Sept. 11 Victims Commemorated Around the Province

HNP Communications Around the Province

Churches and ministries throughout Holy Name Province commemorated the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11 earlier this month.  Several sent stories to HNP Today of how they marked the occasion.

St. Anthony Shrine, Boston
Hundreds stopped by St. Anthony Shrine in Boston to remember those killed on Sept. 11, according to Diane Monaghan, director of development.

Outside the Shrine, a huge banner listed all victims’ names. The day focused not only on the events of Sept. 11, Monaghan said, but also on the themes of hope, forgiveness and resurrection.

Mark Emery of the Shrine’s Music Ministry played the trumpet, followed by Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino joining David Convertino, OFM, in a short service that included candles and victims’ photos.

Inside the church, friars and staff members read victims’ names, while Gary Maciag, OFM, provided periodic interludes. Gary read portions of the  “Prayer of Remembrance,” which he wrote for the occasion. Each interlude focused on the symbols of resurrection and their meaning.  Symbols included candles, holy water, ringing of bells, and incense burning.

“In contemplating why we commemorate 9/11 at St. Anthony Shrine,” Gary said, “We decided that the reason we are here is to proclaim the message of the resurrection. Without denying the loss or grief experienced by many, we tried to focus on images and texts that would help to emphasize that message and its hope.”

A diverse group of people participated, including business people, the homeless, children, and even a group representing the Deaf Senior Wellness Program of the Archdiocese of Boston, led by Hugh Macsherry, OFM, in his sixth year of formation with the Province.

“It’s a wonderful thing for the whole Shrine community to come together on this day to remember everyone who gave their lives,” said Justin Bailey, OFM.

The prayer service was repeated at 12:10 p.m. Hundreds of people filed through the church throughout the day, pausing to view photos, pray and reflect. A Recovery Prayer Service, sponsored by the Shrine’s Mychal Judge Recovery Center at 5 p.m., completed the program.

St. Bonaventure University

In western New York, St. Bonaventure University remembered victims in a ceremony at the campus’ Sept. 11 Memorial. The commemoration in Allegany, N.Y.,  is always especially significant at SBU because Mychal Judge, OFM, was a 1957 graduate and the first  person killed by falling debris while attending to a victim at the World Trade Center.

Approximately 200 SBU students and community members stood in front of the stone monument and on the steps of nearby Plassmann Hall academic building as SBU President Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, placed a wreath in front of the memorial.
The list of alumni, family members and friends killed on Sept. 11 numbers more than 20, and there are students on campus whose lives were affected by the tragedy.

Among those who spoke was F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, vice president for Franciscan Mission at the university, who was in New York City at the time of the attack. He said that as he made his way to Ground Zero, he was struck by the scene of emergency medical personnel outside St. Vincent’s Hospital, waiting for the injured to start flooding in.

Ed said that each SBU staff  member has a similar responsibility to “stand ready, make one’s gifts available to those who might be in need” as he or she goes about the task of building “a good and better world.”

Carlstadt, N.J.
As two twin beams of light pierced the New York skyline on  Sept. 11, across the Hudson River in Carlstadt, N.J., about 300 people stood in total darkness for almost 90 minutes.

They patiently awaited unveiling of a 22-foot-by-13-foot stained glass window in front of the Carlstadt Municipal Building at 500 Madison St. The window was commissioned as a memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, including a special tribute to Mychal Judge, OFM, who was called to serve at nearby St. Joseph’s Church in East  Rutherford, N.J.,  in 1961.  The window also remembers Joseph John Pycior, Jr. who worked at the Pentagon, and Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, who died on Flight 93.

The design features a monumental Statue of Liberty profiled against a Manhattan night sky. Emphasized are the memorial beams of light that represent the Twin Towers, with an American flag waving in the background. Symbols representing the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed, appear in the lower portion of the window, said Octavio Duran, OFM,  who photographed the unveiling.

During the cerermony, Mychal was remembered as a loving and caring friar who served God at the beginning of his career as a priest at St. Joseph’s Church. Mychal’s twin sister, Dympna, accepted a floral tribute and an original painting of Mychal’s helmet, the one he wore on the final day of his life.

The ceremony concluded with the benediction given by Joseph Juracek, OFM, parochial vicar of St. Joseph Church. “I pray that we become instruments of peace within ourselves, with our families and our world, so that we might never again need to be together to mourn such a tragedy,” he said.