Blue Mass to Honor Men and Women of Law Enforcement on Sept. 29th

September 26, 2018

Tragic events locally from the fatal shootings at Santa Fe High School to the rescue and recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey make this year’s Archdiocesan Law Enforcement Blue Mass ever more appreciative of the men and women who are among the first to respond to emergency situations, organizing officials said.

Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz will celebrate the Blue Mass this Saturday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston honoring all law enforcement, criminal justice personnel, support staff and their families.

Deacon Alvin Lovelady, associate director of the Archdiocesan Office of Correctional Ministries, has a very personal reason to thank law enforcement. His wife, Linda, a teacher’s assistant, as well as their daughter, a school bookkeeper, and granddaughter, a graduating senior, survived being at Santa Fe High School last May 18, the day a student fatally shot eight fellow students and two teachers.

“The action of the first responders was immediate and without hesitation as they came to the aid of the students and staff at the high school,” Lovelady said. “Our community owes these men and women from around our area and beyond a great deal of gratitude for coming to help the officers who were on the scene at the time.”

“May God be with all first responders always and keep them safe as they work to keep us safe,” he said.

Father Ron Cloutier, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Correctional Ministries, said, “I have worked side by side with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as their Chaplain for the past 31 years. I am continuously in awe of what they do and the danger they put themselves in while protecting us.”

“The biggest change I have seen over the years is the enormous challenge that law enforcement has in dealing with mentally ill suspects. The Harris County Jail has one of the largest mental health facilities in the state with more than half the inmates on medication. Our law enforcement is called on daily to be social workers and mental health counselors,” Father Ron said.

Prior to the Mass, at 4:30 p.m., there will be an official Honor Guard Line-up with representatives from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office with Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the Houston Police Department with Chief Art Acevedo, and other representatives from other area offices, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, local military and the Homeland Security Office representatives.

The Mass is open to active and retired employees of criminal justice agencies, their families and the general public.