Cardinal Wuerl Joins Hundreds in Praying for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and First Responders at Blue Mass

“What the Church proclaims is the message of Jesus that each one of us can do our part to make the world just a little bit better.”

May 08, 2012

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, gathered with hundreds of those who serve their community through their commitment as law enforcement officers at an annual Mass in prayerful and grateful remembrance of those who gave their lives in the fulfillment of their duties.

The “Blue Mass,” an annual Mass held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in northwest Washington to which all from every religious commitment and faith conviction are invited, is held at the beginning of National Police Week in gratitude to all of those who don a uniform in service to the community.

In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl referenced today’s Gospel reading which is the announcement by Jesus that he has come to bring peace: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.” (Jn 14:27) Cardinal Wuerl said those in law enforcement bring peace and security to our every day lives. “Everyone who accepts the responsibility of law enforcement knows that with it comes the quiet, implicit but real understanding that one must be prepared to pay a very high price to show the full extent of service on behalf of others. All of you know that you are asked to place yourselves between us and harm.”

Cardinal Wuerl went on to say, “Jesus tells us that all the individual acts of kindness, goodness, compassion, love and peace do bear fruit. He also tells us that the fruit is a lasting one that goes far beyond this life. Thus, we are called to be peacemakers because the peace we bring into the world allows for a far greater and longer lasting peace to take hold in the hearts of people.”

The Cardinal concluded his homily by saying Jesus taught us that we have the power to make the world a better place. “Our actions, while individual and seemingly small, play a part in the great cosmic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness, between peace and war, between violence and harmony, between hatred and love. Jesus tells us that goodness begins first in each human heart.”

At the end of the Liturgy, an honor guard and bagpipers played “Taps” in memory of those who died in the line of duty in the last year.

The Blue Mass is a tradition that began in 1934, but was not regularly observed until 1994 when it was revived to honor and pray for the men and women who protect our city and nation. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics, 140 parishes and 98 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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