FALL RIVER — Five people serving within the area justice system will be given the St. Thomas More Award in recognition of their dedicated service at the annual Red Mass to be celebrated at 4 p.m., Saturday, September 28, in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River.
Selected to receive the award are, as distinguished jurist, Judge John M. Julian, Presiding Justice, Barnstable District Court; as distinguished attorney, Marita Durkin Gray, of the Law Office of Marita Durkin Gray, Fall River; as distinguished court employee, Nelia Silva, Probation Officer, Fall River District Court; as distinguished recipient of the ecumenical award, Attorney George Keches, of Keches Law Group, Taunton; and as distinguished recipient of the Joseph P. Harrington Founder’s Award, Attorney Paul Mathieu, of Mathieu and Mathieu Law Office, New Bedford.
The Red Mass is celebrated each year in the Fall River Diocese to invoke God’s guidance and strength on those who work to promote justice in the legal system. The Mass is a longstanding tradition in the Church and is widely celebrated in dioceses throughout the United States.
Award recipients were nominated for the recognition by the Red Mass planning committee, headed by New Bedford attorney Michael J. Harrington.
Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will be principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass.
Judges, attorneys and others working in the justice system throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands are invited to attend.
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.
The presentation of the St. Thomas More Awards at the conclusion of the Red Mass is a tradition unique to the Fall River Diocese. The award is named for St. Thomas More, a 16th -century English layman and lawyer martyred for opposition to the divorce of King Henry VIII and for refusing to renounce papal authority.
All are welcome at the Red Mass. A reception and dinner will follow for which a ticket is required. For information, please contact Atty. Harrington at 508-994-5900.