146 Metlars Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854 | T: (732) 562-1990 | F: (732) 562-1399 | firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Oct 2015
METUCHEN — Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski will serve as principal celebrant at the diocese’s 14th annual Blue Mass to be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen, Oct. 26 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome.
The Mass honors all active, retired and deceased law enforcement officials from Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren, the four counties served by the diocese. Federal, state, county and local police, sheriff and corrections departments along with members of the Port Authority Police Department are invited to participate.
“The Blue Mass provides people of our diocese an opportunity to come together in prayer and fellowship and, at the same time, to recognize and thank members of law enforcement, who dedicate their lives to serving the people of our local communities,” said Bishop Bootkoski.
“Often, as public citizens, we take it for granted that members of law enforcement are there for us around the clock, under all conditions,” the bishop continued. “Whenever we need them they are there to protect and serve us, so it is fitting that we gather to demonstrate support for their dedication and commitment to their work.”
This year, along with remembering fallen brethren from past years, the diocese will pay special tribute to Trooper Anthony Raspa, 24, who lost his life in the line of duty in May 2015. Trooper Raspa was a lifelong resident of Highland Park and served with the New Jersey State Police since graduating from the 152nd trooper class in October 2013.
In the diocese, Trooper Raspa was a communicant of St. Matthias Parish, Somerset. Also, he attended St. Matthias School and Bishop George Ahr High School, Edison.
As part of the tribute to Trooper Raspa, the New Jersey State Police will serve as the host agency of the Blue Mass this year, providing the main honor guard in the pre-liturgy ceremony and taking on other roles during the Mass, such as serving as cross and candle bearers, readers and gift bearers.
Sfc. Michael Watson, who is involved with organizing the details surrounding the liturgy and reception, said he is pleased that the New Jersey State Police will have an opportunity to take a leading role at the Mass and to help make the day meaningful for all who attend.
“This Mass is something that members of the Blue Mass Committee and representatives of the New Jersey State Police look forward to every year,” said Sfc. Watson. “When we are able to join together with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement from around the state and those we serve, it provides us with a sense of unity and support that carries us through the difficult times we experience in this profession.”
The Mass will include bagpipes and drums, Taps and a 21-gun salute. After Mass there will be a State Police aircraft flyover as Bishop Bootkoski blesses and reviews officers outside the Cathedral.
A lunch reception will follow immediately afterward in the community room beneath the church.
For more information, visit http://diometuchen.org/2015-blue-mass or call (732) 562-2463.
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