October 26, 2011
The 59th annual Red Mass, celebrating the San Antonio legal community and inviting blessings on the judicial year, was held Oct. 27 at San Fernando Cathedral.
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., was the principal presider and homilist. The Hon. Rebecca Simmons, Justice, Fourth Court of Appeals, offered reflections on the importance of this occasion to the legal profession.
The tradition of Red Mass dates back to 1245 in Europe when both the bench and bar attended the mass together at the beginning of each judicial session. The name is derived from the scarlet robes worn by judges and red vestments worn by priests in honor of the Holy Spirit. Red Mass is celebrated throughout the country for the purpose of requesting God’s blessings and guidance on the administration of justice.
The tradition was revived in San Antonio 59 years ago by St. Mary’s University School of Law and the Catholic Lawyers Guild of San Antonio, who organize the annual event with representatives from San Antonio legal organizations, the judiciary and the State Legislature.