75th annual San Francisco Police-Fire-Sheriff Mass brings city together in prayer

By Mary Powers

On Sunday, September 10, civic and religious leaders join Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and concelebrating priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco for the 75th annual Police-Fire-Sheriff Mass at St. Anne of the Sunset Catholic Church. The day began with a group photo on the steps of the church and was followed by Mass and the traditional “Last Alarm” ceremony wherein the names of active and retired members of the Fire, Police, and Sheriff’s Departments are read and taps is played to honor their service. This year’s keynote for the Last Alarm ceremony was Deputy Sheriff Joseph Green.

The Police-Fire-Sheriff Mass originated as an annual way to honor the firefighters who lost their lives during the 1946 Herbert Hotel Fire and continues to honor all first responders. (Read more here.)

Civic leaders and first responders at the Mass included: San Francisco Mayor London Breed, State Senator Scott Wiener, San Francisco City Attorney Daivd Chiu, San Francisco Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Myrna Melgar, San Francisco Fire Commission President Stephen Nakajo, San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson, Retired Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Assistant Police Chief David Lazar, President and Vice President of the Sheriff’s Oversight Board—Julie Soo and Xochitl Carrion, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, San Francisco Park Ranger Chief David Murphy, and Michael Pappas, Executive Director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

In his homily, Archbishop Cordileone thanked the first responders for their service and the risk they take every day to protect the city of San Francisco.

Pictured at the 2023 Policed-Fire Sheriff Mass is Assistant Police Chief Lazar, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, and Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson.

“You all, my dear brothers and sisters in uniform, take the risk [of putting your lives on the line] every day–a risk that often goes unrecognized and unappreciated. But we in this church today, we are here to pray with you and for you to say thank you.”

Following Mass, the group gathered for a joyful reception in St. Anne’s hall, bringing the agencies and leaders together in friendship and solidarity.

Photos by Dennis Callahan