Annual Blue Mass Kicks off Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude 

Annual Blue Mass Kicks off Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude 

Representatives from the Reading Police and Fire Departments, as well as first responder parents from the Austin Prep community, attended Austin Prep’s 6th Annual Blue Mass and Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday, November 23rd. The Mass is held annually in gratitude for all those who put their lives on the line for others. 

Jackie Brand '22, School-Wide President, welcomed classmates to the Mass. "First responders’ work is parallel to that of the Good Samaritan. When they go to work, they have no warning of who they will come upon in need. They treat everyone as their neighbor. Everyone receives their help no matter who you are," Jackie noted.  "This type of work correlates with the way Jesus wants us to live."

The Mass was celebrated by Austin Prep Trustee and Merrimack College Vice President of Mission and Ministry Father Ray Dlugos, O.S.A. "If we wait for a life changing moment to be grateful, we might miss out on the process of being able to say thank you," Fr. Dlugos said. "Without gratitude, we are isolated and lost. There is no love. With gratitude, we are humbled and joined with others with compassion, and we become the ones who God wanted us to be."

At the conclusion of the Mass, Head of School James Hickey, Ph.D. offered his thanks: “On behalf of the Austin Prep community, I extend our gratitude to all the first responders who are present this morning, and those who are present in our thoughts, including the families of first responders who share in the burden and the sacrifice.”

After Mass, Fr. Dlugos blessed the emergency vehicles in the school parking lot and gave a special blessing to the first responders. Following the Mass, first responders enjoyed brunch in the Heritage Room with Austin Prep faculty and staff. The Blue Mass comes on the heels of the recent National First Responders Day, which was recognized on October 28th.