EL CENTRO â€“ Over 100 people attended St, Maryâ€™s Catholic Church’s first Blue Mass Monday evening to honor police officers, Border Patrol officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other first responders.
â€œThis is the first time a Blue Mass has taken place in Imperial County. It was long overdue,â€ said Rev. Mark Edney, St. Maryâ€™s Catholic Church.
Referring to police officers and emergency medical technicians, Edney said he was going to change their names to â€œpeace officersâ€ because they are the ones who create peace in the community.
â€œWe have a lot of peace makers in our community, and we need to thank them not just today, but every day,â€ said Edney. â€œThese men and women risk their lives every day, and for that we must thank them. Itâ€™s not always safe out there and that is why they need our prayers.â€
Edney also thanked the peace makers’ families and said not only is it hard on the peace makers, but their families as well.
â€œThey (families) need a lot of prayers and support from the community,â€ he said.
Located at the church altar was a vase with red roses and a candle symbolizing the fallen officers who lost their lives protecting the community.
Dozens of double-sided key chains were blessed and distributed among the attendees engraved with “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
Edney said he hopes next yearâ€™s mass will have better attendance since this year did not have much advertisement.Â â€œI would have loved to see my church full. However, we must keep in mind many of our ‘peace makers’ work.â€
Following the mass, attendees were treated to a reception.[envira-gallery id=”77654″]