9-11Memorial Mass

as documented by the Pennsylvania State Council at

On September 11, 2002, members of the Knights of Columbus gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. Joined by over 1100 men in full regalia, those in attendance remembered those who died on 9/11/2001 in the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington was the celebrant of the Holy Mass. The Most Reverend Thomas V. Daily, Bishop of Brooklyn and Supreme Chaplain was the homilist. Of those who died, 45 were members of the Knights of Columbus. There were approximately 100 men and their ladies from Pennsylvania. State Deputy Aaron Cubbage and IPSD C. Jeffrey Schutz joined Pennsylvania East District Master Russel Riegel and Former Masters Bernard Pallo and Wayne Freet, along with a large contingent of color corps from Pennsylvania. Following the Mass, there was a Commemorative Service.


In his welcoming remarks, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson addressed those gathered. “Today is a day of prayer and remembrance. But, it is also a day of resolution. We continue to bear the heavy responsibility of defending the common good of our nation and of the family of nations. We remember all those who have freely gone forward during the past year in the pursuit of justice, to defend freedom, and who have also made the ultimate sacrifice.” (Complete text)

 A Papal Exhortation to Prayer for Peace was read. This was from Pope John Paul II’s 2002 Message for the Celebration of World Day of Peace, delivered on December 8, 2001. Starting with a flame from the Holy Father’s Peace Lamp, Supreme Knight Anderson and Supreme Chaplain, Bishop Thomas V. Daily spread the flame to candles held by those in attendance. Bishop Daily then led the Papal Prayer for Peace.

The congregation was then addressed by Major General Patrick H. Brady, USA (ret.) and Judge William F. Downes, U.S. District Court for the District of  Wyoming.

Concluding the ceremony was Captain Alfredo Fuentes of the New York City Fire Department. The color corps displayed and posted the 28 official U.S. flags, flown since 1777. After the colors assembled at the front of the basilica, Captain Fuentes led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Captain Alfredo Fuentes was permanently disabled when the North Tower of the world trade center collapsed.

Captain Fuentes was the acting battalion chief for his division on September 11 and lead fireboat rescue teams from the Brooklyn Naval Yard to Lower Manhattan to ferry survivors to local hospitals. When the North Tower collapsed, he was pinned under steel girders. He sustained a fractured skull, as were his left hand and fingers. Nine of his ribs were broken and had a collapsed lung. He survived by maintaining radio contact, slipping into unconsciousness at times, while dispatchers guided other rescuers to his position. Captain Fuentes is a nearly 20-year member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 3701, Woodside New York.  Captain Fuentes led the recessional of the flags and color corps as those gathered sang God Bless America.