Seals & other police officers killed in line of duty to be honored at Blue Mass; Jersey native killed in Capitol insurrection will also be honored

The recessional at the 2019 Blue Mass Sean Quinn | RCAN

Two local late police officers and one killed in the Capitol Hill insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, will be among many honored when the Archdiocese of Newark celebrates the 28th annual Blue Mass — which also recalls the dedication and sacrifices of all active, retired and deceased New Jersey law enforcement personnel — on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m., at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the archbishop of Newark, will be the main celebrant.

Hundreds of law enforcement and supporters of all faiths are expected to take part in the Mass, including honor guard units, bagpipers and drummers from throughout the state. Representatives from federal, state, county and municipal departments and agencies, as well as many public officials, also typically attend the Mass.

The late Jersey City Det. Joseph Seals, a resident of North Arlington, will be honored at the 2022 Blue Mass in Newark. Teddy Jao Lopez

This year’s Blue Mass pays tribute to four police New Jersey police officers who were killed in the line of duty in recent years: Det. Joseph Seals, a resident of North Arlington and of the Jersey City Police Department; U.S. Capitol Police Officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick; Officer Michael Teel of the Port Authority Police Department; and Officer Sean Peek of the Bridgeton Police Department.

The lives of four officers who died in retirement will also be recognized: Jack McGarry of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the East Orange Police Department; Danny Francis of the Newark Police Department; Benedetto “Benny” Christiano of the Bloomfield Police Department; and Richard T. McKnight of the Newark Police Department.

Additionally, 31 police officers who died of COVID-19 will be acknowledged, and 37 Port Authority officers who were killed during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks will be honored to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Chief Christopher Trucillo of the NJ Transit Police Department is this year’s honorary chairman of the Blue Mass. Trucillo is a lifelong parishioner in the Archdiocese of Newark who was a captain in the Port Authority Police Department on Sept. 11, 2001.

“We in law enforcement always pledge that when we lose somebody, we’ll never forget them,” Trucillo said. “But those words are empty unless we actively do things that will allow us to never forget. And the Blue Mass is one of those significant ways to fulfill that pledge. As someone who’s been in law enforcement for quite a while, I’m proud of our profession, and I feel so honored to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice through the Blue Mass.”

A luncheon sponsored by law enforcement takes place at the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark following the Mass. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by contacting Vincent Nardone and William Schievella at (800) 427-7651 or

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.