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Modestans offer prayers for first responders during Blue Mass

George Harcrow leads the procession during the annual Blue Mass for first responders in Stanislaus County at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.
George Harcrow leads the procession during the annual Blue Mass for first responders in Stanislaus County at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. jwestberg@modbee.com

The annual Blue Mass was held Saturday in Modesto, honoring Stanislaus County’s first responders – police, fire, sheriff, FBI, California Highway Patrol, emergency medical technicians and other emergency personnel.

The interfaith event at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was presided over by the Rev. Mark Wagner and additional clergy members. Speakers included Modesto assistant police Chief Rick Armendariz, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and Modesto fire Chief Sean Slamon.

The Mass began with a procession through the parking lot and was followed by the blessing of first-responder vehicles, then a luncheon at the church’s Fr. O’Hare Hall.

The Mass is organized each year by the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph’s and is open to all denominations and the public.

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