Community comes together for ‘MIT Reflects: Moments of Remembrance and Hope’

The event consisted of prayer, pieces of music, and moments of reflection

MIT students, faculty, and affiliates came together March 10 for ‘MIT Reflects: Moments of Remembrance and Hope,’ an evening of prayers, reflections, and conversation about the pandemic’s impact on the MIT community.

Organized by Interim Chaplain to the Institute Reverend Thea Keith-Lucas and sponsored by the office of religious, spiritual, and ethical life, MIT Reflects consisted of prayer, pieces of music, and moments of reflection.

The event opened with remarks from MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “One year into this difficult and unexpected pandemic journey, we come together to remember those we have lost and to bear witness to each other’s suffering,” Reif said. “By sharing our grief, we deepen our connections to one another, we reawaken our sense of what’s most important, and with care and consolation, we lift each other up to face tomorrow.”

Prayers were offered in nine faiths by Zoroastrian Chaplain Daryush Mehta PhD ’10, Muslim Chaplain Sister Nada El-Alami, Humanist Chaplain Greg M. Epstein, Buddhist Chaplain Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Baha’i Chaplain Brian Aull PhD ’85, MIT Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Michelle Fisher SM ’97, MLK Visiting Scholar and Member of the Maliseet Nation Patricia Saulis, Hindu Chaplain Sadananda Dasa, and Catholic Pastoral Team member Catherine Alex.

Protestant Chaplain Reverend Natalie Hill and current students associated with the Office of Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life and the Office of Multicultural Programs lit candles in remembrance of the groups of people affected by the pandemic and in honor of the values of the MIT community, and Protestant Chaplain Rev. Natalie Hill lit candles at the MIT Chapel. “Even when we are apart, the spirit of MIT burns brightly wherever we are,” Keith-Lucas said.

The evening also brought together performances of music and poetry. Assistant Professor Natalie Lin Douglas of the Music and Theater Arts department performed Lonely Suite: IV. Imaginary Dialogue by Lera Auerbach on violin, and Emerson Scholar Sara Simpson G performed Syrinx by Claude Debussy on flute. At the conclusion of the event, Maisha Prome ’21 performed her poem, “Alive.”

After the streamed event, attendees had the opportunity to converse in smaller groups with one another and the MIT chaplains.