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"All Are Welcome in This Place"

"All Are Welcome in This Place"

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020

St. Jerome’s University (SJU) is marking the beginning of Pride Month (June) by raising an inclusive rainbow flag on its campus on Monday, June 1, 2020. Interim President Dr. Scott Kline will be accompanied by the SJU Students’ Union President, members from the Academic Staff Association, and staff members—all in compliance with social distance requirements. While the gathering will be smaller than originally planned, having representatives present will be a key step toward bringing people even closer together.

 

“At St. Jerome’s University, we are ‘committed to learning and academic excellence; the gospel values of love, truth, and justice; and the formation of leaders for the service of the community and the Church,’” Dr. Kline stated. “We teach and support a diverse student body, which is drawn from across the University of Waterloo campus. As an academic community rooted in the Catholic tradition, the virtue of hospitality provides direction to us. It calls us to reflect on how we treat our guests and to consider our place in the broader community.”

 

“In recent years, it had become painfully evident that our decision not to fly the Pride flag was sending the wrong message; namely, SJU was not a welcoming space for people who identified as LGBTQ+. This was never our intention and, in fact, that message contradicts our mission and dedication to being community builders. For us, the flag represents our commitment to our students and to all members of the SJU community. The time was right to provide a symbolic reminder that ‘all are welcome in this place.’”

 

Dr. Kline’s reference to the words of a hymn widely sung at SJU ceremonies aligns with the meaning of the action being taken. "All Are Welcome" was written in 1989 by Marty Haugen, a composer who spent 15 years as a full-time musician in Catholic parishes. The words of Haugen’s hymn “All Are Welcome” respects a Catholic identity that welcomes all.

 

With the raising of the Pride flag, St. Jerome’s communicates symbolically the importance of reaching out to people of goodwill to strengthen our community with a range of talents, skills, and experiences. Journeying together, SJU will continue to be a place where all are always welcome.

 

St. Jerome’s University is a publicly funded Catholic university federated with the University of Waterloo. It was founded in 1865 by members of the Congregation of the Resurrection. St. Jerome’s is a member of Universities Canada, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (USA), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC), and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU). St. Jerome’s co-registers approximately 800 students in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo and is home to 360 students who live in residence.