Boston Archbishop to be Homilist for Annual Red Mass for Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Government Officials

September 27, 2004

Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap. will be the homilist, and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, the principal celebrant for Washington’s Red Mass, which is held annually to pray for Supreme Court justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials:

Sunday, October 3, 2004, 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. In Washington, it is held each year on the Sunday before the Supreme Court’s fall session.

Archbishop O’Malley, 60, was ordained a Capuchin priest in 1970. He served for many years in the Archdiocese of Washington, starting in 1973 when he was named executive director of the Archdiocese’s Spanish Catholic Center, then Episcopal Vicar for the Hispanic, Portuguese and Haitian communities and, in 1978, executive director of the Archdiocesan Office of Social Ministry. He was ordained a bishop in 1984, becoming the coadjutor bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands that year and bishop the following year. From 1992-2002, he was bishop of Fall River (MA) and from 2002-2003, bishop of Palm Beach. In July 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Boston. He has served on a number of committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Red Mass is sponsored by the John Carroll Society (JCS), a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals. In conjunction with the Red Mass, the JCS also presents Pro Bono Legal Awards to volunteers with the Archdiocesan Legal Network.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]