By CATHERINE OWERS News Writer University President Fr. John Jenkins celebrated a Blue Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday in honor of firefighters and police officers. The Blue Mass honors not only Notre Dame Security Police and Notre Dame Fire Department, but also personnel from local and nationwide departments, fire chief Bruce Harrison said. “Notre Dame Security Police and the Notre Dame Fire Department are the hosts and represent the University, and then [they] encourage anyone who wants to participate to come,” Harrison said. “Particularly [police and fire personnel] in the region – St. Joseph County and beyond – we try to invite in.” Harrison said the Mass especially honored police officers and firefighters who have passed away in the last year, both in the line of duty and after their retirement. “We like to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the passing of all the retirees in our ‘family,’ so to speak,” he said. According to the Notre Dame Fire Department website, the Blue Mass is named for the color of uniforms that many police officers and firefighters nationwide wear. The Mass was first celebrated at Notre Dame as the traditional ‘month’s mind’ Mass for victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Blue Mass continues for them and for the police officers, firefighters and rescue workers who have died while serving and protecting others. The guest speaker at this year’s Blue Mass, George Hernandez, is a firefighter from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and was a member of the United States Forest Service as a hotshot firefighter, Harrison said. He said hotshot firefighters gained recognition last summer when 19 members of an elite group in Arizona died. “They were out trying to protect property and got caught in what they call a burn-over,” Harrison said. “The number of loss of life is particularly astounding.”That was a very tragic event for our wildlife community. And see how quickly it has lost focus” “We like to think that since we are common in cause, we provide an opportunity to remember [the hotshot crew] and understand the hardships their families are going through without them.” Harrison said he hopeseNotre Dame will continue to host an annual Blue Mass. “It is a somber occasion, but it is meaningful to try and capture that spirit of remembrance, and I think that this is what it’s all about,” he said. Contact Catherine Owers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brookville, In. — Stayin’ Alive & Unites Way of Franklin County are offering a Personal Renewal for Youth Workers Thursday, June 7 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Brookville Methodist Church. For more information please call 765-647-5268.
Not that his hiring was a surprise to anyone who knows Jackson.Phil isn’t widely networked, or networked at all.He’s most, or only, comfortable with people he knows: players he coached like Fisher, or former assistants like Kurt Rambis, now his interim coach.This raises two interesting questions?1. Who gets Luke Walton if he leaves Golden State? If “savior” in the context of the NBA is a dumb sportswriting cliche, Phil Jackson came as close to being one as professional basketball ever saw.That was as a coach. As boss of your basketball operations, not so much.His first season running the Knicks was a 17-65 debacle.In his second, he just fired Derek Fisher, who had never coached a game when Jackson hired him and lasted only 136, losing 96 of them. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If Warriors Coach Steve Kerr, who just returned from a botched spine operation, steps away after the season, Walton will surely get the job.If not, the Lakers and Knicks will surely pursue Walton.Walton was beloved as a Laker. Jackson called him his surrogate son, starting him because of his passing ability even if he didn’t run fast or jump high.Tune in July 1 when interested teams can court Walton to see who looks best to him.2. Who gets Phil?One more playoff miss next season — Phil’s third in New York — and I’d guess owner James Dolan will want out of the fourth and fifth seasons of Jackson’s $12 million-per-year deal.Even if Dolan wants to keep him, Jackson can walk, with an opt-out in 2017.There’s already speculation about it in Gotham.Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported “strong belief” Jackson will leave before his contract is up to join the Lakers.The New York Post noted Phil’s signals, repeatedly calling GM Steve Mills “my successor,” acknowledging being away from Jeanie Buss “isn’t ideal.”Meanwhile, back in Lakerdom …Next season is the one in which Jim Buss has vowed to step down if the Lakers aren’t in the West Finals — or, in other words, sayonara.Jeanie, of course, has vowed to hold him to his vow.I’m guessing Jeanie will let Jim stay, knowing it’s what her father would have wanted.Nevertheless, Jim’s presence will be even more ceremonial than it is now. He won’t be able to oppose hiring Jackson, which Jeanie would do in, appropriately enough, a New York minute.As a Laker, Jackson wouldn’t have to be on the front lines with a deep, experienced basketball operation headed by GM Mitch Kupchak.Jackson now works around a basketball ops bureaucracy dominated by Dolan, who is as clueless as meddlesome.That leaves Phil pretty much on his own, leaning on Clarence (Little House) Gaines Jr., the only top exec he brought in.Gaines, the son of famous Coach Clarence (Big House) Gaines, earned his pay in the last draft, urging Jackson to take Kristaps Porzingis — whom Phil had only seen in one U.S. workout.At No. 4, they were crestfallen to see D’Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor go Nos. 2 and 3.Little House then argued forcefully for Porzingis, persuading Jackson to take the plunge.Porzingis’ upside is considered second only to Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns among this season’s rookies.Making it clear this was Little House’s pick, Jackson noted: “When someone says to me, ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,’ I have to be alert.”Firing Fisher with no big name in mind to replace him immediately looks like it was Dolan’s idea more than Jackson’s.The owner, who’s under the sway of CAA, the big talent agency, wanted former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in Fisher’s place.Jackson wouldn’t do that, noting he needs someone he has a good relationship with — letting Thibodeau out — and announcing Rambis will finish the season.If Fisher never had a chance, trying to run the triangle with a team that couldn’t, he’s owed $17 million of the five-year $25 million deal Jackson gave him.For the Knicks and Lakers, Walton would be a breath of fresh air, bringing the modern open-court Golden State system to organizations stuck in the past.If we won’t see whose number comes up until July, the ball is already spinning around the wheel.