Blue Mass honors first responders
On September 29, the St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish held a Blue Mass for all of the first responders at St. Joseph Church. Many came out to support the Mass and the men and women who risked their lives for the safety of the community. Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel was in attendance at the mass, with four other officers who had attended the Mass.
The beginning of the Mass began with a hymn, which then led to the Rev. David Rivera saying a few words about the Mass. He thanked everyone for coming out to the special event and said that it was an honor to hold a Mass for the first responders.
“This Mass is meant for us as a community, to pray for all of our law enforcement and first responders. Those who are here and those who are on the field. We show our appreciation,” Rivera said.
Mass went on as normal at St. Joseph Church, until it was time for the gospel of the Lord. Rivera read the gospel, and then reflected on the men and women who had helped Hammonton’s community.
“Here in this parish… we respect those who make the commitment and answer the call to serve the community, to put their lives in harm’s way and the desire to help bring order and peace to their town,” Rivera said.
He also explained that many people have a skewed view of the law enforcement in this day and age, however, the St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish respects and admired the law enforcement, praying for their safety.
The mass focused on Rivera’s comparison between the law enforcement and the angels of heaven.
“Angels are messengers of God. Their responsibility is to bring God’s important messages,” Rivera said.
Father Rivera continued, explaining that the law enforcement had a job to protect and to enforce the laws of the town. He went on, saying how the police had a calling from God and that he was grateful that the town of Hammonton has such wonderful officers. He pointed out that Chief Friel was in the audience and thanked the men and women again that had come to support the first responders.
“There’s a value to that and it shouldn’t be a message of abuse of power… as we know there’s always a bad apple in the bunch… but that does not speak for all. Far majority of our law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, do so with courage, respect and fidelity,” Rivera said.
Once the Gospel had ended, Father Rivera gave the first responders in the Mass a special offering, which Chief Friel and the other officers accepted with open hands. Once the offering had ended, Rivera asked that everyone join in prayer.
The Mass continued as normal, with communion and ending prayers. Rivera once again thanked the first responders for being at the Mass and thanked the community for coming out to the special event.
For more information on the St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish, head to their website at www.smmcp.net.