The Virginia Tech Tragedy
April 23, 2007
JOHNSTOWN, PA - His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas has
issued the following statement regarding the Recent Tragedy at Virginia
Christ is Risen!
Dear Fathers and Faithful:
Tragedy comes in many forms and faces. It is not new to us. It has visited
our nation once again, this time in Blacksburg, Virginia at Virginia Tech
University. Its form is senseless. Its face is brutal. Thirty-two lives - the
majority of them aspiring students, the others, distinguished educators - were
snuffed out without warning on the morning of April 16 by a lone gunman in a
senseless shooting spree. Although we do not understand this tragedy, nor did
the victims do anything to precipitate it, nevertheless it happened.
Now, we do what our Christian tradition teaches us to do - pray for the
victims, mourn with their families, and, yes, pray for mercy on the soul of the
perpetrator of this crime.
In a Convocation address the day after the tragedy, Nikki Giovanni,
University Distinguished Professor, spoke to the university community. Listen to
a portion of the message of inspiration he delivered to them:
"We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we
think, and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and
the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and
tears and through our sadness...We will prevail..."
Virginia Tech will prevail...our nation will prevail because of the truth of
the Resurrection that gives us hope. Because Christ is risen, eternal life is
bestowed. Indeed, He is risen!
Memorial services have been held across the nation every day since this
senseless tragedy. If you have not already prayed for the fallen, I ask that you
do so in the Divine Liturgy this Sunday.
Additionally, cards and letters of condolences can be sent to:
Dean of Students
201 West Roanoke Street
With prayerful regards and the assurance of my blessing, I remain
Most sincerely yours in Christ Risen
+ METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS