Carlos Jativa, an Allegheny County sheriff’s deputy who was critically injured during a fall while searching for a fugitive, will be the guest speaker at the annual Blue Mass, held at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, October 21. Deputy Jativa is also a decorated military veteran who was injured by during a second tour of duty with the U.S. Marines in Iraq in 2012.
Jativa is a native of Quito, Ecuador who moved to New York with his family at the age of five. After completing studies at Brentwood High School in New York, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006 at the age of 17. Stationed at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina, he was an Infantryman with the 1st Battalion 8th Marines. On his second deployment to Iraq, while on patrol, the vehicle he was riding in struck something in the roadway and the Marines inside fell about 50 feet from an overpass. He was discharged due to his injuries in March of 2012.
He moved to Pittsburgh and began attending Community College of Allegheny County, graduating in 2014. Following graduation, he enrolled in the police academy, graduating in December of 2014.
Deputy Jativa began his law enforcement career as a part-time officer with both the Ohio Township and Hampton Township police. After 18 months working with those departments he was hired by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, where he is now employed.
Deputy Sheriff Jativa, who married on June 3, 2017, sustained a very serious injury on the job just two-and-a-half months later, on August 26, while assisting other detectives in a search. While on top of a fifteen-foot-tall retaining wall, a piece of the wall gave way and Deputy Jativa fell. Hospitalized for four days, initially in critical condition, Deputy Jativa spent ten months recovering from the accident, returning to work at the end of June, “100 percent ready,” he said, “to continue my career of serving Allegheny County and its citizens.”
The Blue Mass was first celebrated in 1934 at Saint Patrick’s Church in Washington, D.C. Since then, the Blue Mass has become a tradition in which local communities gather together to celebrate and thank those who serve in their communities as police officers, firefighters, as emergency medical service personnel along with their families. People of all faiths are invited to attend. The Blue Mass also honors those who have died in the line of duty
Father Joseph Adams, O.S.B., director of public safety at Saint Vincent College, will be principal celebrant for the Mass and will bless emergency services vehicles outside of the Fred Rogers Center following the Mass.