Keeping Us Connected Newsletter
September 10, 2021
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
--Psalm 23:4
Dear St. Mary Friends,
On this 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it is fitting to remember all the dead, their families, and first responders impacted on that terrible day. And let’s remember two examples of hope in that darkness: Father Mychal Judge and the “Cross at Ground Zero.” Also, please remember our town’s 20th memorial service tomorrow at 6:00 P.M., to be held at the Ridgefield 9/11 Memorial next to the Rec Center.
FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE, OFM, beloved fire chaplain 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. Then 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. 
Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM carried to St. Peter Church

Just a day before Fr. Mychal gave a sermon at Mass for NYC Firefighters of 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 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….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.  

Health and blessings,
Monsignor Royal
Join us for Mass and the town's 9/11 ceremony this Saturday
Order Of Malta American Association

Lourdes In a Day Pilgrimage: A Day of Grace and Healing
September 18

Begins October 7

Morning & Evening Sessions Available
Program fee: $15
Disciples 4 Life
October 22-24

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Saturday - 4:30 PM, NBRC
Sunday - 8 AM, HALL
10:30 AM, NBRC

First Saturday 8 AM Mass
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Wednesday 12:30 PM
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St. Mary Parish, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877
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