Sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack on America
Witnesses of God's peace
Fr Michal Czyzewski, OSPPE, talks to Michal Glogowski, son of Leokadia Glogowska, who worked on the 82nd floor of the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September, during the terrorist attack.
Six years have passed since the terrorist attack on America. The target was the towers of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. On 11 September 2001 the terrorists seized control over the jet airliners and directed them towards the two famous objects in the U.S.A. Two passenger planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and the third plane destroyed a part of the Pentagon. The last plane, thanks to the heroic action of the passengers who had attacked the hijackers did not reach the target and crashed into a field of Pennsylvania near Washington. It is supposed that it was to hit the White House or the Capital. It was confirmed that over 2,700 people, including 5 Poles, were killed in the attack. The attack on the World Trade Center was the biggest act of terror in the history of the United States and of the world.
Fr Michal Czyzewski OSPPE: - Let us return to the tragic day of 11 September 2001 when the terrorist attack happened. What do you remember?
Michal Glogowski: - That day tested my faith. It began with a big shock when I heard about the attack on the World Trade Center. It was just after the Boeing 767 crushed into the northern tower of the WTC, the tower where my mother Leokadia worked on the 82nd floor. I tried to imagine which floors were on fire but even my architectural experience did not help. Moved by the pictures shown on television I turned to God immediately, entrusting my mother to him, and until today I cannot explain the feeling of inner peace I received from God during those difficult hours of waiting for any signal from my mum. Those hours were filled with numerous phone calls. I talked to my dad, my mother's sister in Poland as well as friends and my parents' acquaintances that phoned me from the United States or other countries to ask whether I knew anything about my mother. I walked around the room constantly praying to the Holy Spirit to be with my mum and with those who were with her in the burning towers. I followed this tragedy on television but inside I had 'strange' peace, which was certainly an answer to my deep confidence in God. That time of trustful waiting seemed very long. At last my mother called my dad and he let me know at once that she was alive. I was very happy and my joy was even deeper since I felt that the fact that my mother was alive was a confirmation of what I had been feeling all the time that God as if whispered to my ear that my mother was alive. I thanked God. Today I know that I could have panicked in the tragedy... but I began with God, trusting me without any limit and God answered to my trust and led my mother out of the 82nd floor of the WTC. We closed that day with a prayer, all three of us. I did not only thank for my mother who God gave me again but also for the grace of faith and confidence in God. That day was a big tragedy but also another tangible proof that even in the biggest tragedy when we turned to God with absolute trust he would really lead us and do enormous good. Today, when I look at the smiling eyes of my mother, holding her first grandchild, my son Lukasz, I thank God again that he gave her the joy to see him growing up and that the joy also results from the grace of her being rescued on 11 September 2001.
- How did the experience of your mother's escape influence your life?
- I drew conclusions from the fact of my mother's rescue and these conclusions strengthen my faith and complete trust in God in every situation of my life even more. I know and I trust that as God led my mother out of the burning tower six years ago he helps me out of my problems, which I face every day. With God all things are possible. I ask God to plan my every day and my whole life so that I could, trusting him, accept his plan as mine.
- For several years you have been the leader of the community called 'Lion of Judah', belonging to the Renewal in the Holy Spirit, placed in Manhattan. How do you manage to fulfil the duties of husband, father, leader and the duties related to your job?
- I have been father for only several weeks, I have been married for two years. I can see that my new duties make my relationship with my wife Marta stronger. We share all our duties. Currently, when I became father I face a new calling that God gave me. Now this is my most important calling. The responsibility for my wife and our son exceeds all other responsibilities. Before Lukasz was born our dedication to the Renewal had not been a problem. After work my wife and I used to go to the community. Our friends were astonished a little and asked us how we managed to do that. The community has been our second home. We had been actively involved in the community before Lukasz was born. Now my family responsibilities are most important. Naturally, we miss our community and its meetings. However, we are still in touch with people, we ask them about the community and we are interested in its activities. This is not our private community. We are its leaders but this is God's community and we believe that God will lead it. For sure we will be involved in the community in the future as much as we have time.
- Your parents have been involved in creating this charismatic community. Through prayer and dedication to this extraordinary group my parents support new people who join the community. Tell me how you encouraged your parents to be involved in the community?
- Lord God has got his plan in all things and the fact that the community originated two months before the attack at the WTC was also in his plan. My parents were totally against being involved in the Renewal in the Holy Spirit. In June 2001, my mother told me that she believed in God and she did not need any tangible proofs of his existence. But I insisted on my parents' participation, and almost forced them to take part, in the course of Philip that was held at the end of June 2001. Now my parents are very happy that they can attend the meetings as well as to help all people at any time and any way. My mother keeps repeating that it was the Holy Spirit to whom she began praying when she joined the community that led her out of the burning WTC tower on 11 September 2001.
- When the community of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit 'Lion of Judah' was formed the prayer meetings were also held in your family house. During those meetings the community had prophecy, which people did not understand then and which were clear after 11 September.
- As I mentioned, the course of Philip was conducted at the end of June, two months before the attack at the WTC. After the course a new community was formed whose members (there were only several) prayed for the growth of the community. We were happy that the first Polish speaking community of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit was created in New York. We met almost every day in July and August. The meetings were very frequently held in my parents' apartment and they always ended with a common prayer. It was significant that God spoke in prophecies at our prayer meetings. One prophecy was repeated several times and its words were, 'Suffering will come upon you but I will be with you.' The truth is that we are unwilling to accept difficult news. And then the words of the prophecy were not only unclear but we could not even imagine that God could speak to us about some big suffering. I personally thought that there would be some troubles, perhaps connected with the community but God, as he said, would help us. And actually we did not take that prophecy to our hearts. Only after 11 September, after my mother was rescued, our eyes were opened and we understood that God had prepared us to that day and that suffering. That fact is a proof that we cannot despise any word that God speaks to us. The Holy Scripture says, 'Do not despise prophetic utterances.' Every prophecy is very important and we should not ignore it. We did not think that the words Lord God gave us before 11 September would not only concern us but also the entire world. Today I know that God's plan was to prepare us for the suffering, which the whole world and we were to experience on 11 September 2001.