St. Peter’s Catholic Church in LaGrange holds annual Blue Mass service

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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St. Peter’s Catholic Church in LaGrange held its annual Blue Mass service Monday night.

The special mass service is held each year around Sept. 11 to recognize and pray for first responders. The Catholic Church has been conducting similar services for years but the local tradition was instituted by Father Gadziala when he came to LaGrange six years ago.

The mass gets its name from police blue, but all law enforcement and first responders are invited to the service and subsequent banquet, regardless if they are members of the Catholic faith or not. 

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“We come together to say thank you to our first responders to so much of our local community tonight that we come together to honor you. And to celebrate this Blue Mass to give thanks to God, our nation and those persons who have been affected by the events of 9/11,” Gadziala said.

LPD Chief Garrett Fiveash provided the first reading of the service from Col. 1:24-2:3.

Hands were the theme of Father Gadziala’s homily. During the sermon, he spoke of the man with the withered hand, noting first responders run to trauma and danger to help others. They don’t run away from it, he said.

“The Catholic Church tries to say thank you, to the responders for what they do. They do so much with their hands,” Gadziala said.

During the service, Gadziala gave the first responders Medals of St. Michael and prayer cards. St. Michael, also known as the Archangel, acts as the defender of the church and is the patron saint of law enforcement.

“The Catholic Church and St. Peter’s particularly are very happy, honored and humbled to celebrate the Blue Mass and to hold our responder first responders in high esteem because they do so much. It’s a pleasure and an honor,” Gadziala said.