Blue Mass to honor first responders Sept. 21

Bob Pelzer, right, Kenny Ley and Ryan Marthaler from the Lake Henry Fire Department pray during last year’s Blue Mass. (Photo by Dianne Towalski/The Visitor)

The St. Cloud Diocese will offer its second annual Blue Mass to honor police, fire and emergency medical personnel and other first responders who serve in the diocese at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud. Bishop Donald Kettler will celebrate the Mass.

All are welcome; family and friends are encouraged to attend. A reception will immediately follow Mass.

The event will included a recognition of years of service, a blessing for all service workers and their  ambulances, fire trucks and police cars.

“Jesus asks us to care for one another,” Bishop Kettler said. “Our police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel are modern-day Good Samaritans who make personal sacrifices every day to protect and care for others. This Mass is an opportunity to thank them and their families and to pray for their safety and well-being.”

Bruce Bechtold, former chief deputy/sheriff for the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, attended the last Blue Mass, in May 2016.

“The experience of worshiping with other public safety personnel was a good thing,” Bechtold said. “There were quite a few people from the community as well as from public safety, which shows how much they support us. The majority of people in Central Minnesota are very supportive of law enforcement.”

Bechtold is now retired and hopes to attend the upcoming Blue Mass.

Concelebrants are welcome but asked to confirm with Timothy Johnston, director of the diocesan Office of Worship, at 320-255-9068. For more information, call him or visit

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The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

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