The Tablet Jr. > Father Judge: From Leader to Saint
By Fiona Fitzgerald, Grade 6
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy

Father Mychal JudgeFather Mychal Judge was a Catholic priest who risked his own life to save others. He is currently being considered for canonization to sainthood by the Vatican. He went above and beyond, demonstrating characteristics of a faith-filled leader.

When he was a child he wanted to become a firefighter and a priest. Fr. Judge wanted to help people and he wanted to teach them about God and His love. He became a firefighter chaplain for the New York City Fire Department, known as the FDNY. Chaplin is a member of the clergy who is assigned to a specific institution. In his case, he served the firefighters of New York City by providing spiritual guidance about God and His works.

On September 11, 2001, a tragedy devastated our neighborhood, our city, and our country. Although I was not born yet, my parents have described this day to me. Two commercial or large, airplanes were taken over by terrorists (people who aim to put fear in others) and flown into the Twin Tower buildings known as The World Trade Center. Both the North Tower and the South Tower, (named based on where they were geographically built), were struck and immediately erupted into an inferno from the jet fuel. Many emergency workers, including police officers, firefighters, and medical workers responded to the call that day. When Fr. Judge arrived, the smoke and fire were so bad, it was difficult to see what was going on. When he arrived at lower Manhattan, he did his best to help others. Fr. Judge began to pray. He prayed for all the people in the buildings and their families, for all emergency workers, and for peace during this horrible time. Fr. Judge began blessing people who were hurt on the floor before the buildings collapsed.

That day, Fr. Judge was taken back home to heaven to be with God, the special figure he spent his life teaching about. He died giving his life to helping others. Fr. Judge was both a leader of the religious faith and a leader of the FDNY, who ultimately gave his own life doing the two things he always wanted to do — helping others and teaching them about God and His love. He was a man who wanted to help, not hurt, and that was shown by the number of people that were at his funeral to pay their respects.