Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Prayers for Virginia Tech
I was surprised to see the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Tech is my dad's alma mater, and for most of the first twelve years of my life I lived in Blacksburg. Many of the buildings (Burress Hall is pictured on the left) and campus landmarks mentioned in news reports are familiar to me. My dad even lived in West Ambler Johnston dorm, site of the dorm rampage.
Virginia Tech is a beautiful campus in a beautiful corner of Virginia. I don't know how much has changed in sixteen years, but my childhood memories are mostly of bucolic countryside and unspoiled farmlands surrounding the small town and campus. My siblings and I used to love to run around the drill field and throw bread to the ducks in the duck pond.
The War Memorial Chapel on campus was particularly impressive. I don't know which war it memorialized, but the monumental architechture and sculpture was in a style best described as "Progressive Triumphant". (According to my parents, that probably sums up the liturgical style as well.) Underneath the mall (left) the chapel walls were sculptured with nude farmers proudly plowing and other fantastical agricultural characters. You can bet that I didn't pay much attention to Mass whenever we attended the chapel.
The campus chaplain, who will certainly be in need of prayers this week as he consoles his flock, is the same chaplain who baptized my brother almost 25 years ago.
Please keep Virginia Tech in your prayers this week.