Today the U.S. and the world mourn the tragic loss of life that took place on September 11, 2001, as a result of several horrific terror attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and rural Pennsylvania. Only God’s love can heal the fear, pain, and loss that so many experienced because of that day.
Where was God on 9/11, one might ask? One answer is that God was at the World Trade Center when it was attacked. God’s Love was present in the person of Father Mychal Judge, OFM, the New York City Fire Department chaplain. As the towers were being devoured by flames and people were rushing out as fast as they could, some realizing that the only “escape” from the inferno was to jump to their deaths from the uppermost floors, Fr. Judge rushed in to minister to victims and to the other brave first responders. He raced into a deathtrap so that others could know that even in this horror, God was with them.
Fr. Judge is a model for all Christians who believe Jesus’ teaching that “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). He is a particular model for the LGBT community since a big part of his ministry was reaching out to this group which had been so marginalized and stigmatized. He raced into their lives, too, letting them know that God was with them.
He did the same for alcoholics and other addicts, for people suffering from HIV/AIDS, for people in parishes who struggled with the daily challenges that life presents.
Fr. Judge is lovingly remembered by many as “The Saint of 9/11.” Now is the time to make that title official by working to canonize him in the church.
New Ways Ministry has been in touch with Fr. Luis Fernando Escalante who works with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Fr. Escalante is gathering testimonies that are part of the first step toward canonization. He needs to hear first-person accounts from people who knew Fr. Judge and whose lives were touched by his ministry.
Did you know Father Judge through his parish work, his Fire Department ministry, his LGBT outreach, his solidarity with those suffering from addictions, his compassionate service to those with HIV/AIDS, his hospitality to the homeless, or in some other way? Were you a personal friend or colleague of Fr. Judge? Have you prayed to him since his death and believe that his intercession has caused a miracle in your life? Do you know communities of people who were close to him with whom you can share this information?
Here is what you can do:
- Share this blog post (or simply the request for information about Fr. Judge) with your social media, email, and personal contacts. Ask them to share this information with others by the same means, which will spread this message far and wide. We need this to go viral to find people who knew Fr. Judge, who feel they have experienced his intercession in a possible miracle, or simply want to support and help the preliminaries of his Cause.
- Refer anyone who has first-hand information about Fr. Judge to contact New Ways Ministry by email (info@NewWaysMinistry.org), phone (301-277-5674), or postal mail (4012 29th Street, Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712).
- Persons who have testimony about Fr. Judge need only make an initial contact. Follow-up material will be sent to them to elicit the type of information that is needed.
- Ask other organizations to which you belong who also might know people who encountered Fr. Judge to share this information.
- To read this information in Spanish, click here. To read this information in Italian, click here.
- Pray for the canonization of Fr. Judge.
While the canonization is a process overseen by the institutional church, it is initially dependent on the motivation and contributions of the grassroots church. Please share this information as widely as possible, so that we can find many people who have a story to tell.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, September 11, 2017
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