After the tragic and disturbing events that transpired in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 6, the Regis community came together to reflect on the state of our country, pray for peace, and discuss solutions to foster unity in an increasingly divided world.
“Like so many across our country and around the world, I watched in horror this week as a mob attacked the United States Capitol and attempted to disrupt the peaceful transition of power," Regis President Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, said. “For five years I lived just four blocks from the Capitol and looked on its grandeur daily with a sense of awe. To see Americans terrorizing it was extremely upsetting."
The Regis faculty and staff took several steps to support students during this distressing moment in American history. During Community Time on Thursday, guidance counselors and other staff members were available in their Zoom rooms to meet individually with interested students, and faculty members were encouraged to discuss Wednesday's events during classes. In lieu of afternoon advisement on Thursday, all students, faculty, and staff came together for a virtual prayer service to call for peace and find a balance of empathy, understanding, and hope in the face of the previous day's events.
“As Christians, we must look into our own hearts and confess when and where we excluded, condemned, or discriminated against others," Regis Principal Fr. Anthony D. Andreassi, CO, said during the prayer service. “And this is true whether this hatred is manifested by us as a clenched fist, feelings which harden our heart, words on our lips, or images posted on social media. In order for a true and lasting peace to come to any people or nation, there must first be in place, firmly rooted, true justice for all."
On Friday, Regis' Young Democrats & Republicans Club (YDR) hosted a public forum to continue a dialogue among students. “Despite our political differences (which are many and celebrated), we know that all of us in this group respect and value the American political process above all else," YDR Presidents Alex O’Donnell '22, Gabe McClure'21, Tommy Barone '21, and Aidan Slovinski '22 wrote in an open letter to the Regis community. “There is no place for hate and violence in this country and certainly not in YDR. As a result, we ask our members to be vocal in their support for the American experiment in Democracy and denounce these acts."
Regis will continue to offer avenues of support for our community in the coming days, and our students will reflect on our shared duty in the Jesuit tradition to act as Men for Others in the pursuit of a more just society.
“I am proud of how our faculty, staff, and students reacted in discussing these troubling events, exploring the varied and complex social and political factors involved, and praying for peace," Fr. Lahart said. “I invite the broader Regis community to join us in praying for an end to the violence, racism, inequality, divisiveness, and hate that was on display this week. We have been actively working to address some of these underlying issues here through our Race at Regis Task Forces this year. Our motto at Regis is Deo et Patriae, and we invoke God’s intercession for our country at this time."