Notre Dame Hosts Multi-Faith Prayer Service In Honor Of Shooting Victims
Under the Golden Dome at the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon people of many faiths gathered to pray, and grieve, and stand in solidarity with the Jewish Community over the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Saturday.
Rabbi Karen Campanez of Temple Beth-El in South Bend opened the ceremony. “How is it possible to fathom being shot to death while simply attending a Shabbat morning service. The staff and the members of Tree of Life are in our thoughts as are the entire Jewish Community of Pittsburgh.”
There were also prayers from Imam Mohammad Sirajuddin of the Islamic Society of Michiana, from Rabbi Michael Friedland of Sinai Synagogue and from Father John Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame.
Alicia Twisselmann is the president of the Jewish Student Association at Notre Dame and was one of the candle lighters. She said she wsn't surprised by the violence in Pittsburgh. “I personally was just a little bit numb. Not shocked in the slightest. I have seen this coming since 2015 and have figured it was just a matter of time.”
Mike Urbaniak works for Campus Ministry at Notre Dame. He and his wife had brough their two children to the ceremony. “I was thinking about it as we were up there and the kids were making some noise but just how important it is that they learn to do this at a young age cause it’s important for them to remember that this is what we do when we’re challenged. We come together.”
After a candle lighting ceremony, with members of many communities lighting the candles to represent each life lost on Saturday, Rabbi Companez finished with “ הנה מה טוב (how good it is to dwell together)---May the memories of all of these people come to be a blessing.”
Then the group joined in song, of Psalm 133. Following the ceremony the bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart next door tolled for 15 minutes.