In the days before and after the ten year anniversary of September 11th, we invited our online community of faith to take a moment to reflect and to pray. You can read some of the stories shared by those who were in NYC in the days after 9/11 – look in the links in the left read some of the stories that were submitted.
We also invite you to take a moment to watch a video from a Mass celebrated a week after the attacks or light a Virtual Prayer Candle in memory of someone lost on that day (remember, we invite a donation but none is necessary to submit a name in prayer).
Just like every day before and after 9/11, we continue to welcome people from all over the world to come to St. Patrick’s to share a moment of peace and prayer.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
Submitted by Mario from New York, NY
After 9/11, the churches were crowded with people, especially the Cathedral. Worshipers were lighting candles, praying in the Lady Chapel, or attending Mass. I never saw so much devotion and faith at the Cathedral.
One memory I will always cherish was the Mass that Cardinal Egan celebrated. It was at that Mass that he gave us that great phrase...calling Ground Zero, "Ground Hero." Everyone applauded at that very true statement. And after Mass, the recessional hymn was "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." After we sang that hymn, we felt so strong...nothing was going to destroy our spirits and our faith.
Submitted by Vincent from Lake Katrine, NY
Working in Manhattan, I parked on the west side and worked on the east side. I stopped in to St. Patrick's Cathedral or various other churches every morning to pray that I would be able to get out that afternoon. I felt like I was paying a visit to God to literally ask him one on one to keep our city safe and to bless us all in those dark and somber days.
Submitted by William from Garden City, NY
My most vivid memory took place on September 11, 2008 at the 11am Mass. What a beautiful, stirring, and somber service. I sat in the pews in front right side, along with visitors and parishioners. The section was filled to beyond capacity, and the left side was also full. The entire middle of the church from front to back was packed shoulder to shoulder with members of the FDNY and NYPD. The Mass ended with the hymn "America the Beautiful" and at the hymn's conclusion, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was 7 years after the fateful day of 9/11/01 but it still felt like it had happened yesterday. The best part of the Mass was yet to come though. The visitors and parishioners all stood and turned toward the middle where the FDNY and NYPD members were and clapped while the proud men and women marched down the aisle towards the back of the cathedral. They kept on clapping until every last firefighter and police officer had left their pews! The service members proceeded stoically down the aisle (it must've taken 10 minutes) and towards the front of the church and eventually out onto the front steps. I followed right behind the last of them so I ended up being one of the first "civilians" outside. Since I was up front I ended up shaking hands with Cardinal Egan as well as other priests all the way down the steps just before the sidewalk! I didn't feel that I could veer off to the side such a kinship I felt with them (my maternal grandfather was a NYPD medal of honor winner so much of this was to honor his memory) Several other attendees following me did exactly the same thing as I had done. Outside in the street there were many squad cars ladders and trucks along with over 1000+ service members who were milling around - shaking hands, hugging and yes, crying together. It was truly a sight to behold and one that I will never forget. I walked back to my office with a totally different perspective and an even higher measure of respect for those service members then I had before if that's possible. God Bless America, God Bless St. Patrick's Cathedral and God Bless those brave men and women of the NYPD and FDNY!