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Jurists praised for promoting common good at Red Mass


  • Cardinal O'Malley celebrates the Red Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Oct. 30. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • Former Vatican Ambassador Raymond Flynn addresses members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild at the Red Mass luncheon. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)

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SOUTH END -- At the annual Red Mass for legal professionals, held Oct. 31 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley noted the crucial role those in the legal profession plays in our society.

"Yours is not a job, a career, or a profession. It is, as St. Paul says in the second reading, a calling; a vocation to promote justice and to work for the common good," the cardinal continued.

The Red Mass -- a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages -- is held to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit in guiding members of the legal profession around the beginning of the judicial year. The Mass takes its name from the red vestments traditionally worn by clergy to represent the Holy Spirit, which came down on the Apostles as "tongues of fire." In Boston, the Red Mass is sponsored annually by the Catholic Lawyers' Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston.

In his homily, Cardinal O'Malley spoke on the Year of Mercy, and referenced Pope Francis by saying mercy is the face of God.

"If mercy is the face of God, it must also be the face of the Church, it must be our face. Few professionals have the kind impact on society that your profession does," said the cardinal.

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