St. Mary's to hold Blue Mass to honor first-responders

A special mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will strike a deep chord for a St. Mary's Catholic Church parishioner. The Rev. Dan DePew said the St. Mary's member was in New York City working as a first-responder on that tragic September morning. DePew said the parishioner does not want to be identified, but will be present at the 11 a.m. Blue Mass on Sunday - which will honor law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
Marie Havenga
Sep 9, 2011


“One of our parishioners was there on that day, but he does not want to be known,” DePew explained. “In typical fashion of any true hero, he’s humble and doesn’t want any attention paid to him. I think he was living there at the time. It gives you chills just thinking about it.”

DePew said he started planning the Blue Mass more than a year ago. The church’s music director, Diane Murray, and parishioner Mike Smith pulled together the details, the priest said.

“I knew we had a lot of police officers and firefighters in our congregation,” DePew said. “I wanted some way to honor them in a very special way. We tend to take them for granted until we need them. I’ve always wanted to honor them.”

DePew said close to 40 local first-responders have signed up for the 11 a.m. service, which is open to all denominations.

“Even if only one or two showed up, I’d be happy,” DePew said. “It wouldn’t stop us from honoring them.”

The Blue Mass will include a procession of an honor guard with flags, followed by the guests of honor.

A reception immediately following the Mass will be held in the St. Mary’s Activity Center.


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