The tragedy in Pittsburgh

October 30, 2018 Rod Hochman

I am profoundly saddened by the senseless act of mass violence at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend. My heart is heavy for the victims, their families, the congregation and the city. On behalf of Providence St. Joseph Health, I extend our deepest condolences to everyone touched by the tragedy.

Violence of any kind is always troubling. But as a faith-based organization, it hits especially close to home whenever anyone is persecuted or murdered because of their faith. It is even more disturbing when the violence occurs in a place of worship, which we hold dear as sacred ground. The recent attempt on a First Baptist congregation in Kentucky is yet another harrowing example of how destructive the rhetoric of hate can be. 

The only force stronger than hate is the force of love. What gives me hope in times like this is faith in our Mission, which calls us to be a source of healing love in the world. Providence St. Joseph Health has been a beacon of hope in our communities for more than 160 years, and when we lean into our Mission deeply, we become an even more powerful catalyst for good. Together, let us lead by example and do our part to foster a kinder, more just world.

Our  Chief Mission Officer Dougal Hewitt offers this prayer as we reflect on the tragedy and our role in bringing hope and healing to the communities we serve.  


God of goodness and mercy,

We know you will provide a sure rest

For all those affected by violence and tragedy.

May you shelter them in your arms,

And tie their souls with the rope of everlasting life.


God of comfort and consolation,

We ask that you bring healing

To all those who are recovering in body, mind and spirit.

Bring solace to those who grieve and

Give your protection to those who encounter danger.


God of abundant love,

Keep us ever mindful of the blessings

Present in our own lives and those of our families.

Remind us of the rich diversity of creation and the beauty

That finds expression in all the peoples of the world.


About the Author

Rod Hochman

Rod Hochman is president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, a national, Catholic, not-for-profit health system, comprising a diverse family of organizations serving Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

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