A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese Forum News in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
articles list
placeholder Catholics to show appreciation for public safety workers

Voice collection is next month

East Bay youths share World Youth Day experiences

Preparing for the trip to Rio was a parishwide effort

'A spark that lit up my faith'

Pope, youths leave lasting impression

Work of CCEB refugee program praised

Chautauqua collection to aid grieving Richmond family

Bocce tournament raises $17,000 to feed the hungry in Contra Costa

St. Michael School turns 100

Sept. 9 feast of St. Peter Claver

Trio visits former administrator

Celebrate 5's spirit of aloha

Sister M. Martin Moran

Sister Dorothy Casper, OP

A gathering of, and by, survivors

Meet school representatives at College Fair

Early admission program enters third year at HNU

Degree completion, master's programs vibrant part of HNU

Profile of 'passionately Catholic' Franciscan University of Steubenville

Saint Mary's College embarks on life as a 'college that changes lives'

A day to remember

Benedictine College ranked by U.S. News

All Saints, Cal State ministry to celebrate Mass

Campus ministry ready to help college youth in faith connection

Loyola Marymount University's film school among top 10 in US

placeholder September 9, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
Catholics to show appreciation for public safety workers

On the Feast of the Guardian Angels, the Diocese of Oakland will thank and ask God to bless the "guardian angels" among us — the women and men who serve in police, fire and emergency response agencies in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Father Jayson Landeza

Father Robert Rien

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ — who also serves as a chaplain in the Naval Reserve — will celebrate the Blue Mass at 10 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

The purpose of the Blue Mass is "to ask for God's blessing" on the law enforcement, fire suppression and emergency responders, and "recognize the contribution they've made in service," said Father Jayson Landeza, parochial vicar of St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon, and chaplain for the U.S. Department of Justice's Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms local division. For many years, Father Landeza served as chaplain to the Oakland Police and Fire departments.

The public is invited to attend the Mass, which is expected to draw representatives from federal, state, county and city agencies. Catholic chaplains have been invited to concelebrate; non-Catholic chaplains have been invited to participate.

While an annual Blue Mass has been celebrated in the diocese for several years, this is the first time it will be celebrated at the cathedral. For the last several years, it has been celebrated at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church.

Father Robert Rien, parochial administrator of St. Ignatius, serves as the chaplain of the Antioch and Martinez police departments, and of the East Bay Regional Parks District.

The Blue Mass, he said, is celebrated in many cathedrals across the United States. "It includes rituals and traditions that are part of both police and fire service," he said. Those rituals include the wearing of Class A uniforms by the participants, the bringing in of the American flag and the singing of the national anthem, as well as a final blessing for all first-responders.

"They will be a part of the service," said Father Rien, with first responders handling the readings and intercessions, as well as bringing the gifts to the altar.

The prayers are not just for the Catholic first-responders, said Father Rien, but for all of them, "regardless of their denomination."

The Knights of Columbus, he said, have been major supporters of the Blue Mass throughout the country, Father Rien said. "Since the events of 9/11," he said, "they have brought back the celebration of the Blue Mass."

At the Oct. 2 Mass, Knights from throughout the Oakland diocese will serve as greeters, ushers and color guard.

The Blue Mass, Father Rien said, offers the Catholic community the opportunity to show its appreciation for the work of police, fire and emergency responders. "They don't receive much gratitude from the community," said Father Rien. "All of them put their life on the line." Much like guardian angels, he said, "we expect them to be there and do their job."

Lunch will be provided after Mass for active-duty public safety personnel and spouses; RSVP is required for lunch. RSVP to Father Landeza at ATFchaplain@aol.com by Sept. 15.

back to topup arrow


Copyright © 2013 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.