Boston bombing impacts Fairfield University community

A student at Fairfield University lost a relative in the Boston Marathon bombing, University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. confirmed on Wednesday.

Von Arx, speaking after a noon mass on campus that included references to the bombing that killed three, wouldn’t say who the student was and who the relative was out of respect for the student’s privacy.

The three killed in the explosion included Richard Martin, 8, Krystle Campbell, 29 and a 23-year-old college student from China.

Tuesday evening, Fairfield University held a special prayer vigil honoring the victims in Egan Chapel. Wednesday, at the noon mass, with about 50 people in attendance, Rev. George Collins, the university chaplain, said it was understandable to feel confused, fearful and even angry by what happened. He asked them to focus the individuals on the scene who tore down fences to reach the injured, who pulled off shirts and belts to use as tourniquets.

“It doesn’t deny the reality of what happened but it offers us all what we need,” Collins said, on an altar filled with memorial candles.

 Later, Collins said the noontime mass drew about double the normal amount of participants, which he called understandable.

Von Arx also sent out a message to the university community that included the following:

While at this point all of the facts are unclear, we do know that the family of one member of our community suffered a loss yesterday. Our prayers go out to them at this time. These tragedies so close to home remind us of how fortunate we are to live and work together within a community of compassion and solidarity, and I am grateful to you all for your sensitivity and fellowship in these circumstances. May God bless you all.

 This is not the first act of terror to impact the Fairfield University community. The university lost 14 alumni in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.


Linda Lambeck