Law school celebrates 109th Annual Red Mass

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted the 109th Annual Red Mass on September 21 at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Mass was live streamed to Facebook with limited attendance in the church. This was the second year the Red Mass was celebrated virtually.

Red Mass is an occasion for judges, attorneys, civic leaders, and law students of all faiths to come together at the beginning of the new judicial term and pray for blessings and strength in the coming year’s work.

Detroit Mercy Law’s annual Red Mass dates back to 1877, when Detroit College, as the university was then known, began its first year with a Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church. The School of Law continued the tradition when it opened in 1912, again hosting the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Ss. Peter and Paul through the present. This Red Mass is the longest consecutively running Red Mass in the country.

Fr. Patrick Kelly, associate professor of Religious Studies at University of Detroit Mercy, was the celebrant of the Mass. Rev. Mr. Kurt Godfryd, assistant dean of administration at Detroit Mercy Law, served as deacon.  Wayne County Probate Court Judge Terrance Keith (class of ‘84), president of the Detroit Mercy Law Association of Black Law Alumni, led the Renewal of the Lawyers’ Oath of Commitment.

Kyle Dufrane (class of ‘98), Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association president, read the first reading, and Lori Mireles-Smith (class of ‘18), Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association board member, read the second reading. Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michael Riordan (class of ‘90), Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association president emeritus, and Meghan Kennedy Riordan (class of ‘90) read the petitions. Keir Ward and his family provided the music for the Mass.

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