FALL RIVER — While the COVID-19 pandemic precluded its taking place in 2020, the Red Mass planning committee is pleased to announce that the annual fall celebration will return to the Fall River Diocese this year.

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will celebrate the Red Mass at 4 p.m., Saturday, October 2, in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River.

A long-standing tradition in the Church, the Red Mass is offered in the diocese to ask for God’s guidance and strength on those who work to promote justice in the legal system. Judges, attorneys, and others working in the justice system throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands are invited to attend.

The Red Mass will conclude with the presentation of the St. Thomas More Awards by Bishop da Cunha to members of the area legal community in recognition of their dedicated service. The awards are a tradition unique to the Red Mass in the Fall River Diocese.

Selected to receive this award this year are, as distinguished jurist, Judge John Casey, Chief Justice, Massachusetts Probate and Family Court; as distinguished attorney, Steven Sabra, of Sabra and Aspen Law Offices, Somerset; as distinguished court employee, Ralph Tavares, retired Court Officer, Fall River Justice Center; as distinguished recipient of the ecumenical award, Dean Eric Mitnick, Esq., Dean of the University of Massachusetts Law School; as distinguished recipient of the Joseph P. Harrington Founder’s Award, Gerlinde Lowe, retired Program Administrator, Bristol County Bar Advocates; and, as distinguished recipient of the Public Service Award, Representative Alan Silvia, Seventh Bristol District, Fall River. (Read more about each recipient here.)

Award recipients were nominated for the recognition by the Red Mass planning committee, which is led by New Bedford attorney Michael J. Harrington.

“We are blessed that we are able to gather once again for Red Mass with Bishop da Cunha, our honorees, family and friends,” said Harrington.

“The staff at St. Mary’s Cathedral has been exceptional in working with our Red Mass Committee to ensure a safe and welcoming venue for the celebration of the Mass.   This year’s awardees follow in the tradition of our past 23 years of honorable recipients of the St. Thomas More medallion for their faith and commitment to the law, our profession, and our community.  After all we have been through with the pandemic over the past 18 months, I look forward to our gathering with Bishop da Cunha for this year’s Red Mass celebration.”

The Red Mass is so named because of the color of the vestments worn during the Liturgy, which is the Mass of the Holy Spirit, who will be invoked upon those in attendance.

All are welcome at the Red Mass. A reception and dinner will follow for which a ticket is required. For more information about the Red Mass and reception, please contact Red Mass Committee chairman Attorney Michael J. Harrington at 508-994-5900 or by email harringtonpc@aol.com.

Learn more about this year’s St. Thomas More Award recipients

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
Office of Communications