2nd Annual Blue Mass Celebrated at Holy Family Parish, Seward
SEWARD – July 21, 2022 – A ‘Blue Mass’ to honor first responders was held on Wednesday, July 20, at Holy Family Parish in Seward. During the liturgy, Father William J. Lechnar, pastor, remembered in prayer 86 people who perished in the 1977 Johnstown Flood. On July 19, 1977, heavy rainfall stalled over the area resulting in a foot of rain causing massive flooding. Father Lechnar invited all present to recall the victims and those who sacrificed “so much and put their own lives at risk” during the flood in the days that followed. Father Lechnar also remembered the 2,208 victims who died in the Johnstown Flood of 1889, and the 25 who perished in that same region in the Flood of 1936.
The tradition of a Blue Mass began at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.to honor the more than 1,000 firefighters and law enforcement officers who were present, many dressed in blue uniforms. The Mass took place on September 29, 1934, on the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, Patron Saint of those in the military, law enforcement, medical responders, and those who serve in any first responder role.
Following the Mass at Holy Family Parish, fire trucks, police cars and other EMS vehicles and equipment were blessed along with those present.