STATEN ISLAND, NY – The 38th “Red Mass,” a spiritual event that calls for guidance and strength during the courts’ next term and a historic tradition within the Catholic Church dating back to the 13th century that officially opens the term of the court in Europe, was concelebrated here in the Blessed Sacrament RC Church.
In medieval times, government officials, lawyers, and judges would come to church dressed in red garments or red garments signifying the fire of the guidance of the Holy Spirit to all who sought righteousness in their lives. daily.
Red Mass is currently celebrated in dioceses across the United States to invoke God’s blessing on members of the judiciary, bar, legislature, law enforcement, and government agencies who protect and enforce the law. law.
The annual event also serves to remember members of the legal community who have passed away in the past year, and it is customary for the names of the deceased to be read aloud during Mass. This year, candles were lit on the altar by the respective family. memorials to loved ones – Michael Barone, Civil Court Judge Pasquale Bifulco, Charles H. Burger, Joseph DeFazio and Joseph Materna.
In the United States, the first Red Mass was held in New York on October 6, 1928 and was celebrated in Old St. Andrew’s Church in Manhattan under the presidency of Cardinal Patrick Hayes.
But here on Staten Island, Mass is held during the fall season and started by retired state Supreme Court justices John A. Fusco and Charles A. Kuffner Jr.
This year, the legal community welcomed New York State Chief Justice Janet DiFiore and Associate Chief Justice Deborah Kaplan.
THE RED MASS IN WEST BRIGHTON
A procession was led by more than 40 judges, followed by clergy and altar servers and the Color Corps of the Knights of Columbus.
Each year, the Red Mass is co-chaired by Ron Cerrachio and Mario Esposito Jr.
The Mass was concelebrated by Monsignor William Belford, pastor of St. Teresa Mother of Jesus RC Church in Castleton Corners, who delivered the homily and offered the opening prayer, Monsignor Ferdinando D. Berardi, pastor of the Blessed Sacrament Church RC, Rev. Louis Jérôme, pastor of St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul and Assumption RC and Reverend Michael Martine, pastor of Holy Rosary RC Church.
Cerrachio said: “On behalf of Co-Chair Mario Esposito and the Red Mass Committee, we welcome you all. The Red Mass provides an opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues. The Red Mass is a fervent prayer by all in our legal community … and a solemn celebration for all in the legal community. And I’d like to welcome New York State Chief Justice Janet DiFiore and Associate Chief Justice Deborah Kaplan here this evening.
A renewal of the solicitor’s oath of engagement was read by Civil Court Judge Robert J. Helbock Jr.
Cerrachio received a treasure trove of thanks, especially from the Chief Justice of the State, as did the choir led by Terry Tarangelo, the singers and organist Michael Pinto.
“Once again, thank you to Chief Justice Janet DiFiore, for setting the tone and for taking the time, despite her busy schedule, to join us, to the bench for its support and to each of us. between you for making it an exceptional celebration, ”said Cerrachio. “And thank you once again to Judges Fusco and Kuffner, Victor Carasaniti, Vinnie Gallo, Eva-Marie Cusack and Robert Soos. It cannot be underestimated how important spiritual socialization and human contact have become. And can I speak for all of us – we have sorely missed this over the past 18 months. “
William Mastro, Associate Judge, Appeal Division, Second Department: “It was the most spiritually satisfying Red Mass I can remember. Thank you for your kind invitation and all the hard work you and the committee have done.
And congratulations, once again, to the choir led by Terry Tarangelo which included exceptional performances of “The Prayer” a duet by Jessica Carraciolo and Michael Sekzer, a post-Communion reflection of “Ave Maria” by Jim Mitchell and “God Bless. America, ”by Tarangelo.