Father Mychal

The Homeless




Fr. Mychal’s Inspiration.

Father Mychal Judge, OFM was an extraordinary Franciscan priest who dedicated his life to serving God’s people.  He is known for his work with the homeless, recovering addicts and AIDS patients, as well as his work as chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. 

On September 11, 2001, he arrived quickly at the scene of the World Trade Center attacks. After administering last rites to a firefighter, Father Mychal was hit by debris and killed. He became the first officially recorded fatality following the attack. 

During his life, Fr. Mychal spent much of his time ministering to the homeless on the Breadline at St. Francis Church in New York City.  This is where he found God: in the faces on the street, the hurting, broken and needy of this world.

He was also our dear family friend, praying with us over the years,  helping us through periods of serious illness and times that tested our faith. His dedication to homeless men, women, and children has become a calling to us that manifests itself as Mychal’s Message.

Learn more about Father Mychal, here.

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The Homeless

LEARN about Homelessness
National Coalition for the Homeless
Or Here: St. Francis Inn Education and Advocacy web page

How the Homeless Inspire
The following was written by Rev. Frank L. Fowler III of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Hackettstown, NJ.  Rev. Fowler and Fr. Mychal once worked together ministering to the same community. We can not imagine a more eloquent and articulate way to express how the homeless inspire us to act.

On My Mind
By Frank L. Fowler III

A Weekly Column of Reflections and News from Trinity United Methodist Church, Hackettsotwn, NJ


Good Day,
They looked sad.
Very sad.
As they came into my office it seemed that the weight of the world was on their young shoulders.  And it was.
These two young adults…a young woman….a young man….friends.
And I listened to their story.
There was much that was familiar…for after many years of listening, the themes are usually the same.
Difficult beginnings.  Difficult breaks.   Hard choices.  Some poor choices.  Limited help.
And here they were in my office at 7:30 pm.
And hungry.
We talked about options.  They seemed to be few.
We talked about sources of help. Also few.
We talked about people who could help. Family. Friends.
Fewer still.
In the midst of the talk came the tears.
It was about 20 degrees outside.
I had decisions to make.
A phone call to a motel found a room available.
A check of our Lord’s Pantry found food.
The plan was to drive them to the motel, and through the ministry of the local clergy association assistance fund, see that they had 2 nights of lodging.
I handed the young  man  two  bags of food as we prepared to go to my car.
“Are there CANS of food in here?” he asked shyly.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Well,” he said quietly, “ we don’t have a can-opener.”
I went to the office kitchen and rummaged through the drawers.

Now, I don’t have answers as to why so many people are homeless.
I don’t know why I was blessed with a good start in life and received the benefits of a family who cared so well for me.
I don’t know why some caring adults reached out to me
When I was a  young adult, and helped me over
the hard places
And I don’t know why life’s twists and turns have so favored me
while so many people sleep in train stations or under bridges.
But I DO know that I cannot thank God for all my blessings without
also  helping those who do not have them.
I DO know that I cannot allow the sheer magnitude of the homeless and hunger problem to paralyze me into inaction.
And I DO know that the Church of Jesus Christ must be a part of the solution.

I drove them to the motel and checked them in, then drove around to the door of their room.
The young man got out of the rear seat with the two bags of food, and they went inside.
And I drove away thinking that sometimes the love of God
looks like
a can-opener.

One can opener needed for the church kitchen.

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This page was last updated on: September 2010.

Mychal's Message, Inc. is registered as a charitable organization with the Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. Section 16.2 et seq., and is authorized to solicit charitable contributions under the conditions and limitations set forth under the Act.  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Charitable Organizations