Mid-way through last weekend’s Half-Paddy Fest at St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee, parishioners paused to

A bagpiper leads Kankakee first responders in procession to St. Patrick’s Church for the Blue Mass

pay tribute to their fire, police and emergency personnel who work to protect them.

Fr. John Peeters, CSV, celebrated the reverent Blue Mass, which is meant to bless and thank first responders in the area. It started with a procession of first responders, who marched from the Kankakee County Courthouse down to St. Pat’s, led by a bagpiper and members of the Knights of Columbus.

Fr. Peeters welcomed them to the historic church, where during the Mass police and firefighters served as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and brought up the gifts.

Fr. John Peeters, CSV
(photos by Sara Hodak)

Fr. John Peeters processes down the aisle during the Blue Mass

At its conclusion, Fr. Peeters thanked the men and women in attendance for their heroic service to the community.

“We entrust you to the protection and the intercession of Saint Michael, the patron of police, Saint Florian, the patron of firefighters, and Saint Luke, the patron of medical personnel,” he said in a final blessing. “May they guard you and guide you and continue to enable you to be healers and forces for peace and justice in our community.”