For the 9th year, residents of Kankakee lined the streets to applaud a procession of first responders, who marched from the procession_cropKankakee County Courthouse to St. Patrick Church, led by bagpipers and members of the Knights of Columbus. They came to attend a Blue Mass — held one day after Sept. 11 — to honor police, fire and emergency medical personnel who serve in Kankakee County.

Fr. John Peeters, CSV, pastor of St. Patrick’s, welcomed them to the historic church, where during the Mass police and firefighters served as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and brought up the gifts.Fire Chief Ron Young

Once again, Fire Chief Ron Young spoke to the congregation, offering a special thank you to parishioners of St. Patrick.

“Thank you for the way we are welcomed and honored,” Chief Young said, “especially this year, in light of all the turmoil, riots and protests in communities around the country.”Final blessing


In staying with tradition, Fr. Peeters thanked the men and women in attendance for their devoted and often heroic service to the community.

“We entrust you and your loved ones to the intercession of Saint Michael, the patron of police, Saint Florian, the patron of firefighters, and Saint Luke, the patron of medical personnel,” Fr. Peeters said. “May they guard you and guide you and continue to enable you to be healers and forces for peace and justice in our community.”