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The Holy Cross Community Comes Together in the Wake of Violence Around the World

November 20th, 2015 by 

Tom Rettig

As the world has seen violence in all forms unfold in the past week around the world—from Paris  and Beruit, to Bagdhad and Nigeria—the College of the Holy Cross community has come together to try to make sense of recent events and to pray for peace.

An Interfaith Prayer for Peace was held on Thursday, Nov. 19 in Mary Chapel where students, faculty and staff gathered to pause and reflect as a community, praying for those affected by the violence and war, for tolerance and compassion. The service was led by Rev. Philip Boroughs, S.J., president of the College, and Rev. Virginia Coakley, associate chaplain and director of Protestant and ALANA ministries. “We are gathered as members of the human family, diverse and many-colored, but united by a common purpose,” said Fr. Boroughs, opening the service. Community members offered prayers from religions across the world, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, which shared a universal hope for peace.

“I myself felt disrupted and quite shaken from the worldwide events,” said Katrina Black ’18, who participated in the service. “I knew I needed some time and a place to restore my faith, so I was so appreciative when I heard a prayer vigil would be held in the chapel. It was really comforting and calming to have such a service, especially when family is far away from campus or not available. I honestly felt so safe and supported.”

“The Interfaith Prayer for Peace offers a space for students, faculty and staff to lament the violence that seems so pervasive in our nation and our world,” says Emily Rauer Davis, assistant chaplain and assistant director of liturgy.

Additionally, and in the aftermath of the Paris events, a panel discussion sponsored by peace and conflicts studies was held on Nov. 18 in the Hogan Ballroom, titled “Paris: Now, After, Before.”  The panel, moderated by Predrag Cicovacki, professor of philosophy, included: Sahar Bazaaz, associate professor of history; Cynthia Hooper, associate professor of history; Lt. Darek Marino, surface warfare officer in naval sciences at Holy Cross; and Faisal Baluch, assistant professor of political science. The panel gave students, faculty and staff the opportunity to look at the recent events from perspectives not usually covered in mainstream media—from the perspective of Muslims, Russians, and the U.S. military—offering political and historical context with which to understand their position in an international society.

The Holy Cross community is a global one and continues to stand in solidarity with those affected by violence around the world.

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