Saint Mary's College to Host Blue Mass to Honor First Responders

Contact: Elizabeth Smith

Assistant Vice President, College Communications

(925) 631-4826/(925) 518-2341/ [email protected]

What: Saint Mary's College of California will host a "Blue Mass" for area first responders. The service will pay tribute to the men and woman who serve our communities and who often times place their lives in harm's way to protect us.

In addition to the traditional Catholic Mass, an interfaith blessing service will be held to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty.
The Most Revered John S. Cummins, Bishop Emeritus for the Diocese of Oakland, will lead the interfaith service which will include clergy from a diversity of faiths.

When: The Blue Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday Oct. 2, in conjunction with the Feast Day of the Guardian Angels.

Where: Saint Mary's College Chapel, 1928 St. Mary's Road in Moraga.

Who: Police, fire and ambulance personnel from Alameda and Contra Costa counties will be represented, along with alumni of Saint Mary's College who are first responders in their home communities across the western United States.

Visuals: Personnel from more than 50 East Bay agencies in their dress uniforms are expected to paint a vivid picture of the range of first responders who protect our area. Especially poignant will be the presence of the Martinez Police Department, which suffered a loss earlier this month, as well as Christina Giacomelli, daughter of slain Pittsburg inspector Ray Giacomelli, and a Saint Mary's College alumnus, who will represent the families of the fallen during the interfaith blessing.

City of Pittsburg color guard will be present, and a bag piper will perform and recess during the interfaith portion of the service. Clergy will process at the beginning of the service, and all first responders will recess together at the close of the service and will be given guardian angel figurines.

Background: The Blue Mass is named for the color of many police uniforms and is common on the east coast, it is designed to honor and bless police, fire and emergency medical technicians who are the first to arrive in emergency and often dangerous situations.