Lawyers and judges gather at SS. Peter and Paul for Red Mass

Members of the legal profession renew their commitment to justice during the 105th Red Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Jesuit Parish in downtown Detroit. The Mass is sponsored each year by the University of Detroit Mercy Law School.
 Dan Meloy | The Michigan Catholic

Detroit — Judges, lawyers, law students and civic leaders gathered at SS. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in downtown Detroit for 105th Red Mass for members of the legal profession.

The University of Detroit Mercy Law School hosted the first Red Mass in the United States and has continuously hosted the Mass since 1912.

Judges processed into the church wearing their robes and carrying a banner of St. Thomas More, patron saint of lawyers.

Msgr. John Zenz, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, presided over Mass.

“Lawyers, like priests, are ministers of reconciliation,” Msgr. Zenz said. “You reconcile issues between parties, reaching a just conclusion to disputes. You look at precedence with past cases, prudence for future cases.

“I’m sure you had many sleepless nights, just like how Jacob has a sleepless night, wrestling with God,” Msgr. Zenz said, reflecting on the Scriptures. “Because he was worried about reconciling for stealing his brother’s birthright.”

After Mass, U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain of the Eastern District of Michigan recited the renewal of the lawyer’s oath of commitment.

“I often think of the Book of Micah, ‘You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God,’” Gershwin recited. “This verse is appropriate for the legal profession. Our God expects us to exercise justice, mercy and humility.”