50th Annual Red Mass for Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Government Officials

October 04, 2003

The 50th annual Red Mass for Supreme Court justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials will be held the Sunday before this year’s Supreme Court session begins:

Sunday, October 5, 2003, 10:00 a.m.
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

The Red Mass invokes God’s blessings and guidance in the administration of justice under the power of the Holy Spirit, and is a tradition that dates back many centuries to Rome, Paris and London. The name comes from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants and the color of fire, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will be principal celebrant. The homilist will be Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, an internationally-recognized theologian, author and lecturer. Born in New York in 1918 to John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower, and Janet Pomeroy Avery Dulles, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1956. Cardinal Dulles has written 700 articles and 22 books on theology and served on the faculty of Woodstock College and The Catholic University of America. Currently, he is the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, a position he has held since 1988. Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Dulles knew each other as students at Fordham; Cardinal McCarrick served Cardinal Dulles’ first Mass as a priest and the two were elevated to the College of Cardinals together in February 2001.

The Red Mass is sponsored by the John Carroll Society, a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals. This year marks not only the 50th anniversary of the Red Mass, but also the restoration of St. Matthew’s Cathedral and, in November, the 40th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral at the church.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]