Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 6:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the fourth annual Red Mass Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 South Washington.
Justice Phil Johnson of the Supreme Court of Texas will be the keynote speaker.
A reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will follow in the Monsignor Smyer Reception Room. Judges, lawyers, public officials, law faculty members and the community are invited to the Mass and reception.
Justice Johnson was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in March 2005 by Gov. Rick Perry and has been elected to the Court twice. At the time of his appointment, he was serving as Chief Justice of the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Amarillo.
Justice Johnson graduated with honors from Texas Tech School of Law. He has served on numerous committees of the State Bar, is a member of the College of the State Bar, and is a Life Fellow of both the Texas and American Bar Foundations.
From 1965 until 1972 Justice Johnson served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot. As a result of his service in Vietnam he received decorations including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
The Red Mass dates back to the 13th century England during the reign of King Edward I, according to Thomas C. Riney, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Church and partner in the law firm of Riney and Mayfield, L.L.P.
“The Mass was celebrated at Westminster Abbey and served as the official opening of the judicial year,” he said. “It received its name from the fact that the celebrants wore red vestments, and the Lord High Justices were robed in brilliant scarlet.
“The Red Mass was first celebrated in the United States in 1928 and is now observed in many cities throughout our country. The Red Mass promotes the unity of the judiciary and the legal profession.”
The Red Mass is celebrated in honor of the Holy Spirit as the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude. The Mass is open to anyone with a concern for justice, according to Riney.