Moment of silence, Masses planned at noon today; related updates

Members of the University of St. Thomas community will join at noon today, Friday, to participate in a national moment of silence for the victims of the East Coast terrorist attacks.

The bells will toll 100 times at noon on all four St. Thomas campuses in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Owatonna and Rome as part of a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance declared by President George W. Bush. All students, faculty and staff members are asked to stand and pray quietly during the tolling of the bells, said Dr. Judith Dwyer, executive vice president.

The observance will be followed by Masses at 12:05 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the St. Paul campus and in the atrium of Terrence Murphy Hall on the Minneapolis campus.

Classes will be held today and offices will remain open.

St. Catherine cancels classes starting at 12:15 p.m. today

The College of St. Catherine announced that it is canceling all classes starting at 12:15 p.m. today, Friday, in honor of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. All other classes will be held as regularly scheduled.

Expect mail delays

You already may have noticed that your mail volume has decreased. Due to recent airport closings and delays, the U.S. mail, Federal Express, UPS, etc. have been affected.

This means delays in all deliveries, including expedited services and first-class mail. Many carriers are not guaranteeing expedited services.

A large volume of backlogged mail should arrive at St. Thomas in the next few days. If you have any questions, please call Nina Lemon in Campus Mail Services at (651) 962-6352.

Relative of possible suspect studied English at independent program located here

A relative of a possible suspect associated with the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon was enrolled last year in the ELS Language Centers program that leases space on the St. Thomas campus in St. Paul.

The student, who was not enrolled at St. Thomas, was in the ELS program from January to November 2000 and then left the area, purportedly to study elsewhere in the United States, an ELS spokeswoman said. She has not heard from him since last November and is not aware to where he may have relocated. He is from Saudi Arabia.

The student, whose identity will not be released in accordance with ELS policy, lived in a Macalester-Groveland neighborhood home during his studies here. He rented space from a homeowner who has had other ELS students as boarders over the years.

The connection between the ELS student and the possible suspect was made after documents were found at a Florida flight training school listing them as having the same St. Paul address. There are no indications the possible suspect ever lived in St. Paul, the ELS spokeswoman said.

ELS provides intensive English language training programs for international students. There are 33 ELS centers in the United States, including one that was established in St. Paul in 1977. The program was housed at Hamline University until 1997, when it moved to St. Thomas.

The ELS program at St. Thomas has 75 students in its current four-week session. Most ELS students live off campus, although 18 live in St. Thomas residence halls this session.