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Bishop Burbidge Celebrates Mass for First Responders

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Representatives from law enforcement agencies, firefighters and emergency medical services attended a “Blue Mass,” celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Friday, October 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.  The liturgy paid tribute to First Responders, who each day put their lives on the line in service to their communities. Others who were present included members of NC Highway Patrol, the US Army, American Red Cross and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Know of our respect for you and be assured of our prayers asking God to protect you and to keep you always in His care,” Bishop Burbidge said, in expressing his profound gratitude on behalf of the Diocese of Raleigh.  “We pray at this Mass for your beloved fellow workers who have died in the line of service.

Noting that First Responders have been given a “special vocation of service,” the Bishop said, “In Sacred Scripture, we are told that God has given His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered. They assure us that we stand under the protection of our God.”

In remarks at the conclusion of Mass, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan shared several personal experiences and thanked the Bishop for the liturgy and thanked all in attendance for their prayers.

Marc Kielty,  a former Raleigh deputy police chief, who helped organize the liturgy, was pleased with the turnout. “It’s especially significant that we were able to schedule this for the Feast of the Guardian Angels.”

Father Mark Reamer, pastor of St. Francis Church in Raleigh and chaplain to the Raleigh Police Department, noted that the Diocese held several Blue Masses in the 1990s. “This is the first Blue Mass with Bishop Burbidge,” Father Reamer said, “and we hope the attendance will grow each year as the word gets out.”