By Tess Wahlmeier
LINCOLN (SNR) – All are invited to the “Red Mass” celebrated by Bishop James Conley Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 a.m. at St. Mary Church in Lincoln.
The “Red Mass” is celebrated for judges, attorneys, law school professors and students, and government officials. The name comes from the red vestments worn during a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, which is the Mass traditionally offered for those in the legal profession.
“Our country has always been a very Christian country,” said Father Gary Coulter, chaplain of the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild, “and while honoring the constitution and a certain separation between Church and State, that doesn’t mean there is an elimination of our faith from our public and political life.”
He remarked on the symbolic value of seeing St. Mary Church right across the street from the Capitol building.
“We obviously want to pray that our leaders would act in accord with God’s laws,” Father Coulter said, “and that they also make wise and prudent decisions for the common good of each person and the people they serve, and that’s why especially, again, the Mass is the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. We ask the Holy Spirit to help them be wise in discerning as they make any decisions, judgments, and laws.”
A light breakfast reception will be held afterward in the Capitol Building, with featured speaker John Bursch, former Michigan Solicitor General. Bursch will speak about his experience arguing the Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which ended up legalizing same-sex marriage last summer. His talk is hosted by the St. Thomas More Society from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law.
All are invited to attend the Mass and presentation. Those unable to attend the Mass are encouraged to pray for the country’s leaders and those in the legal profession.