Phoenix Churches Hold Interfaith 9/11 Memorial Service

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 5:18pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (914.58 KB)

St. Mary
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
St. Mary's Basilica in downtown Phoenix.

St. Mary’s Basilica and Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Phoenix held a combined service Saturday, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11  terrorist attacks.

Rev. Michael Weldon of St. Mary’s and Pastor Sarah Stadler of Grace Lutheran Church told their individual recollections of the attacks to a combined congregation.

Weldon says the church has held a special September 11 service every year since he became director, but the combined service was a way to bring more people together on the anniversary of the event.

“It brings two old communities together, and in some ways does what we do best. Sometimes we can’t do worship in the way that we would like to. We try to just attend to people, best we can, together,” said Weldon.

Weldon said during the service that the combined congregation was a last-minute decision, but the churches often combine to serve the surrounding community.

“Grace Lutheran and our church do a downtown heat respite during the summer, we do combined food programs, and then prayer services whenever we have opportunities for interfaith stuff,” said Weldon.

Weldon says he has a special connection to 9/11, as the first certified casualty of the attacks was a Catholic Priest.