On September 29th, 2016, Bishop Noonan celebrated the Blue Mass at St. James Cathedral. The Blue Mass celebrates the hard work and effort of policemen, firefighters, paramedics, and other public service men and women. This was also the feast day of the archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Because St. Michael is the patron saint of police and medics, this event was of great significance.
We prayed for the safety of our local first responders who strive to keep us safe and also for those who have passed away. Many schools from the diocese were present to celebrate the extraordinary work first responders do for our community.
It was an honor to interview one of these heroic service men. I met Lieutenant Brian Beechner who is a firefighter in the Orlando area. He helped prepare for this wonderful event by scheduling the location of his fire truck to be adjacent to the cathedral, and he helped set up the giant flag that was held by two fire trucks. He said that he personally appreciates that this annual event brings together the community and first responders, and that we remember all public service members who gave their lives for us.
The Blue Mass was an amazing experience for us, the graduating class of 2017 of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School. Because of its extraordinary ability to bring people together, the Blue Mass gave us an opportunity to recognize and bless our local first responders in the community.
Article written by Henri, an 8th grade student at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, Altamonte Springs