Keeping Us Connected Newsletter
September 11, 2020
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.
– John 16:33
Dear Saint Mary’s Friends,

Today is the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack burned so deeply into our memories and captured by just a few numbers – 9/11. Close by the site of the Twin Towers is St. Peter Catholic Church. That parish memorialized the event with this article taken from their parish website. Further down in this Newsletter are two brief videos related to that day and the days that followed. You will find there, two items of faith and hope that were found in the rubble: The well-known cross and lesser-known charred bible.

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ST PETER CHURCH AND 9/11. At 8:45 AM, a plane hit the World Trade Center shaking St Peter’s with a violence that caused parish secretary, Pat Ruggiero, to run outside. She saw an enormous gash, flames, and billowing smoke. Rushing back, she told the pastor, Fr. Kevin Madigan, that a plane hit the building. Fr. Madigan looked out of the window, saw the fire engines and ambulances, and hurried out. He was speaking with the police when the second plane crashed into the South Tower. He said, “Debris blew everywhere. I remember a wheel of the plane flying over my head.” When he returned to St. Peter’s, he learned the wheel had pierced the roof. 
RESCUE AND RECOVERY. During rescue and recovery, Fr. Madigan said Mass, heard confessions, and provided pastoral care. The church was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the end of October when martial law was lifted and workers returned to work. "We were the place to bring emergency equipment. Supplies were piled 6 feet high, bandages, gas masks, boots, hoses and food. Workers and volunteers often slept in the pews on bedrolls." 

FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE, OFM, beloved chaplain of the Fire Dept. was early on scene, giving absolution and praying for the wounded and dying. He was in the North Tower lobby when the South Tower fell. The force blew dust and debris so violently (an estimated 100mph) that the North Tower fell. Hidden by a cloud of dust, it took a while for workers to see that Fr. Judge had been struck down. Fr. Kevin Smith, another chaplain, blessed the body. The Fr. Judge was carried by firemen, a doctor, police lieutenant and bystander into St. Peter’s. Resting on the marble in front of the altar, Fr. Judge’s body was covered in a white cloth with a fresh stole, his chaplain’s badge, and helmet resting on his chest. Firemen pulled two of the candles close to his body. Then at 2pm Franciscan friars carried his body to a fire station near his residence.

Just a day before Fr. Mychal gave the following sermon at Mass for NYC Firefighters at Engine 73, Ladder 42:  You do what God has called you to do. You get on that rig, you go out and do the job. No matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea of what God is calling you to, but God needs you. He needs all of us. God needs us to support each other, to be kind to each other, to love each other. We all love this job. What a blessing! It’s a difficult, difficult job, but God calls you to do it, and indeed, He gives you a love for it so that a difficult job will be well done. Isn’t God wonderful?! Isn’t He good to you, each one of you, and to me? Turn to God each day -- put your faith, your trust, your hope and your life in His hands. He’ll take care of you, and you’ll have a good life. And this firehouse will be a great blessing to this neighborhood and to this city. Amen.  

THE CROSS. Ground Zero looked and felt like hell on earth. The ground was scorched, the air held the odor of incinerated materials, and was heavy with the weight of thousands of departed souls. Police, firemen, and first responders searched for survivors or remains.
A construction worker, Frank Silecchia discovered the cross in the lower core of Building 6. Fused to one side was a piece of melted metal which brought to mind the cross and shroud of the Risen Christ. Silecchia fell to his knees as did many who saw it later. Believers and non-believers came, bowed their heads or knelt. Many came back again and again to reflect, pray and hope.

Workers worried that the cross might be taken to a storage facility or destroyed, so they called the mayor’s office. Mayor Giuliani replied “We’ll keep the cross as a reminder of God’s love for us all”. In 2011, the relic, borne of the terrible events of 9/11, was lifted by a crane, loaded onto a truck and taken to its current location at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. 

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Let us at St. Mary’s pray for all of the souls lost that day, their loved ones, for those who serve in emergency situations, and for that peace the world cannot give.

Many blessings,
Monsignor Royal
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Now and Forever. Amen.
Also in today’s Newsletter:

Join our book study coming soon!

Click here for more information
Walking with Purpose is coming to St. Mary Parish October 8th via ZOOM!

Click here for more info.

Saturday, Sept 12

Sunday, Sept 13

Registration for Sunday Masses goes live on our website each Thursday @ 9 AM

All changes to reservations must be made by Saturday @ 9 AM

The 10:30 AM Sunday Mass will be livestreamed
Watch LIVE and afterwards (anytime) on our Facebook page and website


Nancy Bossidy Rec Center (GYM)

Monday, 12:30 PM
Tuesday, 5:00 PM
Wednesday, 12:30 PM
Thursday, 5:00 PM
Friday, 12:30 PM
No Registration Needed
Please do not arrive earlier than 12:15 PM to the 12:30 PM Mass

The Church is closed for renovations
Sacrament of Confession

**Tuesdays - 12:30 PM - temporarily discontinued**

Saturdays - 3:30 to 4:30 PM

Nancy Bossidy Rec Center (GYM)
Please remember to wear a face mask
Adoration Chapel
10:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Limited to 4 people at any one time

If the 4 places are full, a visitor must wait outside or return at another time.
Chairs and kneelers are safely distanced and the air conditioning and air circulation system works well.
Many thanks for your continued support of our Parish!
Your support helps maintain our Parish facilities and bring the Eucharist and God's Word to our community - plus it helps those in need through our many ministries. 


Online Giving is an easy way to give with a click of a button.

You may mail your offertory to the Parish office as well; mail is picked up every day. St. Mary Parish, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877