Blue Mass held at St. Peter

SALUTE — Area police, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel stand at attention and salute as taps is played in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the line of duty throughout the area’s history at the annual Blue Mass celebrated by Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton at St. Peter Church on North Fourth Street Sunday. -- Paul Giannamore

STEUBENVILLE — A solemn remembrance of those who lost their lives serving others as well as a chance to be blessed, thanked and honored took place Sunday morning at St. Peter Catholic Church on North Fourth Street.

Area police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel attended the annual Blue Mass, celebrated by Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of the Catholic Diocese of Steubenville.

Police officers, firefighters and EMTs took part in the Mass, and Patrolman Shawn Scott and Agent J.P. Rigaud of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification sang “Amazing Grace. A roll call of those who lost their lives through the history of Steubenville and the surrounding area while a bell was tolled for each life lost, followed by taps.

Monforton said the Mass was a chance to thank them for their service and to thank their families for allowing them to share that service.

“We all know they do take their work home with them,” Monforton said during his homily. “Where everybody else runs away or we watch on TV from the comfort of our homes, they run into those situations. They are our civil triage.”

“We are our brother and sisters caretakers,” he said.

He said culture today is goal-driven, pushing people to want to achieve the next level, but it needs to embrace providing comfort and patience.

“And do as our first responders do. Always keep watch,” he said. “Always keep watch when it comes to our faith. We cannot be complacent.”

The bishop offered a blessing on the first responders, who were presented with a gift from Nelson Fine Art and Gifts. A reception was held by the St. Peter Catholic Women’s Club. A cake was provided by Ambulance Service Inc. and boutonniere for the first responders and their families were provided by McCauslen Florist.

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