St. John the Evangelist Church in center city Philadelphia will host a memorial Mass honoring firefighters who died in the line of duty on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m.
The Mass will pay tribute to the four firefighters who lost their lives as a result of battling the great fire in February 1899 that burned St. John’s and several buildings in the 1200 block of Market Street. Hugh Duffy, 44; William J. Chance, 32; and George W. Steinle, 38 were crushed to death by a burning wall that fell as they fought the blaze. Two weeks later, James J. Shea, 41, succumbed to pneumonia which he contracted while fighting the fire.
Also remembered during this Mass will be Philadelphia Fire Captain Michael Goodwin who died in the line of duty in 2013.
Father John Daya, O.F.M. Cap., pastor of St. John’s, will celebrate the Mass, which will be attended by Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison and members of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
A blessing of the memorial plaques to each of the fallen firefighters and a reception will immediately follow the Mass.
St. John the Evangelist Church is located at 21 South 13th Street in Philadelphia. Contact Kathy Howley at 215-518-0943 for more information.