Fr. Gerald Murray of St. Vincent De Paul Church remembers going to the roof of his rectory in Chelsea when he saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
â€œIt was quite dramatic,â€ he
recalled, momentarily stunned by what he
saw that morning 10 years ago.
Having served as a Navy Reserve chaplain, Fr. Murray
explained that he
was taught that the â€œchaplain doesn't go to the battle line, he
goes where they bring the wounded â€" the aid station.â€
â€œImmediately I saw the priest at St. Vincent's
and I said 'could you use some help?' and he
said 'yes' so I stayed at St. Vincent's the whole morning and gave absolution to people who were being wheeled in.â€
He was later joined by former archbishop of New York Cardinal Edward Egan and a diocesan priest who was the chaplain of the Port Authority police who was covered in soot from being downtown.
remembers the sudden screams that went up from those around him at the hospital as they helplessly looked on from a distance when the Twin Towers began collapsing.
Later in the day, â€œI went back to my parish to say Mass, and that was one of the most dramatic feelings,â€ he
said. â€œSaying Mass knowing that we'd been hit by this evil.â€
In the following months, Fr. Murray spent substantial amounts of time at Ground Zero.
â€œThe city really snapped into action,â€ Fr. Murray
said, noting that then-mayor Rudy Guliani came by that morning to St. Vincent's
â€œMy parish is on 23rd street,â€ Fr. Murray
noted, â€œwhich is a main crosstown route for any transport but it became the route for any ambulances that recovered remains.â€