WOOD-RIDGE, NJ – On Sunday, the Church of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady in Wood-Ridge held its second annual Blue Mass for all the men and women in law enforcement. The Mass was celebrated by Father Paul Keenan, chaplain to the Wood-Ridge Police Department and also honored the men and women of the Wood-Ridge Fire Department and EMS.

A Blue Mass is a Mass celebrated in the Catholic Church for those employed in the "public safety field" (i.e. police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, 911 operators and EMS Personnel.)

This annual event is coordinated by Council President and Wood-Ridge Police Commissioner Ezio Altamura to honor the police and fire, EMS, on this day and every day.

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Altamura thanked Retired Captain Bob Kneer (Fair Lawn PD), New Jersey Honor Guard Commander for arranging the honor guard, Police Chief Paul Goscinski, Police Captain John Korin, Fire Chief Ken Schulz and EMS Captain Eric Yaple as well as Pastor Richard Mucowski for all of their efforts to make this day a success.

Recognition was given for the sacrifice and dedication of all those who serve in law enforcement both in Wood-Ridge and throughout other police departments, as well as to all firefighters who serve the Borough of Wood-Ridge. Prayers were offered for all those individuals who serve both in Wood-Ridge and throughout our country.

During the Mass, Father Paul blessed the newly acquired statue of Saint Michael, the patron saint of police officers and Fire Department Deacon Frank Materia blessed the newly acquired statue of Saint Florian, patron Saint of Firefighters.

“This Mass is an opportunity for our community to come together and show gratitude to our first responders and their families for all they do for us, this day and always,” stated Altamura.

Altamura thanked the Wood-Ridge PBA Local 313 and the men and women of the Wood-Ridge Fire Department for their generous donation in purchasing the statues which will be permanently displayed on the alter at Assumption Church.

(Editors' Note:  TAPinto thanks Councilman Ezio Altamura for his contribution to this article.)


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