2016-09-02 / Community

‘Blue Mass’ to be held Sept. 11

Hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency personnel will be recognized for their commitment and self-sacrifice at the Blue Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. People of all faiths are welcome to attend and join in showing gratitude to these people.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, State Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas, Public Safety Commissioner John Morris, and other dignitaries will join the bishop in honoring those who serve the community by providing safety and protection in Maine.

“We are aware that this has been a difficult year for those in law enforcement. Disrespect, violence and even murder have become problematic. All the more does that make a gathering such as this more necessary,” Deeley said. “The Blue Mass is a reminder of the good that is done by those who help to keep order in our society. These calls to public service confer a great responsibility and, as such, call for the public trust. At times they are taken on at a profound personal price, which sadly, can even include the ultimate sacrifice. We will pray that God may bless them and keep them safe in their service to the common good.”

All members of the public safety community are encouraged to attend the Blue Mass. The Mass is planned and organized by diocesan officials and representatives from local, county and state public safety agencies. Color guards, including a multijurisdictional honor guard, will be on hand, as will the Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps, which will perform before and after the Mass. A reception for all gathered will be held outside the cathedral after Mass. The Blue Mass, referring to the blue uniforms worn by many public safety personnel, dates back to 1934 and is a tradition in many dioceses. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, served as the impetus for the Diocese of Portland to institute the Blue Mass locally.

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