St. Fred’s Students Serve Officers

by Olga Trejo

On October 4, St. Joseph Parish in Bastrop held its 14th Annual Blue Mass.

The Blue Mass dates back to 1934 and is traditionally celebrated on or near the Feast of the Guardian Angels, or the Feast of St. Michael, the patron saint of police officers. The Blue Mass was instituted to honor those men and women who protect the lives of others.

“The Mass is an opportunity for the community to show gratitude to first responders and their families,” said Retired Police Chief Downey Black.

These men and women are likened to our guardian angels because they watch out for others and, like St. Michael, they are there to defend all against evil.

“These men and women risk their lives for our safety and this is our way of giving back and inviting the community to come show support in praying for them through the Mass that is offered,” said Deacon Marc Vereen.

The Mass honors those employed in the public safety field and members of all forms of law enforcement, including members of the police, sheriff’s department, state troopers, fire and emergency medical personnel.

Through the Blue Mass, first responders ritually receive gratitude, support, honor, recognition, prayers and blessings from the Catholic community of the church. Their many sacrifices in service to the community are also remembered.

“The Mass not only provides these men and women a special blessing, but also demonstrates the support that we as a church community have for these professionals who place their lives in jeopardy for others,” said Elaine Johnston, spouse of a fallen officer.

A luncheon is held after the Mass for fellowship. To show their support, the Junior Class from St. Fredrick High School attended the Mass and took on the responsibility of serving all those in attendance.

“The students went above and beyond, they served these men and women with respect and honor,” said Olga Trejo, teacher at St. Frederick High School.

Teacher Bridgette Tannehill echoed her sentiments, “This was an amazing opportunity that the students were given to be the hands and feet of Christ: humbling themselves and serving others. We are grateful for the invitation to do God’s work.” •

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