Red Mass Scheduled for October 2

September 21, 2005

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will be the principal celebrant and homilist for the annual Red Mass, which is held in Washington on the Sunday before the Supreme Court session opens, to pray for justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials:

Sunday, October 2, 2005
10:00 a.m.
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

(Limited seating available inside for credentialed reporters. No cameras inside the Cathedral for this Mass. Camera set-up for credentialed media is across Rhode Island Avenue from the main entrance.)

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 McCarrick has been Archbishop of Washington since 2001 and was part of the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005. He is widely known for his work on international human rights and religious freedom, as well as his commitment to education, vocations and serving the immigrant community here in Washington. He has chaired both the domestic and international policy committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and served on the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom. Ordained in 1958 as a priest of New York, he became an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of New York, the first Bishop of Metuchen (NJ) and the Archbishop of Newark before his appointment to Washington. Cardinal McCarrick last gave the Red Mass homily in 2001.

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. Last year alone, attorneys and law firms in the Washington metropolitan area donated $10 million in pro bono legal services through the Archdiocesan Legal Network to 6,000 people in need in the community.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]