Special mass set for police, firefighters, EMS personnel

Third annual Blue Mass

-Submitted photo Sgt. Mike Manthorne of the Sioux City Police Department leads the procession of police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel into St. Mary’s Church for a previous Blue Mass celebration.

STORM LAKE — Law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and members of the public are invited to a special service to pray for first responders on Monday at St. Mary’s Church in Storm Lake.

The third annual Blue Mass will begin at 7 p.m. in the church at 320 Seneca St.

The two previous Blue Masses attracted up to 125 people, according to Dawn Prosser, the parish’s development director. Emergency vehicles lined the streets near the church and a large American flag was displayed from the top of the Storm Lake Fire Department’s elevating platform truck.

The Rev. Michael Cronin will celebrate the mass. He will be joined by the Rev. Michael Erpelding, of Onawa, who was a former chaplain for Storm Lake police officers and firefighters, and Monsignor Kenneth Seifrred, of Holstein. The Rev. Howard Avery, a Baptist minister, will provide one of the readings during the service.

Prosser said Monday was selected for the date of the mass because it is close to the Feast of the Archangels, which will be on Friday.

-Submitted photo Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and their families line up for a procession before a previous Blue Mass at St. Mary’s Church.

She said the concept of the Blue Mass originated with the Rev. David Esquiliano, a former associate pastor at the church. He was part of a similar mass at another parish he served at and brought the idea to Storm Lake.

”It was kind of a hit,” Prosser said.