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Mychal F. Judge

Rev. Mychal F. Judge (May 11, 1933 - September 11, 2001) was a Franciscan priest, and a chaplain for the Fire Department of New York City.

He died at age 68 in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack in the destruction of the World Trade Center.

He was struck by falling debris, having removed his helmet to administer last rites to firefighter Daniel Suhr. He then entered the lobby of the north tower where the command post for the emergency services had been set up and was killed by debris that filled the lobby when the south tower collapsed. Father Judge was the first person to be officially declared a victim of the tragedy.

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton were among the 3,000 people who attended his funeral, which was held on September 15 at St. Francis of Assisi Church[?] in Manhattan. Mr. Clinton said his death was "a special loss... We should live his life as an example of what has to prevail."

There is an ongoing effort to canonize[?] Father Judge. His helmet has been given to Pope John Paul II, and France named him to the Legion of Honor.

Father Judge was born Michael Judge in Brooklyn to Irish immigrants. He served in various friaries in New Jersey, then became a FDNY chaplain, at the West 31st Street Friary. He changed his name to Mychal to distinguish himself from other friars of the same name. He was a alcoholic helped by Alcoholics Anonymous to stop drinking in 1978.

Father Judge was homosexual, and according to his friends in the gay community, since the early 1990s he consistently spoke out as a voice for compassion and inclusiveness within the Catholic Church. He was known as one of the very first priests who would conduct mass for gay men who had died of AIDS.

Tributes and Comments[?]

See September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Casualties.

External references and links



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