LEWISTON—Hundreds of active and retired 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 the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 122 Ash Street, on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m. People of all faiths are welcome to attend and join in showing our gratitude to these dedicated heroes.

Senator Susan Collins, state senators and representatives, city councilors, gubernatorial candidates and other dignitaries will join the Catholic Bishop Robert P. Deeley in honoring those who serve in this community. Blessings will be bestowed upon all who contribute to the public health and safety of Maine, and prayers will be offered for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

“We are well-served by those who protect us and serve us. We need to pause to give them thanks,” said Bishop Deeley. “We do not need to wait until a disaster strikes to be grateful for the dedication of all of those whose life work is the protection of the public. At the Blue Mass, our purpose is not only to thank them for their service to society, but also to thank God for that service, and to ask God’s blessing on each of them.”

All members of the public safety community are encouraged to attend the Blue Mass in uniform.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 ladder trucks displaying the American flag. The Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps and the Maine State Police Pipe and Drum unit will perform before and after the Mass. A reception for all gathered will be held in the parish hall after the Mass.

The Blue Mass (referring to the blue uniforms that firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders wear) dates back to 1934 and is a venerable tradition in many dioceses. The events of September 11, 2001, served as the impetus for the Diocese of Portland to institute the Blue Mass locally.

Media members are encouraged to cover the Blue Mass. For more information, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/BlueMass2018 or contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7810 ordave.guthro@portlanddiocese.org.