Dear Members of the Fordham Prep Family,
On Monday morning our country awakened to news of the horrendous violence in Las Vegas.
It is difficult to comprehend this tragedy. Sights and sounds of battlefields were brought to a country music concert, where people gathered in love and friendship. Words of condolence seem inadequate as dozens of families mourn the loss of loved ones and survivors face long roads of recovery for wounds both physical and psychological.
When events like Las Vegas and Orlando and Newtown have seemingly become so commonplace in our society today, it is difficult to move past feelings like anger, disbelief, grief, and outrage.
Such senseless brutality can understandably challenge our faith, as we seek to find in its darkness the presence of our loving God. While such violence may shake us, we find strength in the compassionate, heroic and loving deeds of strangers helping each other in a time of crisis, first responders moving towards the chaos to help those most severely in need, and lines hundreds of people deep at local blood banks.
Fred Rogers once said that in times like these we must “look for the helpers”: those people who, in the midst of ultimate crisis, answer a call to become Men and Women for Others. Their actions point us to God’s heart, which aches in pain for those who suffer such loss and injury.
With our fellow Jesuit institutions across the country, we stand in solidarity and prayer with the Las Vegas community, and all victims of this tragedy.
We pray for the end of this epidemic of gun violence and to courageously commit ourselves to practical solutions which promote gun safety and peace, even as they may test our political will. If we are to end this tragic violence, we must turn these feelings into positive deeds that protect innocent lives and the freedom we enjoy.
For the 500+ victims wounded during this tragedy, we pray for their recovery, for God’s healing power, and that they find comfort for their wounds both physical and psychological.
For the families of the victims, we ask for God’s consoling presence.
For the 59 victims whose lives were tragically cut short we pray: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Rev. Christopher J. Devron, SJ