Hazlet Father Honored at 30th Annual Blue Mass for Selfless Rescue Attempt

Newark, N.J. – The upcoming 30th Annual Blue Mass, organized by the Archdiocese of Newark, will pay tribute to fallen police officers, including U.S. Customs Supervisor Jacqueline Montanaro. Montanaro, a Hazlet resident, tragically lost her life while attempting to rescue her daughter from a house fire. The Mass is scheduled to take place on Thursday, November 2, at 10 a.m. in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Archbishop of Newark, will preside over the ceremony, which aims to honor the dedication and sacrifices made by law enforcement personnel in New Jersey.

The event will be attended by police and fire officials from various federal, state, county, and municipal departments and agencies, representing diverse faiths. Families of the deceased officers being recognized will also be present, along with multiple police honor guard units, bagpipers, and drummers. The Mass will also be graced by the presence of high-ranking public officials, demonstrating their support for the law enforcement community.

Apart from Montanaro, the Blue Mass will commemorate the lives of five other officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. These include Bayonne Police Captain Paul Jamolawicz, Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro, Deptford Township Police Officer Robert Shisler, Timothy Sullivan of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and New Jersey State Police Lieutenant Gerald Barbato. Additionally, the Mass will honor the memory of Bayonne Sergeant Robert Skalski, Newark Captain Richard Weber, Officer Brendan Burke of the New Jersey Transit Police, Lieutenant Walter A. Imbert of the Orange Police Department, Timothy O’Hare of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Alex Melendez of the New Jersey Transit Police. The ceremony will further pay tribute to Newark firefighters Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brookes, who both passed away earlier this year.

Following the Mass, a luncheon sponsored by law enforcement will be held at the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark. Attendees can purchase tickets at the door or by contacting Vincent Nardone and William Schievella at 1-800-427-7651 or [email protected].

The Archdiocese of Newark serves 1.3 million Catholics across Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. With 212 parishes, 73 Catholic schools, and numerous missions and ministries, the Archdiocese actively engages in faith, education, and social services. Led by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, along with four auxiliary bishops, the Archdiocese plays a vital role in serving the northern New Jersey community. Visitors seeking more information can visit www.rcan.org.

The Blue Mass has become an annual tradition that provides an opportunity for law enforcement personnel to come together and remember their fallen comrades. Over the years, the Mass has served as a solemn occasion for officers to pray for those who lost their lives in the line of duty, died of COVID-19, were killed on 9/11, or passed away in retirement. This sacred event fosters unity and solidarity among law enforcement agencies, as officers gather to honor the sacrifices made by their colleagues.

As the date for the 30th Annual Blue Mass approaches, law enforcement personnel, clergy, and members of the community eagerly anticipate this significant event. The Mass stands as a poignant reminder of the bravery and dedication displayed by New Jersey’s law enforcement personnel, who put their lives on the line to protect and serve their communities.

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