On Tuesday evening, September 29, members at the parish of Saints Simon and Jude Roman Catholic Church gathered to honor the New York Police Department, fittingly, on the Feast Day of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of law enforcement.
Pastor Fred Marano of the Gravesend church, located on Avenue T near Lake Street, was one of the celebrants at the mass, organized to show that Brooklyn supports the police officers who protect the city every day.
Over 300 people rallied together in support at the event, according to Pat Dellamura, one of the organizers of the mass, who told this paper, “It turned out very nicely. I think everyone was impressed.”
“It was a beautiful mass and we appreciate the turnout of men and women in blue and all the elected officials that came out too,” agreed parishioner and Hospitality Committee member Linda Dalton.
Particularly poignant was the presence of the parents of Detective Wenjian Liu, a Bensonhurst resident who was killed late last year while sitting in his police car, along with partner, Detective Rafael Ramos.
“Our parish invited [Liu’s] family to honor his sacrifice, and his parents were in attendance,” Dalton said. “It was beautiful to recognize NYPD’s finest, I was happy and proud to come together as a community. That was the most important part.”
Dellamura also recalled that when Liu’s parents were introduced to the church, they received a standing ovation. As the crowd exited the church after the mass, he said, the singer sang “God Bless America,” changing the words to God Bless Our Officers.
Captain Anthony Sanseverino, the commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct, said he was extremely touched by the mass and moved by seeing Liu’s family. “I sat there very proud of the people in my precinct and the NYPD,” he told this paper. “They get up every day, knowing the threats that are out there. The guys still put on their gun belt, vest and shield and show up to work. I commend them and I am proud to be a part of it.”
Numerous officers from the 62nd Precinct were also present at the mass, where Dellamura explained, a Blue Ribbon Campaign was also held. Blue lapel ribbons were sold for $1, with all funds raised to be donated to the PBA Widow and Children’s Fund.