Religion

Chapel That Sheltered Rescuers After 9/11 Attacks Might Be Forced To Close Its Doors

Where were you on 9/11? Many of us still ask that question today, 16 years after the fact. The events of that fateful day are stamped into our memories and hearts.

St. Joseph's Chapel, a Roman Catholic parish not too far from Ground Zero, was damaged by the terrorist attacks when a landing gear of one of the planes struck the roof. The church didn't close its doors though, but remained open 24/7 in the months following to offer support to rescuer workers.

The pastor, Fr. Kevin Madigan, heard confessions, celebrated Mass, and turned the chapel into a relief supply station for emergency crews.

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"We were the first place they were bringing all the emergency equipment. Everything was in disarray," Fr. Madigan said. "Supplies were piled six feet high all over the pews, bandages, gas masks, boots, hoses and cans of food for the workers and the volunteers, many of whom were sleeping in the pews on bedrolls."

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Long after debris was cleared and the people of Manhattan returned to their normal lives, St. Joseph's Chapel remained a memorial of those who lost their lives and the heroic efforts of rescue workers.

The New York Times

Although the chapel survived over the years, today it's in danger of closing due to high rent prices in the upscale area. In 2014, prices rose from $85,000 to over $260,000, and even after subsidies from the archdiocese, it isn't enough to keep the church open.  

Parishioners have expressed sadness of the impending closure, and are praying for a miracle.  

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"Prior to September 11th we were accustomed to look at the Twin Towers as the symbol of America’s strength and power in the world of trade, commerce and finance. But as those buildings turned to dust before our eyes, we came to look to each other to see where our true strength and power lie," said Fr. Kevin Madigan.

"Our true strength was in all those acts of compassion, those deeds of generosity and self-sacrifice that were performed that day and in the days, weeks and months afterward.”

Watch the video below:

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