The 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was remembered across the country. True to Holy Cross traditions, our four colleges and universities supported their students, faculty, staff and larger communities through various forms of healing and spiritual commemoration. From Masses to vigils, thousands gathered to mark the solemn day, but to also forgive as Jesus calls on each of us to do as Christians. As the anniversary took place on the 24th Sunday of Ordinary time, the Gospel was fittingly from Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unforgiving servant.
This message really hit home on the campus of Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., where we lost many members of our community, including one of our own religious, Rev. Francis Grogan, C.S.C. Fr. Grogan was aboard United Flight 175 flying standby to visit his sister in California; that plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Fr. Grogan taught English and Theology and also served as registrar and director of admissions at Stonehill, along with being associate pastor at Holy Cross Church in South Easton, Mass. On Sunday, September 11, 2011, New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan celebrated Mass using Fr. Grogran's chalice and paten. The Mass was held at St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street, New York (the site of the first mass offered by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., in the United States). Holy Cross has been invited to send a representative as a "family member" to the annual memorial services at Ground Zero. For several years, Rev. James Preskenis, C.S.C., a former Assistant Provincial for the former Eastern Province, represented Holy Cross. This year, U.S. Province Assistant Provincial Rev. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., attended and concelebrated with Archbishop Dolan.
Three other Stonehill College alumni were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Stonehill marked the 10-year anniversary with a candlelight procession, prayer service, and reading of the victims' names. Many other Stonehill alumni were first responders at Ground Zero.
At the University of Notre Dame, it's estimated that approximately 50 students lost members of their families in the 9/11 attacks. A Mass was held outdoors in front of the "Word of Life Mural" followed by a procession to the Grotto; thousands of students attended. Visit the picture gallery from the moving services.
At the University of Portland, Air Force ROTC students held a 24-hour vigil from 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and conclude at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. The University's bell tower also tolled for one minute at the exact moments of each of the three attacks.
Despite a forced flooding evacuation of Kings College earlier in the week, the college community still held their vigil before the 8 p.m. Sunday Mass for the victims of 9/11 and their families.During the Mass, the victims and their families were prayed for.