Wednesday, September 07, 2011

In Mychal Judge's Heart "There Was Room for Everybody"

Following are excerpts from Amy Goodman's article, "9/11 Victim 0001: Father Mychal’s Message."

. . . Father Mychal was well known to the poor and afflicted of New York City and New Jersey. He helped the homeless, and people with HIV/AIDS. As a member of the Franciscan order, he would often wear the traditional brown robe and sandals. But there was a half-known secret about him: He was gay. In his private diaries, the revered Catholic priest wrote, “I thought of my gay self and how the people I meet never get to know me fully.” The diaries were given to journalist Michael Daly by Judge’s twin sister, Dympna, and appear in Daly’s book The Book of Mychal: The Surprising Life and Heroic Death of Father Mychal Judge.

Brendan Fay is a longtime Irish-American gay activist who was a friend of Judge’s. He produced a film about the Franciscan friar in 2006 called Saint of 9/11 and is finishing up another one called Remembering Mychal. Fay told me this week: “He was one of the priests at Dignity New York, an organization for gay and lesbian Catholics. . . . He ministered to [us] during the AIDS crisis, when there were few priests available to our community.”

. . . A decade later, Brendan Fay reflects on the life of his friend: “On 9/11, the one thing we can take from Mychal Judge is, in the midst of this hell and war and evil and violence, here is this man who directs us to another possible path as human beings: We can choose the path of compassion and nonviolence and reconciliation. Mychal Judge had a heart as big as New York. There was room for everybody. And I think that’s the lesson.”

– Amy Goodman
"9/11 Victim 0001: Father Mychal’s Message"
September 6, 2011

Recommended Off-site Links:
Fallen 9/11 Priest Emerges as An Icon for Gay Catholics – Daniel Burke (Religion News Service via The Progressive Catholic Voice, September 1, 2011).
A Judge for All – Cahir O’Doherty (, August 21, 2011).
Saint Mychal Judge

Image 1: "Holy Passion Bearer Mychal Judge and Saint Francis" by Fr. William H. McNichols.
Image 2: Photographer unknown.
Image 3: Mychal with spouses Tom Moulton and Brendan Fay. (Photographer unknown.)

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