I write to express my sadness and grief at the attacks that took place in Israel over the weekend and the violence that continues in Israel and Gaza. During this very difficult time, I ask that you keep in your prayers those who have tragically lost their lives, been injured and are living in fear for their safety.
As members of a Catholic institution, we often find wisdom in the words and deeds of Pope Francis. During an address this Sunday, Francis said, “Let it be understood that terrorism and war bring no solution but only death and suffering of many innocent people. Every war is a defeat. Let us pray that there be peace in Israel and in Palestine.”
As president of a Jesuit institution of higher education, I believe in the dignity and sanctity of all lives and the need to care for the mind, body and spirit of all persons. I do not have the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I do, however, believe in the power of education, dialogue and faith to guide people towards a more just society. At Le Moyne, we ask all undergraduate students to complete an extensive core curriculum in history, moral philosophy, religious studies, the social and natural sciences and the humanities so that they may be empowered to create a future dedicated to peace, respect for our differences and justice. At this time of suffering, I reaffirm our Jesuit commitment to education as a means to reconcile differences and resolve conflicts.
We recognize that news of this conflict may be troubling. Resources are available on campus to all campus community members, including TELUS, which offers 24/7 remote wellbeing and mental health support (1-866-743-7732 or TELUS app), the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling, the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, members of the Le Moyne Jesuit community and the staff of Campus Ministry. Faculty, staff and administrators seeking support can contact Michelle Vincequerra, LCSW-R, the College’s employee assistance provider, at (315) 559-2778.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.