The Villanova University School of Law community will come together for its annual celebration of Red Mass on Friday, September 12. A Villanova tradition since 1957, Red Mass is an occasion for faculty, alumni, students and guests to celebrate the beginning of the Law School’s academic year.
The celebrant of the Red Mass will be Father Peter M. Donohue, OSA, President of Villanova University. This year’s Red Mass homilist will be Father Joseph L. Narog, OSA. Father Narog is Pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, a Trustee of Villanova University, and Provincial Counselor for the St. Thomas of Villanova Province of the Order of St. Augustine. Before becoming an Augustinian priest in 2005, Fr. Narog had a 15-year career with the federal government, working first as an Intelligence Analyst, then as an Instructor, and ultimately as the Manager of the U.S. Government's Counterterrorism Training Program, based at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. He has also served as School Minister at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, and as Associate Pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Andover, Massachusetts. Father Narog earned his BA in International Relations from St. Joseph's University, his MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia (where he was a Thomas Jefferson fellow), and his M.Div. from the Washington Theological Union.
The first Red Mass was offered in 1310 during the reign of King Edward I in Westminster Abbey to mark the opening of the judicial year. Since then, Red Mass has been celebrated to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all those who seek justice. The ceremony’s traditional name is derived from the color of vestments worn by the celebrant and concelebrants, the scarlet robes of judges in attendance (which were bright scarlet in the Middle Ages), and the scarlet gowns of the members of the law faculty.
A reception will be held immediately following Red Mass at the Arthur M. Goldberg '66 Commons. No RSVP necessary.