Cardinal Wuerl Joins Hundreds in Praying for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and First Responders at Blue Mass
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, today gathered with hundreds of those who serve their community as law enforcement officers, fire fighters and emergency first responders at an annual Mass in prayerful and grateful remembrance of those who gave their lives in the fulfillment of their duties.
The “Blue Mass,” is held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in northwest Washington at the beginning of National Police Week. Officers from a wide range of jurisdictions at the municipal, county and federal levels attend this annual event.
In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl said “Pope Francis told us that the three important words on which any community rests are: please, pardon me and thank you. Today, it is that last word that brings us together and that we underline this morning: thank you. We need to say thank you. We need to thank God for those who do place themselves between us and harm. We need to let them and their families know that we know how significant their actions are. And they need to know that we are truly grateful.
“This annual Mass, to which all from every religious commitment and faith conviction are invited, is something we do every year lest we ever forget how much we owe all of those who every day put on a uniform at the service of the community.
“But there is still more. Not every law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency responder or medical personnel returns home at the end of the day or night, whatever their watch might be. We come here today not just to thank God for their service but to remember them and to pray to God for them.
“Today, we ask that God keep us always mindful of his love and of our hope to share in the life of the Risen Lord. For all that our uniformed women and men do, we gather together today to say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘God bless you.’”
At the end of the Liturgy, the solemn playing of “Taps” honored those who died in the line of duty in 2013.
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 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
Chieko Noguchi or Sheridan Watson,