Special Message from President Petillo About Newtown Tragedy: Prayer Service Will Take Place at Noon Today

News Story: December 17, 2012

As we begin this last week of Advent, we carry with us the horrific events that took place last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The University community has ties in Newtown through our faculty, staff and students. Fortunately, all are safe, but sadly their friends and neighbors are not. We are filled with a sense of loss, emptiness and questions.
As we grieve at the senseless loss of life, we must remember the pain that will linger with those who survived. It is a pain of memories, lost dreams and hopes that will remain for years to come. It will be renewed with every missed milestone and every anniversary. As a University community filled with faith, we can remember, support and pray for them – not just today, but in the months and years ahead.
As the shock wears off, the reality of an absent mother, wife, daughter and son will become even more daunting. As we see the photos of those who died in the news, our eyes fill with tears and we imagine how we would feel if those were our loved ones. We think of the gifts that were bought with no one now to open them, the meals together with an empty chair at the table; the memories of laughter that will never be heard again. They are we.
And so, I suggest that we not forget the pain of those who remain. May those who were slain rest in peace in the embrace of their God. May our prayers and presence comfort those left behind.
Today, the University community will celebrate a liturgy in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at noon. All offices will be closed from 11:45 a.m. until 2 p.m. Members of the Newtown community who are also part of the University community will be with us. I invite you all to come to the Chapel and join in prayer for those who were lost and for their families.