Approximately 13 firemen, Ontario County sheriff’s deputies, ambulance-company personnel, and Victor village and town officials received a special blessing at St. Patrick’s Church in Victor on June 13.
Father Timothy Niven, pastor of St. Patrick’s, celebrated the 11:15 a.m. Mass and gave the blessing, which was one of the special events taking place that weekend in honor of the village of Victor’s 125th anniversary and the Victor Fire Department’s 100th anniversary.
The blessing was offered to local emergency personnel and village officials, regardless of whether they were St. Patrick’s parishioners. About 10 people from other faiths participated in the blessing, said Meg CHaides, business manager at St. Patrick’s and chairperson of the village of Victor’s planning board.
The parish wanted to take part in Celebrate Victor Weekend and honor and thank those who dedicate their lives to the service of the community. It was decided that offering the blessing would be an appropriate way to do so, and most of the parishioners thought “it was really kind of neat to even think about doing that,” CHaides said.
The Mass marked the first time the parish has taken part in a blessing like this, CHaides said, noting that there has been talk at the parish of turning the blessing into an annual event and involving other denominations to make it more ecumenical.
The parish tried to work around and take part in Celebrate Victor Weekend as much as possible, even moving its regular 5:15 p.m. Saturday Mass ahead an hour and 15 minutes so the parish parking lot could be used as a staging area for 25 visiting fire companies that took part in a firemen’s parade on June 12.
St. Patrick’s Parish was established in 1856 and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2006.