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Fr Mychal Judge
Age: 68
Occupation: Franciscan Priest
Worked for: FDNY
Originally from:
Resided in: Manhattan
School:
College:
Submitted by: Irish Tribute ()

Other links: Where He Was Needed: NY Times
 Photos


New York Fire Department Picture

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 More Tributes

I never had the good fortune to meet Fr Mychal. And I am deeply suspicious of the media. BUT anyone who could inspire the tributes, tears and lost affection that I saw in the coverage of this good man's passing must have been close to sainthood.

-- anonymous (Friend)
28 Sep 2001

Father Mychal Judge, Chaplain to the Fire Department, City of New York lost his life in the attack on the World Trade Center, Sept.11 2001. He was a good and kind man. Always there for the Families of TWA Flight 800 from the beginning. He made time for talking to us privately, and for praying with us at every Memorial Service. He was a credit to his Friary and will be sorely missed by all of us and to those dear to his heartB. the firemen he worked with and led into heaven with him.
Heroes to the endBall of them.

TWA Flight 800 Families Association
-- Margie and Max (Friend)
01 Oct 2001

Many of us never knew Fr. Judge but millions will never forget him. He touched the hearts of all mankind, whether they be Catholic or any other religion. He was truly a messenger of God till his last breath. May God bless Fr. Judge. I personally never met Fr. Mychal but he touched my heart as a wonderful and caring person. He will never be forgotten. May He still smile down on us from his place in Heaven.
-- Mary Ann Derbin (Friend)
11 Oct 2001

Fr. Mychal was a loving and gifted human being. He was our Pastor at St.Joseph's Church in West Milford,N.J in the late 1970's and we were blessed to have continued the friendship. He was charismatic, spiritual, witty, and even somewhat
earthy at times. Father could relate to any age group. At his gravesite a reporter approached one of our adult children and the statement she gave him was "he just made you want to be good." He could never have handled the magnitude of this tragedy and we are sure God has better plans for him as a saint in heaven. We will never forget you, Fr. Mychal. We will love you always.
May God's Peace be with all of you.
Charlie and Dolly
-- Charlie and Dolly Galanaugh ()
25 Oct 2001

I had the priviledge of sitting next to Fr. Mychal Judge when I first came to N.Y. almost 9 years ago. He told me who he was and where he lived, this meant very little to me because I had never been to N.Y before and didn't understand what it meant. Before we landed he told me if I ever needed help of any kind to make sure I came and found him and he would remember me and try to help. I have been on many planes home since then and have never remembered a face, never mine a name of anyone I sat next to. But Father Judge has always stuck in my mind. What a great loss to N.Y. but what a gain for all the people he is with now.
-- Helen O'Brien (Very fortunate person.)
26 Oct 2001

We have a tribute to Father Judge on The Wild Geese Today Webzine, at http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/judge.html .
-- Gerry Regan (Admirer)
29 Oct 2001

Our family is so appreciative of Father Mychal's last actions - blessing our loved ones on their way into the Tower.. You touched their souls with your blessing and prayers and then greeted each and everyone of them at Heaven's Gate and introduced them to Our Lord. Thank you.
-- Nora Coco, Rochester, NY (Sister of Lt. Joe Leavey Lad 15)
03 Nov 2001

A city pays tribute to a true servant of
God
London's Irish Post, Oct 3, 2001
http://www.irishpost.co.uk/archive/specials031001-1.html
-- Anon ()
12 Nov 2001

From NY Daily News, Nov 11, 2001
'Keepsake of FDNY Hero'

The Rev. Mychal Judge made a final pilgrimage to Rome yesterday as his white FDNY helmet was given to Pope John Paul.

The fallen Fire Department chaplain's helmet was affectionately taken to St. Peter's Basilica by eight of New York's Bravest, who presented it to the Pope during Mass.

Firefighter Patrick Burns gives Pope John Paul the helmet of the Rev. Mychal Judge, FDNY Chaplain, at a ceremony at the Vatican honoring WTC heroes.
"I offer a warm welcome to the delegation from the New York City Fire Department, so many of whose members lost their lives in the terrorist attack of Sept. 11," John Paul said in English during the Mass.

In the Line of Duty

The tragedy claimed the lives of 343 firefighters, as well as Judge, who was struck by debris while giving last rites to a firefighter.

"May Almighty God grant the bereaved families consolation and peace, and may he give you and your fellow firefighters strength and courage to carry on your great service to your city," the pontiff said.

The firefighters, some accompanied by family members, knelt before the Pope as they presented the helmet.

The helmet was decorated with a cross.

Back in New York, Judge's friends at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, where he lived and worked, were pleased.

"It's the primary symbol for the firefighters, but in presenting this helmet to Pope John Paul, it is a deeper symbol. It is not just Mychal's helmet. It is the helmet of all firefighters of New York," said the Rev. Pat Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald and the Rev. Cassian Miles, who also lives at the St. Francis monastery, entered the seminary with Judge on Sept. 11, 1951, Miles said.

Miles said Judge would have been happy to know his helmet was given to the Pope. "I guess he would love it," Miles said. "We were always teasing him that he seemed to be in the center of important stories B in a goodnatured, fraternal way B and he would enjoy [the teasing]," Miles said.

Judge had made several pilgrimages to Rome, including accompanying Patti Ann McDonald to an audience with the Pope in 1988.

Judge became friendly with McDonald after her police officer husband, Steven, was paralyzed by a teen gunman's bullet in 1986.

"In a sense, it is like Mychal's final pilgrimage to Rome," Miles said.
-- Anon ()
12 Nov 2001

I HAD NEVER HEARD OF FR. MYCHAL JUDGE UNTIL SEPT. 11 BUT HIS LAST ACT OF TOTALLY UNSELFISH LOVE FOR HIS FELLOW MAN AND THE PHOTO OF HIM BEING CARRIED AWAY BY HIS COMRADES WILL FOREVER BE ETCHED IN MY MIND AS A SYMBOL OF THE GREATEST LOVE I HAVE EVER WITNESSED HERE ON EARTH. GOD BLESS HIM NOW WHERE HE RESIDES IN PEACE WITH THE ANGELS!!! I KNOW HE IS WATCHING OVER ALL OF US AND TELLING US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER...LET US FOLLOW HIS PATH!
-- SALLY LECHICH (ADMIRERER)
23 Nov 2001

From NY Daily News Dec 11, 2001

'Street Named for FDNY Rev'

Mayor Giuliani signed legislation yesterday naming a block of W. 31st St. for the Rev. Mychal Judge, the Fire Department chaplain killed by a shower of falling debris at the World Trade Center.

In an emotional ceremony at City Hall that brought Giuliani to the verge of tears, he called the priest a "casualty of war" whose "memory will be treasured."

The priest, who was born in Brooklyn, was killed Sept. 11 while administering last rites to a firefighter.

"Dozens of times, he said funeral Masses for those lost in the line of duty and prayed with the widows and children left behind. He became an institution in the department," Giuliani said.

"By chance, Father Judge became the first officially recorded fatality of the attack B he who had put himself last in the service of others was first," the mayor added.

The block between Sixth and Seventh Aves., near the church and firehouse where he worked, will be renamed for the priest.
-- Anon (Friend { })
11 Dec 2001

Larger Than Death

AP 01/05/02 12:17

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press

By LARRY McSHANE

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- In his brown Franciscan robe or white
firefighter's helmet, Mychal Judge always seemed larger than life.
Four months after becoming victim No. 00001 of the World Trade
Center attack, Father Mike appears larger than death, too.

The white-haired Fire Department chaplain has emerged from the
twisted steel of the crumpled twin towers as a multipurpose icon,
claimed as one of their own by constituents across the city where
he once walked in leather sandals.

The Fire Department? New York's Irish crowd? The brotherhood of
Alcoholics Anonymous? Surely, Mike Judge was one of theirs.

The Catholic Church? And New York's gay community? Just as
surely, Mike Judge, a priest for 40 years, belonged to them.

"Mychal Judge's heart was as big as New York, and there was room
for everybody," says Brendan Fay, a gay Irish activist and friend
of the late priest. "Everybody belonged."

There are more tangible signs of his new status: a stretch of
West 31st Street was named for Judge, along with a Hudson River
ferry. Pope John Paul II accepted the martyred chaplain's fire
helmet from a contingent of city firefighters in the Vatican.

Judge's poster-sized portrait still stands inside the front door
of Engine Co. 1/Ladder Co. 24, his local firehouse. The Advocate, a
national gay magazine, put him on its cover as one of "our heroes."

A book on his 68-year life is in the works, with talk of a
possible television movie.

"He belonged to everybody, but each person thought he was
theirs," says Malachy McCourt, the best-selling author and a Judge
confederate for nearly two decades.

"That was the beauty of the man," McCourt continues. No one, he
adds, says "one negative thing about him. And I'm saying, `C'mon!
There must be something.'
"But there isn't."

What would Judge make of his ascent into the role of man for all
seasons, of his praise from politicians and the pope?

"He'd be howling with laughter," McCourt replies quickly. "And
he would put a stop to it if he could."
------

It was about 8:50 a.m. on Sept. 11 when word reached West 31st
Street about the tragedy in lower Manhattan. The thick, black smoke
was already billowing skyward. At Engine Co. 1/Ladder Co. 24, the
firefighters climbed into their gear and headed downtown.

Across the street at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Mychal
Judge did the same.

The trip from the firehouse to the friars' residence is maybe
two dozen steps. It was a trip that Father Mike -- as he was known
among both the homeless and the famous -- made many times since
becoming FDNY chaplain in 1992.

This morning, as thousands of New Yorkers ran for their lives
toward midtown, Judge jumped in his Fire Department car. With
firefighter Michael Weinberg at the wheel and the siren wailing,
they sped downtown toward the World Trade Center.

He arrived at the burning 110-story towers, where Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani spotted him. "Pray for us," the mayor recalls saying.

"I always do," Judge replied.

The priest, a bottle of holy water in hand, went to work. Within
minutes, he was tending to Danny Suhr, a 16-year Fire Department
veteran killed by a body falling from the north tower.

Judge removed his helmet to begin the last rites. His prayers
ended when he was mortally wounded by a falling chunk of debris.

As word of the terrorist attack spread,
-- Jay Dooling (Friend {})
06 Jan 2002

God bless you Fr. Mychal and may you rest in sweet repose with the Son of God that you loved
and served so well. May all the angels sing their sweet songs for you now and forever! You'll be missed here on earth but Heaven is richer because you are there forever. I am sure that you will see some of your firemen friends as well as you family. Rejoice, the Lord is King.
-- barbara ellyn tuttle (Friend {})
10 Jan 2002

I pass by St. Francis of Assisi Church every day on my way to work and oftentimes would spot Fr. Mychal walking along the street, greeting people, always with a soft smile on his face.

It was a family friend, Daniel Suhr, who was a firefighter in Engine 216, that Fr. Mychal was administering last rites to when he was killed.

I know Danny and Fr. Mychal must have been holding hands on the way to heaven.

For Danny's family, they must have found strength in knowing that the last person Danny saw on earth was the heavenly Fr. Mychal.

Please pray for their families.
-- anon (Friend {})
21 Jan 2002

343 5-5-5-5
Never Forget

We miss ya Padre--Breakfast just isn't the same without your presence!
-- The Medics (Friend {})
17 Apr 2004

My name is Conor McDonald ( a.k.a Detective Steven McDonald's son).I had the pleasure of knowing Father Mike my whole life. He was a great influence to my family. He celebrated with us during our good times, and helped us through our bad times. If it was not for him I do not know how my family would have gotten through life. We miss him dearly, as so many others do. But as I look back on that horrific day, Father Mike was right where he belonged. He was with his fire fighters, his family. He loved them so much, and we all know there was no other place he would rather be. We miss you padre! I know you're looking down on us and keeping us out of harms way.
-- Conor McDonald (Friend {Family Friend})
14 Jun 2004

i just saw a program called victim 0001. the story of fr mychal.This man was a hero among heros on that awful day.He has inspired me now to look at life in a different way,open my eyes to my fellow man in his needs and hopes. thank you fr Mychal,and god bless all that suffered that day
-- sean kiely05@eircom.net (Friend {fellow catholic})
11 Sep 2005

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