As they mourn the loss of retired priest Francis Grogan on September 11, parishioners at Holy Cross Catholic Church in South Easton, Massachusetts, say they will always remember the warmth and gentleness of a man they called "Father Frank."

Grogan, 76, who was on United Flight 175, was traveling from Boston to Los Angeles to visit his sister. He was 76. The jet was the second to crash into the World Trade Center last Tuesday morning.

"Father Frank was a man of simplicity and of great prayer," says Father John Santone, the associate pastor at the church and a fellow member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. "He was compassionate, loving, a truly understanding man who took people as they were and did everything he could to bring them closer to God."

More than 1,600 priests and brothers are part of the order, which was founded in France in 1837 and is active in 15 countries. Its members serve primarily in high schools and colleges, as well as in parish ministry.

Anne Tarallo, the church's office manager and a parishioner since 1995, described Grogan as "the epitome of a priest."

"He was a wonderful, warm, gentle man," she says.

Tarallo says Grogan served as the church's parochial vicar for six years and remained active in the area after his retirement in 1997.

"He was busier afterwards, helping out in all the area parishes," Tarallo says.

Santone says the grief of the 1,850 families in the church tempered by fond memories of Grogan.

"I think the attitude in our parish is, 'Weren't [those people on the plane] lucky to have him on board?'" Santone says. "He probably was on that plane, leading them in prayer."

Related Elsewhere

See the Web site for Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Christianity Today's other articles on the attacks include:

Taking It Personally | What do we do with all this anger? (Sept. 14, 2001)

'Is That Thunder?' | With metal cracking at the World Trade Center, New York pastors cry out to God. (Sept. 14, 2001)

Shaken Christians Turn to Prayer | Impromptu services usher in the bereaved by word of mouth, road signs, and e-mail. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Christians Provide Comfort in the Shadow of Calamity | Still "stunned and reeling," New Yorkers seek support at prayer service. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Illinois Pastor on Fatal Flight | Jeffrey Mladenik, 43, was involved in workplace ministry, international adoption. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Communication Troubles Challenge U.S. Church Relief Agencies | Aid work continues amid atmosphere of shock, fear, and sporatic harrassment. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Reflections on Suffering | Classic and contemporary quotations for dark times. (Sept. 13, 2001)

When Sin Reigns | An event like this shows us what humans are capable of becoming—both as children of darkness and of light. (Sept. 13, 2001)

In the Belly of the Beast | Christians, calling terrorist attack "satanically brilliant," minister at epicenter of World Trade disaster. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Churches, Agencies Respond to Attacks | Leaders call for prayer, justice, and mercy. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Muslims Fear a Backlash | No matter who is responsible, observers feel a reaction will still be present. (Sept. 12, 2001)

A Wake-Up Call to Become Global Christians | The deadly attacks on America will provoke many responses, but Christians are commanded to love our neighbors. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Nation's Religious Leaders Urge Calm, Pray for Peace | Churches will maintain prayer vigils for victims and leaders. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Church Leaders Around World Deplore 'Unspeakable Horror' of Attack | Christians urged to unite in prayer as they unite in shock and denunciation. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Experts Say Spiritual Roots Will Aid in Coping With Catastrophe | Pray and connect with others, advise nation's chaplains. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Fear and Hate | In times like this, as in all other times, Christians have a responsibility to love above all else. (Sept. 11, 2001)

God's Message in the Language of Events | In the face of evil, we must focus on keeping our hearts right. (Sept. 11, 2001)
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For in-depth and continuing coverage, see The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and Yahoo full coverage.

Yahoo has also compiled aid organization contact information, closure notification, and survivor lists.

For more Christian perspectives and responses, see various articles posted on,, and

The Text This Week, a resource for pastors, has collected sermons and reflections in response to the Sept. 11 events.

The BBC,, The Village Voice, and USA Today have photo essays of the destruction.

For video or audio coverage, see CNN, ABC News, and Sky News. The Washington Post is running a live Web cam of the Pentagon building.

The Washington Post has a list of tenants of the World Trade Center and a graphic depicting the attack.

Yahoo has also compiled aid organization contact information, closure notification, and survivor lists.

President Bush addressed the nation on the evening of Sept. 11 (video | transcript). He declared Sept. 14, 2001 a national day of prayer. Bush first learned of the World Trade Center tragedy while preparing to speak to schoolchildren in Sarasota, Fla.. There, he asked Amercians for a moment of silence for the victims.

The Pope and Billy Graham have spoke out on the tragedy and sent out prayers to the victims and their families. explained who responds to crisis situations.

An Interpol report details the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.