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Pray for Peace: A Special Message from our President

by Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS, ’84, President Feb 25, 2022
A Special Message from Fr. Greenfield, President

In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine yesterday, I write to invite you to gather in prayer for peace in Ukraine and for the protection of human life as a University community at Sunday’s 10:30 AM Mass in Connelly Chapel. 

Our solidarity with the innocent children, women, and men of this democratic country beckons us to recognize the vulnerability of peace of all peoples.  Repeating the call of Pope Francis, I ask us to mark Ash Wednesday, just days away, in union with all Christians to pray and fast for the intention of peace.   

In a special way, I ask our students to remain people of hope and mission: hope-filled that your world can still be free of terror and missioned to claim your power, in ways large and small, to make peace where you live, study, work, build your families and grow your communities.  Your commitment to and embrace of our University core value of gentleness is a direct antidote to the violence, division, and terror that war spreads well beyond its theater. 

I ask all of us to be mindful of the need to pray for peace, as we commence the different activities on campus.  From classes and club or departmental meetings to the arts and athletics, please consider beginning with a prayer or moment of silence.  As we continue to stage Our Town in Labuda Theater and will tonight host basketball conference semifinal contests for both women’s and men’s teams in Billera, I have asked our art and athletic departments to include this prayerful action. 

I close by sharing a prayer for peace written by Cameron Bellm I found helpful. 

Prayer for Peace

How do we pray for peace from half a world away?
How can words salve and soothe real wounds,
Assuage real fears, Wipe tears from real eyes?

God of endless compassion, transform our prayers
From words into bridges, that span the distances
Between us, uniting our hearts in yours.

Every time we turn our keys in a lock,
May we remember all who are losing their homes.

Every time we step into our cars,
May we remember all who are having to flee.

Every time we embrace our children,
May we remember all who are trying to shield theirs from war.

May our besieged sisters and brothers
Be drawn into the arms of the suffering Christ,
And may our cry be heard as one voice,
Ringing out from every corner of the earth:
God of endless mercy, grant us peace!


James J. Greenfield, OSFS, ’84