Hoping by candlelight
Associate News Editor
With candles in hand, members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities gathered at the Grotto Sunday night to pray for the victims of last Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
"As we consider the events of the past six days, they are in many ways impossible to grasp," said Father Mark Poorman, vice president of Student Affairs, who presided over the first part of the ceremony.
It was possible to experience fear and helplessness while watching the events unfold, Poorman added, but coming together to pray allowed people to confront their sorrow.
"Tonight as we stand side by side in this holy place, we are not alone. We are not afraid," said Poorman.
He called upon the gathering to pray for those who died in the terrorist attacks and for their families, as well as for the country itself. A student read from the Gospel of Matthew, and the folk choir sang.
Poorman then asked those gathered at the Grotto to form a processional and to proceed in "unbroken silence" to the library reflecting pool. Once the crowd gathered around the pool, the Glee Club began to sing, and Father Richard Warner led the group in prayer.
"We pray for members of our Notre Dame community that have died and for their families," Warner said. He also asked the processional to pray for the other victims of the terrorist attacks, including the police and firefighter that died trying to rescue others.
In addition, Warner prayed for the president and Congress, and asked that the country's response respect human rights.
"Lord, may we and all the people of the Book, Christians, Jews and Muslims — come to understand that we are all sons and daughters of God despite our important religious differences," he said.
Warner then led the processional in praying the Hail Mary and Our Father, and then in singing Notre Dame's alma mater.
The processional was the work of several campus organizations, including student government, Campus Ministry and the Student Activities Office. Donations were collected to help the families of police and firefighter killed on Tuesday as they tried to rescue people trapped in the World Trade Center.
All News Stories for Monday, September 17, 2001