Diocese of Metuchen to honor law enforcement personnel at 15th Annual Blue Mass

The Most Rev. Paul G. Bootkoski, Bishop-emeritus of the Diocese of Metuchen and Chaplain of Malta, will celebrate a Mass of the Anointing of the Sick, sponsored by the New Jersey Area Order of Malta, at 11 a.m. June 18 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 548 Main St., Metuchen.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be administered during the celebration of this Mass to those baptized Catholics needing to be anointed. In particular, we invite those faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or the challenges of advancing age including those who are bearing the burden of physical, mental or emotional illness or who may be facing surgery.
All are welcome. The cathedral is handicapped accessible. Light refreshments and fellowship will follow in the Cathedral Community Room after Mass. Pre-registration is requested by June 13. For more information or to register, please contact the Cathedral Parish Office at (732) 548-0100 ext. 10 or email kkwiatkowski@stfranciscathedral.org.

September 28, 2016

METUCHEN – Bishop James F. Checchio will serve as principal celebrant at the Diocese of Metuchen’s 15th Annual Blue Mass to be held Oct. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 32 Elm Ave. All are welcome.

The annual Mass honors all active, retired and deceased law enforcement personnel 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.

“We owe a great deal of support and gratitude to the law enforcement personnel who work in our diocese, particularly given the current climate under which they serve,” said Bishop Checchio. “Their daily work, rooted at the intersection of justice and mercy, calls them to cultivate peace in the midst of conflict and lead with love, and for this work, we are most grateful.”

“The Blue Mass is a wonderful opportunity for people in our diocese to offer thanks to God for our dedicated law enforcement personnel and to recognize the sacrifices they and their families make,” the bishop continued. “It is a good time, too, to recommit ourselves to encouraging peace in our communities and continuing the mission of Christ Himself.”

This year, along with remembering fallen brethren from past years, the diocese will pay special tribute to Sgt. Lawrence Craig, 59, who lost his life while on duty in August 2016. Sgt. Craig served with the Carteret Police Department since 1979. 

In the Diocese of Metuchen, Sgt. Craig was a communicant of St. Bernadette R.C. Church in Parlin and St. Joseph R.C. Church in Carteret. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Carey Council 1280 in Carteret.

Hillsborough Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Darren Powell, 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.

“I am honored that Hillsborough Township Police Department will be the host agency for this year’s event,” said Chief Powell. “The annual Blue Mass reminds us of the everyday sacrifices made by those who serve and protect our communities and it nurtures the fraternal bond among members of law enforcement who work together, side by side, in this most noble 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 Checchio 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 www.diometuchen.org/blue-mass or call (732) 562-2463.

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