Thoughts & Prayers for All Impacted by the Invasion of Ukraine

TO: Gonzaga Students
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Thoughts & Prayers for All Impacted by the Invasion of Ukraine
DATE: February 25, 2022
War is always a defeat for humanity.
Saint John Paul II

Earlier this week – following weeks of statements denying any intent to do so – the military forces of the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, a democratic and sovereign UN member state with a population of 44 million people (the seventh-most populous country in Europe). Many in Europe and around the world had held out hope that this might be a form of posturing. Thursday’s actions proved otherwise, and it is thus with dismay and horror that many have reacted to this demonstration of destructive force.

The use of military weapons – missiles, bombs, assault aircraft, armored vehicles – inevitably comes with loss of life on all sides and for both military and civilians, especially when such force is directed at cities and towns with large civilian populations. Visual evidence of the shelling already describes the toll in chilling detail. Thousands of displaced people are fleeing Ukraine for safe haven in adjacent and nearby countries.

Many world leaders have denounced this invasion and view it as an unprovoked attack of a kind not seen in Europe since World War II. The international community is working to determine how best to provide the people of Ukraine with support through this frightening and destabilizing situation. There are many in Ukraine, and in Russia, who are pleading with the international community for relief and for prayers that this situation can somehow find its resolution swiftly.

It is important to underscore that we have employees, students, and families at Gonzaga whose heritage and extended families are deeply rooted in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and Russia. I ask that you join me in including all peoples impacted by this invasion, in a prayer for peace – and in a special way our employees, students, and families who have loved ones affected by this destructive situation. Anyone who might have specific needs or require support is invited to contact one of the below offices.

In addition, the Office of Mission and Ministry is planning to offer a Mass in Time of War and Civil Disturbance on Monday, February 28th at 12:10 in the University Chapel. Please consider this an invitation to join together to pray for peace, healing, and reconciliation.

Center for Cura Personalis
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(509) 313-2227

Health and Counseling Services
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 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.