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The St. Thomas More celebrated a “Red Mass” on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the Saint Michael’s Cathedral, 260 State Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. The Mass was open to the public and was heavily attended by individuals from Western Massachusetts who are involved in the administration of law and justice.

The Most Reverend Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell presided over the Red Mass this year. A celebratory brunch followed the event at the Log Cabin, where Attorney William F. Kern read citations honoring the careers of the six honorees. Kern, a Deacon in the Catholic Church, is also a distinguished member of the bar and legal community, and the Treasurer of the St. Thomas More Society.

This year marked the St. Thomas More Society’s Seventeenth Annual Red Mass and Brunch. Each year, the Society honors members of the legal community who have distinguished themselves by acts of public service and commitment to the law. This year, the Society’s six honorees were Mrs. Kathryn Y. Callahan, Attorney Martin J. Dunn, Rev. Msgr. George A. Farland, Attorney Michael J. Moriarty, Sr. Julia M. Sullivan, and Hon. Ariane D. Vuono.

Above: The Most Reverend Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell (left) blesses the 2018 recipients of the St. Thomas More Medal.

The six honorees were of diverse backgrounds in the legal community:

1. MRS. KATHRYN Y. CALLAHAN, of South Hadley, served for many years at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction as Community Outreach Coordinator. She was honored in particular for her leadership role in the Parent/Child Program that enables inmates to receive in-person visitation with their children.

2. ATTY. MARTIN J. DUNN, of Holyoke, currently a practicing attorney, was honored for his years of service in local and State government successively as City Councilor, Mayor, State Senator, and as legal counsel to the State Senate, where he worked in the budgetary process and in the drafting and analysis of proposed legislation.

3. REV. MSGR. GEORGE A. FARLAND, of Springfield, has served his entire 50-year priestly ministry at Sacred Heart Church in Springfield. He was honored for his 40-plus years of service as a chaplain to the Springfield Police Department and for his more recent service as a psychological Assessor at the Springfield Diocesan Tribunal, which has as its ministry the review of marriages at the request of one or both parties to determine sacramental validity.

4. ATTY. MICHAEL J. MORIARTY, of Holyoke, is currently the Executive Director of HolyokeOne Community Development Corporation, a mission driven non-profit that believes every Holyoke resident should live in a dignified home and a safe, attractive neighborhood. He was honored for this, his service as a member of the Holyoke School Committee, and his service as a member of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

5. SR. JULIA M. SULLIVAN, a native of Worcester, has been a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Springfield since 1961. She was honored for her many years of religious ministry, first as a parochial school teacher, later as Principal of Saint Joseph Central High School which operated in Pittsfield for many years, and more recently in direct service to inmates at Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction.

6. HON. ARIANE D. VUONO, a native of Stamford, Connecticut, was honored for her long career of public service. Initially a law clerk to the justices of the Superior Court, she soon rose to be chief of the appellate division of the District Attorney’s Office for the Northwestern District and served in that role for 7 years, followed by 11 years as an Assistant United States Attorney. In 2006, she was appointed by Governor Romney as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Featured above: The six St. Thomas More medals presented to this year’s honorees.

The “Red Mass” is a historical tradition within the Catholic Church invoking the blessing and guidance of the Holy Spirit upon the courts, dating back to the Thirteenth Century when it officially opened the term of the court for most European countries. This important historic tradition was introduced in the United States in 1928 in the Church of St. Andrew, located in New York City. It was presided over by his Eminence Patrick Cardinal Hayes, who strongly encouraged and supported the involvement of the legal community in spreading the Word of God.

The Red Mass is currently celebrated in dioceses throughout the United States to invoke God’s blessing upon the members of the bench, bar, legislature, law enforcement, governmental agencies, and all protectors and administrators of the law.

For more information about the St. Thomas More Society, please contact its Director, Attorney Michael G. McDonough, at

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