Last Sunday, the curb next to St. Paul's Catholic Church, usually kept clear as a fire lane, was crowded with police cars, a fire truck and other official vehicles. Inside the church were scores of uniformed officers, who were there not to respond to an emergency but to attend the Blue Mass offered for all those who serve the nation or community in uniform.
Bishop Edward J. Burns celebrated Juneau's second annual Blue Mass along with Fr. Thomas Weise, rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Fr. Patrick Travers, pastor of St. Paul's Catholic Church with the Catholic clergy, Deacons Gary Horton and Charles Rohrbacher and people of Juneau.
Attendance included serving and retired members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, Juneau police, State Troopers, Department of Corrections, Federal law enforcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Customs and Immigration, the U.S. Forest Service, as well as local professional and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
In his homily, Bishop Burns said, "It is important that the worshipping community come before God and offer thanks for the men and women who serve us in uniform, and to ask his blessing upon them - for their safety, strength and well being."
Stroller White Pipes and Drums piped in the entrance procession and the recessional.
The Blue Mass concluded with Bishop Burns invoking a special blessing on all those present who serve the nation, the state or the local community in uniform.