Reflections from September 11

Yesterday morning, I commemorated the Tenth Anniversary of September 11th at the 9:30 a.m. Memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I would like to share my homily with all of you.

Here is an excerpt:

They say there are no atheists in foxholes.  I’ve heard it said as well that there were no atheists on 9/11 here in New York.  That’s why we decided to gather for this greatest of all prayers, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at these very moments when bells are ringing throughout the United States, when people are united in their parishes, their churches, their synagogues, and their mosques, their heads bowed in reverent silence, recalling – -recalling with somberness, recalling with gratitude and recalling with prayers the events of 10 years ago today at these very moments when the second of the Twin Towers was attacked.  And that’s why I’m grateful for your presence this Sunday morning.  Cardinal Egan, thank you for being here.  You were on the front lines that day and we are glad you are with us this morning.  You and I are going to be together down at Saint Peter’s on Barclay Street, one of our historic Catholic churches, which was actually damaged that day by part of the buildings falling and that served as a place of refuge and care for those who were wounded and outreach to those who were mourning and searching.  It was a real sanctuary that day.

You can read the whole homily here. An audio clip of the homily is available online, click here to listen.

I would also like to share Edward Cardinal Egan’s homily from the 12:30 p.m. Memorial Mass at Saint Peter’s at Barclay Street, which is less than a block away from the World Trade Center site.

Here is an excerpt:

Ten years have passed since the terrorists attacked us.  We were taken by surprise.  We were shocked.  We were wounded.  We were grievously wounded.  Evil had had its moment of triumph in Lower Manhattan.

This is, therefore, an anniversary that stings and sears the soul.  It thrusts us back into an experience of infamy such as none of us would ever have imagined.  Thousands of good and decent citizens of Greater New York were brutally murdered.  An ugly chasm was dug into the heart of our City; and in the hearts of countless mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, children and grandchildren, friends and co-workers, there even now aches the nagging pain of loss for persons dearly loved and sorely needed.

You can read the whole homily here.


4 Responses to “Reflections from September 11”

  1. Lady.Rosary says:

    Lovely homilies. That day in history has marked an indellible print in the hearts of everyone. We will always be united in prayer.

  2. Michael J says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan, I just want to address an offensive statement in your homily, namely the one where you say that you heard there were no atheists in New York on 9/11. Since you don’t seem to dispute that claim, I will. There were many many thousands, if not millions of atheists there that day and many of them died in the World Trade Center–Your callous dismissal of them notwithstanding. For your information, there are also plenty of atheists in foxholes, manning the front lines in the fight to keep your religious liberty intact. Where you won’t find theists like yourself of course, are in hospital waiting rooms, where though some may profess a belief in God’s ability to heal, those same people rest their true faith on the real world skills of scientists and medical doctors. Don’t pretend it’s not otherwise.

  3. AndyP/Doria2 says:


  4. John White says:

    I appreciated the appearance of ArchBishop Dolan and Cardinal Egan at the “NYPD 10th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony of September 11, 2001″. I found a YouTube upload of this event, entitled the same: “NYPD 10th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony of September 11, 2001″. If you haven’t seen this YouTube video/audio highlights of that NYPD ceremony, I believe that you’ll enjoy it very much. ArchBishop Dolan and Cardinal Egan both gave excellent talks on this occasion and the NYPD put on an excellent remembrance ceremony, which was capped off with the NYPD Emerald Pipes and Drums! We must remember these NYPD heroes and the sacrifice of their family members.