Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A Rochester church is inviting the public to an annual event that has special significance this year.

St. John’s Catholic Church will hold its annual Blue Mass Sunday, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.The annual service is designed to honor police officers, firefighters and other first responders.

Bishop John Quinn will preside over the service at the downtown church. Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede will also attend.

The church earlier sent invitations to local public safety agencies. The service is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. A reception will be held after the service.

For area officers, firefighters and first responders who may have missed the invite from the church, here is the message:

‘’’Dear Police Department, Fire Department and First Responders:

I am writing to invite you, your family, and your colleagues to our Annual Blue Mass here at The Church of St. John the Evangelist. On Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 2:00pm, Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona, will join us in honoring Police, Fire Department personnel and First Responders. In addition to our traditional way to give recognition to those in service to the community through public safety, we will be remembering all those who have lost their lives or loved ones in recent events, in years past, or at the World Trade Center 15 years ago. The media will be invited to cover the event and our desire and purpose is to honor you with an awareness and respect that you represent many different faith traditions. All are welcome!

We are inviting you to come with your families. We would encourage you to come in uniform and arrive at 1:45pm in order to form a procession and enter together (your spouses and children are welcome to participate in the procession with you). Then we would invite you to stay for a reception with light refreshments following Mass. It will help our planning process if you would let us know if you plan to attend. Please share this invitation with your fellow officers and co-workers to encourage their participation.

We sincerely hope to see you on September 11. It is clear that your way to serve is a sacrifice and that you risk your own safety to serve and protect us.

Thank you for your serious consideration of our invitation and I look forward to meeting you here at St. Johns.

Gratefully,
Rev. Msgr. Gerald A. Mahon
Pastor 

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