The Virginia Tech Tragedy

April 23, 2007

JOHNSTOWN, PA - His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas has issued the following statement regarding the  Recent Tragedy at Virginia Tech:

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
Virginia Tech
201 West Roanoke Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061.

With prayerful regards and the assurance of my blessing, I remain

Most sincerely yours in Christ Risen