It’s not a coincidence that this year’s Red and Blue Masses are being celebrated close to 9/11.
The Blue Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, to invoke God’s blessing on law enforcement, firefighters, and all other first responders.
“Part of the Blue Mass celebration and its timing is to remember the first responders who acted so heroically on 9/11,” said Travis Pearson, Planned Giving coordinator for the diocese of Wichita.
“It’s an open invitation to that whole community and you need not be Catholic to attend,” he said. “Bishop Kemme has a great respect for law enforcement and the first responder community and encourages those who are not Catholic to attend the Mass and the luncheon afterward at The Lord’s Diner.”
The luncheon is a way the Diner staff and volunteers can thank the first responder community, Pearson said.
The diocese is associating Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun with the Blue Mass.
“Father Kapaun was a ‘first responder’ who saved bodies and souls in wartime,” he said. “So it’s in the spirit of Father Kapaun that we want to gather people together and honor folks who, frankly, put their lives on the line in service to others.”
The Red Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Cathedral.
“Like the Blue Mass, the Red Mass has a tradition and has been around for a long time,” Pearson said.
“It’s celebrated to benefit the lawyers, judges, lawmakers, policymakers – people who run the institutions of society that touch all of us, whether you’re a rich and famous or whether you’re poor and destitute. You can’t go about your day without being touched by institutions of law.”
The Red Mass is celebrated to remind those who work in law- and policy-related jobs of the need to be receptive to the Holy Spirit and tasks and duties they carry out, he said. “And in doing so, carry them out justly and fairly for all that justice is equal for all.”
Dr. Stephen Barr, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, will be the speaker at a dinner after the Red Mass.
“He is a huge proponent of the argument that there is no conflict between faith and science. In fact, he’s a published author on the notion that faith and science are partners and are not incompatible,” Pearson said.
He added that you sometimes hear the argument that faith and science are compatible but that’s usually heard from people of faith. “It’s really interesting to hear a scientist, a physicist, tell you that in his studies of the scientific realm, he sees no conflict.”
Bishop Kemme hopes to establish both Masses as a tradition that is anticipated by both communities, Pearson said.

Red Mass, Blue Mass to be celebrated at the Cathedral
Both the Red and Blue Masses will be celebrated in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
• The Red Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6
• The Blue Mass, will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 9.