November 23, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams and Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh today announced the death of FDNY Chaplain Monsignor John Delendick, a 28-year veteran of the Department who succumbed to World Trade Center related cancer on November 23, 2023. Monsignor Delendick was 74 years old.
“This is a heartbreaking loss for New York’s Bravest, and for our entire city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Monsignor Delendick touched countless lives, providing comfort and prayer to FDNY members and all those in need. He left an indelible mark on our city. We join the entire Fire Department and every New Yorker in mourning his loss, as we pray for Monsignor Delendick’s family and friends.”
“Monsignor Delendick was a spiritual constant and staple in our Department, in good times and in bad. Immediately after the immeasurable losses of September 11th, he stepped up to provide guidance and comfort to FDNY members and other first responders,” said Fire Commissioner Kavanagh. “In his decades long career as a chaplain with the FDNY, he was a pillar at Department funerals, graduations, promotions, and memorials. He was always quick with a joke and a kind word and had a way of making everyone feel special. He was beloved, and we are heartbroken over his passing.”
Delendick began as a Chaplain with the FDNY in 1996. In this role, he bestowed blessings upon new graduates, members being promoted, and the Department's marine fleet. He participated in plaque dedications, offered his presence at funerals, and visited with Department members. He was a dedicated religious servant, particularly after September 11, when he took on an expanded role with the death of FDNY Chaplain Father Mychal Judge. His days were dedicated to attending memorial and funeral services and checking in with fellow members involved in the rescue mission.
John Delendick, a native of Queens, NY, was born on September 4, 1949. He was ordained to priesthood on February 12, 1977 in St. Sebastian Church in Woodside, NY. He served in St. Catherine of Genoa in East Flatbush and Good Shepherd Church in Marine Park, Brooklyn, as well as Pastor of St. Michael/St. Edward Church in Fort Green. He then served as Pastor in St. Agnes Church, Carroll Gardens, St. Michaels Church, Sunset Park and as Pastor of the Shrine Church of St. Jude in Canarsie.
Monsignor Delendick received the appointment of FDNY Chaplain on May 15, 1996. On September 11, 2001, Father Delendick arrived at the World Trade Center soon after the second plane struck. He survived the collapse of the towers. He spent many hours over the next eight months bringing families to the World Trade Center Site, officiating at memorial and funeral services, and was present at support groups set up throughout the region to console the families and friends of the members killed that day.
In December 2001, Monsignor Delendick traveled on the Spirit of America: From Ground Zero to Ground Zero humanitarian airlift to thank the members of the Armed Forces fighting terrorism. In June 2003, he traveled on another humanitarian airlift to thank and encourage troops in Iraq and to deliver supplies to children’s hospitals in Baghdad.
On March 19, 2003, Monsignor Delendick was appointed by Pope John Paul II as a “Chaplain to His Holiness,” a member of the Papal Household with the title of Reverend Monsignor.
He is survived by his loving family, including two sisters.