University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., sent an email to the BC community on Friday addressing Hamas’ recent attacks on Israel.
“Like many, I was shocked by the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel last Saturday, leaving thousands dead and wounded and an undetermined number taken as hostages,” the email reads. “Adding to the horror is the reality that a number of victims were defenseless civilians and children.”
Leahy discussed the candlelight vigil BC Hillel hosted on Thursday, and he announced that the University will hold a multi-faith service on Oct. 18 to pray for peace, hope, and reconciliation.
“This violence has left Jewish faculty, students, and staff in our community understandably grief-stricken, angry, and apprehensive about their future,” Leahy wrote.
Leahy said he empathizes with the residents of Gaza for the social, economic, and political troubles they continue to endure.
“Now actions by Israel have left thousands dead and wounded, and Gazans facing shortages of food, water, shelter, and health care as well as possible invasion,” the email reads.
According to Leahy, the violence in Israel and Gaza illustrates the importance of BC community members remembering the core beliefs and values of the University’s Jesuit tradition.
“The situation in Israel and Gaza distresses all at Boston College and highlights the need for compassion and dialogue as well as remembering the beliefs, values, and bonds we share as a Jesuit, Catholic university,” Leahy wrote. “Classes and residence halls provide opportunities for such engagement and conversation.”
Leahy quoted Pope Francis’s declaration on Oct. 8, in which Francis described all wars as a defeat and asked people to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine. Leahy encouraged members of the BC community to pray for peace as well.
“I believe our religious and intellectual heritage also invites us to pray for peace and reconciliation, not only in the Middle East but throughout the world,” Leahy wrote.
Leahy ended his email by highlighting the Prophet Micah’s words and encouraging the BC community to strive for kindness and justice.
“The events of last Saturday and their aftermath have reminded me of words from the Old Testament prophet Micah, who asked centuries ago: ‘[W]hat does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ May we always strive to do so,” Leahy wrote.