October 4, 2021
Event to unite the legal community through processions, music and ritual
The St. Mary’s University School of Law and the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild will draw the San Antonio legal community together to celebrate Red Mass at San Fernando Cathedral on Thursday, Oct. 14. The annual event upholds the centuries-old tradition that marks the fall start of the judicial year.
At 5:45 p.m., judges and legal organizations will have a procession carrying bright red banners through Main Plaza to the Cathedral at 115 Main Plaza. The Mass will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Attendees are required to wear masks. The Mass will also be livestreamed via YouTube and on Spectrum Cable Channel 15 by Catholic Television.
“Given the continued hardship and heartache felt around the world, and the importance of peace, patience, compassion and wisdom as we strive for justice, Red Mass has never been more necessary,” said Patricia E. Roberts, J.D., St. Mary’s Law Dean.
The Most Rev. Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., Archbishop of San Antonio, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., President of St. Mary’s University, will give the welcome remarks.
The Red Mass tradition dates to 1245 in Europe when both the bench and bar attended the Mass together at the beginning of each judicial session. The name references both the crimson robes worn by judges and red vestments worn by priests in honor of the Holy Spirit. Legal communities across the country celebrate Red Mass to request God’s blessings and guidance on the administration of justice.
St. Mary’s Law and the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild of San Antonio revived the tradition 69 years ago and organize the annual event with representatives from San Antonio legal organizations, the judiciary and the State Legislature.
“We will gather together in thanksgiving for collaboration, innovation and new ways of learning and working in our legal community,” said Sister Grace Walle, F.M.I., D.Min., the St. Mary’s Law Chaplain who helps organize the event.