San Antonio to celebrate 64th Annual Red Mass

Red Mass 2015On Oct. 6, the San Antonio legal community will come together at San Fernando Cathedral, 115 Main Plaza, to take part in a centuries-old tradition celebrating the beginning of the judicial season: Red Mass.

The Most Rev. Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., Archbishop of San Antonio, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. The Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals, will offer welcome remarks.

At 5:45 p.m., judges and legal organizations will have a procession carrying bright red banners through Main Plaza to the Cathedral. The Mass will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

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 St. Mary’s University School of Law and the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild of San Antonio revived the tradition 64 years ago and organize the annual event with representatives from San Antonio legal organizations, the judiciary and the State Legislature.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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