Rosemary Brennan, CSJ, delivering the benediction and words of comfort at the Statehouse. 

The Legacy of the Children

9/11 Memorial at The Massachusetts Statehouse:
Benediction and Words of Comfort

Rosemary Brennan, CSJ

Good morning, I am honored to be with you this morning and humbled to participate in this annual Massachusetts 9/11 Commemorative experience. This date of September 11 is one, as you well know, that is seared in our souls and the soul of our nation. On that heartbreaking day 22 years ago, your lives were forever changed. 

So, coming together each year to remember the loved ones you so tragically lost and to be mindful of all who so courageously gave of themselves on that day and in the days to follow is our sacred responsibility. 

In the immediate aftermath of that awful day there was a coming together as a nation community as we grieved and mourned with you, as we tried to express support and care. We even allowed our kinder and more compassionate side as a nation to emerge. However, somehow, we, as a people and country, have lost the memory of how we tried to be our better selves at that time. 

Thankfully, you, the children and loved ones, challenge us each year and throughout the year to remember to be that better self. You do it by witnessing to us of your courage, tenacity, and resilience. 

The choice of this year’s theme The Legacy of the Children acknowledges and affirms your creativity and generativity. A creativity that is committed to keeping alive the memory of your loved ones by continuing to share how their life and spirit has shaped you and given your life meaning and purpose. 

As you know, legacy is defined as “handing on from the past.” You the children, individually and together have created and woven together a powerful past. You have shown that profound loss has the potential and possibility of leading to a generative and meaningful life, a life that witnesses to love and hope.

You, the children, the living legacies, are the shoulders upon which future generations will stand remembering and finding blessing in you and the legacy you continue to create and pass on.

As a Sister of St. Joseph, I too value and appreciate the legacy of standing on the shoulders of others. Others who modeled how to be people of faith, of courage, and of service to the dear neighbor and to do it, like you, with hope and love.

In conclusion let us pray:

Loving and merciful God who formed us and
blew the breath of life into us, creating us for love,
we acknowledge your all-inclusive love and your
depth of grace in our lives.
We recognize our world is in need of a
future with hope.
We pray for the grace to listen intentionally
to the cries of our times and to offer ourselves
In service to the most vulnerable among us.
May our lives always radiate a
love and hope that stretches openly and outwardly
to embrace all of humanity. Amen
(Prayer excerpts from CSJ Baden Chapter Prayers)