Blue Mass pays tribute to emergency personnel

The annual Diocesan Blue Mass honoring fire, police and rescue workers will be held at Saint Aloysius Roman Catholic Church, 40 Maple St., New Canaan, on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 11:30 a.m. A reception will immediately follow at the Stapleton Hall adjacent to the church.

The Mass will be concelebrated by the Msgr. Jerald Doyle, Diocesan administrator, and area priests who serve as chaplains of local fire, police and rescue companies.

The Blue Mass was initiated by Bishop Lori to commemorate the lives of those who died in the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. Law Enforcement, fire and emergency medical service personnel of Fairfield County of all faiths are invited to attend the Mass and reception.

During the Mass special awards will be presented to Officer Jeffrey Deak, New Canaan Police Department; Capt. Michael Socci, New Canaan Fire Department; and Emergency Medical Technician Grant Nelson, Darien Emergency Medical Services.

The Blue Mass takes its name from the blue uniforms worn by police, fire and emergency services personnel who are honored and prayed for at the yearly Mass and reception. The honorees of all faith were nominated by their respective chiefs and chosen from among more than 90 police, fire and EMS departments in Fairfield County. They have been selected for the award because of their heroism and sacrifice for others.

“Each time I see a patrol car or hear a fire engine or an ambulance, I realize that men and women have heard the Lord’s call to “love one another,” Msgr. Doyle said in his invitation to uniformed personnel. “In the words of the Lord, ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). We shall also remember those who died in the tragedy of 9/11, 11 years ago.

“The Blue Mass is an occasion to affirm and encourage you and all who continue in that noble duty of protecting the life and property of your fellow citizens,” he said. “I personally want to thank you for your devoted service.”

Serving as 2012 Blue Mass chairpersons are Father Robert Post of St. Thomas More Parish in Darien, chaplain for the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department; Sir Knight Michael F. Basso, past district deputy 36; and Deacon John J. Moranski, chaplain for Bridgeport Police Department.

Chaplains of the Fairfield County Fire, Police and Emergency Medical Service departments include Father Charles Allen, Fairfield Police; Father Richard Futie, Stamford Police; Father Tom Lynch, Stratford Fire; Father Joseph Malloy, Bridgeport Fire; Msgr. Frank McGrath, Westport Fire & Police and Noroton Fire; Deacon John Moranski, Bridgeport Police; Deacon William Murphy, Germantown (Danbury) Fire; and Father Raymond Petrucci, Danbury Police.

The Blue Mass of Thanksgiving reception is sponsored by the Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus. It is open to the general public.

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