Monday, June 13, 2016

From darkness, light

Today I have received mass emails expressing love, acceptance, and compassion from my two more conservative alma maters. Although since my third alma matter is Berkeley, "more conservative" probably doesn't mean much! Nevertheless, Santa Clara University is Jesuit, and UAF is the flagship University of a "red" state. And from them we have these words:

Message from UA President Johnsen: salute to the victims of hatred

Outside of every public building where the State of Alaska and the U.S. flags fly, you’ll see both are at half staff today – a somber salute to the victims of hatred and terror perpetrated on Sunday in Orlando, Florida against the LGBT community. I join you in expressing my deepest sadness for those lives lost and for those in the LGBT community including our students, faculty and staff who are traumatized by this horrific act. The University of Alaska works hard at being inclusive and safe, and offering an environment where you can be who you are. Today, please join me in showing our respect and support for diversity and inclusiveness, and please extend your kind words and thoughts to your LGBT friends, co-workers and family.


Sympathy for the Victims of the Orlando Shooting

Dear Santa Clara University Alumni Community,

The joyous weekend celebrating Commencement was darkened by the hateful attack on a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Forty nine people were murdered, at least 53 wounded and countless families impacted for the rest of their lives. Our prayers are with those who have lost their lives or were injured and their families and friends.

As a Jesuit institution that upholds the inherent value of each and every person, we condemn these shootings as a violation of human dignity not only of the victims but also of the entire LGBTQ community. This horrific act intended to instill injury, terror and helplessness among innocent people makes us all poorer by stripping us of our common humanity and breaking apart rather than building up our communities.

On behalf of the university, I wish to express sympathy for the victims and their families, and offer prayers for all who have been affected by this tragedy. To our LGBTQ campus colleagues and SCU alumni who face hatred and prejudice, I extend my support. As a Catholic community we can take action against these baseless acts of violence by making certain that care, compassion, respect and love are given to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.

To honor the victims and their families of the Orlando mass shooting, we are holding a vigil service today, Monday June 13th, at 4:45 p.m. in front of the Mission Church. Tomorrow, Tuesday’s 12:05PM Mass will be offered for the victims and their families. In memory of the victims, we shall fly the flag at half-staff through the week.

Please join me and the Santa Clara University community as we draw together in mutual support of those whose lives have been diminished by this unthinkable and targeted violence.


Michael E. Engh, S.J.

It's all very touching, no?


bt said...

Thank you for sharing a message of positivity and reminding us that in the midst of darkness, there is light. I can't imagine either of these institutions would have felt comfortable sending such a message even 15 years ago.

mdr said...

The world has been changing..
More open-minded, more accepting, more diversified.