emergency responders

At Blue Mass, Archbishop Carlson ties first responders to love of neighbor

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Keith Lewis, an O'Fallon police officer, is among the first responders who appreciate the annual Blue Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Attending the Mass Sept. 10 with his wife and two children, Lewis said that "our faith tells us sacrifice is one of the most important things you can do to show love and devotion to God."

O'Fallon Police Captain John Neske, like Lewis a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie, said "my faith holds everything together."

Blue Mass will show support for emergency responders

The Archdiocese of St. Louis held a "blue" Mass to honor and support emergency responders who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the citizens of the greater St. Louis region. The Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis by Bishop Edward Rice.

The recent shootings and deaths of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., have driven home the need for the Archdiocese of St. Louis's annual Blue Mass to pray for and with first responders —police officers, fire fighters, EMTs and other public servants — and their families.

Blue Mass thanks, honors emergency responders

The first archdiocesan Blue Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis honored and supported emergency responders who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the citizens of the greater St. Louis region. Among the attendees were, from left, Dennis M. Jenkerson, chief of the St. Louis Fire Department and a parishioner at St. Ambrose; Jeffrey Beaton, chief of the Glendale Police Department and a parishioner at Sacred Heart in Valley Park; and Daniel O’Connor of the Des Peres Police Department and parishioner at Immaculate Conception in Arnold.

Hanging between aerial ladders of two St. Louis Fire Department trucks parked on Lindell Boulevard, the Stars and Stripes greeted worshippers on a sunny September Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

The occasion was the Archdiocese of St. Louis' first "Blue Mass" to honor, thank and pray for emergency responders -- police, firefighters, EMTs and others who often put themselves at risk and whose families and friends sacrifice in their absence, all in the name of public safety.

Archdiocese's Blue Mass to recognize emergency responders

Father Mike Boehm, right, a chaplain with the St. Louis County Police Department, concelebrate a Blue Mass — the first of its kind in the archdiocese — at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, better known as the New Cathedral. Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice will be the main celebrant. Father Boehm spoke with county officers Evan Roettering, center, and Benjamin Selz, left, at the command post in Ferguson in 2014.

Father Michael Boehm knows firsthand about the stress under which emergency responders work.

Before becoming archdiocesan vicar for priests in June 2014, Father Boehm served as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Washington and moonlighted as a volunteer firefighter in the city's fire department. He did this for 5½ years.

Then, as a chaplain of the St. Louis County police department, he ministered to officers on the front lines of Ferguson, in August and November 2014 and again this past August.

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