The church’s front steps lead up to a small portico lined by six Ionic columns — a grand entrance for a rather modest church now dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers. Among those towers is the World Trade Center, just a block away. On September 11, 2001, when a passenger jet struck one of the WTC towers, a landing gear pierced the roof of St. Peter’s. Later that day, when 1 WTC (the North Tower) collapsed, a chaplain for the New York Fire Department, Father Mychal Judge, was struck by debris. After the dust settled and firefighters saw Father Judge’s lifeless body lying there, they carried him up these steps into St. Peter’s and laid him on the marble in front of the altar. His body was covered with a clean white cloth from the sacristy, and the firefighters pulled close the candles flickering on either side. He lay there until that afternoon, when two Franciscan friars carried his body to a fire station near his residence.
Just the day before, on 10 September 2001, Father Judge gave a Mass for firefighters at a station in the Bronx, where he told them: “You do what God has called you to do. You get on that ring, 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 me. He needs all of us. God needs us to keep supporting each other, to be kind to each other, to love each other.” St. Peter’s was an important staging and staffing area throughout the rescue and recovery efforts following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
#52HOWin52weeks | Week 13
#church #Catholic #Catholicchurch #NYC #NYClandmark #NYClandmarks #NYChistory #NYhistory #NationalRegisterofHistoricPlaces #NationalRegister #NRHP #Manhattan #FinancialDistrict #FiDi #LowerManhattan #downtown #DowntownManhattan #downtowniswhatsup #architecture #GreekRevival #religion #911 #September11 #September11th #September11th2001 #11September2001 # - 4 months ago