The Catholic University of America

April 16, 2007

Catholic University Reacts to Virginia Tech Tragedy

Early this afternoon Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, sent a message of condolence to Charles Steger, the president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, regarding the murder of dozens of individuals on the Blacksburg, Virginia, campus.

"I cannot imagine the horror and heartbreak experienced today on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as your community confronts the senseless tragedy and loss of so many of its members," wrote Father O'Connell. "In the name of the entire Catholic University community, I extend our prayers and support to you and all those affected by this devastating experience.

Father O'Connell also sent a letter to the Catholic University community this afternoon. To read the full text, click here.

In reaction to the shootings, officials from Catholic University's Office of Campus Ministry and Division of Student Life met today and scheduled the following events:

  • A tribute wall to be established in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center at 4 p.m. today, where members of the university community are invited to write tributes and condolences to the victims of the shootings. At a later date the tributes and condolences will be delivered to the Catholic campus ministry at Virginia Tech.

  • An 7-hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Caldwell Hall Chapel commencing at 5 p.m., to which members of the campus community are invited to offer their prayers for the deceased and injured, as well as their family members and friends. A Rosary service will commence at 10 p.m.

Father O'Connell spoke at the beginning of the 5 p.m. memorial service, which was attended by more than 300 members of the university community, most of them students. To read his homily, click here.

The university went on a heightened state of alert after the shootings. To read more, click here.

Check back to this story. Further updates to this article will be posted as they become available.


Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,