Knights of Columbus hold 16th annual Blue Mass

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

For the past 16 years, the Knights of Columbus Council 6872 has dedicated a day to bless first responders in Pearl River County who put their lives on the line to serve and protect the residents.
During the 16th annual Blue Mass, the servitude of the county’s firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service personnel will be celebrated. A blessing will also be made to keep the streets safe, Knights of Columbus Auxiliary member Lynn Barzé said.
“After 9/11, a spotlight shined on the heroics of all first responders. They all go through a lot on a daily basis, so this is our way of thanking them for everything they do and also to give them our special blessings,” Barzé said.
The Blue Mass, sponsored by the Oscar Gelpi Council 6872 of the Knights of the Columbus, will be held on Feb. 21 at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. The mass will begin at 7 p.m.
Each year during the Blue Mass, the Chief Tom Wagner Community Spirit Award is given to one member of each of the five departments being honored, Barzé said. Those departments include the Pearl River County volunteer fire departments, Picayune Police Department, Picayune Fire Department, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and AAA Ambulance Service. The award is given to those that display outstanding service to the community, both on and off the job.
The late Chief Wagner was a county resident and long-time member and chief of the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department.
“Wagner was the type of person we all strive to become,” Bryan Cassagne, Council 6872 grand knight, said.
Wagner was heavily involved in the community, on and off the job. In 2013, the Knights of Columbus decided to honor Wagner’s memory with the creation of the Chief Wagner Community Spirit Award.
After mass, a complimentary dinner will be served at approximately 8 p.m. in the John Noone Hall. The public is invited to participate and help spread a special blessing to the county’s first responders.
“With everything that is going on in the world right now, especially with the countless murders of fellow first responders around the nation, the need to ask the Lord to protect those great police officers and other first responders is more important now than ever,” Cassagne said.

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