Red Mass

red mass banner

The judicial year in many jurisdictions around the world is traditionally opened with a Red Mass.

The celebration of the Mass is designed to provide judges, lawyers, civic leaders and academics of all faiths the opportunity to reflect on the powers and responsibilities that are part of their offices.

Together, Red Mass participants ask God to grant the virtues and gifts necessary for the proper and just administration of their duties.

The Red Mass name comes from the red vestments and garments that early legal participants wore on this occasion.

The 2013 Red Mass was celebrated on Saturday, November 16 at 5:00 PM at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict's Monastery, and recognized Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhemina Wright with the Fidelis Apparitor award.

The Fidelis Apparitor award...

The award, which means “faithful servant” in Latin, is given to individuals who have been good and faithful servants of the law. It is awarded annually at the Red Mass.

Honorees are chosen by virtue of their exemplary service, outstanding competence and leadership, and their adherence to the directive in the Rule of Saint Benedict: “No one is to pursue what is judged better for oneself, but instead, what is judged better for someone else.”

Recipients

2013: Wilhemina Wright

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice

2012: Richard Pemberton

Senior partner in his western Minnesota law firm, past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association and memorable speaker.

2011: Jerry Lane

Executive director of Mid-Minnesota Legal assistance for thirty years.

2010: Tom Joyce, SJU '61

A partner and senior counsel in the Minneapolis and London offices of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He has also practiced law with firms in London, England and New York City.

2009: Susan Holden

Civil litigator who is known for her work as the chair of the panel that made awards to the victims of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse and for her efforts to provide legal relief to Katrina victims when she was president of the MN Bar Association.

2008: DePaul Willette, SJU '51

Retired attorney from Olivia, district court judge, member of the Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards and current legal assistance volunteer.

2007: Diana Murphy

Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

2006: John Simonett, SJU '48

Former associate justice with the Minnesota Supreme Court.