Police officers, family members and others packed St. Matthew’s Church in Mayfair on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to pray for Officer Andy Chan, who was seriously injured in a crash earlier this month.
Chan is still in “critical but stable condition” after he was hit by a van while riding his motorcycle Jan. 3 on Rhawn Street near Pennypack Park. He suffered a serious brain injury and remains in the hospital.
“It’s been a struggle, but we’ve been blessed by everyone, the police department, the whole city of Philadelphia, everyone,” Chan’s sister, Serena, told media members after the service. “He’s on the road to recovery right now, and we need all the prayers.”
Philadelphia Highway Patrol officers, outfitted in double-breasted leather jackets and black boots, filled several pews in St. Matthew’s lower church for the Mass.
Chan, 48, a member of the specialized unit, is a 24-year veteran of the force and is married with three children. He is known as a well-liked and respected officer.
“Everybody’s hopeful,” said John McNesby, FOP Lodge 5 president. “Everybody’s praying for him. He’s going to get through this. We’re confident of that.”
“He was just a good guy,” he added. “He was always smiling, and he always will be smiling.”
The crash occurred around 5:45 p.m. on the 3100 block of Rhawn Street. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said at the time that the collision appeared to be an accident, and the driver of the van stayed at the scene.
Wednesday’s Mass was a regularly scheduled monthly service to remember fallen officers, but it took on a special significance in light of Chan’s recovery.
“There were a significant number of people who wanted to come together to pray for (Chan) as well,” said the Rev. Steve Wetzel, chaplain for the FOP, who celebrated the Mass.
In addition to Chan, the service included prayers for the 26 Philadelphia officers who have died through the years in the line of duty during the month of January. Their names were read aloud.
The special Mass, part of the Michael the Archangel Ministry Program, is held at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month in the lower church at St. Matthew Parish, 3000 Cottman Ave. ••
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at email@example.com