CondolencesMike Teel honored at this year’s Blue Mass

October 31, 2021

The Blue Mass is a tradition of the Archdiocese of Newark that pays tribute to all active, retired, and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel.

The liturgy will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Hundreds of members of law enforcement and supporters of all faiths are expected to take part in the Blue Mass, including honor guard units, bagpipers, and drummers from throughout the state. Representatives from federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement departments and agencies, as well as many public officials, also typically attend the Mass.

This year’s Blue Mass will pay tribute to four police officers who were killed in the line of duty in recent years:

  • Detective Joseph Seals of the Jersey City Police Department;
  • U.S. Capitol Police Officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick;
  • Officer Michael Teel of the Port Authority Police Department;
  • Officer Sean Peek of the Bridgeton Police Department.

The lives of four officers who died in retirement will also be recognized:

  • Jack McGarry of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the East Orange Police Department; Danny Francis of the Newark Police Department;
  • Benedetto “Benny” Christiano of the Bloomfield Police Department;
  • Richard T. McKnight of the Newark Police Department.

Additionally, 31 police officers who died of COVID-19, including Patterson, will be acknowledged, and 37 Port Authority officers who were killed during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks will be honored to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Chief Christopher Trucillo of the NJ Transit Police Department is this year’s honorary chairman of the Blue Mass. Chief Trucillo is a lifelong parishioner of the Archdiocese of Newark who was a captain in the Port Authority Police Department on 9/11.

“We in law enforcement always pledge that when we lose somebody, we’ll never forget them,” Trucillo said. “But those words are empty unless we actively do things that will allow us to never forget. And the Blue Mass is one of those significant ways to fulfill that pledge. As someone who’s been in law enforcement for quite a while, I’m proud of our profession, and I feel so honored to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice through the Blue Mass.”

A luncheon sponsored by law enforcement will be held at the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark following the Mass. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by contacting Vincent Nardone and William Schievella at 1-800-427-7651 or bluemass@embarqmail.com.

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