A message from President DeGioia on the attacks in Israel

October 8, 2023

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
In his morning prayer today, Pope Francis shared: “Let it be understood that terrorism and war do not lead to any resolutions, but only to the death and the suffering of so many innocent people.
The impact of the tragic events of these past hours have shaken us all. This unprecedented terrorist act, on the Jewish Sabbath, has impacted countless innocent lives. There has not been an attack of this magnitude since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The loss of life, the injuries suffered, the taking of hostages, and all the lives disrupted have brought unimaginable suffering. In this moment of grief and sorrow, our prayers go immediately to the families and loved ones of those killed, injured, and taken hostage.
With our community’s deep ties to this region, many have been deeply and personally affected by these shocking and tragic events. We have worked to ensure the safety of the members of our community in Israel and will be continuing efforts to engage and support our community as we search for a path forward toward peace and healing.
This is a moment that demands the engagement of each of us. At Georgetown, we live in a university community with extraordinary resources available for us—ranging from our programs in Campus Ministry to our mental health resources (new window) to our academic centers to support services in Student Affairs and our Faculty and Staff Assistance programs.
Our long-standing commitment to interreligious understanding enables us to draw upon our faith traditions—all shaped by the pursuit of peace. We each have to discern how we can best contribute to peace and reconciliation. In our sacred spaces—in our Makom, in our Masjid, in our chapels and religious spaces—we can bring the power of prayer to our engagement and our discernment.
As a university, we have a responsibility, in this moment, to contribute to understanding, and to build pathways to peace and reconciliation. We have a responsibility to one another—to provide consolation and support to those who are suffering. May we be equal to the demands of these responsibilities.
John J. DeGioia