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Message from Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., Loyola’s president: Prayer, education, and action in light of the events in Ukraine

| By Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D.

Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola University Maryland, sent this message to the Loyola community on Feb. 28, 2022:

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

As we watch horrific violence unfolding in Ukraine, I invite you to consider how each of us is called to reflection, education, and intentional action. The core values of our Jesuit, Catholic, liberal arts education challenge us to respond as Ignatian citizens who are committed to recognizing the role we can play in advancing peace and justice.

This week on campus, you will find opportunities to connect and engage around these issues.

Forum and Discussion

Mary Kate Schneider, Ph.D., director of the Global Studies program, and Janine Holc, Ph.D., professor of political science, are facilitating an open forum and discussion about the war targeting Ukraine. The discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 2, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Humanities 250. Learn more on Loyola Today.

Prayer Opportunities

Pope Francis has called people around the world to make Ash Wednesday a Day of Fasting for Peace for the situation in Ukraine. All are also invited to participate in Ash Wednesday Masses on March 2 at 12:10 p.m. and 8 p.m. or an Ecumenical Prayer Service at 4:30 p.m. Ashes will be available at those services, which will be held in Alumni Memorial Chapel, and all those impacted by the events in Ukraine will be included in the intentions.

Campus Ministry will hold a prayer vigil on Tuesday, March 1, at 3 p.m. on the Quad to pray for peace and for all those affected by the situation in Ukraine.

Campus Ministry is also collecting funds for Ukraine relief through Catholic Relief Services at Masses this week.

Resources and Support

Many of the images and stories coming from Ukraine are disturbing and distressing. There are also, of course, poignant stories of courage, strength, and hope. Please know that as we watch this situation unfold together, we are here to support one another, and that we especially want to walk with the members of our community who are Ukrainian, of Ukrainian descent, or have family in the affected areas.

Students who need support are encouraged to reach out to the Counseling Center through their website or by calling 410-617-2273, Campus Ministry, Academic Advising and Support, the office of the dean of undergraduate studies, ALANA Services, and the office of student life. You can also find resources on the Counseling Center site and on this Campus Ministry prayers and resources page.

Employees are encouraged to turn to Loyola’s Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-800-765-0770, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visiting the EAP Helplink Website. Please use the company code “LOYOLA”.

Conclusion

A situation like the one in Ukraine can make us feel powerless. I hope you can find strength in talking to other members of our community or even carving out a little time to pray for those affected. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta said, “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.”

Let’s walk together in prayer, hope, and faith that together we can create a more just, more peaceful future for all.

Sincerely,

Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D.

President

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