Detective Joseph Seals of the Jersey City Police Department – who heroically died in the line of duty – and three Hudson County law enforcement officers who died of COVID-19 were honored at the 28th Annual Blue Mass in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The Archdiocese of Newark celebrated its 28th Annual Blue Mass honoring the dedication and sacrifices of active, retired, and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, presided over the liturgy, which featured honor guard units, bagpipers, drummers, and many supporters representing all faiths.
This year, Gov. Phil Murphy, former Gov. Jim McGreevey, and numerous other dignitaries joined hundreds of members of law enforcement in paying tribute to four police officers 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; and Officer Sean Peek of the Bridgeton Police Department. A Capitol Police honor guard unit traveled from Washington, D.C. in solidarity with Officer Sicknick, who died following the January 6 Capitol riot.
“The lives and deaths of Detective Joseph Seals and Officers Michael Teel, Brian Sicknick, and Sean Peek remind us of their gift to us, their enduring affection for us,” Cardinal Tobin said in his homily. “They left an indelible witness to the greatest love of all, which is… to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Additionally, 31 police officers who died of COVID-19 were acknowledged, and 37 Port Authority officers who were killed during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks were recognized to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Four police officers who died in retirement were also remembered during the Blue Mass: 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; and Richard T. McKnight of the Newark Police Department.
To learn more about the Archdiocese of Newark, visit https://www.rcan.org/.