Thoughts & Prayers – Act of Terrorism at Al Noor Mosque

Early this morning, we in the U.S. awoke to learn of the horrific acts of terror perpetrated upon worshipers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.  According to media reports, at least 49 people were killed in the mass shooting, which occurred during the weekly Congregational Prayer.  The horror of this incident, unprecedented in New Zealand’s history, has reverberated around the world.

We at Gonzaga University – a community founded in faith – join with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and all communities of faith around the world, in mourning the victims of this vicious attack.  While this atrocity was clearly perpetrated against Muslim worshipers, it is an assault upon the very essence of humanity and the values people of goodwill share in common.  As members of the global community, we in the United States are acutely aware that it is also an assault upon the very freedoms upon which our own nation was founded: among which is the right to worship freely, and without fear of violence based on religion.

At Gonzaga, we stand in solidarity with our Muslim students, colleagues and regional community members, and join as a community of faith with them during this moment of tragedy and terror.  We pray that they know of our care for them, and our commitment to peace and justice for people of all faiths and religious traditions.

Please pray for an end to hate-filled violence, and let us continue to work to end the racism and religious hatred that fuel acts of discrimination and terror.  Let us keep all those who have been affected by the terrible events of this tragedy in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers. 

For those students who are in need of assistance, the following resources are available for support:

Center for Cura Personalis
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(509) 313-2227

Health and Counseling Services
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(509) 313-4052

Office of Mission and Ministry
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(509) 313-4242

After Hours:
For 24-hour assistance, please contact Campus Security at 509-313-2222.  Campus Security will direct you to the Student Development on-call professional.  

Online Resources:
An online wellness toolbox is available with various resources, including a section on grief.

First Call for Help:
Phone 509-838-4428 for assistance.  This 24-hour resource is available to provide a supportive listener, immediate help for individuals in crisis, and connection to community resources.

“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.  –Psalm 57:1

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.

March 15, 2019