In a show of respect and honor to the many individuals responsible for our community’s health and safety, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School held a special Blue Mass with local first responders on Oct. 20.
“Our first responders are, obviously, very important to our community — and they do not get thanked enough,” said OLM Principal Judy Blackburn. “We, too often, just take them for granted and expect them to be there to keep us safe and take care of us when we get injured or sick. So, the school, the children, and our parent community really wanted to get that message out there that we really appreciate all that they do, and we thank them. The Mass today was a prayer to keep them safe, because that is one of the gifts that we can give.”
It was a beautiful ceremony on campus, full of phenomenal student participation, music, and a clear sense of gratitude for the first responders. There were dozens of these local heroes in attendance, coming from a variety of fields and agencies.
There were also a number of emergency vehicles and demonstrations set up for the students to enjoy and learn from once the ceremony was over. It was a fun and informative experience that gave a rare peek into the world of first responders. Notably, a great portion of the preparations as well as decorations made for the Mass were done by the OLM students and their parents.
The event came together through the work of Parent Club President Justine Giacalone Rogina, along with key contributor Jenna Anderson.
“Our students are taught about the importance of community and how they can be active and positive members in their community,” Anderson told the Times. “This Mass was an opportunity for our school to show first responders that we care and appreciate their work in our community.”
Said Rogina, “We celebrate the wonderful men and women who run into danger when others run away, who put the safety of others before their own, and who work for the betterment of our community at large.”
OLM plans to make the Blue Mass an annual event to celebrate National First Responders Month.