Franciscan Solidarity with Muslim Community

Message from Blessed Solanus Casey Regional Executive Council (REC):

It is with great sadness that the Regional Council has learned of another attack on a house of worship. On May 12th, the Diyanet Mosque in New Haven, CT was devastated by fire. It is believed that this was done intentionally. Let us pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters who are suffering this loss. There will be a vigil in support of the members of the Diyanet Mosque and the Muslim community on Thursday May 16th . Several members of our Region will attend. We invite any and all Franciscans to join us. All Secular Franciscans are invited to offer their prayers and support.

I reached out my hand to some of the older women there last night saying how sorry I am that they have had to suffer such hurt - that it is just so wrong. They responded with hugs. I was taken off guard by their response and doubt I will forget how much it means to just be there for one another. I sat with some of the older women and the mothers with young children for part of the vigil. I was totally welcome and at home. It was a privilege. (Pat Wilkin)

Members who attended vigil event:Pat Wilkin, Pat Reynolds, Bill Wilkin, Jim Thomas
Photo source: New Haven Register

The gathering of so many people of good will with differing faiths was a testimony of love through fraternal solidarity. Responding against hatred with a witness of love is the essence of 'true and perfect joy' and the antidote to fear, ignorance and hatred. (Jim Thomas)

In some small way, I was able to be with and for a community that was attacked for no crime but that of being 'other'. (Pat Reynolds)

Unidentified member of local Interfaith group

Hearing the news reports of the arson was just heartbreaking. When I heard of plans for the vigil, I knew that Francis would want to be there. So I just had to go. It was a beautiful evening. So many people from so many different backgrounds! All to show solidarity and support. The peace and unity was palpable. The weather was perfect. Sister Moon rose over the mosque, just as the evening wound down. Francis was there! (Bill Wilkin)