CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Nine-Eleven terror attacks remembered

WASHINGTON (CNS): Churchgoers around the United States (US) once again marked the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 with moments of silence, special prayer services and Masses.
 
In Brooklyn, New York, a Mass for fallen heroes was celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on September 11. This followed a procession of firefighters from across the country who had first gathered at ground zero in Lower Manhattan, where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre once stood. 
 
The journey from ground zero to Brooklyn served “to symbolically bring the brothers back home,” said organisers. 
 
The attacks, using four hijacked planes, claimed the lives of 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers. 
 
Two planes flew into the World Trade Centre, bringing down the twin towers and killing office workers and other staff in the buildings, as well as emergency first responders and people fleeing in the streets. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia, just outside of Washington DC, and a fourth went down in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
 
Attending a meeting of the US bishops’ Administrative Committee on September 11 in Washington, Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York, said he and his brother bishops remembered all those who perished and their families at a Mass at the headquarters US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
 
A week earlier, he said in a statement that, he had celebrated Mass at historic St. Peter’s Church in downtown New York which, he noted, had “served as a sanctuary, first-aid station, hospice, relief centre and even a mortuary” on 9/11 and for many days afterward.
 
It was there that the body of Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, the fire department chaplain, among the first to die in the attack, “was reverently placed upon the altar.” He died ministering to victims in the rubble of the World Trade Centre.
 
The attacks also claimed the lives of a number of people who helped clear the wreckage afterward, as cancer and other conditions caused by toxic smoke have begun to emerge.
Official ceremonies took place at the sites in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania where the four hijacked planes crashed 17 years ago. 
 
Donald Trump, the US president, spoke at anniversary ceremonies at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, while the vice president, Mike Pence, addressed a crowd at the Pentagon.
 
Cardinal Dolan recalled that nine years ago, he was in New York for his first 9/11 anniversary observance, some months after he was installed as archbishop of New York. He was at St. Peter’s then too.
 
“Never will I forget the wise comment of the pastor at the time, Father Kevin Madigan,” Cardinal Dolan said, recalling that the priest told him: “9/11 was Good Friday again here in New York; but the story we need to remember is actually 9/12, a real Easter, as this community rose in rescue, relief, support, rallying and rebuilding.”

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