Masses set in LaSalle for first responders, in Quad Cities for medical personnel


Police officers, firefighters and other first responders will be honored by the parishes of the LaSalle Vicariate at a Blue Mass on Thursday, Sept. 29. It will take place at 7 p.m. at the Shrine of the Holy Rosary, 529 Fourth St., in LaSalle.

Sept. 29 is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, archangels. St. Michael is the patron of security forces and of the sick.

Father Gary Blake, pastor of Holy Family in Oglesby and Sts. Peter and Paul in Leonore, and Father Antonio Dittmer, pastor of the LaSalle Catholic parishes, said the Mass will be offered “for the safety of all those who work to keep our communities safe” and to give thanks for their service. Those who have died in the line of duty and their families also will be remembered in prayer.

Meanwhile, health care professionals and students are specially invited to the third annual White Mass to be celebrated at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 916 E. Rusholme St.

The annual liturgy, open to the public, is planned by the St. Thomas Aquinas Guild of the Quad Cities, a chartered guild of the Catholic Medical Association.

Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport will be the principal celebrant of this year’s White Mass, so named for the white coats worn by physicians.

Following the Mass, all are invited to the neighboring Denning Hall for a presentation on end-of-life care. Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, will speak on “Protecting Human Dignity and Preservation of Self-Worth: A Practical and Compassionate Approach to End-of-Life Care.”

Dr. Ely is an author of the Geriatric Review Syllabus and serves as a reviewer of many medical journals including The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine. His essays relating to faith-based issues in health care have appeared in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and the National Catholic Register.

Guild membership is not required to attend Dr. Ely’s presentation, but those planning to be present are asked to send a confirmation email to



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