Written by Charlie Rickets

A Red Mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Assumption (433 S. Fifth Street) at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22. A Red Mass is a Roman Catholic service for people in the legal profession – including judges, attorneys, law professors, students and government officials. It requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice.

The Red Mass is typically celebrated in proximity to the first Monday in October, the day the U.S. Supreme Court begins its new year. Over half of the states in this country celebrate this liturgy annually. Perhaps the best-known Red Mass is held at the beginning of October in Washington D.C. at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle. This Mass coincides with the opening of the United States Supreme Court’s annual term and has been attended by Presidents of the United States and United States Supreme Court Justices of different faiths. The Red Mass gets its name from the red garments worn by the clergy. 

We legal counselors call upon Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of attorneys, to assist us in amplifying our plea for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in dispatching our respective duties to restore the domestic tranquility guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution and the laws we've enacted thereunder. Please join with us in asking our Creator to shed His grace and wisdom upon this nation "under God."           

For all its faults, the legal system gives those in our profession tremendous opportunities on a daily basis to impact and make real change in people’s lives. The Red Mass reminds us of that potential and serves as an inspiration and renewal of purpose throughout the year. Being a lifetime practitioner of Catholicism and an attorney who has celebrated that vocation in excess of 50 years, I invite all of my legal colleagues to join me at this year’s Red Mass.

Charlie Ricketts serves "of counsel" with Ricketts Law Offices, PLLC. He has served as President of the Louisville Bar Association (LBA), as member of the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) Board of Governors, Adjunct Professor at the University of Louisville’s School of Justice Administration, as First Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, and Special Agent of the FBI. Though no longer in active practice, he continues work with both the LBA and KBA. Charlie is a lector at the Cathedral of the Assumption.