LEWISTON — Hundreds of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel will be recognized for their faithful commitment and self-sacrifice at the Blue Mass on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 10:30 a.m., at the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on 122 Ash Street in Lewiston. People of all faiths are invited to attend and join in showing our gratitude to these dedicated heroes. All active and retired members of the public safety community are encouraged to come with their families and in uniform.
The Blue Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Deeley.
“We are well-served by those who protect us and serve us. We need to pause to give them thanks,” said Bishop Deeley. “We do not need to wait until a disaster strikes to be grateful for the dedication of all of those whose life work is the protection of the public. At the Blue Mass, our purpose is not only to thank them for their service to society, but also to thank God for that service, and to ask God’s blessing on each of them.”
Elected representatives at the local, state, and national level will join the bishop in honoring those who serve in this community. Blessings will be bestowed upon all who contribute to the public health and safety of Maine, and prayers will be offered for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Members of the public safety community will fulfill several roles at the Mass, including as readers and gift bearers, and color guards and a multi-jurisdictional honor guard will be on hand. Ladder trucks from the Lewiston Fire Department and Auburn Fire Department will display the American flag across Bartlett Street prior to the Mass.
The Blue Mass (referring to the blue uniforms that firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders wear) dates back to 1934 and is a venerable 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. For more information about the Blue Mass, including its history in the Diocese of Portland, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/BlueMass.