The Archdiocese of Newark will celebrate the 29th Annual Blue Mass honoring the dedication and sacrifices of all active, retired, and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel on Thursday, November 3, at 10 a.m. in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, will preside over the Mass, which will be attended by law enforcement officers of all faiths representing federal, state, county, and municipal departments and agencies. They will be joined by families of those who have died as well as multiple police honor guard units, bagpipers, and drummers. High-ranking public officials will also be present to show their support.
“It is always important for police officers to recognize and understand that they are not alone, that they are part of a very important ‘thin blue line’ that protects society from all that seeks to destroy it,” said Chief Christopher Trucillo of the NJ Transit Police Department, the Blue Mass’ honorary chairman. “I believe the Blue Mass brings this home in a spiritual way by showing police officers that they matter, what they do matters, and that good people — the majority of people — appreciate them and their sacrifice.”
This year’s Blue Mass will pay tribute to four local police officers who were killed in the line of duty within the past few years: Senior Correctional Police Officer Daniel Sincavage; Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro; Middletown Police Detective Lieutenant Joseph Capriotti; and Paterson Police Lieutenant Frank Petrelli. Officer Sincavage died in an on-duty vehicular accident, while Officer Varvaro — a former MLB pitcher — perished in a crash on his way to volunteering at a 9/11 memorial ceremony. Detective Lieutenant Capriotti and Lieutenant Petrelli both suffered from 9/11-related health issues.
Additionally, the Blue Mass will honor Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland — a former Newark resident — following his death earlier this year. Deputy Hilliard was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted on multiple felony warrants.
“Each time I hear of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, no matter where they are from, I always think the same thing — they went to work looking to help people and their community, and as a result of the uniform they wear and the selfless work that they do, they lost their lives,” Chief Trucillo said. “Jesus teaches us that there is no greater love than one laying their life down for another.”
Because law enforcement personnel served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many getting exposed on the job, the Blue Mass will also pay tribute to 10 officers who recently succumbed to the deadly virus. They are: Bloomfield Detective James Peri; Clifton Sergeant Robert Miller; Lieutenant Matthew Vogel of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office; Perth Amboy Lieutenant David Formeza; Sergeant Matthew Horton of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office; Daniel Krupa of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC); Paterson Captain John Phelan; Robert McCormack of the NJDOC; Dwayne Gibbs of the NJDOC; and Lakewood Captain Joseph Goertz.
Following the Mass, a luncheon sponsored by law enforcement will be held at the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by contacting Vincent Nardone and William Schievella at 1-800-427-7651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Feature Photo: Law enforcement personnel representing federal, state, county, and municipal departments and agencies will pray for fallen officers during the 29th Annual Blue Mass in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday, November 3, at 10 a.m. (Photo by Archdiocese of Newark/Julio Eduardo Herrera)