Sunday, April 30, 2006

'Saint of 9/11': The Documentary

New York -- While most of the Tribeca Film Festival buzz has been about the film "United 93," we look forward to "Saint of 9/11," a loving tribute to Fire Department Chaplain Mychal Judge, the Franciscan priest who touched so many lives. The festival is to debut the film May 1, repeat it Thursday, 1:30, and again Friday, at 6 p.m. "Father Mike," as many knew him, was the son of Irish immigrants and a recovering alcoholic who ministered to a broad swathe of New Yorkers, including its police, firefighters, and other members of the city's working class . Homosexual himself, a fact unknown -- and probably irrelevant -- to many he helped during his life, he openly served New York's gay community, as well as those New Yorkers suffering from AIDS. He lost his life giving the last rites to a fallen firefighter on 9/11. Author and raconteur Malachy McCourt and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen are among those interviewed in the film. (In the picture left, Judge poses with members of the Fire Department of New York's Emerald Society Pipe Band.)

'Whisht' -- Help for Raising Your Kids With Irish

CUNY's Institute for Irish-American Studies at Lehman College has announced a new website for parents who are raising their children through the medium of the Irish language. The Center for Irish Language Acquisition, directed by Professor Tomás Ó h-Íde, established the site. More information is available at

Happy 75th Birthday to the Empire State Building

By the way, we highly recommend you celebrate the anniversary of the skyscraper's May 1, 1931, opening by reading Thomas Kelly's suspenseful novel, "Empire Rising," set against the landmark's 14 months of construction. The book, a real page-turner by its final 100 pages, is populated with such characters as Mayor Jimmy Walker, former New York Governor Al Smith, menacing Mafiosi, Irish gangsters, and a pair of finely wrought Cavan immigrants poignantly struggling to survive the city's mean streets.

Celebrating Launch of 'Catalpa Expedition'

New York University's Glucksman Ireland House will host the launch of John Devoy's "Catalpa Expedition," drawn from Devoy's records and the rescue ship's log. The project was brought to fruition by book editors Philip Fennell and Marie King, and includes an introduction by Terry Golway. RSVP requested for the launch, set for Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m.

Black 47 and Celtic Poets Live

On Friday at 9 p.m., CUNY's Graduate Center hosts Black 47 and Poets from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, in a performance at the Bowery Poetry Club. Cost is $15.00 For information call (212) 817-8215.

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