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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Church service pays homage to first responders

  • Blue Mass celebrations are being held throughout the United States in Catholic churches this time of year to honor law enforcement officers, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians.
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  • Blue Mass celebrations are being held throughout the United States in Catholic churches this time of year to honor law enforcement officers, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians. St. Joseph Catholic Church will be holding its Ninth Annual Blue Mass this Friday, to honor our local heroes who serve and protect the residents in this area. “The first Blue Masses was celebrated at St. Patrick Church in Washington, D.C. on September 29, 1934,” said Bastrop Police Chief Downey Black. “More than 1,000 police and firemen attended dressed in their blue uniforms.” In 2003, Black and St. Joseph member Elaine Johnston – whose husband Doug, an investigator with the Louisiana State Police, was killed in the line of duty – where challenged by a church leader to organize the event. Initially, the service was simply a mass in which God's protection was sought for police officers, firemen and emergency medical personnel. The following year, the church began serving a meal following the mass. Black said during this Friday's service the church will “celebrate the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels and pray for all the first responders who protect us every day.” The Catholic church recognizes St. Michael as providing protection, St. Gabriel for strength and St. Raphael for healing. They are held as the saints for law enforcement officers, firefighter and emergency medical technicians. St. Joseph's reverend, Father Richard Norsworthy, told the parishioners during the church's Eighth Annual Blue Mass they share the same attributes of the saints the service includes. “We celebrate these gifts and encourage you to show them to the people you work with and come in contact with daily,” he said. St. Joseph will hold their Blue Mass at noon on Oct. 5 at the church, located at 217 Harrington Ave. All are welcome and a luncheon will follow immediately after the service. For more information about the service or to assist with the meal following the mass, contact the church by calling 281.4327.
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