Written by Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care
There are so many memories tied to September 11. We recall where we were that day, the people that were lost, and the changes in our world resulting from devastating acts of terrorism. One beautiful human who lost his life that day was Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, a Franciscan Friar of Holy Name Province. Fr. Mychal was the first certified casualty on 9/11. He served as a chaplain for the New York Fire Department, and was anointing a firefighter when he was killed by falling debris.
Fr. Mychal, who joined the friars at age 15, embodied all the values that we hold dear at Felician Village. His ministry among the poor and homeless, people with alcohol addiction, people with AIDS, and his outreach to the gay community and others alienated and marginalized by the Church demonstrated his respect for human dignity, his compassion, transformation, solidarity with those in need, and justice and peace. According to Jack Wintz, OFM, “Members of his province have distributed a prayer attributed to Mychal which he prayed every day. His brothers say that the prayer characterized his approach to all he did. The words of the prayer are ‘Lord, take me where you want me to go; let me meet who you want me to meet; tell me what you want me to say; and keep me out of your way.'
As we sort through our memories of this week, let us pray for all those who were lost, for their families, and for peace in our world. May we learn from the compassionate and inclusive love that Fr. Mychal showed for all people as we care for others.
Blessed Angela Truskowksa: “Let us support each other with prayer; there let us seek strength and guidance.”