Ad Spot

Saint Joseph to host annual Blue Mass

For 20 years the Blue Mass, held at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Winchester, has become the community’s annual, almost ritualistic thank you to local police, fire, and emergency management personnel.

The mass, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 10, has roots in one of the most tragic days in American history, the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The Blue Mass started 20 years ago,” said James Barlow, a Saint Joseph parishioner of close to 40 years. “It was the one-year anniversary of 9/11 and the Knights of Columbus made a decision to have a thank you mass celebrated to thank the first responders in Clark County.”

The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to local philanthropy. It was founded in 1881 by New Haven, Connecticut, priest Father Michael J. McGivney, and currently has over 16,000 councils and 2 million members worldwide.

Barlow, who has been part of the organization since 2002, said that the Winchester council was founded in 1921.

The original idea for the mass started with the national head of the organization, the Knights Supreme Council.

“9/11 was obviously a tragedy for the entire United States and a shock to our system,” Barlow said about why it was important to start commemorating the day. “When we broke it down, it was the first responders of 9/11 that made such a difference trying to rescue people.”

The event became a yearly occurrence, but many churches stopped holding the mass. Meanwhile, Saint Joseph held steadfast in its yearly vigil.

“We are the only church that I am aware of that has done a celebration of – a remembrance – every single year for 20 years,” Barlow said.

Over the years the mass became less a 9/11 tribute and more of a community event, and as a result, its meaning evolved as well.

“It was important for us to recognize the first responders that take care of us 24/7, 365 days a year; just to say thank you for putting your lives in front of us,” Barlow said.

During the mass, the first responders hear a special homily in their honor from the parish priest and receive a blessing from him.

The students of Saint Agatha Academy also honor the first responders with a rendition of “America the Beautiful ‘’ and offer them a keepsake to take with them.

“All the kids at Saint Agatha have made posters. They’ve got them on the wall thanking the first responders and we encourage them, and a lot of them do, to take the posters off the wall and back to their fire station or wherever it is [they are going],” Barlow said.

Clark County

Clark County commemorates Constitution Week

News

Poll, falling vaccination rates spark concern that Covid-19 conflicts make Kentuckians skeptical of long-accepted vaccines

News

State Capitol loop closing for security reasons

News

Bill proposes state paying total cost of full-day kindergarten

Features

Former GRC Coach Strong inducted into veterans hall of fame

Clark County

Perdue sworn in as president of Kentucky Sheriff’s Association

COVID-19

Clark Regional announces temporary closure of COVID-19 infusion clinic; zero-visitor policy

Clark County

Clark County Schools will continue universal masking

News

Monarch butterfly tagged in Kentucky, later found in Mexico

News

Police and Fire Report, 9/13 to 9/16

News

Local ‘Habitat’ receives $10,000 donation

Communities

Lady Veterans Connect to host Monday night meetup

News

State sees COVID death toll pass 8,100

News

Clark County school board member under investigation for alleged conflict of interest

News

90 school districts have already adopted own mask mandates

News

310 more Ky. National Guard soldiers deployed to 21 hospitals

News

COVID in Kentucky ‘bad as it has ever been in pandemic’

News

Tuesday road closure announced

News

Clark County Sheriff’s Report Sept. 4-9

News

Police and Fire Report Sept. 9-12

News

Local scout troop and Unity Committee team up for blessing box

News

Blue Mass honors local first responders for 20th year

News

Beshear sends National Guard to 21 more hospitals as number of COVID-19 patients sets another record

News

Beshear vetoes bill to end school mask mandate but lawmakers override veto