Red Mass for Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Government Officials

September 27, 2010

Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., an American now serving at the Vatican, will be the homilist for the Red Mass, held annually in Washington the day before the Supreme Court’s new term opens. The Mass is to invoke God’s blessing and guidance on justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials. Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will be the principal celebrant at the Mass.

Sunday, October 3, 2010
10:00 a.m.
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

(Seating for credentialed journalists will be available inside. No cameras will be allowed inside. Camera set-up is across Rhode Island Avenue from the main entrance.)

The Red Mass 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.

At a brunch following the Mass, local attorneys and a law firm will be honored with Pro Bono Legal Awards in recognition of volunteer service. Last year, $8 million in pro bono legal services were donated to people in need through the Archdiocesan Legal Network.

The Red Mass and Pro Bono Legal Awards are sponsored each year by the John Carroll Society, a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals (

Archbishop Di Noia is a Dominican theologian who now serves as Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican. Previously, he held the post of Under-Secretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, before that, he was the director of the Intercultural Forum for Studies in Faith and Culture at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, and executive director of the secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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