ASTON, Pa. — “The Life of Father Mychal Judge, OFM, Saint of 9/11” will be the kickoff lecture in the 2010-2011 lecture series at Neumann University.
Francis Gunn, OFM, a post 9/11 chaplain for New York firefighters, will speak, along with former HNP friar and social worker Brian Carroll, who is featured in The Saint of 9/11, a documentary about Mychal Judge, OFM.
“The Making of The Saint of 9/11” takes place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the university outside Philadelphia that is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Francis and Carroll will share their understanding of the iconic New York friar-priest and his legacy as represented in The Saint of 9/11. Their experiences with Mychal will help explain the life of this focal figure, according to a flyer about the lecture series offered by Neumann’s Department of Pastoral and Theological Studies.
The idea for this program came from Frederick Pratt, a former HNP formation student.
Examining The Saint of 9/11
“As a graduate student, I introduced the idea of using the Saint of 9/11 documentary somehow in the Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction programs to Sr. Suzanne Mayer, IHM,” said Pratt. “That idea rolled into inviting Francis to share his expertise as a trauma specialist and Brian Carroll to give a personal perspective on Mychal’s ministerial stance and how his example can enrich the lives and work of therapists, pastoral counselors and spiritual directors. Since then, several workshops have been added as well.”
Pratt became acquainted with Mychal while a postulant working at the Counseling Center at St. Francis of Assisi Church on 31st Street in New York City. The following year, in novitiate, he worked in campus ministry at Neumann University. Today, he is married and teaches theology at Merion Mercy Academy in Merion Station, Pa.
Pratt, who was a youthful member of St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, graduated from Siena College.
Commemorating Franciscan Legacy
Other workshops will also be offered on Sept. 25, including “The Franciscan Spirit Alive in Narrative.” Sr. Lynn Patrice Lavin, OSF, and Eileen Flanagan will provide reflective sharing on the parallels in the lives of Mychal and St. Francis and their Franciscan virtues.
Information about the lecture series is available from Mary Anne Stewart who can be reached by e-mail or phone (610-558-5572).
Other events honoring Mychal, officially the first to die at the World Trade Center, are being held this season, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, including the Eighth Annual Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance on Sept. 5.