Blue Mass honors society’s protectors

Men and women in uniform filled Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on Sept. 29. Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated the 16th annual Blue Mass, a celebration of law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services.

Held a few days before the Las Vegas shooting spree, one of the deadliest shootings in American history, the Mass honored those who have dedicated their lives to the protection of people who live in South Jersey’s communities.

Bishop Dennis Sullivan blesses rosaries to be given to first responders at the end of the annual Blue Mass, celebrated Sept. 29 at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood. The rosaries were handmade by members of Saint Simon Stock Parish, Berlin. Photo by Mike Walsh

“In the 14 years I’ve taught at the Police Academy I’ve learned from you that you see your law enforcement profession as a vocation as well, a calling from within,” said Msgr. Michael Mannion in his homily.