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Red, Blue Masses to honor law enforcement, legal profession

St. Francis Hospital also used to hold a White Mass for healthcare workers, but hasn't celebrated one since 2015.

Two Masses are coming up in New Castle County to honor people serving the community in public safety and jurisprudence.

A Blue Mass will honor law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services and military. A Red Mass will honor lawyers and those in the justice system.

But the last White Mass, which honors healthcare workers, seems to have been held in 2015.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington’s annual Blue Mass for will be 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at St. Elizabeth Church, 809 S. Broom St, Wilmington. It will also be live-streamed on the diocese’s YouTube channel.

Bishop W. Francis Malooly will preside, with the Rev. Michael Murray, chaplain of the Wilmington Fire Department, as the homilist.

Although this will be a Catholic Mass, those of other faiths are warmly welcomed and to pray for those who risk their lives for the sake of public safety, the diocese said, noting that all state coronavirus rules apply for those attending in person.

The Blue Mass was begun in 2008 by Father William T. Cocco, a former police officer, as a parish event at St. John the Beloved in Milltown. He’s now the pastor at St. Edmond in Rehoboth Beach.

Law enforcement honor guard at 2019 Blue Mass in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
Law enforcement honor guard at 2019 Blue Mass in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The Red Mass, a tradition that dates back to the 1200s, started in Wilmington in 1988 as the signature event of the St. Thomas More Society of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The next local Red Mass will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 11 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, 7 Sharpley Road, Brandywine Hundred. Malooly again will celebrate. It will be live-streamed on YouTube.

It’s intended for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors, students and government officials.

“The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice and offers them the opportunity to reflect upon their God-given power and responsibility in the legal profession,” according to the society.

There’s also a White Mass for healthcare workers.

“It looks like the last time a White Mass was held at St. Francis [Healthcare in Wilmington] was in 2015,” said Mary Beth McCloy, communications director for Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic.

“According to the bishop’s secretary, a White Mass was scheduled to be held in the St. Francis chapel back in 2018, but it was cancelled because of some last-minute date complications. There was no Mass requested in 2019, and there is nothing scheduled in the near future in the diocese.”

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