Blue Mass a time to give thanks, offer prayers for law enforcement personnel

March 27, 2024 at 12:54 p.m.


Uniformed officers filling pew after pew; heart-pounding music from bagpipers and drum corps; the dignified and disciplined cadence of color guard units, a stream of vested priests leading the congregation in prayer – these are the sights and sounds of the annual tribute to law enforcement that will unfold April 4 in the Diocese of Trenton.

Safety officers of all faiths throughout Central New Jersey, along with their families and supporters, are invited to attend the 22nd Annual Blue Mass in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, beginning at 10:30 a.m. 

Formally titled the Celebration of Law Enforcement, the annual event is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton and is expected to bring together hundreds of police officers, detectives and law enforcement leadership from Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and beyond.  The Mass provides an opportunity for the diocesan faithful and all people of good will to pray for those in law enforcement at every level who work to keep their communities safe. Anyone who cannot attend may access the Mass via livestream at www.trentondiocese/youtube.com.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will serve as principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass, and will ask God’s protection for law enforcement personnel in the four counties of the Diocese and around the state.  More than a dozen diocesan priests are expected to concelebrate.  The Diocesan Festival Choir will lead the musical liturgy.

Dignitaries representing national, state and local government and law enforcement agencies will be in attendance, including U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, (NJ-4), who is a native and long-time resident of the Diocese and now worships in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting. Among the other expected guests are New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin and Colonel Callahan of the New Jersey State Police.

Law enforcement representatives will serve as ushers, read Scripture, offer petitions and lead the congregation in prayer. Pipes and drum legions, color guard members, mounted officers and motorcycle units will all lend pomp and circumstance in and around the church.

In a somber and moving moment of the Mass, the names of seven law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty will be read aloud.

The Blue Mass is coordinated by a committee of some 25 law enforcement representatives, among others, under the chairmanship of Sheriff Shaun Golden of the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office. Among the participating agencies are the New Jersey State Police; the New Jersey Department of Corrections; several county sheriff’s departments and local police departments.

Luncheon prepared by Sir Ives Catering in Jamesburg will follow in the Co-Cathedral’s Dentici Hall. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the event or in advance at dioceseoftrenton.org/blue-mass; there will be no charge for immediate family members of law enforcement attendees to attend the luncheon.

St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral is located at 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold.


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Uniformed officers filling pew after pew; heart-pounding music from bagpipers and drum corps; the dignified and disciplined cadence of color guard units, a stream of vested priests leading the congregation in prayer – these are the sights and sounds of the annual tribute to law enforcement that will unfold April 4 in the Diocese of Trenton.

Safety officers of all faiths throughout Central New Jersey, along with their families and supporters, are invited to attend the 22nd Annual Blue Mass in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, beginning at 10:30 a.m. 

Formally titled the Celebration of Law Enforcement, the annual event is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton and is expected to bring together hundreds of police officers, detectives and law enforcement leadership from Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and beyond.  The Mass provides an opportunity for the diocesan faithful and all people of good will to pray for those in law enforcement at every level who work to keep their communities safe. Anyone who cannot attend may access the Mass via livestream at www.trentondiocese/youtube.com.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will serve as principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass, and will ask God’s protection for law enforcement personnel in the four counties of the Diocese and around the state.  More than a dozen diocesan priests are expected to concelebrate.  The Diocesan Festival Choir will lead the musical liturgy.

Dignitaries representing national, state and local government and law enforcement agencies will be in attendance, including U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, (NJ-4), who is a native and long-time resident of the Diocese and now worships in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting. Among the other expected guests are New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin and Colonel Callahan of the New Jersey State Police.

Law enforcement representatives will serve as ushers, read Scripture, offer petitions and lead the congregation in prayer. Pipes and drum legions, color guard members, mounted officers and motorcycle units will all lend pomp and circumstance in and around the church.

In a somber and moving moment of the Mass, the names of seven law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty will be read aloud.

The Blue Mass is coordinated by a committee of some 25 law enforcement representatives, among others, under the chairmanship of Sheriff Shaun Golden of the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office. Among the participating agencies are the New Jersey State Police; the New Jersey Department of Corrections; several county sheriff’s departments and local police departments.

Luncheon prepared by Sir Ives Catering in Jamesburg will follow in the Co-Cathedral’s Dentici Hall. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the event or in advance at dioceseoftrenton.org/blue-mass; there will be no charge for immediate family members of law enforcement attendees to attend the luncheon.

St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral is located at 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold.

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