President’s Corner: A message from Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong
Dear Salve Regina Family,
Holy week is a particularly significant time for our community as a Catholic, Mercy institution. I’ve been thinking a lot about the approach of Easter during these tumultuous days, and for many of us, it has taken on new meaning.
Prior to the pandemic, I’ll admit that preparations for Easter in my little world often centered on the mundane. As a mother, I would have focused on the errands I needed to do to fill Easter baskets, the grocery shopping for Easter dinner or the frantic cleaning that accompanied the arrival of guests. Here at Salve Regina, I would have relished the Easter tradition of our Ochre Court Egg Roll with alumni families and friends and the abundance of treats to be shared with one another on campus. I hope that I would have given ample time for reflection on Good Friday and during Easter Sunday Mass, but like many of us with busy lives, sometimes these reflections get crowded by the material things that we think are necessary parts of a celebration.
Now in this new reality, I would give anything to be at a table across from my parents and siblings for a dinner together or to sit next to them at church. Many of us know someone close to us who has fallen ill with COVID-19 and we worry for their safety. We also know many who have lost their jobs and are struggling to meet basic needs. And we all carry with us a blanket of sadness and fear for what lies ahead, as the timing for the end of this pandemic remains unknown.
There is comfort to be found, though, in the message of Easter. Like the arrival of spring, Easter is a time of renewal. It is a sign of better days ahead and that we are not alone in our struggles. As I walk our beautiful campus here at Salve Regina early in the morning, passing the statue of Catherine McAuley by Our Lady of Mercy Chapel and the bloom of flowers in so many spots, I am reminded of how Christ’s resurrection is the ultimate symbol of hope.
Hope shines through in the relationships we have built over our lifetimes. These dark moments have been brightened by emails, texts and phone calls from those with whom we may have lost close touch because of our earlier, too-busy days. These renewed connections serve as a reminder of what is truly important to us as human beings – the gift of one another.
Hope also shines through in the many ways in which our Salve Regina family is strengthening the bonds that unite us during this unprecedented time. Whether it’s faculty and students in their virtual classrooms or student volunteers reaching out to seniors in assisted living facilities who are unable to receive visitors, there is a reassuring and positive spirit of community that prevails. I encourage you all to review the information on our Virtual Salve site and visit SALVEtoday for some truly inspiring ways that we are connecting with one another.
As Easter approaches, you are all in my heart. I send you my deepest wishes for good health and the hope of brighter days to be shared together, in person, soon.
May God bless you and keep you safe,
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