited to the equivalent of repositioning deck chairs on the Titanic?  Was Sister told that she will be working with faculty and staff who are demoralized by the cruel and pointless dismissal of Fr. Giulietti by the board and three spineless Jesuit trustees? Will Sister take the lead with the public harassment suit filed against the college and Mr. McAteer?

It is no surprise that Jesuits did not apply to be president after Fr. Giulietti’s sad dismissal. That gives a dysfunctional board and dysfunctional trustees 18 months to arrange a new owner for the college. Will it be sold to a group of interested Christians willing to let the institution be a school with Christian values? (Its former Jesuit values were thrown away last August.) Will UPMC be the new tenant as it makes its move toward ownership of Wheeling Hospital? The campus buildings would make a fine center for medical and scientific research? Viable ownership options exist. What does not exist is any resemblance to a Jesuit college with a core commitment to justice and peace.

Larry Catraro

1 comment:

  1. John Naughton '98February 9, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Mr. Catraro,

    I too am appalled by the actions of both governing boards in regards to the situation surrounding Fr. Giulietti; however, your suggestion that WJU no longer has 'any resemblence to a Jesuit College with a core commitment to justice and peace' is as insulting and reckless an action as those undertaken by the very people you rail against. Current students and theirs families, faculty, staff, resident Jesuits and alumni - good people all - continue every day to work towards achieving the Jesuit ideals of intellectual excellence and social justice despite the administrative storm clouds hovering above.

    I wrote a letter to Fr. Curry in December expressing my concern for the University, in which I stated that I would not send my daughter to WJU if she was of college age due to the actions of the boards and my concern for the future. My stance has since softened, and my hope for the future of the school strengthened with the news of Sr. Thrailkill's arrival. Now is a time to offer her our support, not pessism. Fr. Giulietti's time at WJU may have ended prematurely, but it has ended nonetheless. And while we offer him our best for his future, we must do the same with Sr. Thrailkill and the entire WJU community for our own.