March 24, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Catholic Mass participants pray for divine inspiration and guidance for those serving in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and for members of the legal profession in Florida.
Who: Catholic bishops of Florida, members of the cabinet and executive branch, legislators, judges, attorneys, state agency officials and members of the community. Congregants are Catholic and non-Catholic.
Lectors / Readers
State Representative Jose Felix Diaz, District 116, Miami Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner
Bishop Robert N. Lynch, Diocese of St. Petersburg
Bishops of Florida / Mass Celebrants
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami; Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg; Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach; Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice; Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando; Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of St. Augustine; Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee; and Auxiliary Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Miami.
When: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. A reception immediately follows.
Where: Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 900 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee
Background: The Red Mass of the Holy Spirit, a nearly 800 year old tradition, originated in France in the 13th century as a service in which God was called upon to guide lawyers and judges in their pursuit of justice. The tradition soon spread to England where, during the reign of King Edward I, the entire Bench and Bar would mark the opening of each term of court by attending a Mass together.
In those services, the priests, as well as the judges of the High Court, wore red robes to signify their willingness to defend the truth inspired by the Holy Spirit, even at the cost of shedding one's blood. Thus, the celebration became popularly known as the "Red Mass."
Red Masses are celebrated throughout Florida and the United States at various times during the year. In Tallahassee, the Red Mass is scheduled annually during Catholic Days at the Capitol.
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The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.