National Faith & Blue Weekend 2023

Catholic dioceses and parishes are encouraged to participate in National Faith & Blue Weekend, October 6-9, 2023.

National Faith and Blue Weekend

National Faith & Blue Weekend is a joint community outreach program focusing on resolution and reconciliation. The initiative by religious and police leaders intends to bring law enforcement officers and citizens together using local houses of worship in their community to facilitate.

*This video is from 2020. Dates for 2023 National Faith & Blue Weekend – October 6-9.

Faith & Blue Overview

Why Catholic Churches and Parishes Should Participate in National Faith & Blue Weekend:

A 2016 statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recommends how Catholics can get involved in building community. Among the suggestions the statement offers:

Catholics believe that life in community enables all people to be fully human. We value strong, intact families and healthy neighborhoods. Crime, especially violent crime, often destroys families and communities and can make everyone feel less safe or secure. Catholics are encouraged to promote all of those things that support family life and lift up the community. Catholics can:

  • Promote the variety of efforts in our neighborhoods that encourage active participation in the life of the community. Neighborhood watch groups, community-oriented policing, and partnerships between law enforcement and the local faith community are all part of the web of relationships that create safe and secure communities.
  • Discover new ways of dealing with offenders. Models such as Boston’s “Ten-Point Coalition” can be replicated in many communities. These programs encourage partnerships between local churches and police and divert troubled teens from a life of crime to becoming productive citizens.
Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s participation in National Faith & Blue Weekend began in 2020 when state, county, sheriffs, city, and municipal law enforcement officers were posted outside of some of our Catholic Churches within the Diocese of Pittsburgh to welcome parishioners as they arrived for Mass. This initiative was well received and endorsed by Bishop David Zubik.

In 2020 with the assistance of Greater Pittsburgh MAD DADS , participation in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh included 10 law enforcement agencies greeting parishioners at 14 Catholic Masses, at 12 Catholic Churches, in 2 Catholic parishes.

By 2022, participation grew to over one dozen law enforcement agencies greeting parishioners as they left 31 Masses at 16 different churches in 7 parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh with the support of Greater Pittsburgh MAD DADS.

“Participating in the Faith & Blue Weekend last year was such a blessing. It was so inspiring to see the congregation roar when we recognized the work of our local law enforcement. I highly recommend it to all.” – Fr. Terry O’ConnorPastor: Mary, Mother of God Parish

“It is joy and honor for our parish to participate in the annual Faith and Blue weekend.  Our police officers face tremendous challenges today and yet put their lives on the line to protect the safety and welfare of each of us.   How important for our congregation to show those in law enforcement our support, prayers, and appreciation for their service to our community.  I highly recommend all of our parishes to join in supporting this important initiative.” – Fr. Kris StubnaRector and Pastor: Saint Paul Cathedral Parish

“I strongly recommend all pastors to engage their parishioners this year in the Faith and Blue Weekend. I was amazed at the positive results last year when Saint Jude Parish participated for the first time. The atmosphere of respect, trust, cooperation, and concern between everyone after all the weekend Masses was exciting. I wish I had taken  a photo as parishioners, local officers, and those struggling in our community, such as residents from a nearby shelter were all gathered on the same church lawn. That was a powerful glimpse of the Kingdom of God already in our midst.” – Fr. Joe Mele, Pastor: St. Jude Parish

Overall, the National Faith & Blue Weekend activities in the Pittsburgh area have been a success and have benefited the Catholic parishes, the police departments, and the communities they serve.

2022 Faith & Blue Impact Report

A toolkit is available with ideas and strategies for participation.

2023 Faith & Blue Toolkit