Tributes are being paid to a much-loved chaplain to the New York Fire Department, Monsignor John Delendick, who was one of those who ministered to victims of the 9/11 attacks.
He had suffered from cancer, which was blamed on toxic particles that were released into the air in the south of Manhattan when the Twin Towers collapsed.
His colleague Chaplain Father Mychal Judge, one of the first responders when the World Trade Centre was attacked on 11th September, 2001, was inside the North Tower when it came down in a cloud of dust and rubble, and was the first certified death from the tragedy.
Msgr. Delendick arrived at the site that would become know as Ground Zero soon after the second tower was hit. Over the years that followed he attended funerals, memorials and paid frequent visits to firefighters, both active and retired, who had been among the rescuers on America’s darkest day.
He went on to take part in humanitarian missions to deliver supplies to children’s hospitals in Baghdad.
In 2003 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as a “Chaplain to His Holiness,” becoming a member of the Papal Household.
On their Twitter/X account, the New York Fire Department said:
“The FDNY is saddened to announce the death of FDNY Chaplain Monsignor John Delendick, a 28-year veteran of the Department who succumbed to World Trade Center related cancer on November 23, 2023. Monsignor Delendick was 74 years old.”
THE FDNY Foundation website, wrote:
“Monsignor Delendick was a great friend and supporter of the FDNY Foundation and we will miss him.
“Monsignor Delendick began as a Chaplain with the FDNY in 1996. In this role, he bestowed blessings upon new graduates, members being promoted, and the Department’s marine fleet. He participated in plaque dedications, present at funerals, and visited with Department members. ” They described him as “ a dedicated religious servant.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called his death a “heartbreaking loss” for the entrie city. “Monsignor Delendick touched countless lives, providing comfort and prayer to FDNY members and all those in need. He left an indelible mark on our city. We join the entire Fire Department and every New Yorker in mourning his loss, as we pray for Monsignor Delendick’s family and friends.”