October 10, 2016
Amarillo—Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the sixth annual Red Mass Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 South Washington.
Michael A. Scaperlanda, president of St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., will serve as 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.
Scaperlanda was named the 16
th president of St. Gregory’s University on May 16. He has worked closely with the school since 2009 as a member of the Board of Directors, serving as vice chair of the board from 2012 to 2015. Scaperlanda played a key role in creating St. Gregory’s strategic plan,
Vision For Our Next Century.
Scaperlanda served the University of Oklahoma in various academic and administrative capacities since 1989. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he clerked for the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and practiced law for four years in Washington, D.C. and Austin prior to joining the faculty at the OU College of Law. Scaperlanda and his wife, María, are members of St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Norman. They have four children and six grandchildren.
The history of the Red Mass dates back to 13th century England during the reign of King Edward I, according to Brad Howard, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Church and shareholder in the law firm of Brown and Fortunato in Amarillo.
“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 Howard.
For additional information about the Red Mass, please contact Howard at 345-6310.