Seattle University School of Law's annual celebration of Red Mass was October 9, 2012. Images from the 2012 Red Mass celebration can now be viewed.
Fr. Stephen Sundborg, president of Seattle University, presided. More than 250 members of our legal community, including a procession of judges and faculty from Sullivan Hall, gathered in The Chapel of St. Ignatius. Following the Mass, a reception was held in Sullivan Hall to honor Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven González.
At the Red Mass reception in 2011, the law school announced the formation of the Justice Mary E. Fairhurst Public Interest Law Foundation Grant. Mina Shahin '13 was named the first recipient of the Fairhurst PILF Grant; read more about her summer experience at the Unemployment Law Project on the PILF Journal site. Please visit our secure giving page to make your contribution to this named grant.
The Story of Red Mass
Red Mass is a tradition dating back to 14th century England, when both priests and judges wore robes in the color of the ecclesiastical seasons and events. The color red is worn for this Mass as a symbol of the Holy Spirit and of our call and commitment to social justice in our work and academic endeavors.
Historically, the Red Mass was held in Westminster to celebrate the beginning of Michaelmas, the feast of St. Michael on September 29 or fall term of the King's Bench. The gathering was an occasion for pageantry and solemnity as judges, barristers, and members of Parliament invoked God's blessing and guidance for themselves and their profession. Today, Seattle University and its School of Law join many throughout the United States and the world who celebrate this tradition annually at the opening of the judicial year, to emphasize the legal profession's vital role in promoting justice and peace.