Military and First Responders Honored With Mass in Brant Beach

May 03, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds Retired Staff Sgt. Ruben Gomez, U.S. Army.

The powerful churning of the approaching N.J. State Police helicopter seemed to announce the event as it neared St. Francis of Assisi Church in Brant Beach for the second annual Mass of Appreciation Honoring the Men and Women of the U.S. Armed Forces and First Responders on April 28.

“Sunny skies welcomed our special guests from the Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland, coupled with everyone in attendance that made this a very beautiful service,” added William F. Benedict, president of Knights For Christ The Healer Inc., which organized the service.

As the event title described, it was a day of thanks for the “selfless commitments of time and professionalism” of military and first responders.

The Rev. Jim Scullion delivered the homily, and church music director Michelle Beck, together with musicians, enhanced the Liturgy of the Word with church and patriotic hymns.

Distinguished guests included retired Staff Sgt. Ruben Gomez, U.S. Army; Disabled Veterans from the Veterans Memorial Home; 9th District State Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove; Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph H. Mancini and Commissioner Joseph P. Lattanzi; retired Maj. Gen. J. Phillip Monahan and retired Maj. Eugene O. Moynihan, U.S. Marine Corps; U.S. armed forces personnel, veterans and first responders; Jr. Air Force ROTC cadets; and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.

“In particular, we thank the patrolmen of the Long Beach Township Police Department, under the direction of Capt. Kevin Mahon; Long Beach Township PBA Local 373; and the officers and troopers of the N.J. State Police for their outstanding assistance and presence at today’s service,” said Benedict.  —M.S.

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