Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community,
The joyous weekend celebrating Commencement was darkened by the hateful attack on a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Forty nine people were murdered, at least 53 wounded and countless families impacted for the rest of their lives. Our prayers are with those who have lost their lives or were injured and their families and friends.
As a Jesuit institution that upholds the inherent value of each and every person, we condemn these shootings as a violation of human dignity not only of the victims but also of the entire LGBTQ community. This horrific act intended to instill injury, terror and helplessness among innocent people makes us all poorer by stripping us of our common humanity and breaking apart rather than building up our communities.
On behalf of the university, I wish to express sympathy for the victims and their families, and offer prayers for all who have been affected by this tragedy. To our LGBTQ campus colleagues and SCU alumni who face hatred and prejudice, I extend my support. As a Catholic community we can take action against these baseless acts of violence by making certain that care, compassion, respect and love are given to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.
To honor the victims and their families of the Orlando mass shooting, we are holding a vigil service today, Monday June 13th, at 4:45 p.m. in front of the Mission Church. Tomorrow, Tuesday’s 12:05PM Mass will be offered for the victims and their families. In memory of the victims, we shall fly the flag at half-staff through the week.
Please join me and the Santa Clara University community as we draw together in mutual support of those whose lives have been diminished by this unthinkable and targeted violence.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.