Big wigs celebrate annual Red Mass

By Mary Brazell, 31 January 2020
Members of the legal community during the Red Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


As the new judicial year commences, members of the legal profession in Western Sydney have reaffirmed their commitment to justice and faith.

The Red Mass, held for all members of the legal community – including judges, lawyers, barristers, solicitors, emergency services personnel, academics, law students – regardless of religious affiliation, was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, was principal celebrant during the Mass, named in reference to the red vestments worn by the celebrants to signify the Holy Spirit.

View images from the Parramatta Red Mass here or below.

Concelebrating with Bishop Vincent were Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, and Fr Bob Bossini, Dean of the Cathedral.

A full bench of justices, judges and magistrates, in traditional court attire of robes and wigs, from various courts were among the congregation.

Federal Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, NSW Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, representing the NSW Premier, and NSW Member of the Legislative Council Daniel Mookhey, representing the NSW Leader of the Opposition, were also in attendance.

In his homily, Bishop Vincent inspired those in the legal fraternity to constantly strive for justice, reflecting the values of Christ, the great liberator.

“Brothers and sisters, there is no other field of human endeavour that is so deeply connected to justice as the legal profession.

“As Christians, your mission reflects that of the Servant Messiah foretold long ago by Isaiah and enacted indeed by Jesus himself – a mission of delivering justice, dignity and liberation to the victims of injustice.

“Modelled on Jesus, the great liberator, you are to lead others, especially the unjustly oppressed to higher levels of inclusion and human flourishing.

“We cannot be true to the Gospel if we safeguard our privileges and fail to deliver justice and human dignity to those who are unjustly deprived of it.

“It is God’s vision of justice, mercy and fullness of live that consumes us and spurs us on.

“As we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of St Thomas More on our work at this Red Mass, we recommit ourselves towards God’s vision of justice and mercy and fullness of life for humanity.

“May God of the journey accompany and form us into his people and his instruments for the transformation of the world,“ Bishop Vincent said.

Following Mass, speaking on behalf of the President of the Parramatta and District Regional Law Society, Steve McAuley thanked the organisers of the Mass and expressed his hope for the continuation of this new tradition.

“The Red Mass is an opportunity to affirm our commitment to justice and faith. [With] thanks to each of you, we hope that the Red Mass at Parramatta will continue to grow in the years ahead,” he said.

Refreshments were served in the Cathedral Hall at the conclusion of Mass.

The Red Mass was organised by the Diocese of Parramatta, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, the St Thomas More Society and the Parramatta and District Regional Law Society.

View images from the Parramatta Red Mass here or below.

2020 Parramatta Red Mass


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