Bishop da Cunha Building Faith Blog Fall River Diocese

Annual Red Mass Celebration

The Church has a long history of offering a Mass to invoke divine guidance and strength on those who work in the areas of law and justice, and last Saturday, I celebrated this annual Red Mass in our Diocese. I was pleased by the many judges, attorneys, and court personnel who attended what is liturgically the Mass of the Holy Spirit, who is the source of the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and fortitude. To be sure, these gifts are critical for those who work in the dispensing of justice. Over the years, this celebration has become known as the Red Mass because of the red vestments worn by its celebrant(s).
I shared with those at the Mass that in order to attend the banquet that is the kingdom of God in the Gospel parable, we all must live as disciples of Jesus. We must prepare ourselves for the banquet by living the Gospel each and every day. This includes accepting our responsibilities in the Christian community.

Bishop da Cunha with Red Mass Award winners
Here I am after the Mass with St. Thomas More Medallion Recipients Atty. Daniel M. Rich, Clerk of Courts Jennifer A. Sullivan, Atty. Maryclare Cushing, Atty. Aaron J. Bor, and Judge Thomas J. Perrino.

I reminded them how important it is to seek God’s guidance and wisdom to face the complexities of life and living; of the opportunity they have to pray to carry out responsibilities with wisdom. The pursuit of justice is a sacred duty that serves both God and fellow human beings.
At the conclusion of the Mass, I bestowed on five men and women the St. Thomas More Medallion, which is a wonderful tradition in our diocese to recognize dedicated service in the legal profession. This year’s recipients are pictured with me in the photo above. You can read more about them here.

Law Student Attendees at Red Mass 2023
Some students and staff of the University of Massachusetts School of Law in Dartmouth attended the Red Mass, and I joined them for this picture. I am happy they took part in the celebration.

World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday Group Meetings Nantucket
Definition of World Mission Sunday and Collection

The Pontifical Mission Societies (TPMS) are a worldwide network at the service of the Pope, supporting the missions with prayer and charity. The TPMS includes the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. Sunday, the Church celebrates World Mission Sunday, as TPMS so eloquently explains it, is a day which, “stands as a global jubilation that brings us together in unity, empathy, and community outreach. 
This significant day offers a stage to endorse mission endeavors, both at a local and international level, with the aim of uplifting societies, fostering optimism, and propagating the essence of love.”

In July, I was pleased to attend a reception and presentation on the TPMS on Nantucket. The reception was hosted by Jim Nicholson, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, and the presentation was organized by Monsignor Kieran Harrington, the National Director of The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. Among the speakers were Cardinal Sean O’Malley, in his role as a member of the board of the National Propagation of the Faith, and Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan from Kerala, India, whose diocese has been supported by the TPMS. I shared the experience in more detail in my August 2 blog, which you can read here.

There are many reasons to see World Mission Sunday as more than a Mass with a second collection. To learn (and share more) about the important work and the people served by this work, I invite you to visit I encourage you to use this special day as an opportunity to grow in understanding of our roles of being good stewards with the gifts with which God has blessed us.

Special Mass for Mental Health Awareness Month

October is designated annually as a time for greater focus on mental health and on mobilizing efforts to support it. In recognition of the impact that mental health challenges can have on individuals, their families, and caregivers, I will celebrate a special Mass for Mental Health Awareness on Sunday, October 29, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. All are welcome to attend. To learn more, please visit our Diocese website.

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River