On Behalf of Dr Anne M. Prisco, President
To the Felician University Community,
As a Catholic institution, we are called to live out the Franciscan values and the mission of the University through respect for human dignity, compassion, and to work for justice and peace. The events of the past two weeks, first Pittsburgh and then Thousand Oaks, California have once again broken our hearts and violated our Felician Franciscan understandings. I turn to the words of our Christian leaders for guidance at this time.
Following the shooting in Pittsburgh, USCCB President Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said, “Violence as a response to political, racial, or religious differences must be confronted with all possible effort. God asks nothing less of us. He begs us back to our common humanity as His sons and daughters.”
Only love can truly defeat evil. Love begets love, and peace begets peace, but anger, hatred and violence breed more of the same. Today we pray for the victims and their loved ones and all those impacted by this senseless violence. Let us pray that "In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." Lk. 1:78-79.
Pope Francis has said, “All of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence.” He prayed for God “to help us to extinguish the flames of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the sense of humanity, respect for life and civil and moral values.”
Leaders of all faiths and denominations encourage us to turn to God in prayer at this time and unite in love bonded by our common humanity. There are no easy answers to the broken-ness of our world, but it is my hope that the mission of this University to promote a love for learning, a desire for God, self-knowledge, service to others, and respect for all creation will help in some small way to promote peace, healing, and create a more just society.
I close with a prayer from Mother Angela Truszkowska, Beloved Foundress of the Felician Sisters calling for all of us to work together, united in love:
A humble love which extends itself;
A generous love which forgets itself;
A strong love which is not afraid of pain;
a stable love which does not change;
a patient love which can bear everything;
a fervent love which never weakens;
a constant love which never falters.
This is the kind of love I wish for you.
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.