FBI Chaplain Paul Wierichs
September 11, 2006, Palm Beach Post, "FBI chaplain recalls unparalleled havoc," by John Lantigua
Wierichs worked for 14 years as the Catholic chaplain to FBI agents in New York City. He bolstered them as they investigated the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, which killed six and injured more than 1,000. He offered them spiritual support as they scoured the grisly remains of TWA Flight 800, which crashed on Long Island in 1996, killing 230 people.
During the following week, Wierichs recalls, 18 people were pulled alive from the wreckage, but hundreds and hundreds were brought out dead, day and night.
"The fire department guys always insisted on carrying their own," he says. "Everyone would stop and salute and I would step forward and anoint them."
He also discovered a makeshift morgue established nearby in a Brooks Brothers men's clothing store.
"They had no body bags yet, so they used Brooks Brothers apparel bags to hold the body parts," he says, with a shake of the head and, even now a look of disbelief.
One day he went to nearby St. Patrick Church, where more bodies had been taken. Lying right in front of the altar was a corpse covered by a blanket and a priest's stole draped over it. The stole is the narrow vestment a priest wears over his shoulders for certain ceremonies.
The body was that of the Rev. Mychal Judge, a fire department chaplain who had died with his men inside the World Trade Center.
September 28, 2005, The Maple Leaf (Canadian National Defense) "The humanity of inhumanity: September 11 revisited," by Kristina Davis,
Senior Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Chaplain (New York Division) Stephen Unger.
The "pastor of disaster"
The traffic was gridlocked in Manhattan as he snagged a ride toward the towers with three NYPD officers. Ironically, they were trying to get to the chaos as hundreds and even thousands of people streamed from the downtown. One officer, Scott, who Chaplain Unger describes as "a little excitable” decided he would clear the traffic—waving his 9 mm in the middle of the street.
Though the tactic worked, Chaplain Unger turned to the officer and said: “Scott, you know I’m a chaplain and that’s not good for my image. Next time, you can borrow my crucifix if you’d like.”
He speaks about Father Mychal Judge the New York City Fire Department chaplain who died of a heart attack shortly after the first tower was hit. Truly loved, his death certificate bears the number 00001, making him the first official casualty of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Chaplain Unger was one of the men who came upon Father Judge’s body, lovingly laid in the 163-year-old St. Peter’s Church. He had been carried there in a chair by some of New York City’s finest and laid at the altar—his body covered by a sheet, his head surrounded by his own blood, and his credentials—as they are called—placed on the sheet.
And while it was erroneously reported that Father Judge died while giving last rites to a firefighter, Chaplain Unger confirms he did die of a heart attack. And he died first, the firefighters who loved him say, so he could be there to greet them at Heaven’s gate.
Dr. Michael K. Haynes is the President and Founder of The Faith Based Counselor Training Institute. Michael is a prolific creative writer and the author of 60 books in addition to curriculums for FBCTI, Canyon Creek Seminary and numerous other schools. Dr. Haynes also founded Crisis Chaplaincy Care following his year of service at Ground Zero in New York City during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of9/11. He is a licensed pastoral counselor having served as a senior pastor for 16 years. He also operated a private counseling practice and center for several years following. Dr. Haynes has been in the ministry since 1969.
Bishop David Hartman has an extensive background in crisis intervention. He was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to oversee the entire crisis clergy coordination at Ground Zero in New York City following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He is a 22 year veteran retired detective with the New York Police Department and over sees over 200 churches around the world. He holds a Ph.D. in counseling and is a highly sought after speaker. Dr. Hartman and Dr. Haynes became close friends as they worked for over a year together helping the victim’s family's of 9/11. He is also heavily involved in developing the churches of Nigeria.
The Spirit of the Law,
Spiritual Resources For Law Enforcement,
Dr. Steven Davis spearheaded SpiritoftheLaw.org website as a resource for Law Enforcement Administration, EAP units,
Steven L. Davis, Ph.D., is an FBI Chaplain, assigned to Washington, DC and Quantico, VA. In this capacity he is a resource provided by the Bureau to the employees and families of the agency. FBI chaplains work in cooperation with the Employee Assistance Program, and are available for call outs 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide critical incident debriefings, to help employees and their family members find direction in solving personal, family and emotional problems. He was called out to the PentBomb site for the first several days after the terrorist attacks in September 2001. The presence of a Chaplain is requested at critical incidents, such as the 9-11-2001 attacks in New York and the Pentagon, as well as to ERT, death notifications and on an as-needed basis at the request of an employee or of the Bureau.