September 23, 2022

Red Mass for legal professionals set for Oct. 4 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral

Criterion staff report

The St. Thomas More Society of Central Indiana’s annual Red Mass for those in the legal profession will be celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis, at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 4. Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will serve as the principal celebrant of the Mass.

A dinner reception will follow in the Assembly Hall of the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center, 1400 N. Meridian St., across the street from the cathedral. During the dinner event, U.S. Southern District of Indiana Judge James Sweeney II will be honored with the Central Indiana St. Thomas More Society’s “Man for All Seasons” award.

Judge David Certo, who serves in the Marion County Superior Court, is president of the St. Thomas More Society of Central Indiana. He praised Judge Sweeney as an “example of courtesy, accomplishment and good humor. He reminds us of St. Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers, who called himself, ‘the king’s good servant, but God’s first.’ ”

A Red Mass is a centuries-old tradition of those who work in law to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the legal term in the early fall. The liturgy derives its name from the red vestments worn by the clergy during the Mass, red being symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

Judge Certo said the annual Red Mass “reminds us to pray for God’s blessings on judges, lawyers, law students and the rule of law in our nation.”

The society is named after St. Thomas More, a 16th-century English lawyer and statesman, who died as a martyr when he refused to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church in England.

The All Seasons award given by the society is a reference to a description of More by his good friend and renowned Renaissance scholar Desiderius Erasmus, which was used as the title of Robert Bolt’s 1954 play about More and was the title of the 1966 Oscar-winning motion picture adaptation of the play.

All are invited to take part in the Mass and dinner. Judges, attorneys, law students and others who work in the legal field are especially encouraged to attend.

The cost for the dinner is $40. A table sponsorship is $400, and a bar sponsorship is $1,500.

Registration for the dinner is required and may be made at No registration is required for those attending the Mass only.

For more information, send an e-mail to †

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