Vigil for Victims of New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Written by Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. President
March 15, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As a university community, we grieve over the tragic and senseless killing of 49 worshipers and the wounding of dozens more at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and we join together to support and comfort our Muslim colleagues during this extraordinarily painful time.

I invite you to a prayer vigil being organized by Campus Ministry at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at the reflecting pool just outside of the Chapel of St. Ignatius. We will gather as a community to mourn and remember the victims of this unspeakably atrocious act and pray for their loved ones and for all who are suffering in its wake.

We condemn this attack on Muslim worshipers in the strongest terms possible and the hateful, abhorrent ideologies behind it. It pains me to see humanity suffer at the hands of hate and ignorance. As a Jesuit and Catholic university, we stand firmly against horrific acts motivated by racism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other types of bias and extremism. The tenets of our Jesuit mission–empowering leaders for a just and humane world–and our commitments to compassion, diversity, inclusion and equity should drive us forward in spirit and in deed.

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 visit (PAVL 120) during urgent care hours (10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday) or call 206-296-6090 for an appointment;
  • Campus Ministers are available in Student Center 120; call 206-296-6075 or 206-296-6052 for an appointment;
  • Advisors at the International Student Center (PAVL 160) are available in PAVL 160 or can be reached at 206-296-6260 or via e-mail at;
  • Veterans and military service members can visit the Outreach Center (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.