On Saturday, Seton Hall held a prayer service for Jessica A. Moore and the students injured in tragic circumstances in the early hours of that day. We lost Jessica, a sophomore, in an act of senseless violence and nearly lost other members of our community who were also at the off-campus party, some of whom were injured.
Jessica was well-loved by all who knew her. She was a true blue Pirate basketball fan and a gifted athlete. As a psychology major, she planned to counsel veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Her dreams and aspirations were boundless, as were her family’s hopes for her.
I had the privilege to spend most of Saturday with Jessica’s family at UMDNJ along with the family of one of the other injured students. So many other members of the Seton Hall community were there at UMDNJ or at the hospital where the other student was being cared for, as well. The shooting at the party has had an incalculable impact on all of them – and all of us.
I would especially like to thank our priests and seminarians for their solidarity with our students at Jessica’s prayer service, during a time of mourning the loss of Father Anthony Bico last week after a devastating illness. Father Bico was well-loved and respected not only by brother priests and seminarians but by the University community at large. His was a life of faith and love.
These two deaths that occurred so closely together affected the Seton Hall family like nothing I have experienced since joining the University. To see the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception packed for Father Bico and the University Center main lounge overflowing for Jessica and her injured classmates made me proud to be a Setonian.
As the parent of a Setonian, my heart is broken by the events of the weekend. Yet, during such difficult days we may find comfort in the verse from I Corinthians, Chapter 13 that ends with “… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.”
The outpouring of love on our campus gives me hope that we will transcend the trial of this present moment and emerge stronger. It makes one realize that without faith in the Lord we cannot move forward.
We will share information on memorial services for Jessica Moore as soon as the arrangements are finalized – and we will keep the community updated on other developments. In the meantime, let us please take care of each other. Seton Hall faculty and staff stand ready to provide whatever assistance you need during this time of grief.\
I thank you all for your continuing prayers and support.
A. Gabriel Esteban