Vigil for the Victims of the Attacks in Sri Lanka

Written by Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. President
April 26, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As a university community, we condemn the tragic and senseless killing of more than 250 worshipers and others and the wounding of hundreds more in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. We join together to support and comfort all those in our campus community who are grieving during this painful time.

I invite you to a prayer vigil, organized by Campus Ministry, at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at the reflecting pool outside of the Chapel of St. Ignatius. This vigil will immediately follow our 12:30 p.m. daily mass, which will be offered in memory of the victims. We will gather as a community to mourn and remember all those whose lives were taken in this unspeakable tragedy and pray for their loved ones and all who are suffering in its wake.

As a Jesuit and Catholic university, we stand firmly against all horrific acts of violence, especially those perpetrated against religious minorities motivated by bias and extremism. Such hatred and ignorance was evident in this week’s attacks as worshipers gathered to celebrate the holiest day of the Christian calendar. And yet the very message of Easter is one of hope, light, life and love triumphing over death, oppression, violence and destruction. As we continue to pray for all those impacted by the attacks, our mission and commitment to compassion, diversity, inclusion and equity must drive us forward in spirit and in deed. Let us stand in solidarity with those who are impacted and recommit ourselves as agents of peace and justice.

It is also important that we are attentive to those in our community who are struggling with this violence. There are a number of resources available to students and colleagues needing care and support during this difficult and painful time:

  • Students can visit Counseling and Psychological Services in PAVL 120 during urgent care hours (10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday) or call 206-296-6090 for an appointment;
  • Campus Ministersare available in Student Center 120. Call 206-296-6075 or 206-296-6052 for an appointment;
  • Advisors at the International Student Center in PAVL 160 are available in person or can be reached at 206-296-6260 or via email at;
  • Veterans and military service members can visit The Outreach Center in STCN 110 during operating hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) or call 206-296-6334 to set-up a time to meet with one of our veteran and military support staff;
  • Staff and faculty seeking support can access SU’s EAP benefits through Wellspring. Please contact Human Resources for more information; and
  • Additional resources are also available through the Dean of Students on our website, in Student Center 140 or by calling 206-296-6060.

In prayer and peace,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.