President Julie Sullivan shared the following in email to the University of St. Thomas community on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
This is a very special time of year. This week our Catholic and Christian communities celebrate Easter, and it is also the beginning of Passover (April 15 - April 23) in the Jewish calendar. Our Muslim community is continuing its observance of the holy month of Ramadan (April 2 - May 2), and the Orthodox Christian community will celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 24. It is a time of renewal and recommitment, of new beginnings and hope.
I don’t need to tell you that there is much in the world to be pessimistic about. Wars, injustice, and crises are on newsfeeds 24/7. But we must have hope, even in the face of the real, unjust suffering that persists in our world. In fact, that’s when hope is most important.
We must accompany the innocent victims of violence in our own streets and neighborhoods and abroad by letting them know they are not alone. We cannot abandon them out of pessimism. Our work is a path towards justice and peace.
Late last year, Pope Francis extoled, “Let us care for our common home, and also for ourselves, trying to eliminate the seeds of conflict: greed, indifference, ignorance, fear, injustice, insecurity and violence. Humanity has never before had at its disposal so many means for achieving this goal.”
In this time of renewal, I urge you to look around, look within, and see the many reasons there are to hope. I urge you to recommit yourself to that hope.
On this campus there are changemakers of every kind, all working towards the common good. Inside each of you are unique gifts that can bring compassion, innovation, and dialogue to areas of conflict and despair. And the world around us is filled with people, communities, technologies, and resources that are affecting positive, life-affirming change.
It fills me with immense pride to see how St. Thomas, as a community, turns to the good, to servant leadership, to hope. How we live out our charism: We work so the future will be better than the present.
Thank you for all you do to create this community of faith, learning, and hope. I pray that this season of renewal brings each of us a fresh perspective, a recommitted energy, and the strength to carry out our spirit-filled purpose.