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Parish near plane crash holding on to faith, seeking God, says priest

The parish priest of St Francis de Sales Parish in Queens, New York, said his parishioners, who were still reeling from the World Trade Centre attacks, were "asking God for help" and "holding on to their faith" after an American Airlines jet crashed on Monday near the church.

"We offer our prayers for one another in this community as well as for the people of the Dominican community," Msgr. Martin Geraghty told The Tablet, diocesan newspaper of Brooklyn.

Parishioner Eileen Lavin spoke of the hardships the area had been going through and said, "God must really have faith in the people of Belle Harbour," the tightly knit Queens neighbourhood on a sandy peninsula.

Lavin, who lost friends in the fires which followed the plane crash, added, "To have to handle this on top of all that happened on 11 September, He really must have faith in us."

St Francis de Sales Parish, Queens