blessing those who protect, serve
With the American flag flying from two raised ladders of fire trucks parked on the street in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, uniformed police officers, firefighters, sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and members of other agencies gathered with families, friends and supporters on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels in the cathedral. On behalf of more than half a million Catholics in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said he wished "to honor and bless all of you who work for our public safety." Contra Costa Sheriff Pipe & Drums provided the prelude, and an emotional finish with a stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace," while a police hat and a firefighter's helmet were placed at the altar in remembrance of those who have died. Concelebrants at the Mass included police and fire chaplains, such as Father Helmut Richter, bottom right. After the Mass, Officer Nicholas Goldman, who served in the honor guard for the Mass, was asked what the Blue Mass meant to him. "It's humbling," said Officer Goldman who serves in Pittsburg. "It's nice to see how much support we have."
All: RAÚL A. AYRALA/THE CATHOLIC VOICE