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Saint Peter’s Holds Vigil and Shares Prayers for Ukraine

Rev. Andrew Downing, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry at Saint Peter’s, shared the below message with the Saint Peter’s community regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

As the world has watched the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold in these past days, I am sure we, too, have been horrified to see the destruction and loss of life that has followed from this violent act. And just as people around the world – including many in Russia – have responded in word and in deed to support the Ukrainian people, so may we express our solidarity with them and with all people, who stand for a world ordered in freedom and peace.

I invite the whole University community to keep the Ukrainian people in your prayers today and in the days ahead. Pope Francis has asked all people of good will to join in prayer for peace in the country of Ukraine, and especially to make tomorrow, Wednesday, March 2 “a day to be close to the suffering of the people of the Ukraine, a day to feel that we are all brothers and sisters and to implore God for the end of the war.”

For those who wish to gather together in an expression of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, to learn about the current situation in the country, and to pray, I invite you to a vigil organized by groups from across the University, which will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 pm in Panepinto Plaza.

Though happening far from us, the horrors of war, the reports we read and the images we see of it, may affect us deeply.  Some members of the Saint Peter’s community are from Ukraine and Russia; others have family and friends there. For still others, the reports of the conflict recall memories of their own experience of similar suffering. Please know that the Office of Campus Ministry and CAPS are open and available to provide resources and assistance. Students can contact CAPS at caps@saintpeters.edu or call (201) 761-6420. The Office of Campus Ministry is open throughout the day to visit in person, or you may contact either Jennifer Monsalve (jmonsalve@saintpeters.edu) or Fr. Andy (adowning@saintpeters.edu) directly.

Let us keep the people of Ukraine – and all people suffering the ravages of war – close in our hearts.

Fr. Andy, S.J.