MODESTO — Stanislaus County's first responders were honored Saturday as St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto held its 11th annual Blue Mass.
Members of the Modesto police and county sheriff's departments, regional firefighters and other emergency personnel 50 to 60 in all gathered in the Oakdale Road church's sanctuary.
Father Mark Wagner presided in his first Blue Mass, and predecessor Father Joseph Illo did the homily, as he was in town for a wedding. The service included the ringing of the ceremonial final bell to salute those who lost their lives in service.
After the Mass, Wagner sprinkled holy water on firetrucks, patrol cars, an ambulance and other emergency vehicles as he blessed them.
'It was very nice,' Wagner said. 'It was beautiful and it's an honor and a privilege to pray for them and to honor them.'