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October 3, 2002


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate the 51st Annual Red Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. The Homilist will be Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Secretary for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. An Interfaith Prayer Service will precede the Mass. The Saint Thomas More Society of Philadelphia sponsors the Red Mass, where the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked on all lawyers and judges.

The Red Mass dates back to the late Middle Ages when it marked the opening of the Courts of State as kings and judges prayed for divine guidance in the administration of justice. It is called the "Red Mass" because of the color of the vestments the priest wears.

Monday, October 7, 2002
5:15 p.m. Interfaith Prayer Service
5:30 p.m. Red Mass
Approximately 7:00 p.m. Saint Thomas More Award Dinner
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Saint Thomas More Award Dinner will take place immediately following the Mass at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia. The 2002 Saint Thomas More Award Recipient is Rev. Mr. Clement J. McGovern, Jr. of Chadds Ford, retired Judge from the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. Rev. Mr. McGovern is a Permanent Deacon at Saint Cornelius Parish in Chadds Ford. The Saint Thomas More Society of Philadelphia presented the award to Cardinal Bevilacqua in 1999, the same year he celebrated 50 years as a priest.

The Saint Thomas More Society of Philadelphia is an association of Catholic lawyers founded in 1949 to promote high ethical principles in the legal profession. The Society also encourages interest among lawyers in the life, faith and convictions of Saint Thomas More, the patron Saint of lawyers. Thomas More was Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII, who had him beheaded in 1535 because More refused to recognize the King as the head of the Church of England.


Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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