BRANT BEACH - On Saturday April 29 at 11:30 a.m. a special mass will be held to honor military service people and first responders.

The Mass of Appreciation will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Brant Beach. The mass honors the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and first responders.  The organizer of this event is the Knights For Christ The Healer organization.  This is a special ministry that advocates for veterans and their families.

“We invite all members of the U.S. armed forces and first responders and their families to join us as we honor your service at the second annual Mass of Appreciation,” said Bill Benedict, president. “In these troubled times, our country, state and communities must step up and recognize the selfless commitments of time and professionalism that our military and first responders provide in order to keep us safe, secure, alert, and at ease,” he said.

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Benedict is a parishioner at St. Francis and a decorated Army veteran.

Distinguished guests at the special Mass this year include Staff Sgt. Ruben Gomez, a U.S. Army medic; 25 wheelchair-bound disabled veterans from the Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland who served in Desert Storm, Vietnam, Korea and WWII; Maj. Gen. J. Phillip Monahan, USMC (Ret.); Col. John B. Vinzant, US Army (Ret.); command officers, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst; and Maj. Eugene O. Moynihan, USMC (Ret.). Guests as elected officials include 9th District Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove and Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini.

Junior Air Force ROTC cadets from Southern Regional High School will attend. Over the past year, the organization has continued to grow and support veterans and their families on Long Beach Island and the surrounding mainland communities.

For more information, the organization has a website,