In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre and natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, Chaminade University held a “Prayer for Healing and Peace” interfaith service in the campus Mystical Rose Oratory.
Chaminade Vice President for Mission and Rector Bro. Edward Brink, S.M. described the Oct. 6 gathering as “an opportunity for healing, reflection , and comfort.”
A homily/reflection by Deacon Michael Weaver pondered the question of how God could have let the Las Vegas shootings and catastrophic hurricanes occur. Deacon Weaver emphasized that “God was there” when first responders rushed to help the shooting victims. And “God was there” in the global outpouring of aid relief following the deadly hurricanes.
Campus Ministry Director Bro. Allen Pacquing, S.M. shared a quotation from Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, who counseled that “you will find peace for your soul through prayer.” Bro. Allen also pointed out that Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas urged people to “stand together in the face of violence because we cannot let hate and violence have the last word.”
The service also featured prayers for peace from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist religions offered by Nashawna Smith, Dr. Hank Trapido-Rosenthal (Associate Professor of Biology), Adam Perez and Lisa Furuta.
Concluding the interfaith gathering was a pledge for peace and candle-lighting ceremony. The pledge proclaimed “our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion,” while calling for mutual respect and esteem “to help bring about a peaceful coexistence between people of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.”