A Mass for Peace This Friday, All Are Welcome

Posted: October 26, 2023

As a community of care, we acknowledge that the attacks and ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine are a source of pain, anger and even fear for many members of our diverse academic community. In the spirit of Pope Francis’ call that Friday be a day of fasting and prayer for peace, we invite the community to gather for a Mass for Peace that will be offered on Friday, October 27 at 12:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Ignatius. Prayer and fasting are important shared practices of many communities of faith. As a Jesuit and Catholic institution, we invite the university community to join us in a Eucharistic celebration where we invite the divine to meet us in hope.  All are welcome.

Our unwavering commitment is to create and sustain a university environment in which each individual feels a sense of belonging and knows that space will be held for their wholeness. Let there be no mistake – we do not now, nor will we ever, tolerate any form of bigotry on campus, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia – for they, in any form, are antithetical to our Jesuit, Catholic mission and values. We are committed to non-discrimination and empowering a positive learning and working environment. Should anyone in our campus community experience discrimination, bigotry or other barriers to thriving, we have a range of reporting mechanisms, both formal and informal, including Campus Climate Incident Reporting and Response. Information on reporting processes can be accessed here

We also remind our community members that a number of resources are available for those in need of support in times like these. 

  • Students: Campus Ministers are available in Student Center 120: call 206-296-6075 or 206-296-6052 for an appointment. Students may also contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 206-296-6090 for an appointment. Additional telehealth resources are available through TimelyCare.

  • Staff and faculty: Pastoral care and conversation is available through the Chaplain for Faculty and Staff Fr. Natch Ohno S.J.; CJE Associate Director Andrea Fontana and CJE Director Jen Tilghman-Havens. Please reach out if you’d like to set a time to connect. Employees may also access benefits through Resources for Living, SU's employee assistance provider. Please contact Human Resources for more information. 

** You can visit Resources for more information on available support. 

While we have no control over how world events unfold, we have great agency in our response to them and our capacity to reserve care and compassion for ourselves and one another as we join together in exploring peace. You are invited to reflect on Pope Francis’ latest appeal for peace from yesterday’s General Audience: 

“I think always of the grave situation in Palestine and Israel: I encourage the release of the hostages and the entry of humanitarian aid in Gaza. I continue to pray for those who suffer, and to hope for paths of peace in the Middle East, in beleaguered Ukraine, and in other regions afflicted by war. I remind you all that the day after tomorrow, Friday 27 October, will be a day of fasting, prayer and penance: at 18.00, in Saint Peter’s Square, we will gather together to implore peace in the world.”

For those wishing to donate to help those impacted, please consider organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” As we consider our vibrant campus community, eternally evolving, let us commit to using adversity as an opportunity to broaden our interconnections and deepen our understanding. In this way, we will create a more just and humane world.