The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and Christ Cathedral on Oct. 8 will host their annual Blue Mass, a special service for Orange County’s law enforcement, firefighters, and other emergency personnel.
Attendees are encouraged to come in uniform to celebrate the Mass, which starts at 5:45 p.m. Bishop Timothy Freyer is the presider. For years, the Blue Mass took place elsewhere at Orange County’s Catholic parishes, but is now being hosted annually at the 34-acre cathedral campus in Garden Grove.
The Catholic tradition of the Blue Mass dates to Sept. 29, 1934, with the original celebration taking place at St. Patrick parish in Washington, D.C. The event has since grown to become a nationwide service. The Sept. 29 date coincides with the feast day for St. Michael, the patron saint of military and police officers.
For Bishop Freyer, leading the Blue Mass is only part of his services to Orange County’s public safety personnel. He also serves as a chaplain for the Anaheim Police Department, whose chaplains are from multiple religious denominations.
“I am looking forward to celebrating our annual Blue Mass,” Freyer said. “As a police chaplain, I see how our police officers and other first responders often see the evil people can do. This Mass allows the officers to come to the Lord, who heals, strengthens and comforts his people. It is also a time to ask the Lord to watch over and protect our first responders and their families.”
Modesto Cordero, a deacon who directs the Diocese’s Office for Worship, noted how the Blue Mass holds a “sacred significance for the Catholic church in Orange County, as it symbolizes the deep respect and appreciation our faithful have for their law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency personnel who serve our community. This annual event not only honors the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to public safety, but it also fosters a sense of unity and solidarity within the county.
“It serves as a powerful reminder of the vital role these officers play in preserving the peace and security of the community, reinforcing the bond between faith service and the well-being of Orange County residents,” Cordero said.
Parking is free at Christ Cathedral, 13280 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove.