Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends of Fordham,
In recent days the entire Caribbean and parts of the southern United States have endured unprecedented destruction. First there was Harvey, then there was Irma, followed by Jose and Maria; all major hurricanes. Then a 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico. Hundreds have already died, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes and possessions, and millions have literally been left in the dark, without basic necessities and electrical power. In Texas and Louisiana, in Florida and the US Virgin Islands, and most recently in Puerto Rico and Mexico, we have all witnessed the incredible, devastating force of Nature. To all in the Fordham family who are living in these places so hard hit by natural disasters, and to all who have personal family members or friends there, be assured that our Fordham solidarity is strong, that our hearts and our prayers and our aid as well, go out to those who are suffering such incredible hardships.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine the pain of so many losses so many are suffering; the loss of loved ones, the loss of home, the loss of place of work, the loss of place of worship, the loss of shops and stores, the loss of basic necessities. All of these are part and parcel of one’s normal life, almost taken for granted, and then in the space of a day or two, they are gone, destroyed, ripped away, pounded to the ground or carried away by raging flood waters. How do we make sense of it all? Why do these things happen?
In reality we don’t have answers to those questions. What we do have is our will to endure and our reliance on our common human spirit. Those who can, aid those in need. This is what we have been witnessing and will continue to witness in the days, months and years ahead. Strangers become friends; rescues are made; emergency workers are deployed; shelters are opened or built; food, water and clothing are shipped and distributed; homes and buildings are rebuilt. The human family reaches out to those in such desperate need and lifts them up, embraces them and in so doing recognizes the wisdom of that ancient golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We are one human race, living on one fragile planet, existing, as far as we know, in one incredibly vast universe. We are our brother and sister’s keeper.
I pray for the continued strength and generosity of the Fordham family in the face of these natural disasters.
Fr. Dan Gatti, S.J., JES ’65, GSE ‘66