By Dave Guthro, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
LEWISTON, Maine — 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 at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 122 Ash St. in Lewiston.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate the Mass, joined by priests and deacons from throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland on this special occasion.
“They are true heroes, but not just in dramatic ways. What they do is a way of serving, and even loving, the people of Maine. It is the kind of love that Jesus calls us to share,” said Bishop Deeley. “The Blue Mass is a proud tradition honoring their tremendous and noble work, including those who have given their lives in the line of duty preserving law and order, and saving people from the many forces of destruction that can harm our tranquility. Expressing our boundless gratitude for the blessing of those who serve us is something we must never forget to do.”
The Mass is planned and organized by diocesan officials and representatives from local, county, and state public safety agencies.
Color guards, including a multi-jurisdictional honor guard, will be on hand, as will the Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps, which will perform before and after the Mass. Ladder trucks also will display a large American flag outside of the Basilica.
The Blue Mass, referring to the blue uniforms worn by many public safety personnel, dates back to 1934 and is a venerable tradition in many dioceses. The events of 9/11 served as an impetus for the Diocese of Portland to institute the Blue Mass locally. It is the principal occasion for the diocese to recognize those who protect us throughout Maine.
All members of the public safety community are invited to participate, wearing their uniforms. People of all faiths are encouraged to attend and join in showing gratitude to these dedicated heroes.
For more information, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/bluemass.