I am so honored to be mentioned in SLATE's article on Fr. Mychal Judge, the "Saint of 9/11." Here's a snippet:
When Salvatore Sapienza saw the small classified ad in the back of OutWeek, a gay news magazine in New York, he thought it seemed like a sign. “In the spirit of Francis of Assisi,” the ad read, “serving our brothers and sisters affected by AIDS.” At the bottom was the address of the St. Francis AIDS Ministry on West 31st Street in Manhattan. Sapienza was gay—he had been out for years—but he was also a Marist Brother, a Catholic office similar to the priesthood. New York City in 1989 was not an easy place to be both gay and Catholic. The AIDS crisis would claim more than 5,000 people in the city that year, and the church was vocally opposed to condoms and homosexuality. Sapienza felt like that little bulletin, appearing among pages advertising sex phone lines and astrologists, was written just for him. A black-and-white drawing showed the 13th-century saint, a symbol of charity and humility, overlooking a pastoral landscape as skyscrapers loomed in the background. Sapienza found himself wondering who’d placed the ad.
The address for the St. Francis AIDS Ministry turned out to be the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Four people answered the ad, including Sapienza, and soon they were visiting AIDS patients in hospital rooms, praying for them and holding their hands. When Sapienza first showed up at the soaring 19th-century church, he was led inside to a tiny office on the ground floor of the attached friary. The beaming man who greeted him seemed big in every way: tall, loud, boisterous, and joyful. His name was Father Mychal Judge.
Read the full article HERE. Thank you to writer, Ruth Graham.