Bishop Malooly thanks members of legal profession for consistent support during annual Red Mass

The Dialog – Diocese of Wilmington

October 12, 2020

By Mike Lang

Bishop Malooly took the opportunity at the annual Red Mass to thank the members of the St. Thomas More Society for everything they had done for the diocese and for him during his tenure in the Diocese of Wilmington. The Mass was held Oct. 11 at St. Mary Magdalen Church in north Wilmington.

The Red Mass marks the beginning of the judicial year and is named after the scarlet roabes worn by royal judges who attended the Mass centuries ago. This was the 33rd annual event in the Diocese of Wilmington. It was dedicated to Father Leonard Klein, the previous chaplain of the society, and Deacon Ed Lynch, one of the founding members of the St. Thomas More Society. Both died within the past year.

Noting that he had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis 20 months ago, Bishop Malooly told the congregation, “This will be my last time as ordinary of the diocese, to celebrate the Red Mass.

Previous Masses have featured guest speakers including Bishop John O. Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.; and Father Robert Kennedy, retired dean of the canon law department at the Catholic University of America. That was not the case this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Usually, we have an erudite speaker who comes in for this Mass,” Bishop Malooly said. “Well, this is not going to be an erudite experience. This is an opportunity to thank you for all you have done during my time.”

He noted that when he arrived in 2008, the diocese was experiencing the fallout from the clergy sexual-abuse crisis. Many of the lawyers in the St. Thomas More Society were involved in the diocesan bankruptcy and reorganization, he recalled, and were able to participate in the capital campaign that followed.

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