Plaque Sponsor

Dignity/Chicago, Dignity USA, Dignity/New York and Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach

1933 - 2001

"Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say. And keep me out of your way."

- Fr. Mychal Judge

Fr. Mychal was a beloved priest who made his way through the streets of New York in his Franciscan robes and sandals at all hours of the day and night. Gregarious and mischievous, he had a knack for telling great stories and bursting into old Irish standards at the drop of a hat. As well-known to the city’s mayor as he was to the homeless and the hungry, Fr. Mychal was a streetwise pastor, counselor, and peacemaker very much in touch with human vulnerability. Families wanted their babies baptized by him; firefighters arranged their marriages according to his schedule; and many prayed that he would officiate their funerals – especially gay men dying from AIDS. He left a deep impression on all who encountered him. Fr. Mychal was a regular at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and often spoke about the gift of sobriety. He was also open about being gay with the friars whom he felt he could trust and his friends from the gay Catholic group Dignity/New York, though he lamented in his diary "I thought of my gay self and how the people I meet never get to know me fully." He served as Chaplain to the New York Fire Department, and was particularly close to the firefighters of Engine 1-Ladder 24, whose firehouse was across the street from the friary where he lived. They loved him for his encyclopedic memory of their family members' names, birthdays, and interests. On September 11, 2001 he was among the first responders to the site of the World Trade Center terrorist bombing. After declining an invitation to join city officials in a place of safety, Fr. Mychal entered the North Tower saying that he needed to be with his men. He was killed by falling debris after administering the Last Rites to a dying firefighter. For his heroism and dedication to the FDNY Fr. Mychal Judge was given the solemn honor of being designated Victim 0001 – the first recorded casualty of 9/11. Nicknamed “Saint Mychal,” he remains an inspiration to many, especially New York firefighters and LGBT Roman Catholics worldwide.


Plaque Sponsor

Dignity/Chicago, Dignity USA, Dignity/New York and Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach

Lesson Plan


Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Gay

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Faith Construct Catholic

Nations Affiliated United States

Era/Epoch Information Age (1970-present) Post-Stonewall Era (1974-1980)

Field(s) of Contribution

Advocacy & Activism

Humanities & Religion


Social Justice

Social Sciences

US History

Commemorations & Honors

Father Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance in New York on the Sunday Before the 9/11 Anniversary (Annual)

The Rev. Mychal Judge Heart of New York Award Instituted by the New York Press Club

National 9/11 Memorial Judge is Memorialized at the South Pool on Panel S-18

Mychal Judge Police and Fire Chaplains Public Safety Officers Benefit Act Passed by Congress (2002)

Part of 31st Street Where He Lived Renamed Father Mychal F. Judge Street (2002)

Posthumous Dooley Award From GALA-ND/SMC University of Notre Dame Alumni Organization (2002)

Father Mychal Judge Memorial Keshcarrigan County Leitrim Ireland (2005)

Statue Dedicated in St. Joseph's Park in East Rutherford, New Jersey Across the Street from St. Joseph's Parish Where Judge Served (2015)


Related Videos


Original Biography Author
Victor Salvo
Biography Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Biography Vetted, Edited, and Certified By
Malcolm Lazin
Equality Forum
Image Rights Usage Granted By
Equality Forum
Image Source for Bronze Casting
Equality Forum
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell