DePaul University Ministry holds peace vigil in light of Paris attacks

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DePaul University Ministry holds peace vigil in light of Paris attacks

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DePaul University Ministry held a Prayer Vigil for Peace Monday evening in light of recent acts of violence including the attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people. The vigil was held in the St. Louise Marillac Chapel on the Lincoln Park campus, with services hosted in the Lewis Center in the Loop campus, as well.

Over 20 students, faculty and staff filled the small St. Louis Marillac Chapel. Associate Vice President for University Ministry Mark Laboe organized the prayer service out of need for the DePaul community to have a moment of silence or prayer.

“There has been a number of events of pretty significant violence this past week,” Laboe said. “We thought the university community might want to gather or need to gather to remember and pray for those that have been affected.”

Laboe said  the opportunity to stop and pause in remembrance for recent acts of violence was sought by many.

“One of the things that’s clear is that people don’t want to single out one instance of violence, like this instance in Paris, over and above other instances of violence,” he said. “We have been trying to be sensitive to that fact. At the same time, this event in Paris was such a huge visible incident that it’s hard to ignore its significance.”

The vigil recognized worldwide acts of violence that have occurred this last week, including the suicide bombings in Beirut that killed over 40 people.

“We are shocked by violence in Beirut, in Paris, in Iraq, in Kenya, in Nigeria and on the streets of our own city,” Laboe said. “The list, heartbreakingly, seems to go on.”

For Associate Director of Marketing Communications Katie Burce, the vigil provided an outlet for remembrance.

“Everything happened on Friday and then I noticed that a lot of places around the city were having vigils and I couldn’t attend any of them unfortunately, and then we got word by an email that this was happening,” she said

Laboe called for the comfort of those grieving and mourning but also for the action of those watching from afar.

“Move us swiftly to act this day, to give generously every day,” Laboe said. “To work for justice always and to pray unceasingly for peace, or Shalom, or Shanti or Salome.”

Laboe also lead a prayer asking for the granting of peace during times of turmoil.

“May we never see the violence in our world as events that do not affect us” he said.

DePaul sophomore Becca Brokaw attended the event to show her support and desire for peace.

“When big things like this happens in our world it’s important to come together and support those that are effected directly and indirectly,” Brokaw said. “It’s important that all those effected in ever country have that feeling of being loved and welcomed.”

For DePaul junior Jordan Battaglia, standing in peace and remembrance is only one way to show support.

“There is something that you can do, whether it’s something as small as attending a prayer vigil,” Battaglia said.  “There are things bigger than finals, bigger than being sick. There are things that may be bigger than what may be happening in your life right now and it’s important to take time away.”

Battaglia also said that the DePaul community can unite to better support one another as well as those directly affected.

“I like seeing people from all different faiths and all different departments, that was really powerful, to see everyone together.” Battaglia said.