Father Mychal F. Judge, OFM, was a Franciscan priest who dedicated his life to serving God. Father Mychal shared his message with the homeless, recovering addicts, AIDS patients, and his work as a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department.
On September 11, 2001, Father Mychal unselfishly rushed to the World Trade Center to administer last rites to a firefighter. Father Mychal died shortly after when he was struck by debris. He became the first officially recorded fatality after the attack.
Father Mychal’s simple message still lives through a nonprofit organization that was created in January 2002, to honor his life’s work. Mychal’s Message was founded by his friend, 11-year-old Shannon Hickey. In the past, Shannon had celebrated the anniversary of her liver transplant with a party, presents and cake. But in 2002 Shannon decided to mark her anniversary in a more meaningful way by asking for socks for the homeless, instead of gifts, in memory of Father Mychal.
Shannon’s project quickly took off and she collected 1,500 socks. When the socks were distributed to the homeless with Father Mychal’s prayer attached, the family realized that the message of prayer was equally as important as the socks. Father Mychal’s inspiration led to Shannon’s inspiration, and she is certainly paying it forward and inspiring others to help those in need and share Mychal’s Message.
To read more about Father Mychal and his message, go to: Mychal’s Message