Sue Ryan | March 22, 2019
Words of comfort, unity and peace were woven into the prayers, reflections and hymns at an interfaith prayer service for victims of the recent shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Several hundred members of the University of Notre Dame and local communities joined hands and voices in the rotunda of Main Building Thursday (March 21) to remember the victims and pray for an end to violence.
Imam Rashied Omar, a research scholar of Islamic studies and peacebuilding in Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, opened the service with a Muslim prayer calling for peace. “Oh God, thou art peace. And peace emanates from Thee. We implore you to allow us to live and to subsist in peace.”
Rabbi Karen Companez, from Temple Beth-El in South Bend, presented a message of solidarity urging everyone to “forge and develop personal relationships with people who are somehow different from us. For there is way more that unites us than divides us.”
Student body vice president Corey Gayheart read a scripture passage before University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., delivered a message of healing and an end to violence.
“We come here today, whether Muslim, Jewish or Christian, to seek the peace that comes from God,” he said. “Whatever our faith tradition, let us ask God to grant us that peace in our hearts and with one another, particularly with those who differ in faith tradition, ethnicity, nationality or any other way.
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