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UDM School of Law Hosts 102nd Annual Red Mass

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September 11, 2014

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will host its 102nd annual Red Mass and Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at noon. The Mass will be held at Detroit's historic Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, 629 East Jefferson Avenue, which is immediately adjacent to the Riverfront Campus. Mass will be followed by a complimentary luncheon in the atrium of the School. The Catholic Lawyers Society is co-sponsoring the Mass this year.

Red Mass is an occasion for judges, lawyers, civic leaders, faculty and law students of all faiths to pray together at the beginning of the new judicial term, asking the Holy Spirit to bless, strengthen and enlighten members of the legal profession, so that in cooperation and mutual trust they may effectively achieve justice for all.

The custom of a special religious ceremony for all members of the bench and bar at the opening of each term of the court arose principally in England, France and Italy in the early 13th century. A Mass was celebrated in honor of the Holy Spirit, for which red vestments were worn. Hence, the celebration became known as the Red Mass.

The Lawyer's Oath of Commitment is recited by all new lawyers in the State of Michigan as a mandatory part of swearing-in ceremonies. Renewal of the Oath is a voluntary means of reaffirming this pledge made at the onset of a lawyer's career. This year's Oath will be led by Justice Michael F. Cavanagh of the Michigan Supreme Court, who graduated from the University of Detroit in 1962 and the School of Law in 1966. Justice Cavanagh will be recognized for his nearly 42 years of judicial service as he approaches retirement from the bench on Jan. 1, 2015. The celebrant of the Mass will be The Most Reverend Donald F. Hanchon, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The School of Law has hosted the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saints Peter and Paul since the School opened in 1912.

For additional information, please visit the School of Law website.

Red Mass

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