Archdiocese of Newark honors active police, fallen heroes at 29th annual Blue Mass

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NEWARK, NJ — The Archdiocese of Newark honored the dedication and sacrifices of all active, retired and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel at the 29th annual Blue Mass on Nov. 3 in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, presided over the liturgy, which featured honor guard units, bagpipers and drummers.

This year, Gov. Phil Murphy, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and numerous other dignitaries joined hundreds of police officers from throughout the state to pray for five men who died in the line of duty: Senior Correctional Police Officer Daniel Sincavage; Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro; Middletown Police Detective Lt. Joseph Capriotti; Paterson Police Lt. Frank Petrelli; and former Newark resident and Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland. Additionally, those at the Mass paid tribute to 10 officers who succumbed to COVID-19, including Bloomfield Police Detective James Peri.

Tobin also acknowledged the good work of all active-duty law enforcement in his homily, citing the two Newark officers who were recently shot as examples of the police’s selflessness. He then asked everyone who is not in law enforcement to reflect on what God wants from them. They may not wear a badge, he said, but they can still follow the police’s example of helping those in need.

“We’re called to model mutual respect in the honest search for the common good, excluding no one from that process,” Tobin said. “Saying ‘yes’ to God is something believers are called to do each day. (They) choose good over evil, truth over lies, and love for others over selfish gain.”

Photos Courtesy of Joe Jordan and Jessica Miano, of the Archdiocese of Newark, and Adrian Acevedo, of the South Orange Police Department