Parishioners at St. Patrick’s Church in Kankakee opened their 8th annual Half-Paddy fest this month in solemn fashion, with a Blue Procession and Mass held to honor the police, fire and emergency medical personnel who serve in Kankakee County.
Nearly 75 first responders marched from the Kankakee County Courthouse to the church, led by bagpipers and members of the Knights of Columbus.
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.
At its conclusion, Fr. Peeters thanked the men and women in attendance for their devoted and often heroice 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.”