To the Le Moyne Community,
The mass shooting that took place in Orlando over the weekend extends the disturbing pattern of senseless violence we have suffered in our country – violence that leads repeatedly to a terrible loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, as well as their families and friends.
Our Jesuit heritage supports the belief that every person - no matter his or her sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity - is loved in the eyes of God. These horrifying incidents raise important questions about who we are and what we will allow as a nation, but an unfortunate side effect of these necessary debates can sometimes be the dwarfing of very real human pain and suffering.
Forty nine innocent people were murdered, and the lives of their families and friends will forever be altered. Many of those killed and injured were members of the LGBTQ community. Please allow me to extend my support to all members of this community on our campus, in our alumni family and elsewhere, and to all of you as we struggle to make sense of this attack on our fellow citizens. Also, you might take a moment to watch this video from James Martin S.J.,
which provides a powerful message of solidarity and love. (Father Martin was Le Moyne's commencement speaker and received an honorary degree from the College in 2011.)
In November, following the Paris attacks, Pope Francis said the actions were an "unspeakable affront to the dignity of the human person...The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of humanity, and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy." These words, sadly, also ring true for the Orlando attacks.
On Monday, we held a memorial service on campus to remember those who died, were injured, responded to help or were somehow touched by this tragedy. We will continue to remember those impacted in our thoughts and prayers.
Please join me and all members of the Le Moyne community as we pray for peace and healing.
Linda LeMura, Ph.D.