FDNY chaplain John Delendick who consoled firefighters after 9/11 dies of cancer tied to aftermath at Ground Zero

An FDNY chaplain who consoled grieving firefighters following the 9/11 terror attacks died early Thursday of cancer-related illness due to Ground Zero’s aftermath. He was 74.

Monsignor John Delendick was remembered as a “spiritual constant and staple” in the FDNY during his 28 years of service, Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said in a statement Thursday.

“Immediately after the immeasurable losses of September 11th, he stepped up to provide guidance and comfort to FDNY members and other first responders,” Kavanagh said.

“In his decades long career as a chaplain with the FDNY, he was a pillar at Department funerals, graduations, promotions, and memorials.

“He was always quick with a joke and a kind word and had a way of making everyone feel special. He was beloved, and we are heartbroken over his passing.”

Delendick, a monsignor in the Catholic Church, died after a “long battle” with 9/11-related cancer, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association said in a Facebook post.

Monsignor John Delendick was remembered as a “spiritual constant and staple,” Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.
John Roca

Delendick started as a department chaplain in 1996, taking on a larger role with the department following the 2001 terror attack that killed Chaplain Father Mychal Judge, who was the first certified fatality from that horrific day.

He spent his days in the aftermath attending memorial and funeral services and checking in with other members involved in the rescue of victims when the planes hit the World Trade Center.

One of the members he helped was Joseph Higgins, whose brother Timothy was killed on 9/11.

Monsignor John Delendick died after a long battle with 9/11-related cancer, the Fire Officers Association said.
New York Post

“He was always there for every fireman all the way up to the end,” Joseph Higgins, 62 and now retired, told Newsday Thursday.

“He never let his illness stop him. That’s just really brave, just as brave as the guys that crawl down the hallway.”

Higgins’ connection to Delendick was so important he asked him to officiate his wedding in 2005.

Monsignor John Delendick started as a department chaplain in 1996, eventually stepping up to take on a larger role following the 9/11 terror attack.
New York Post

“I needed him to be the guy,” Higgins told the newspaper. “And it was a wonderful experience for both me and my wife.” 

More than 300 FDNY members have died from 9/11-connected illnesses.

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