November 3, 2015
Amarillo—Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the fifth annual Red Mass Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 6:30pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 South Washington.
Catherine M. Stone, formerly Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio, 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.
Ms. Stone has devoted her entire legal career to appellate law. Since 1987, she has been board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a civil appellate law specialist.
Prior to joining the law firm of Langley & Banack, Stone served as the Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio. She was initially appointed to that Court in 1994 by the late Gov. Ann Richards and was thereafter elected three times to continue her service as a justice.
In 2008 Stone was elected to serve as Chief Justice of the Court. During her tenure on the Court she wrote thousands of legal opinions, and under her leadership as the Chief Justice, the Fourth Court of Appeals was widely recognized as an efficient and innovative court.
Stone was also elected by her fellow Chief Justices to serve a two-year term as the Chief of the Texas Council of Chief Justices. In that capacity she represented the intermediate courts of appeals before the Legislature, and with the help of her colleagues, successfully obtained much needed additional funding for the appellate courts.
Stone began her legal career as a briefing attorney at the Fourth Court of Appeals. She then practiced personal injury trial and appellate law with the San Antonio firm of Watkins, Mireles, Brock & Barrientos. She continued her practice of appellate law with the Law Office of Catherine M. Stone for several years before beginning her judicial service.
The history of the Red Mass dates back to 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.
For additional information about the Red Mass, please contact Riney at 468-3200.