Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Show appreciation for those engaged in law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services at the Blue Mass, Sept. 12

Rajah Kolb has attended every Blue Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis since it was established as an annual event in 2005 by Arch­bishop Emeritus Harry Flynn.

The term “Blue Mass” is a reference to the color of the uniforms worn by many in law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services. It dates back to 1934 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., according to the Knights of Columbus, which sponsors the Mass in many dioceses.

Blue Masses honor those who serve the community in those professions and those who have died in the line of duty.

Time to show appreciation

Kolb, the mother of Minnetrista Police Chief David Kolb, again plans to be at the Cathedral of St. Paul at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, when Arch­bishop John Nienstedt celebrates the Mass this year.

“There should be standing room only in our cathedral for this event. It’s a beautiful Mass with honor guards and music — and when they read all the names of those killed in the line of duty it’s very sad,” Kolb said. “I think these people who sacrificed — and their families — have to be recognized and appreciated.”

A member of St. Joseph in West St. Paul, Kolb said she is grateful to the archbishops for establishing and supporting the Blue Mass in this archdiocese.

If you go

» What: Mass of thanksgiving and remem­brance to honor police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel

» Time: 10 a.m.

» Date: Saturday, Sept. 12

» Place: Cathedral of St. Paul
The archdiocesan Office for Mar­riage, Family and Life, which sponsors the local celebration, also known as the Mass of thanksgiving and remembrance, with the Galtier Soci­ety, planned a short reception following the Mass. A fire truck and ambulance will also be parked outside the cathedral and available for people to look inside.

Angela Flatgard, natural family planning coordinator for the Marriage, Family and Life office, said the office has invited many people to attend, especially those who serve and their families.

Also asked to attend are local Knights of Columbus and Scout groups, in­clu­ding those who reached the designation Eagle Scout. (See the story about the 2 millionth Eagle Scout on page 4.)

Scouts were invited because “their mission statements embody what the civic servants have devoted their lives to,” Flatgard said. A space in the cathedral will be reserved for the Scouts, she said.

Although Deacon Otto Sherman will not be attending the Blue Mass this year, he believes the event is important to civic servants.

“It lets them know they are being supported by the community and especially by people of faith who are praying for them and for their safety and their well-being and their ability to respond,” he said.

Deacon Sherman, who is retired from a 30-year career in law enforcement, said the Mass means a lot to him and his wife, Gisela.

“It tells you that what you’re doing is worthwhile,” he said. “That whether or not the first-responders are ardent believers and active in their churches, what they’re doing is Christ-like, no matter what religion they profess.”

Kolb said that having this event in the cathedral highlights the love of God for all the men and women who serve.

“The Blue Mass is a formal show of gratitude and appreciation for what our son, David, and all the others have sacrificed, giving us comfort and keeping us safe 24-7,” she said. Catholic Spirit

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