News Release

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Celebrated 101st Annual Red Mass

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted their 101st annual Red Mass on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at noon at Saints Peter and Paul Church located at 629 E. Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit. The church is immediately adjacent to the UDM School of Law Campus. 

View the Photo Gallery for the 101st Annual Red Mass

UDM’s Red Mass is held each year for judges, lawyers, and officials of all faiths to pray together for guidance at the beginning of the new judicial term and join in the Renewal of the Lawyer’s Oath of Commitment.

The Oath is recited by all new lawyers in the State of Michigan as a mandatory part of the swearing-in ceremonies. Renewal of the Oath is a voluntary means of reaffirming the pledge made at the onset of a lawyer’s career. This year, the Oath was led by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. The celebrant of the Mass was Reverend Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., the provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus.

The custom of a special religious ceremony for all members of the bench and bar was held 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.

University of Detroit Mercy’s annual Red Mass dates back to 1877, when Detroit College, as the University was then known, began its first year with a mass at Saints Peter and Paul Church to ask the blessings of the Holy Spirit on the coming year’s work. The School of Law continued the tradition when it opened in 1912, again hosting the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saints Peter and Paul through the present.

This year's Red Mass attendees included:

Hon. Michael J. Beale Hon. Paul J. Komives
Hon. Terrence G. Berg Hon. William C. McConico
Hon. James M. Biernat, Sr. Hon. Renee R. McDuffee
Hon. Gregory D. Bill Hon. Lisa M. Neilson
Hon. Ulysses W. Boykin Hon. John J. O'Brien
Hon. Megan Maher Brennan Hon. Maria L. Oxholm
Hon. John M. Chmura Hon. Maureen Pulte Reilly
Hon. John G. Cummings Hon. Michelle M. Rick
Hon. Peter E. Deegan Hon. Michael J. Riordan
Hon. Gershwin A. Drain Hon. Daniel P. Ryan
Hon. Patrick J. Duggan Hon. Kathleen A. Ryan
Hon. Edward Ewell, Jr. Hon. Daniel J. M. Schouman
Hon. Joseph G. Fabrizio Hon. Virgil C. Smith
Hon. Patricia P. Fresard Hon. Martha M. Snow
Hon. Kathryn A. George Hon. Michael J. Talbot
Hon. Roman S. Gribbs Hon. Daniel J. Van Antwerp
Hon. Charles S. Hegarty Hon. Margaret M. Van Houten
Hon. Muriel D. Hughes Hon. David F. Viviano
Hon. Mary Beth Kelly Hon. Robert P. Young, Jr.
Hon. Karen Khalil Hon. Brian K. Zahra

Release date: September 26, 2013

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