Father Brian Jordan:
Comfort at Ground Zero

Father Brian Jordan.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2002

Fr. Brian Jordan is a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street, the church of the late Fire Department Chaplain Fr. Mychal Judge and the present chaplain, Fr. Christopher Keenan. On September 11th, Fr. Jordan who lost many friends including Fr. Judge, went to Ground Zero to help where he could. In the days following September 11th, Fr. Jordan spent a lot of time blessing the dead of all denominations and also giving comfort to the living. It was two weeks after the disaster that Fr. Jordan was led by a construction worker to the shell of Six World Trade Center where two iron beams were welded together in the shape of a cross about 12 feet tall. He blessed the cross and shared communion there with four more rescue workers and two police officers. Jordan feels that the cross offers something symbolic and comforting to the workers at Ground Zero. “It is a sign that God is present there,” he says. He offered to bring the cross back to St. Francis of Assisi Church to preserve it, if necessary, but instead it will remain at the site, where it will form part of a permanent memorial to those who were lost. Speaking at the end of January, Fr. Jordan said, “It was nonstop from September 11 to the first week in January. I was down at Ground Zero in addition to doing my normal work but I found it so rewarding — it was the best of jobs and the worst of jobs. At Ground Zero, you see the effects of evil at its worst and goodness at its best.”

Jordan’s father’s family hail from County Wexford and his mother’s from County Kerry. ♦

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