Thanksgiving for Heroes – First Responders Inspire Catholic Students

Tags: Currents, Bishop Raymond Chappetto, Catholic High Schools, FDNY, First Responders, NYPD, Queens, NY

By Tim Harfmann

There was an outpouring of thanksgiving for the men and women who keep the city safe, New York’s first responders.

The Mass offered for the heroes is timed to be celebrated near Thanksgiving, with Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto presiding at Holy Cross High School in Flushing.

“They’re always there to protect life. Life is valuable. Life is sacred. And I think our belief, as Catholics, that life is precious is reflected in the work that the first responders do,” said Chappetto.

Sara Keenan’s grandfather is FDNY Commissioner, Daniel Nigro.

“They’re my role models. I look up to them every day, and I aspire to be like them. They’re always helping other people, whether it’s on duty, off duty. It’s a great feeling,” said Keenan.

Nigro credits religious education for molding the people who serve New York.

“That strengthening of their faith brought them, I think, to the fire and police departments, and gave them that life-long desire to serve others in the community,” he said.

Holy Cross Junior Thomas Machalek wants to be a police officer, as many in his family have done, and he believes the values of a Catholic education will help him.

“Same moral teachings, same everything that goes into being a good Catholic, being a good Christian, and a good part of your community,” said Machalek.

The first responders of tomorrow thanking the heroes of today.