On September 4, 2012, St. Thomas More students Justine Ciaramella, Brittany Pettigrew, Law teacher Miss Leone and I, Joselin Marcaccio, were invited to attend the celebration of the Annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King.
The Red Mass is a European tradition and marks the opening of the Law Courts. This has also been a tradition for fifty-four years in Hamilton. This year, Bishop Douglas Crosby celebrated Mass for Hamilton lawyers, judges, and police officers.
The homily was about the life of Saint Thomas More, the Patron Saint of Lawyers. Lawyers have the responsibility to represent people and fight for justice and, as a lawyer, St. Thomas More did just that. He was a true servant of God who defended and fought for what is right. The Mass was a reminder to all in the legal profession that our law is based on the eternal law of God.
The Mass is called the Red Mass because red vestments are worn, and it is the colour of the judicial sashes worn by judges. Red is also the colour of the Holy Spirit, which reminds us of the virtues of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, and Knowledge. These are virtues that lawyers call upon when interpreting and applying the law to challenging cases. It was a great honour for us at STM to attend this Mass and celebrate with Hamilton’s Catholic legal community.