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  • 30th Annual Red Mass of Orange County

30th Annual Red Mass of Orange County

  • 10/01/2018
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Christ Cathedral - Arboretum | 13280 Chapman Avenue | Garden Grove, California 92840


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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the St. Thomas More Society will host the annual Red Mass at Christ Cathedral - Arboretum in Garden Grove, on Monday, October 1, 2018.  Orange County judges and lawyers will attend as a group, joined by public officials and law faculty members.  

The custom originated in Europe in the 13th century and received its distinguished name from the brilliant scarlet vestments worn by the Mass celebrant and Lord High Justices in England.

This year we are honored to welcome back Bishop Kevin Vann in celebrating the Red Mass in Orange County and seek his blessing on the dedication and mission of our local legal community as we seek to strengthen our resolve in the upcoming judicial session.  

We look forward to sharing a meal with Bishop Vann at the St. Thomas More Society dinner after the Red Mass where we will acknowledge exemplary work of some of Orange County’s catholic legal professionals. 

This unique Mass for the Bench and Bar has been celebrated for many centuries all over the world. Its roots can be traced back to Paris, France where the first recorded “Red Mass” took place in 1245. It was held for centuries in the chapel of the Order of Advocates, La Sainte Chapelle, built by Louis IX. In certain localities of France, the Red Mass was celebrated in honor of St. Ives, the patron Saint of Lawyers. In England, the tradition began about 1310, during the reign of Edward I. The entire Bench and Bar attended the Red Mass together at the opening of each term of Court. 

In keeping with our country’s rich tradition of religious freedom and diversity, the Red Mass has continued in the United States. The first Red Mass in the U.S.A. was held at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Detroit in 1877.  Each year in Washington, D.C., the members of the United States Supreme Court join the President and members of Congress in celebration of the Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew at the opening of the judicial year.  The Red Mass is also celebrated in Sacramento and most other state capitals and major cities throughout the United States. 

The St. Thomas More Society of Orange County celebrated its first Red Mass in Orange County in 1988 with many jurists and members of the Bar actively participating. The Red Mass has become as much a tradition here as it is throughout the United States and other parts of the world.

“The Red Mass in Orange County is an honored tradition that brings the legal community together and reminds us of the lawyer’s duty as a servant to his client and to justice and equity in the law,” said Bill Malecki, Esq., current President of the St. Thomas More Society. 

A buffet dinner will follow Mass at no cost, though we gladly accept your donations as our costs to bring you this event exceed $20,000.

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Kathya Firlik, Esq. | President


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The St. Thomas More Society of Orange County invites the Catholic legal community to join the society.  Catholic attorneys, judges, law students, and those who work in the legal community and provide professional services to attorneys are encouraged to join in Catholic camaraderie as together we face the challenges of being the face of Christ in the midst of the secular world.  

Join The St. Thomas More Society of Orange County

The St. Thomas More Society of Orange County, California, is an independent organization sponsored by lawyers and judges who are practicing members of the Roman Catholic Church. Its purpose is to encourage Catholic lawyers to live out their Christian vocation by sanctifying their daily work.

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