BALTIMORE (WJZ) — 85 years ago on September 29, nearly 1,100 police and firefighters dressed in blue uniforms walked into St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

They did so to celebrate the first “Blue Mass” Sunday. The tradition has grown in Baltimore with the only difference being more support than ever.

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“Those who are dedicated to serving our community realize the importance of building relationships with law enforcement and those who live in our neighborhoods,” said Archbishop William Lori.

In 1934, a Catholic priest Thomas Dade from Baltimore started the first Blue Mass in the nation’s capital. 85 years later, the mass still expresses gratitude for Maryland State, federal and local personnel who risk their lives every day.

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“It’s always great- the faith community pulling everybody together just to say thank you. Sometimes, we move through the day so fast, you don’t often have time to stop to say it. You certainly don’t have time to hear it,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

Hundreds gathered, including Baltimore city leaders hoping and praying for a better Baltimore for everyone.

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“We pray to build bridges, end violence and racism, and make our community a safer, a healthier and a happy place,” said Archbishop Lori.