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Blue Mass Scheduled, Newtown Police Officer Among Those Being Honored

Published: September 3, 2017

NORWALK — The Annual Bridgeport Diocesan Blue Mass honoring fire, police, and other first responders will be held on Sunday, September 10, at noon, at St Matthew Church, 216 Scribner Avenue in Norwalk.

A reception immediately following Mass will be held in the Masterpool Great Room on the parish grounds.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will be the main celebrant along with diocesan priests who serve as police and fire chaplains in Fairfield County. Fr Charles Allen, special assistant to the president of Fairfield University, is serving as chairman of the event.

Law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical service personnel of all faiths in Fairfield County along with members of the general public are invited to attend the Mass and reception.

“It is always a privilege and honor to recognize our uniformed personnel who put their lives on the line every day to safeguard the community. The Blue Mass commemorates their courage and dedication,” said Fr Allen.

This year’s honorees are being recognized for acts of bravery, public service, and compassion in the line of duty. Honorees include Officer Maryhelen McCarthy from the Patrol Division of Newtown Police Department; Weston Firefighter and EMT Mark Blake; Norwalk Fire Department Firefighter George Baez; and Norwalk Police officers Anthony DePanfilis, Matthew Nyquist, and Jose Silva.

Brian Wallace, director of communications for the Diocese, said Ofc McCarthy’s work was highlighted by Newtown Lieutenant Aaron Bahamonde, operations services commander, and Newtown Police Captain Christopher Vanghele.

As part of a statement for the Blue Mass, the Newtown officers noted Ofc McCarthy, a 17-year veteran of Newtown PD, “has counseled those suffering from the tragedy of the Newtown shootings of 2012 to most recently remembering a Newtown police officer who had died of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero after 9/11, to responding to a bomb threat at St Rose of Lima Church.”

The Fairfield County Councils and Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus is sponsoring the Mass again this year.

The Blue Mass takes its name from the blue uniforms worn by police, fire, and emergency services personnel.

Founded by Bishop William E. Lori, the Blue Mass was initiated to celebrate the life and heroism of those who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

Each year awards are presented to individual local police, fire, and first responders for acts of heroism and public service.

Diocesan priests and deacons serve as police/fire and EMT chaplains throughout Fairfield County.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Auda at 203-416-1636 or eauda@diobpt.org.

 

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