The Diocese of Western Massachusetts will offer a service of blessing for journalists Feb. 20 at Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield.

The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop of Western Massachusetts, and the Very Rev. Tom Callard, dean of of the cathedral, invite all members of the media in Western Massachusetts — print, television, cable news, and radio — to attend the service.

Feb. 20 marks the Episcopal Church’s commemoration of Frederick Douglass (1811-95): abolitionist, orator, and editor of the pro-abolition North Star.

In a speech before the American Anti-Slavery Society, May 11, 1847, Douglass spoke of the need for unrelenting assault on the institution of slavery: “The conscience of the American public needs this irritation. And I would blister it all over, from center to circumference, until it gives signs of a purer and a better life than it is now manifesting to the world.”

The service will include a reading of the First Amendment to the Constitution and lessons from Scripture. The service is open to all who support the work of the free press.

Adapted from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts