Saint of 9/11 - The True Story of Father Mychal Judge
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I did not experience this work as a work about a gay man or gay priest or an alcoholic man or an alcoholic priest who showed courage on 9/11. Instead, I experienced this work as being about a man who dealt with alcoholism and who happened to be gay. Each truth is but a component of the man, neither one is his definition. The defining truth about Father Mychal Judge is found in his courage, honesty, capacity for acceptance, his non-judgement of others and his unflinching loyalty to the firefighters. A loyalty that is underscored when one learns that Mayor Guiliani told Father Mychal, who was at the WTC with the firefighters, he could join the mayor's party and go to a safe place. Father Mychal said, "No, I've got to stay with my men."
Father Mychal was administering to a dying firefighter when he was killed in the collapse of the first tower. Father Mychal Judge understood that, as I have heard in the rooms of AA, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less about yourself." I think everyone should see this documentary. Perhaps Father Mychal Judge knew there is no safer place than heaven.
Fr. Mychal is universally seen as a 'living saint' and Brooklyn's favorite son: a protector of the city's disenfranchised and spiritual guide for the average Joe.
Through a series of anecdotes that director Glenn Holsten smoothly gels into one another, you get to know about the Franciscan priest with 'the wild laugh' whose passion was to simply serve others.
While Fr. Mychal was a superhuman dynamo, he was admittedly not perfect. And yet, you get the impression that he's looked into his soul, judged himself accordingly and moved onward with his life.
While Saint is not an overtly gay film, Fr. Mychal's sexuality cannot be ignored in this review. His sexuality was a part of the priest's personhood. What makes Holsten's direction so powerful is that he doesn't ignore the topic nor treat it with heavy-handed diatribe.
In the end, viewers are left in awe, wishing that they've known a "Fr. Mychal" in their lives. At the same time, they are left open to the audacious possiblity that they could be a "Fr. Mychal"!
If you are looking to be inspired, this is the DVD to buy!
If you loved Mother Theresa, you should love this guy. He helped the homeless. He had ethnic pride. A black man was interviewed who spoke of how Judge befriended and aided him; I get the sense the Father was an anti-racism advocate.
He was human like everyone else, just with a big heart. He admitted to struggling with alcoholism. He got a shamrock tattoo "somewhere private" without realizing it. He was not out everywhere, so the closet was a challenge for him, like many gay men.
Many bigots say that gay men can't be patriotic and are immoral. Here was a man full of ethics. He died helping those in need. He should be respected by people of all sexualities.
I read a review elsewhere that said he couldn't be gay because he was a priest. However, in this work, the people who knew him said he identified as gay. Deal with it if you can't! If I remember correctly, they do not say whether he was always celibate. They could have been braver by truthfully addressing that issue.
Ian McKellen follows Harvey Fierstein in being an openly gay man narrating a documentary about another openly gay man. His voice has the resonance and authority that one would expect for such an accomplished actor.
At times gushy, this piece was still a powerful one that every American should enjoy and from which every American should learn.
"Saint of 9/11" provides glimpses of Mychal's struggle with the consequences of his homosexuality and alcoholism, but only slivers of light on the battles with the Church hierarchy. The snippets of tape from a Mass he celebrated with firefighters the day before 9/11 show a priest of ordinary homiletic prowess. But it was the power his deeds that far outshone the rather ordinary theology he preached from the pulpit. His desire to share the lives of his men, even as planes were crashing and bodies falling, was what set him apart from his brother priests, and from the rest of us as well. Requiem in pace, Mychal, you have been a good and faithful servant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being Cathlotic it's hard to respect a priest that's gay. It's like having both worlds and it's unfair to good decent priests all over who follow the doctrain of our religion. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Dana Joyce
Wonderful documentary of a very "human" Franciscan priest who loved the NYFD and the poor of NYC. It's clear that the feeling was mutual.Published 3 months ago by Bikeman
Having known him personally as a firefighter from Ky I must say he truly was a saint on this earth. Watching the video the British Filmmakers made I can honestly say I never in all... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert Schulenberg
A delicate and honest telling of the story of a genuinely holy man of our times. For those who wonder if saints live today, this is the flick to see.Published 7 months ago by Desert Father
The documentary on the Saint of 9/11 is an excellent documentary with testimony of friends and co-workers of Fr, Mychal.
I am a prison chaplain and used it with inmates. Read more