Fr. Mychal Judge, Saint of 9/11

On September 11, 2001 Fr. Mychal Judge was going about his daily routine when he heard that a plane had struck one of the buildings of the World Trade Center.  Fr. Mychal had the honor of being the Chaplain for the New York City Fire Department and when the call went out, he grabbed his gear and went right to the scene.

The Chaplain usually stands at the Command Post to be available to the scene commander and also to be available if he is needed by one of the guys working the fire ground.  Fr. Mychal was in the lobby of the North Tower of the World Trade Center giving last rites to many of the dead.

At 9:59 am when the Tower collapsed, debris went flying through the air and Fr. Mychal was hit in the back of the head and killed instantly.  His body was found by a NYPD Lieutenant and 2 fire fighters, and they carried his body to nearby St. Peter’s Church and placed there before the altar.

Fr. Mychal died doing what he loved, “Serving Those Who Serve” and he is the main reason I am a fire chaplain today.  2001 was my first year in the seminary and I made the decision that I would, one day, serve those who serve.  In October 2004 I was appointed the first Department Chaplain for the Dudley Fire Department and since 2016 I have been Chaplain to the Quincy Fire Department and I am proud to serve.

The Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains created an award given to a Fire Department Chaplain “In grateful acknowledgement of the time, energy, and faithfulness given to the men and women of the Fire Service.”  I was honored with this award in 2008.

I wear a small metal bracelet on my wrist each and every day that bears the name of Fr. Mychal.  It is a constant reminder to me of why I do what I do and I pause on this day and think of Fr. Mychal and how he died doing what he loved.

There is a short prayer that is attributed to Fr. Mychal and I try to remember to say it each time I head out the door on a call,

“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.”

Fr. Mychal Judge, Pray for us!



  1. Memory eternal to this noble, humble man of God. Remembering him and al those lives lost that terrible day as I am on my third deployment in the Western Pacific.

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