Mercy Mondays: Chaplain’s Corner — Q&A with Father Scott Pontes
Enjoying Sunday brunch after Mass, exploring campus with his Yorkiepoo Buddy and the five Critical Concerns of Mercy. These, along with the excitement of being part of an educational community, are just some of the things that Father Scott Pontes loves about being a member of the Salve Regina family. Before joining the campus community in August 2020 as University chaplain, Father Scott lived an adventurous life filled with love, faith and mercy.
Born and raised in Bristol, Fr. Scott is a Rhode Islander at heart. He joined the Seminary of Our Lady of Providence, and studied at Providence College as well as L’Universite Laval in Quebec City, Canada. Though he left Rhode Island to pursue advanced studies in Lisbon, Portugal, his ministry keeps bringing him back to the Ocean State.
From being a high school modern language teacher to studying the Portuguese language and culture overseas, Father Scott’s experiences surrounding the Catholic, educational and traveling portions of his life mean that as much as there is to learn from him, there is just as much to learn about him.
Q&A with Father Scott Pontes
Do you have any advice for any college-age students who may be struggling with their faith or questioning it?
I know that college students, and those even younger, have difficulty at times with that belief in God. I have a hard time understanding this a little bit because I never went through that difficulty, but I see it with my niece and some former students. I try to get them to persevere and continue going to church, even if they might not be getting something out of it right then and there. If you have that practice and make it a habit, it can really help. If you can’t go every week, just go to have that relationship to build upon. It is okay to have your doubts and it is okay to voice them to others.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s at the top?
I don’t technically have a bucket list, but there are a few things I’d like to do, such as visit Luxembourg (the country). And I have always wanted to get a tattoo. I have it all picked out and designed; I just need to figure out where I’d like it to go!
What do you do in your free time?
I love to travel but can’t right now because of COVID. I used to travel at least four times a year to Portugal. I also enjoy reading; I like historical fiction and I love to read travel narratives.
How do you define mercy?
Mercy to me is a way of life. It’s not only love or just plain kindness or mere forgiveness – it’s living a life that promotes all of these things without effort and without judgement. It’s definitely something that we receive from God and are called to share with one another.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?
My favorite quote is from “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Written by Samantha Tarbox ’21.
This post originally appeared in Report from Newport, Spring 2021 Edition.
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.