Toledo gathers for firefighters mass - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo gathers for firefighters mass

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It was a regularly scheduled Wednesday mass at the Historic Church of St. Patrick.

But this week was different.  This week's mass was dedicated to Toledo firefighters, Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman.

"The fire family has gathered to grieve and to celebrate and remember and to be apart of this praying community," Monsignor Chris Vasko of St. Patrick's Church said.

St. Pat's was a fitting location.  In 1980 the building caught fire.

Church leaders say it's still standing because of the hard work and bravery of the Toledo Fire Department.

"They're all in their dress uniforms and to see family gathering I just feel so humbled that we could do this for them," Monsignor Vasko said.

Fire departments from across the area showed up to support the TFD.

A gesture that spoke volumes to the men and women facing heartache.

"I feel a lot better having sat here with families and my brothers and sisters from the department and other departments," Jamie Fergeuson, a Toledo firefighter said.  "It makes me feel better."

Fergeuson graduated the academy with Machcinski and spent many years working along side him.

"We are a very tight family, so we're all hurting," he told 13abc.

Fergeuson says they're overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, but are still having trouble facing reality.

But Wednesday's memorial helped ease some of the pain.

"We appreciate people wanting to come in and help us at a time when we're hurting," Fergeuson said.

The church offered words of hope as the community prepared to say good bye.

"When we think of the tragic way these two guys sacrificed their lives, our hope is that they are already sharing in a much better life than what we can even imagine here," Monsignor Vasko said.

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