First responders were sent out Saturday with prayers for their safety and good will following the annual Blue Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Organized by the St. Joseph’s Knights of Columbus, the morning Mass included speakers and a luncheon that celebrated police, fire, sheriff, FBI, California Highway Patrol, emergency medical technicians and other emergency personnel.
People of all faiths were invited to the event.
The service began with a color guard and bagpipe-lead procession through the parking lot to the church. Mass was presided over by Rev. Mark Wagner and speaking this year were Capt. Julian Irigoyen of the California Highway Patrol office in Modesto and Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.
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Wagner then lead participants back outside to bless several first responder vehicles in the parking lot before a free lunch for the responders, their families and the public was held at the church hall.
This was the 16th Blue Mass at St. Joseph’s, geared to honor the local men and women who put themselves at risk daily for the community, organizers said.