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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Tuesday of the 23rd week in ordinary time

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.

We cannot begin this day without acknowledging what this date means in our history.  It has been 17 years since the events of 9/11/2001.  I think we can all agree that it has changed our world forever.

I was one of the millions in NYC on that day.  I was attending a meeting at our seminary in Whitestone, Queens.  The meeting had just begun when the secretary came in and said that something had happened.  We turned on the television and saw that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Towers.  We went up to the roof and from that distance, from Whitestone, Queens to the southern tip of Manhattan is probably about 10 miles.  From that distance, it looked like a very small hole in a very large building.  Then we watched the second plane crash into the next Tower.  Then, in horror, we saw one Trade collapse and then the other.

I went through a whole range of feelings.  At first, I just wanted to get there.  I wanted to put on my Roman collar and try to help.  But, of course, no one was allowed onto the island of Manhattan, everyone was being asked to leave.  Then, strangely, I felt somehow responsible.  This was a human act.  I am a human person.  Perhaps it was holding aloft my sinfulness, my apathy, and lethargy.

There was little talk up there on the roof.  When it got to be noontime, we started to go downstairs.  It was time for lunch.  I’ll never forget what one of the men said as we were sitting down at table.  He said, “I am so grateful that we have this opportunity to sit down and share a meal together.”

I knew exactly what he meant.  The victims of 9/11, on that Tuesday morning, when they sat down for breakfast, they had no idea that that would be the last meal that they would share together as a family.  When they kissed their spouse goodbye or hugged their children, they had no idea that that would be the last time they would get to express their love.

These thoughts come to mind in light of what the Apostle Paul was experiencing in Corinth.  It was a Christian community that was divided.  They were taking each other to court. They were siding with personalities rather than with God. They had not reached the level of spiritual maturity that would constitute them being called a “church.”  They lacked an appreciation for the diversity that allows people of different backgrounds and cultures to live together in peace.

I hope that is the lesson the world can learn from the tragic events of 9/11 and so many other terrorist attacks throughout the world.  We need to find within ourselves the desire to live in peace.  A shared faith would be helpful but is not necessary.  What is necessary is an acknowledgment of our shared humanity. Once that hurdle is crossed, everything else is possible.


Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.


From: Mary C. Weaver <>
Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2018 4:28 PM
To: kevin mac donald
Subject: Re: Sept. 11th, English

Thanks, Father Kevin.

I remember talking on the phone with a friend as the events of 9/11 occurred. There was no cable TV in the Chancery, where I was working at the time, so I couldn’t see what was going on. I asked her if we were at war, and she said she thought so. That war has never ended, and as you suggest, nothing much has changed since then.

Thanks for all you do for us.

Mary C. Weaver
Director of Communications
The Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province

Mobile: 865-437-8620

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From: Father Kevin MacDonald <>
Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 12:24 PM
To: “Mary C. Weaver” <>
Subject: Sept. 11th, English

Hi Mary,

17 years since 9/11/2001.  I can’t see any big lessons learned yet.


Fr. Kevin