Jan. 30, 2017

Jan. 30, 2017: travel and immigration

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I share your many concerns for those impacted by executive orders temporarily blocking entry into the United States for most individuals from seven nations – Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Iran.

Our immediate focus at Creighton is on international students, faculty, and visiting scholars from the affected countries, and yesterday, René Padilla, vice provost for Global Engagement, posted a message outlining how the University will provide support in the event the order impacts them. 

An issue that I share with fellow university presidents is the diminishment of the strength of American universities’ research and education if the numbers of international students and faculty are sharply limited. 

The Society of Jesus has a particularly rich history of engaging foreign cultures and customs and, in particular, working with people who are suffering and displaced. We have served as educators to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and people of no religion, sharing our humanist pedagogy, practice of discernment, and actions for peace and justice for hundreds of years. It is that very Catholic, Jesuit mission that invites us to reach out in support of immigrants and refugees.  

Creighton is known as being a welcoming community, and a significant number of students and faculty come from other countries. We stand in support of them and the nationalities and cultures they represent, and are planning to celebrate an interfaith prayer service at St. John’s Church on Wednesday, Feb. 8, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

I also encourage our community to support the citywide prayer vigil sponsored by Omaha Together One Community (OTOC), Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, and others, which will occur Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 6-7 p.m. at Turner Park (31st and Dodge streets). You are encouraged to bring candles and join this peaceful prayer service, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ