Louisiana judges donned their robes and gathered at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square in New Orleans on Monday for the 69th annual Red Mass, traditionally held the first Monday in October. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond was the Celebrant and the Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, theologian and well-known Catholic media personality, was the Homilist. Judges, lawyers, officials of all faiths, and the public were invited to attend the Mass, which was preceded by a walking procession of judges from the Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr. Courthouse to St. Louis Cathedral.
Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice John L. Weimer remarked, “At the annual Red Mass, we traditionally gather for blessings for members of Louisiana’s legal profession at the opening of the judicial year. Numerous challenges have been unfortunately visited upon many communities across our state, with so many lives having been affected by storms and by the pandemic. In this upcoming judicial year, citizens from all walks of life will enter courtrooms, seeking judicial guidance in their efforts to recover from the events that have befallen our state. This year, in consultation with religious leaders and the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association, we broadened the request for divine blessings beyond the legal profession to include all who have been adversely affected by the storms and by the pandemic and now face difficulties on the road to recovery. Our citizens who were in the path of Hurricanes Laura and Ida are especially deserving of our prayers.”
The Red Mass is sponsored by the Catholic Bishops of the State of Louisiana and the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association. The celebration of Red Mass goes back many centuries in Rome, Paris, and London. In Louisiana, Red Mass was first offered in St. Louis Cathedral on October 5, 1953. The Red Mass has also been celebrated annually in communities throughout Louisiana and in various states such as California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.