Tuesday, May 3, 2011

News of terrorist's death stuns priest, ride organizer

From Central PA-

"It was a long time coming," said Father John Manno, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Montoursville.

Manno got an up close and personal view of Osama bin Laden's handiwork in February 2002, when he served with clergy supporting recovery efforts at ground zero. Manno worked at St. Paul's Chapel, an Episcopal church within yards of Tower Two.

Manno worked eight-hour shifts, offering assistance to firefighters and other workers sifting through the rubble of the Twin Towers. The local priest said he wanted to help at the site because he did his graduate work at Covenant House in New York City.

"It was something I wanted to do because New York was very close to my heart," Manno said.

On the day of the terrorist attacks, Manno was recovering from surgery and using a walker to get around. However, he later was able to go to the site through the efforts of Lycoming County Prison Chaplain and former Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Andy France Jr.

Manno said when he arrived at the site and saw the devastation, it showed him "the effect of human genius when it is coupled with evil."

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