OCF Reacts to Shooting Tragedy at Northern Illinois University

Thursday at Northern Illinois University (NIU), a black clad gunman emerged from the stage of an auditorium classroom opening fire, killing six students and injuring 13 before turning the gun on himself, taking his own life. Four students remain in critical condition. This is the fourth school shooting this week.

One of the students injured, a Greek Orthodox Christian and OCF NIU chapter student, is in stable condition and was released from the hospital Thursday evening. OCF is deploying its Executive Director, Fr. Kevin Scherer and a team of IOCC Frontline clergy responders to this crisis. Most of the members of this critical response team responded less than a year ago when tragedy struck Virginia Tech, where 33 students were left dead.

“This is a horrible tragedy, we must assume that this can happen on any campus at anytime; therefore, it is imperative that our ministry be prepared” said Fr. Kevin Scherer who heads the Campus Ministry organization of the Orthodox Christian Churches in North America (under SCOBA). He continued to point out that gunshot wounds are not the extent of the trauma in situations like these; that in fact, the mental and spiritual effects can be just as substantial and in need of acute therapeutic attention.

Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims. OCF is asking its thousands of students to reach out to their brothers and sisters at NIU and keep them in their hearts and prayers.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official campus ministry program of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). OCF works to keep students connected to the life-giving teaching and experience of the Orthodox Church. It supports over 260 local chapters throughout North America and involves thousands of college students through its programming, including the College Conference and Real Break. Additional information on all the OCF programs can be found on the OCF website, www.ocf.net, or by calling toll-free, 800-919-1623.

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