PORTLAND — Hundreds of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel will be recognized for their faithful commitment and self-sacrifice at the Blue Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate the Mass, joined by priests and deacons from throughout the diocese. People of all faiths are encouraged to attend and join in showing our gratitude to these dedicated heroes, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

All members of the public safety community are invited to participate. Prior to the Mass, the attending members, proudly wearing their uniforms, will process from Federal Street to the Cathedral. At 9 a.m., the group will gather on Federal Street between the Portland Fire Department and the U.S. District Courthouse. At approximately 9:30 a.m., the procession will begin down Federal, Pearl and Congress streets before continuing on Franklin Street, where public safety personnel will walk under a large American flag, held up by two Portland Fire Department ladder trucks, before entering the Cathedral.

“We gather for the Blue Mass to honor those who serve the community by providing safety and protection in Maine,” said Deeley in the release. “These calls to public safety confer an incredible responsibility and, at times, are taken on at a profound personal price which can even include the ultimate sacrifice. We will thank God for this service and remember the brave who have given their lives in the name of duty and honor. The common good is strengthened by the unconditional way in which these first responders accept their responsibility. This, we must never forget.”

The Mass is planned and organized by diocesan officials and representatives from local, county, and state public safety agencies. Color guards, including a multi-jurisdictional honor guard, will be on hand, as will the Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps, which will perform before and after the Mass.

The Blue Mass, referring to the blue uniforms worn by many public safety personnel, dates back to 1934 and is a venerable tradition in many dioceses, according to the release. The events of 9/11 served as an impetus for the Diocese of Portland to institute the Blue Mass locally.

For more information, visit portlanddiocese.org/bluemass or contact Dave Guthro, communications director for the Diocese of Portland, at 321-7810 or [email protected].

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