Dear Chaminade community,
Like many, I was shocked by the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel last Saturday, leaving thousands dead or wounded and an undetermined number taken hostage. Adding to the horror is the reality that many victims were defenseless civilians and children. This violence has left Jewish faculty, students, and staff in our community deeply and personally affected by these shocking and tragic events.
I also empathize with the residents of Gaza, caught for decades in terrible economic, social, and political circumstances. Now actions by Israel have left thousands more dead and wounded, and Gazans facing the possibility of invasion as well as shortages of food, water, shelter, and health care.
As Pope Francis declared on October 8: “[T]errorism and war do not lead to any solution, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people. War is always a defeat. Every war is a defeat. Let us pray for peace in Israel and Palestine.”
Chaminade University’s long-standing commitment to interreligious understanding enables us to draw upon our faith traditions—all shaped by the pursuit of peace. We each have to discern how we can best contribute to peace and reconciliation. In our sacred spaces, we can bring the power of prayer to our engagement and our discernment.
As a university, we have a responsibility in this moment to contribute to understanding, and to build pathways to peace and reconciliation. We have a responsibility to one another—to provide consolation and support to those who are suffering. May we be equal to the demands of these responsibilities.
Lynn Babington, Ph.D.