Knights of Columbus’ 11th annual Blue Mass

ROUND LAKE CENTRE – The Knights of Columbus held their 11th annual Blue Mass at St. Casimir’s parish on March 3.

The Mass was held to honour the members of those that have lost their lives in their service to others, as well as the members of the emergency services that put their lives on the line every day for our community.
The Knights, along with members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Killaloe detachment, Bonnechere and Killaloe fire departments and paramedic services attended their service.
The procession into the church was lead by Annadeane Kerr, who played Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes, and was followed by the Knights, police officers, firefighters and paramedic.
Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Dombroski, who is also a member of the Knights, began by welcoming those in attendance.
“On behalf of the St. Casimir’s Knights of Columbus I welcome you all to our 11th annual Blue Mass,” he began. “Every
year since the 9/11 attacks on our neighbours, the United States, we have strived to honour the memory of the emergency workers who lost their lives to help those trapped and in need at the terrible scene.”
“We also remember at this time all emergency personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty all over our great country. We are deeply honoured to have you celebrate this special occasion with us. Thank you for your presence.”
Parish priest Father John Bosco Gali, OMI, added his own welcome to those in attendance and gave a short introduction about the Blue Mass.
“It is called the Blue Mass because of the blue uniforms worn by many of the personnel who comprise our different departments,” he explained. “In some Catholic dioceses this particular practice dates back to 1934.”
The Mass, he indicated, is intended to remember those who have died in the line of service as well as in gratitude to those who serve our community and make it a wonderful and safe place to live.
“As Jesus beautifully said, ʽNo one greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” Fr. Gali said.
As the Mass continued, Staff Sergeant Paul Dowdall and Retired Staff Sergeant Ben Burchat gave readings from the bible, followed by three poems read by Dowdall, firefighter Felix Fernandes, and paramedic Terry Recoskie.
Once the Mass had concluded Kerr lead everyone out of the church, playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.
A lunch followed the service in the parish hall where sandwiches, salad, deserts as well as tea and coffee was served.
Before the lunch, however, Tanya Roberts, fire protection advisor for the Office of the Fire Marshall spoke to the crowd.
Roberts began by saying that upon her arrival at the church she met up with three elderly ladies who were about to enter the church, and wanted to go ahead and open the door for them. She said one of the ladies, who was engaged in a conversation with the others, saw the blue uniform and stopped talking to her friend and turned to her and said “Bless you”, which Roberts said caused her heart to stop.
Story continues in the March 6, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.