Cover image for Father Mychal Judge : an authentic American hero
Father Mychal Judge : an authentic American hero
Ford, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Paulist Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 207 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
The bridge -- Last rites -- The way to love -- Shadows of the self -- Broken land -- The train to Callicoon -- Under siege -- Addiction and grace -- Dignity and compassion -- Canterbury tales -- Night vigils -- "Blessed are the persecuted" -- On the edge of the deep -- Brother Fire -- Sister Death -- "Blessed are the peacemakers" -- Anam Cara -- The courage to be -- Lovescape crucified -- Authentic American hero.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX4705.J767 F67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BX4705.J767 F67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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A portrait of the Franciscan priest and FDNY chaplain who lost his life in the World Trade Center attacks recounts his personal story and his experiences in the firehouse, his friary, and his church.

Author Notes

Michael Ford is BBC journalist who reported on the aftermath of September 11th. A broadcaster specializing in religious affairs, he has recently completed a doctoral thesis in Christian spirituality.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Since the publication of the now-famous photograph of rescue workers carrying the lifeless body of Father Mychal Judge through the wreckage of Tower One on September 11, the Franciscan friar, New York Fire Department chaplain and first recorded victim of the World Trade Center attacks, has captured the imagination of the nation. In typical American fashion, Father Mychal was no plaster saint, but rather a complex individual who embodied many contradictions and constantly wrestled with the demons and insecurities that haunted him. A substitute father figure to countless young firefighters and friars, Mychal never fully recovered from the untimely death of his own father, an impoverished Irish immigrant, when he was only six. An avowed celibate, he quietly acknowledged his homosexual orientation despite the active discouragement of the Catholic Church. He never made a secret of the fact that he was a recovering alcoholic, always finding time in his busy schedule to attend AA meetings all over the city. In fact, it was probably his very "woundedness," as well as his spiritual honesty, that drew both the humble and the grand to him in droves. Ford probes beneath the photogenic veneer of Father Mychal, providing a compelling portrait of a charismatic priest whose humility and strength of character continue to inspire a nation in search of authentic heroes. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Father Mychal Judge became an instant American hero when he died while administering the "last rites" to a victim of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, but even before that grim day, there was much about the Franciscan priest to commend to posterity. Through interviews with fellow friars, close friends and others, Ford, a BBC journalist specializing in religious affairs and author of a 1999 biography of the late Henri Nouwen (Wounded Prophet), tells why the New York City fire chaplain was beloved by many, while infuriating others. A recovering alcoholic and an acknowledged homosexual who struggled with living a chaste, celibate life, Father Judge was known to those he served as a passionate advocate of the downtrodden and suffering. Although he had a penchant for attracting and even seeking the limelight, friends recall him as a humble man in touch with his own humanity. Ford boldly compares him to the founder of the Franciscans, St. Francis of Assisi, who was said to bear the stigmata, or wounds of Christ's crucifixion. Ford even seems to suggest that Father Judge's homosexuality was comparable to the stigmata, a simile that, while poetic, may be a bit of a stretch for some readers. Ford has done his best to paint a complete picture of the man, though many of the recollections he includes are rather repetitive. Despite that, this is an intriguing biography that should hold appeal for a wide readership. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is a timely biography recounting the life of 68-year-old Father Mychal Judge, a New York City fire chaplain who died on September 11, 2001, while administering to New York's "finest" at the World Trade Center site. A Franciscan friar living in midtown Manhattan, Judge had many pastoral responsibilities, never allowing age or failing health to prevent him from priestly service. The text by Ford (Wounded Prophet: A Portrait of Henri J.M. Nouwen), a BBC journalist and broadcaster in religious affairs, is filled with personal accounts of friends and colleagues that are beautifully incorporated into a chronological narrative extolling the character and life of Judge. This honest portrayal doesn't hide the friar's struggle with alcoholism or the reality of his homosexuality. Breaking stereotypes and prejudices, this wounded healer has become a model of self-sacrifice and priestly integrity. Ford concludes the biography with a bibliography of the books referenced, archival news articles, and videos. Recommended for larger public libraries.-John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin, Platteville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.