Annual Blue Mass in NJ Honors NJ Law Enforcement, including Clifton Sergeant Robert Miller
The Archdiocese of Newark celebrates the 29th Annual Blue Mass today honoring the dedication and sacrifices of all active, retired, and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, presides over the Mass, which is attended by law enforcement officers of all faiths representing federal, state, county, and municipal departments and agencies. They will be joined by families of those who have died as well as multiple police honor guard units, bagpipers, and drummers and public officials present to show their support.
“It is always important for police officers to recognize and understand that they are not alone, that they are part of a very important ‘thin blue line’ that protects society from all that seeks to destroy it,” said Chief Christopher Trucillo of the NJ Transit Police Department, the Blue Mass’ honorary chairman. “I believe the Blue Mass brings this home in a spiritual way by showing police officers that they matter, what they do matters, and that good people — the majority of people — appreciate them and their sacrifice.”
This year’s Blue Mass will pay tribute to four local police officers who were killed in the line of duty within the past few years: Senior Correctional Police Officer Daniel Sincavage; Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro; Middletown Police Detective Lieutenant Joseph Capriotti; and Paterson Police Lieutenant Frank Petrelli. Officer Sincavage died in an on-duty vehicular accident, while Officer Varvaro — a former MLB pitcher — perished in a crash on his way to volunteering at a 9/11 memorial ceremony. Detective Lieutenant Capriotti and Lieutenant Petrelli both suffered from 9/11-related health issues.
Additionally, the Blue Mass will honor Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland — a former Newark resident — following his death earlier this year. Deputy Hilliard was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted on multiple felony warrants.
“Each time I hear of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, no matter where they are from, I always think the same thing — they went to work looking to help people and their community, and as a result of the uniform they wear and the selfless work that they do, they lost their lives,” Chief Trucillo said. “Jesus teaches us that there is no greater love than one laying their life down for another.”
Clifton Sergeant Robert Miller Remembered
Because law enforcement personnel served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many getting exposed on the job, the Blue Mass will also pay tribute to 10 officers who recently succumbed to the deadly virus. They are: Bloomfield Detective James Peri; Clifton Sergeant Robert Miller; Lieutenant Matthew Vogel of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office; Perth Amboy Lieutenant David Formeza; Sergeant Matthew Horton of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office; Daniel Krupa of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC); Paterson Captain John Phelan; Robert McCormack of the NJDOC; Dwayne Gibbs of the NJDOC; and Lakewood Captain Joseph Goertz.
About the Archdiocese of Newark
The Archdiocese of Newark serves 1.3 million Catholics throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. There are 212 parishes, 73 Catholic schools, and many missions and ministries in the Archdiocese, with hundreds of Masses celebrated in more than a dozen languages each week. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, leads the Archdiocese with four auxiliary bishops. Together, they serve the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. For more information, visit www.rcan.org.
Press Release by: Arch Diocese of Newark