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Annual Red Mass Celebrated at St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati

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Jesuit Father Sossy Luyembe, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, Father Dan Dorsey. CT PHOTO/GAIL FINKE

Lawyers and judges from both sides of the Ohio River gathered on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the the 19th annual Red Mass. Held every year in the Queen City until 1965, it was revived by a determined group of lawyers and judges. Sponsored by The Saint Thomas More Society of Greater Cincinnati, it now alternates between Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

St. Xavier Church in downtown Cincinnati hosted this year’s Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Dennis M. Schurr with Father Dan Dorsey and Jesuit Father Sossy Luyembe on Sept. 8. Three state Supreme Court justices, one from Kentucky and two from Ohio, participate in the Mass, which was attended by about 150 people, including many judges and lawyers and their family members, as well as members of the Knights of Malta. Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus from the St. Isaac Jogues Assembly provided an honor guard.

A vocation to law or government service, Archbishop Schnurr said “the work of dedicated lawyers, judges, and lawmakers is absolutely indispensable to the legal structure that protects all of our rights and freedoms as American citizens. This is especially so now, when some of those freedoms are under attack.”

An increasingly secular society punishes orthodoxy, Archbishop Schnurr said, “or perhaps I should say orthopraxy, meaning correct conduct. For it remains permissible today to privately believe whatever we wish as long as that belief stays private and has no effect on how we live, vote, lead, or govern. This notion is totally at odds with Christ’s call in the Sermon on the Mount to be salt and light to the world.”

The archbishop recommended that all pray for the grace to live their vocation, and to be witnesses to Christ. “Let us start with our own hearts – pray to God to strengthen our faith, and ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for us.”

Click here for more about The Saint Thomas More Society of Greater Cincinnati. See more photos from the Mass at our Facebook gallery. 

Ohio Supreme Court Pat Fischer reads a prayer to St. Thomas More CT PHOTO/GAIL FINKE
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller reads the Epistle CT PHOTO/GAIL FINKE
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine reads the Prayers of the Faithful
People begin to arrive for Mass. Many wear red in honor of St. Thomas More, who was martyred for his faith.  CT PHOTO/GAIL FINKE
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