Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm Not Endorsing, But....

...here's something else to like about Giuliani.

For over a hundred years St. Agnes Church in midtown Manhattan was a landmark for Catholic New Yorkers. Located a block from Grand Central Station, the place was God's gift to commuters: Feast day masses hosted thousands of churchgoers,daily masses hosted hundreds. On Ash Wednesday staff were posted at every turnstile in Grand Central, offering ashes to everyone who wanted them (and at New York speed, I might add). Confessions were heard for hours everyday- every day. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration every afternoon, with Benediction at 5 pm daily. DIH used to sing in a choir there.

Fifteen years ago, on December 10, 1992, St. Agnes burned down.

The news was a shock to the city. Newspapers and television covered the story for days. Here's one story from Sursum Corda magazine, summer 1998:

"It was an unseasonably warm December 10, about 2:30 in the afternoon, when office workers on the 32nd floor in the nearby Pfizer Chemical building first heard the insistent scream of fire engines. The sirens didn't stop. A thick smoke poured down the big avenue, down Second and Third, down 42nd Street, all emanating from the side street where St. Agnes has stood since 1873.

"At 2:30, Msgr. Clark was planning a benefit with two ladies over lunch, and they were lingering over dessert. Walking through Grand Central a few minutes later, he noticed the fire engines' incessant whine. the sound drew him to his home of many years. It was a four-alarm fire; firemen were everywhere. They allowed Msgr. Clark to dash inside to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament.

"There he found a most unlikely sight: Rudy Giuliani (now Mayor of New York), then working as an attorney in a nearby building, was wandering up and down the aisles looking for anyone who might have been overcome by smoke. He had already prevented two looters from stealing silver-plated candelabras."

There's just something about Rudy....

3 comments:

HEATHER said...

I love this story!
Thanks for sharing.

Joke said...

I'd like to record show, Your Honor, that inspite of his lamentably Uppah West Side social views, I am not one of those Catholics Against Rudy. (I'm not for him, either.)

But I like him.

-J.

Ray from MN said...

Rudy is kinda like General George Patton.

When you have an emergency, he's the guy you want in charge.

But when there is not an emergency, you don't always know what to do with him.