Sept. 11 Observances Planned, Mychal Judge Remembered

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

Christopher Keenan and Stephen McDonald at last year's Fr. Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance in New York City. (Courtesy of the 9/11 Walk of Remembrance Facebook page)

Christopher Keenan and Steven McDonald at last year’s Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, Walk of Remembrance in New York City. (Courtesy of the 9/11 Walk of Remembrance Facebook page)

NEW YORK — The victims of the terrorist attacks of 2001 are never forgotten. A variety of events are being held to commemorate those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center and in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, the annual Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, Walk of Remembrance will be held in New York City. It traces the footsteps of Mychal, who was serving as a chaplain of the Fire Department of New York in 2001, when he traveled to lower Manhattan to care for the people at the World Trade Center.

The Walk of Remembrance begins at 10:15 a.m. outside the Church of St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street, across from the Engine 1, Ladder 24 firehouse. A rosary service and Mass, concelebrated by Christopher Keenan, OFM, and Andrew Reitz, OFM, are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. respectively in the church. The walk concludes at St. Peter’s Church near Ground Zero, where Mychal’s body was taken on Sept. 11.

“We walk to visit, remember and reflect at many of the firehouses and police precincts who lost brothers and sisters on 9/11,” reads an advertisement for the event. “There is no cost for this event. We do not raise funds. We do not accept cash donations. We simply gather as a community to remember.”


Mychal Judge

Information about the walk, which was established in 2002 by NYPD detective Steven McDonald and other friends and admirers of Mychal, can be found on its Facebook page and on its website.

Before the walk begins, representatives of Mychal’s Message, the organization founded in 2002 to do charity work in his name, will distribute clothing to guests of the St. Francis Breadline on West 31st Street. This year’s project, called Blessed Bloomers XIV, is dedicated to the late Cassian Miles, OFM, one of Mychal’s classmates, who collaborated with the Pennsylvania-based organization. A tribute to Cassian, along with information about the Father Cassian A, Miles Jubilee Scholarship Fund, appears on the Mychal’s Message website.

The Bells of Remembrance, cared for by David Schlatter, OFM, will be displayed and rung during the walk. Later that week, on the morning of Sept. 11, one of the bells will also be on view outside Water Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Later that day, it will be displayed in Wilmington, Del., outside the opera house, where it will be used for a performance.

As is tradition, a Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Church by Christopher, who replaced Mychal as FDNY chaplain, at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 11.

In New Jersey, those wishing to honor Mychal can visit the recently dedicated Mychal Judge statue near St. Joseph’s Church in East Rutherford. It faces the doors of the church “so that Mychal can forever watch over his flock,” according to the summer 2015 Mychal’s Messenger newsletter.

In Paterson, N.J., St. Bonaventure Parish will offer a special Mass of Remembrance at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 11. Following the Mass, there will be a prayer service at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa, N.J., at Mychal’s grave.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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