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9/11 service promotes peace

Alicia Smith | Friday, September 12, 2008

Saint Mary’s College Campus Ministry hosted a prayer service to remember the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 Thursday.

The service was not only to pray for those whose lives were affected on 9/11, but also to encourage students to live in peace.

“This is a time that we stop everything to come, and in a context of faith from different traditions, to join together in a unity of remembering, but also seeking peace,” Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean said.

Peace was a common theme throughout the non-denominational service, which included prayers from Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian traditions, as students were called to help those who suffer, and live in harmony.

It included several songs and a small sermon in honor of suffering around the world.

“The singing and all the different religious commentary from the different religions gave you a better understanding of the diversity of the world but yet how we can all come together as one and pray for peace,” freshman Jakie Zupancic said.

Students who practiced each faith shared some background information about their faith, and then proceeded to read from their book of worship.

“I always like that we combine different religions because this isn’t a Catholic service, but it’s an open prayer service for all people to be able to come together and petition our prayers up to God together,” junior Kristle Hodges said.

At the end of the prayer service, those involved participated in a candle-lighting ceremony to recall all those who suffered.

“As I observe 9/11 this year, being seven years later it’s a sense of renewal, beginning to work together to build up and not continue to think about what happened, but to try to grow, and progress from that point,” said Hodges.

Around 60 students, faculty, and staff gathered for the event to pray for those lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I know how much of a tragedy it was, and just to reflect on what everyone went through and what our country went through, I think it was appropriate that we would not forget the events that happened that day,” said Zupancic.

A similar service has been held every year since the terrorist attacks in 2001. Although the service began to recall the events of 9/11, it continues today in an effort to promote peace in the world.

“In 2001, when we first started this service, it was as a response to what was going on around us,” Fean said. “That we as a community came together in Regina Chapel, to come together to pray for peace and for all people being impacted. So it began as a coming together of the community as Saint Mary’s responded. It’s an opportunity to gather, and we’ve done that faithfully every year. [It’s] a way for us to focus on the desire and hope for peace in the world,” said Fean.