The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

A Courageous Priest

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There can be few events more horrific and heart rending than the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the trade centre in New York's financial district, on the morning of September 11th 2001. This date will go down as one of the darkest moments in the history of our present century. The death toll on that sunny September morning was 2,973 including 343 brave fire fighters. One of the many victims on that fateful day was a catholic priest named Father Mychal Judge, a fire department chaplain.

Mychal Judge was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933, his parents having emigrated from Ireland. Father Mychal joined the Franciscan Friars and was ordained a priest in 1961, serving in many parishes in New Jersey, before being assigned to the Friary of St Francis of Assisi in Manhattan. In 1992 he was appointed a fire department chaplain and often used to joke that he always wanted to be either a priest or a fireman, but never thought he could be both he was a familiar figure in the city of New York, dressed in his brown Franciscan robe, or in his smart fire department uniform.

He was administering the last rites to a fire fighter at the twin towers, when an avalanche of steel and concrete fell on top of him and killed him. His white chaplain's fire helmet was accepted by Pope John Pau l1, when some of New York's fire fighters visited the Vatican the following year.

No one can recall the tragic events of 9/11 without paying tribute to the courage and devotion of an exceptional priest, Father Mychal Judge.

Jesus tells us"If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."

Published Fri 8th Mar 2019 23:57:57
Last Modified on Fri 8th Mar 2019 23:57:57

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