Priest asks for prayers for victims of Bronx fire and their families

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A priest in the Bronx, N.Y., tended to grieving families and asked for prayers for them as well as for victims of a Dec. 28 fire, one of the deadliest in New York City and the borough’s history, which left at least 12 dead and many fighting for their lives.

Father Jonathan Morris, pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx, spent hours following the fire consoling families at hospitals as they grappled with the injury, loss or uncertainty of what would happen to their loved ones.  

“I was doing what any pastor would do,” said Fr. Morris in a Dec. 29 telephone interview with Catholic News Service.

Some families in the apartment building are part of the parish so he rushed to the location “as soon as I could get there,” he said. The apartment building at 2363 Prospect Ave., is about half a mile from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx, the northernmost borough in New York City.

It’s unclear how many of the fatalities and injuries involve parishioners. Many names have not been made public.

The New York Times said the blaze is the “city’s deadliest in more than a quarter-century.”

Authorities said on Dec. 29 that the fire was caused by a child playing with the burners of a stove.

The dead, so far, include four children.

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