President's Message in Response to Korean Ferry Tragedy

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 10:32AM

President's Message in Response to Korean Ferry Tragedy President Jeffrey Kuan offers a personal message to the CST community following this week's tragic ferry accident in South Korea.

Dear CST Students, Faculty, Staff, Trustees, and Alumni/ae,

By now, many of you may have heard the tragic news that a large ferry has sunk off the coast of South Korea. As of this morning, four people have been confirmed dead, with hundreds still missing – many of whom were high school students traveling together on a field trip.

This tragedy strikes close to home for our community. Our school has a long history of welcoming Korean students, faculty, and staff to our campus. Generations of Korean students, faculty, and alumni have enriched our common life, our scholarship, and our culture, establishing a lasting legacy that continues today on our campus and through our alumni around the world.

Today’s tragedy also resonates with us here as we continue to mourn the loss of bright young students who died in last week’s bus accident in Northern California. The loss of such young people is nothing short of excruciating.

These events strike particularly hard as they take place during Holy Week and Passover – a time when Jews and Christians alike confront our human frailty in the midst of suffering.

In times like these, when there is little information and even less sense to be made from such awful events, it can be hard to know how to respond. Our traditions remind us of the power of prayer – a practice Christ calls us to in his words to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane – words that our students chanted in Kresge Chapel for our service commemorating Holy Week – “Stay with me. Remain here with me. Watch and pray.”

As the situation in South Korea unfolds, I invite our community to be intentional in being present to one another – especially our Korean brothers and sisters whose hearts may be particularly heavy. I ask that we would follow St. Paul’s instruction to “pray without ceasing” by lifting up prayers for all those affected by this tragedy – prayers for the lost, that they might be found; prayers for their families, that they might find comfort; prayers for clarity and strength for the rescuers; and prayers for wisdom, sensitivity and insight for caregivers.

Lastly, I would ask that anyone who feels overwhelmed by these events reach out for help. We are here for you and will walk beside you in seeking whatever caring resources are most helpful.

Peace and blessings,

Jeffrey Kuan


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