On Martyrs: Fr. Mychal Judge

As we acknowledge the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I thought I would repost this to honor the memory of Fr. Judge

Psyche and Spirit/Richard B. Patterson PhD

Fr. Mychal Judge is best known to most of us for his courageous actions as a New York City Fire Department Chaplain. On 9/11, he sacrificed his life as he administered the Last Rites.

There is a famous picture of Father Mychal being carried away from the site of his death. But I selected the above picture because, as significant as was his death, his life was more than that last act of heroism. Much more.

Fr. Mychal was a Wounded Healer. He drew upon his own struggles to reach out to many long before 9/11.

First of all, he was a recovering alcoholic some 23 years clean and sober at the time of his death. He remained active in Alcoholics Anonymous and, through his own recovery, helped others find their way to sobriety.

Fr. Mychal was also gay, a Franciscan priest in a religious organization not known for its welcoming attitude toward gays…

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About richp45198

I am a clinical psychologist and have an abiding interest in matters spiritual.
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3 Responses to On Martyrs: Fr. Mychal Judge

  1. Susan beehler says:

    Thank you for the picture post. This sept 11 has been on my spirit. This 15thyear anniversary. The loss continues on in the psyche of our world Just putting out good energy and loving thoughts into the cosmos


  2. Susan Bass says:

    My heroes are those who have had to overcome great obstacles and then used that experience to help other people overcome theirs. It must have taken a lot of guts to be a gay priest and maybe even more to overcome addiction. If one is addicted to relationships and romantic/sexual highs instead of a substance, then it takes what Victor Frankl called “the courage to be lonely” in order to recover. In that loneliness and isolation, which may persist for years, one may be fortunate enough to have a therapist with whom one can learn to have a genuine relationship not constructed upon sexual attraction. Erickson outlined the task of young adulthood being that of intimacy vs. isolation but he does not adequately describe the painful nature of the unsuccessful resolution of that stage of life or how long that pain may last. There are disastrous consequences related to the ways in which one may try to assuage the condition of isolation. Dr. Patterson describes two churches, the warm and welcoming one and the oppressive, judgmental one. There are also two camps of Mental/Behavioral Health Providers. The ones who are genuinely concerned with alleviating suffering and the ones who are concerned only with their own career, income, fame, notoriety, visibility, power, etc. In short, it seems that there are just two kinds of people.


  3. Margie says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate 9/11 by recognizing Father Mychal. Thank you, my friend! Margie


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