“I cancelled class and watched the news with my students on April 16,” said Seton Hill president JoAnne Boyle, during the vigil. “When the broadcast ended, the students turned to me. And all I could think of to say was: You are loved. People who love you are thinking of you. The best thing you can do now is go, call them, and say ‘I’m safe. And I love you too.’ ”

“In the face of this sad situation,” said Cynthia Boland, director of campus ministry, “it is easy to lose faith. To lose faith in our institutions … to lose faith in each other…and to lose faith in God… The human spirit is powerful, and, as we have seen, we have the capacity to do horrible things. But the human heart and spirit is also endowed with incredible gifts of strength, courage, and hope …this is the gift of faith … as our faith is restored, we can offer it as a gift to others when theirs is faltering … today, as we join together to remember, to support and stand together with the Virginia Tech community, we say, ‘Let our faith be yours. Today, we are all Hokies.’ ”

“Help us to let go of all that wastes our energy – the hurtful memories, hidden agendas, poisonous envy, and self-righteous revenge that steal away your divine life from us,” asked Father Stephen Honeygosky, in the prayer that concluded the vigil. As his prayer ended, the bells of St. Joseph Chapel rang once for each life lost on April 16.