Church of St. Patrick in Armonk

St Patrick’s in Armonk Commemorate the Victims of September 11th.

On Sunday, November 25, 2001 AD, the Catholic Community of St Patrick in Armonk blessed a cross commemorating all victims of violence. Special memory will be for the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

            Bishop Anthony Mestice of Resurrection Parish in Rye offered the 10.30 Sunday Eucharist for the St Patrick’s Community, to celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King, the concluding Sunday of the Catholic church year. After the Mass in the Church, the community proceeded to the new shrine area for the Holy Cross near Cox Ave. for the formal prayers of blessing.  Close to 400 of the Community attended.

The Community of St Patrick suffered several losses in the attacks of September 11th.   Parishioner Tom Palazzo died that day, as well as Firefighter Charles Garbarini, who lived in Pleasantville. In addition, like every other community, St Patrick’s parishioners all had relatives or friends or acquaintances who went to God that day.

            For some time, the parish council had deliberated on the possibility of a cross identifying their parish campus.  Several visitors to Armonk have said that they did not know that they were passing the church since the church edifice is in off the road.  In addition, with the growth of the local community, Cox Avenue on which the parish church is located is becoming a major by-pass for Main St, Armonk, so that drivers can move around the congested downtown area. Once, at a distance from town activity, the parish campus witnesses much vehicular traffic each day. Traffic congestion on Sundays is a usual difficulty before, during and after Masses.

            The new shrine was designed by Joe Bilotti of Greenwich, an associate of D’Ambrosio Church Artists in Mount Kisco.  The cross itself was selected by Bob Morris, a seminarian-intern assigned to St Patrick’s by St Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. During the Mass and Solemn Blessing, the St Patrick’s Children’s Choral Group directed by parishioner Jennifer Weiss sang a Madrigal for Peace.        

Father John Quinn, pastor of the parish, made the connection with the victims of violence and the cross back on September 14th.  That Friday was a National Day of Mourning for the victims of terror on September 11th. For Catholics, it was the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross.

Catholics can, through faith, see the multivalent symbolism between the death of Jesus Christ, a victim Himself of the institutional terrorism of the Roman Empire, and all victims of terrorism and violence. 1)  Catholics believe that God will triumph over evil in all its forms. 2) They believe that the death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of the road for Him, rather the gateway to the Resurrection.  3) Catholics believe that everything in their lives has to be interpreted through the victory of Christ the King on the Cross. 4) They believe that every human life, without exception, can find its meaning in the death and Resurrection of the Lord.

    The Parish Council and Father Quinn decided that an apt day for the dedication of the new Cross and Shrine would be Christ the King Sunday, November 25th.

That day, Catholics throughout the world heard Luke describe Jesus’ last moments on the cross.  In addition to resisting the triple temptation to “save yourself” jeered at Him, the dying Jesus turned to a criminal hanging on the cross alongside Him and said, “This day, you will be with Me in paradise.” In his dying gasps, Jesus still thought of others more than Himself.  He wants all of us to try to do the same with His Help.

Hundreds of parishioners in procession moved from the church to the area of the new cross for its solemn blessing by Bishop Mestice.  As one participant said, “it was like the original Calvary.  Jesus’ followers were watching with him and praying” with faith that His Cross is a symbol of victory and not of defeat”, just as St Luke described in his Gospel account of the death of Jesus. Several remained in prayer at the Shrine after the ceremony concluded.

It is hoped that many from the community will see the Shrine of the Holy Cross as a wayside place to come and pray.  Later, a bench and a permanent commemorative plaque will be placed there.

  Return to home.