“He made such an impact:” 20 Jesuit schools spend the weekend remembering James Foley

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MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University campus is holding a weekend of remembrance in honor of alumnus, James Foley. The American journalist was kidnapped and murdered in Syria by members of the Islamic State in August of 2014.

James Foley

James Foley

Saturday, the campus hosted a 5K run – and Sunday, special prayers in Foley’s name.

With a somber delivery, a silent crowd bows their heads and prays. Gathered in front of Marquette’s St. Joan of Arc Chapel, James Foley is remembered as a man who worked to help others and died doing so.

“Reflections on James Foley and his life,” said Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Stephanie Russell.

Rosary for Peace

Rosary for Peace

Foley, a journalist held captive several times while reporting in the Middle East, told the university prayer kept his mind focused.

The James Foley Rosary for Peace is inspired by his devotion.

James Foley

James Foley

“He prayed with others in captivity. He felt it connected him with his mother and his grandmother and to this Marquette community. He said often he felt the prayers from this community and came back and spoke about it,” said Russell.

But Marquette is not praying alone; twenty Jesuit institutions from across the country are holding their own rosary ceremony in honor of James Foley.

"You do not replace somebody like James Foley from any family and Marquette really is a family. So many people on this campus and particularly, the alumni, and certainly his family still mourn him," said Marquette President, Michael Lovell.

Rosary for Peace

Rosary for Peace

And Marquette is doing so on Sunday, which would have been Foley's 42nd birthday.

"I always took for granted journalists who go overseas and just to share what is going on in the world. He made such an impact on lives and I truly believe in prayer," said Terry Robinson,

Following the Rosary for Peace ceremony, Marquette held a mass of remembrance.

James Foley graduated from Marquette in 1996. Since his death in 2014, Marquette has started a scholarship in his name.