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A Message from the President on Compassion

Dear members of the SLU community,

As a University that takes pride in our global reach, we are attuned to struggles of those throughout the planet. With a campus in Madrid, and faculty, staff, students, clinicians, and alumni from across the world, wherever violence or tragedy occurs, it always hits close to home.

There is not possibly enough space to list all the hurt nor the right words to elicit healing.

But here are some thoughts I wish to share with you.

In the current ubiquity of tragedy and struggle, we have a shared experience. Our response to this experience shows that we are profoundly connected to each other. The human spirit is resilient, and companionship is enduring.

Especially in these moments, we are called to serve and support and to do so with empathy — to identify with the humanity of one another.

As some feel hopeless, we exude compassion and suffer with them.

From the political tensions and violence in Catalonia to the racial injustices in St. Louis, compassion is needed.

From the earthquakes in Mexico to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and elsewhere, compassion is needed.

From the terror attack in Edmonton to the massacre in Las Vegas, compassion is needed.

All are invited to take two minutes of silence at noon on Wednesday, October 4. The clock tower will be the central location for those who wish to gather in person.

Also at that time, the usual weekday Mass will be offered in the lower chapel of St. Francis Xavier College Church and on the south campus in St. Raphael Chapel (Caroline Building) at 12:05 p.m.

Wherever you find yourself at that time, please take a moment to pause — to reflect on the suffering of our neighbors, the legacy of lives that have been lost, and on how we may replenish our wells of compassion so they do not run dry.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.