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Law enforcement personnel to be honored at 16th Annual Blue Mass

September 19, 2017

METUCHEN – Hundreds of local, county, state and federal law enforcement personnel of all faiths will be recognized for their faithful commitment and self-sacrifice at the Diocese of Metuchen’s 16th Annual Blue Mass on Oct. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 32 Elm Ave. 

People of all faiths are encouraged to attend and join the diocese in offering prayers and gratitude for the uniformed men and women, each of whom have responded to a call to serve the common good.

Bishop James F. Checchio will preside at the Mass, joined by priests from the diocese who will concelebrate, to honor law enforcement personnel who live and work in the four counties of the diocese – Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren.

“As a diocese we are unceasingly appreciative of the courageous work our uniformed men and women display in the pursuit of justice,” said Bishop Checchio. “When we gather each year with the members of the law enforcement community, we together give thanks to God for their service and ask for His continued blessings and protection, and while these intentions strongly resonate with us during the Blue Mass, we remember these intentions in prayer throughout the year, too.”

“In the midst of such difficult times in our towns, state, country and throughout the world, I am heartened by the work of our law enforcement personnel, who are often called upon to advance peace in our communities, as they serve the common good,” said Bishop Checchio.

The Woodbridge Police Department, under the leadership of Director Robert J. Hubner, will serve as the host agency of the Blue Mass this year. Director Hubner said the department is honored to host the 2017 Blue Mass and is proud to post officers as the main honor guard in the pre-liturgy ceremony.

Additionally, officers from Woodbridge Police Department will take on other roles during the Mass, such as serving as cross and candle bearers, readers and gift bearers. 

“Woodbridge Police Officers and staff have attend the Blue Mass every year and are deeply honored to serve as host to our fellow law enforcement agencies and officers,” said Director Hubner. “In this very difficult time in the history of policing and law enforcement in this nation, the Blue Mass serves as the most significant congregation through which we honor and remember the everyday sacrifices made by those who serve and protect our communities.”

In keeping with tradition from past years, the names of those who have died in the line of duty since the inception of the Blue Mass will be read as a bell tolls to commemorate their memory and sacrifice.

This year, along with remembering fallen brethren from past years, the diocese will pay special tribute to Detective Matthew Tarentino, 29, who lost his life in the line of duty in May 2017. Detective Tarentino was a lifelong resident of Somerville and served with the Summit Police Department since 2012. He was killed in a car accident while driving to work.

In the Diocese of Metuchen, Detective Tarentino was a communicant of Immaculate Conception R.C. Church in Somerville. Also, he attended Immaculate Conception School – where he later served as President of the Advisory Council – and Immaculata High School, both of Somerville.

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/2017-blue-mass or call (732) 562-2463.

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