Diocesan News

Red Mass to feature Bl. Stanley Rother

Annual event prays for those in the legal profession

LINCOLN (SNR) – The annual Red Mass is an opportunity to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all who serve in the legal profession, especially judges, legislators, and lawyers.

The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop James Conley Monday, March 18 at 7 a.m. in St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Lincoln. The Catholic Lawyers’ Guild of the Diocese of Lincoln invites all to attend.

This year’s event will focus on martyr Bl. Stanley Rother. He was an American priest from Oklahoma who was murdered in Guatemala where he served as a missionary. Pope Francis declared Stanley Rother a martyr December 2, 2016. He was beatified in Oklahoma City September 23, 2017.

After the Red Mass, there will be a free breakfast and talk given by Mike Scaperlanda titled, “Lessons from the Life of American Martyr Bl. Stanley Rother.” It will describe how an ordinary person can become a saint, how God’s grace overcame the great challenges in the life of Bl. Stanley Rother, and how a farmer-turned-priest can enrich one’s professional life.

Scaperlanda said he first heard of Bl. Stanley Rother after moving to Oklahoma nearly 30 years ago, but “became intimately aware of him and the gifts he offers to the Church today” when Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City commissioned Scaperlanda’s wife María to write Rother’s biography.

“Bl. Rother stands out as an ordinary person who didn’t let obstacles – like failing out of the seminary and trouble mastering Latin – prevent him from following God’s call in his life,” he said. “Through daily commitment to his vocation, he had the courage to go to Guatemala.  He loved to the end, returning to his people even though he was in danger.”

María Scaperlanda’s book on Rother is named “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run.” 

“Although we are not all called to be martyrs, we are all called to be saints,” she said. “Bl. Stanley’s living out his vocational commitment as priest in the mission fields of Central America provides key insights into how we can live out our vocational commitment here in middle America.”

Michael and María Scaperlanda have been married 37 years. They have four children and are anticipating the birth of their 11th grandchild. Mike received his J.D. from the University of Texas and practiced law in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas. He is an emeritus professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he taught from 1989 until 2016. He now serves as chancellor for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. A nationally recognized expert in immigration law and Catholic legal theory, Scaperlanda’s scholarship includes the co-edited book, “Recovering Self-Evident Truths: Catholic Perspectives on American Law.”

To find out more about the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild of the Diocese of Lincoln or to pre-register for the Red Mass, visit www.lincolndiocese.org/lawyers or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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