Eight prominent members of legal community honored at Red Mass
The 10 a.m. liturgy in St. Michael’s Cathedral marked the 12th Annual Diocesan Red Mass, a long standing tradition in the Catholic Church invoking the blessing and guidance of the Holy Spirit upon the courts.
The honorees were: Judge John A. Agostini, associate justice of Springfield Superior Court; John R. Fitzgerald, a licensed social worker who is assistant superintendent at the Hampden County House of Correction; Judge William P. Hadley, associate justice of Springfield District Court; retired Attorney Richard C. Morrissey from Springfield; Attorney Carla W. Newton, a private practice lawyer from Springfield; Attorney Maurice C. Powe, a private practice lawyer from Springfield; Attorney Paula Carroll Tredeau, a private practice attorney from Springfield; and Judge Paul M. Vrabel, associate justice of Pittsfield District Court.
Bishop McDonnell urged the law professionals to “stand tall with Thomas More” as they worked to uphold law and justice. He spoke of Thomas More’s last words being: “I died the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
“Your variation,” he told the legal community, “might be the law’s good servant, but God’s first.”
Honoree William Hadley, a parishioner of St. Mary Parish in Longmeadow, said he was “honored” and “humbled” to receive the award, noting that St. Thomas More was a role model for judges and lawyers.
“As judges we have to judge people but sometimes patience and kindness and trying to act with love as well as justice and follow the law is sometimes hard to do,” said Judge Hadley. “But we do our best.”
The Red Mass dates back to the 13th century when it officially opened the term of the court in most European countries. The tradition was introduced in the United States in 1928 in the Church of St. Andrew, located in New York City.
Following the Mass the awardees attended a brunch at the Log Cabin on the Holyoke/Easthampton line.
For more on this story, tune into “Real to Reel,” the Diocese of Springfield’s weekly television newsmagazine that airs Saturday evenings at 7 on WWLP-22NEWS.