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SCU President tells leaders and citizens this is a time for prayers for victims, not for retaliation and vengeance

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept.11, 2001 - Responding to the national tragedy, Santa Clara University President Paul Locatelli, S.J. today told a gathering of approximately 600 faculty and staff that "this is a time for prayer and healing, a time of compassion and forgiveness."

Foregoing his traditional opening convocation speech for a homily at a campus-wide prayer service, the Jesuit priest and university president reminded his audience that "those who hope in a merciful God…are called upon to overcome evil with good, to forgo resentment and retaliation."

"The God of Life, the One proclaimed in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and in the other great religious traditions, calls us to mercy, to forgiveness," he said.

Earlier in the day, Locatelli had announced the cancellation of law school classes, and moved the annual Convocation to the Mission Church for the 45-minute morning community prayer service. Law classes will resume on Wednesday.

In an email message to faculty and staff at 9 a.m., Locatelli had said:

"In light of this morning's tragic events in New York and Washington, the Convocation will center on a prayer service for the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families, those who are suffering, and for our country."

In his remarks at the service, Locatelli also warned against blaming a race, religion or nationality for the terrorist acts that shook New York City and Washington D.C. Tuesday morning. He cautioned against repeating a new version of the internment of Americans of Japanese descent following the bombing of Pearl Harbor: "Whatever the race or ideology or professed religion of the terrorists who committed these awful actions today, we are called not to yield to stereotyping and scapegoating people who by accident of birth or history may seem to be like the guilty."

Earlier, the president had also canceled the annual Faculty Recognition Dinner tonight, the College of Arts and Sciences convocation, and an evening women's volleyball game in the Leavey Center against Sacramento State.


Full text of Fr. Locatelli's convocation speech:


For more information, call Barry Holtzclaw, media relations, at 408-554-5126, or 408-674-8866, or Kelly Shenefiel, 408-554-5125, or 408-348-8965

About Santa Clara University:

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university with 4,300 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students offering a rigorous undergraduate curriculum and nationally recognized business, engineering and law schools, plus interdisciplinary centers that promote ethics, social justice, and explore the impact of technology. For details about University events, see

<p>Approximately 600 faculty, staff and students gathered in Mission Church for prayer service Tuesday morning.</p>

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