Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy Bauer shows off a sign presented to her by the students and staff of St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota as part of the Faith and Blue outreach to law enforcement Oct. 8, 2020. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Students share support of law enforcement

Sarasota  |  Students at each of the Diocese of Venice Catholic schools recently took part in a special event, Faith and Blue Weekend, a public-private partnership to show law enforcement officers appreciation from Faith communities nationwide, and an effort to build a united community for all.  

Letters of appreciation from students were presented to officers and deputies across the Diocese during prayer services and Masses. In addition, other care packages were presented. The notes thanked the deputies and officers “for their service, for keeping everyone safe and for their safety as they put their life on the line for others.”

The Sarasota Police Department received a package of notes from students at St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy. Each of these included the “Police Office Prayer.” The Department posted their thanks along with several images on social media: “Thank you to the incredible students and staff at St. Martha (and Mary) Catholic School for the outpouring of cards, notes and treats for National Faith and Blue. Each note is so uplifting to our officers and civilians. We can’t thank you enough!”

The two schools also honored the Sarasota County Deputy Sheriff who serves as security at the two schools. Deputy Bauer was treated with a gift package as well as a lawn sign which read: “Honk! Honk! for Deputy Bauer – Faith and Blue.”

Several other Diocesan Catholic schools also held ceremonies honoring local law enforcement.

At St. Ann Catholic School in Naples, officers from the Naples Police Department were invited for Mass on Oct. 9, 2020. Afterwards, students personally handed the officers their letters of support and encouragement. 

St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral included a St. Michael the Archangel pin and prayer card with the notes from students in deliveries to members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Cape Coral Police Department. Current and/or retired members of law enforcement who are family members of students at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice were invited to the school for a special presentation.

In addition to Diocesan Catholic school activities, Parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice were encouraged to offer special prayer petitions and blessings to law enforcement in attendance at Masses throughout the weekend of Oct. 9-12.

Here are some of the messages written by students to law enforcement officers:

• “Thank you for helping others and saving people’s lives, for teaching them how to better people.”

• “Thank you for always taking care of us and keeping us safe… Remember God is always with you and keeping you safe. 

• “Thank you for all you do for us. You risk your life to protect us. You keep us safe and I hope you stay safe.”

• “You are a hero to our community, and I admire you very much for that.”

• “You inspire many of us to be more helpful, strong, giving and brave.”

• “Thank you for your bravery and service to the community!”

• “There are 6,500 spoken languages today so there are 6,500 different ways to say thank you. Thank you, 6,500 times, for risking your life every day to keep us safe. Thank you, 6,500 times, for catching the people who may not keep us as safe as you do.” 

• “Each day you go to work not knowing if you will return to your family and friends. Even during these crazy times, your sacrifice to this country is what will make us prevail as a unified country. As a son of a police officer I would like to thank you for your service to this country and community.”

• “Thank you for protecting us even during this tough time. I really appreciate all the things you have done to protecting your community.”

• “Thank you for standing by our side and I hope you are safe and to know that God is always next to you. Stay blessed!”

• “I know that you put your life on the line for our protection and I want to thank you for that.”

• “The world needs more people like you, so thank you!”

• “Thank you for keeping our community safe, we give you thanks for everything you do for us, some of you may not be treated well, but still thank you. LOVE POLICE!”