Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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15 Years After 9/11, Are Congregations Prepared for Disasters?
By Adelle M. Banks   |  Sep 12, 2016

In late August, as the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks loomed, religious leaders tuned into a webinar to prepare themselves for a possible future disaster.

“Who was the first official casualty of 9/11?” asked Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a Catholic priest and psychologist who led the webinar on “Shepherding in Tragic Times.”

“Father Mychal Judge,” he said, answering his own question, and referring to the priest who was fatally injured while ministering amid the chaos of the North Tower lobby.

“We ourselves, too, are first responders,” Rossetti continued. “People — sure they need firefighters, sure they need police. But we bring our faith and our compassion and our care and our community to help people.”

More than 150 participants — priests, lay people, Catholics, Protestants — listened, asked questions and took notes, in hopes of being in a better position to help others as well as themselves if a natural disaster or a terrorist attack hit their local area.

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