Annual Firefighter Mass honors firefighters lost in line of duty

October 3, 2019

Media Advisory

For immediate release 

WHAT: Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston honors area firefighters

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston

Houston – Every day, firefighters dedicate themselves to protecting the lives of residents and their propertyThe Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will thank and pray for all firefighters from area departments and volunteers at the Annual Archdiocesan Firefighter Mass set for 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.

 Before the Mass, firefighters from Houston and surrounding departments will line up to process in together. The Mass, presided by Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza and sponsored by the Saint Florian Society of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, will be held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston.

 “The modern firefighter does more than fight fire; they respond to medical emergencies, hazardous material incidents, rescue people who are trapped during building collapses or vehicle crashes, respond during natural disasters and are the first line of defense in the case of terrorist attacks,” said Chief Chris Chavez, Mass organizer and Houston firefighter.

Sometimes these rescues come with a high cost to the firefighters, as many are killed or maimed each year doing their job. The life of a firefighter is one built on self-sacrifice to their families and to the community they serve. So during fire prevention month in October we seek to honor this sacrifice and ask for God’s blessing for the firefighters of our community,” Chavez said.

During the Mass, a special tribute will be given to firefighters who have passed in the previous year. The tribute will include a reading of the names of deceased firefighters which will be accompanied by the ringing of bells.

The tribute of 39 names this year includes former Houston Fire Department Chief Joseph Perino, who led the department from 1976-78 and previously headed the Fireman’s Union. He passed Feb. 17 at the age of 88. 

Fire trucks will line the street in front of the Co-Cathedral with crossed ladders hoisting a large U.S. flag. Fr. Lawrence Jozwiak, pastor of the Co-Cathedral, will give a special blessing to the firefighters along with their Fire/EMS equipment and fire apparatus immediately after Mass.

The Archdiocesan Annual Firefighter Mass is open to active and retired firefighters, their families and the general public.  

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.7 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 5th largest in the United States.

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