Red Mass with Address by Hanna Holborn Gray

Feb 4, 2023
Bond Chapel
1025 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Hanna Holborn GrayUniversity of Chicago


This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact

The Lumen Christi Institute is glad to present its second annual Red Mass cosponsored by St. Thomas the Apostle, Calvert House, and the St. Thomas More Society at the University of Chicago Law School.

Mass will be held at Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago. The celebrant will be Fr. Jeremiah Lynch.

After Mass, there will be a reception followed by a lecture held on the third floor of Swift Hall. Hanna Gray, former President of the University of Chicago and Renaissance historian, will speak on St. Thomas More's Utopia


What is a Red Mass?

A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated for members of the legal community. Through prayerful petition and thanksgiving the Red Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the legal community an opportunity to reflect on the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

Originating in Europe during the High Middle Ages, the Red Mass is so-called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4). Its name also exemplifies the scarlet robes worn by royal judges that attended the Mass centuries ago.

Hanna Holborn Gray is professor emeritus of history and former president of the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Renaissance Society of America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, and the Council on Foreign Relations of New York.  She holds honorary degrees from over sixty colleges and universities, including Oxford, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Princeton, Duke, Harvard, Rockefeller University, the Universities of Michigan and Toronto, and the University of Chicago. In 1991, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. Among a number of other awards, she has received the Jefferson Medal of the American Philosophical Society and the National Humanities Award in 1993. In 1996, she received the University of Chicago’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and in 2006, the Newberry Library Award. In 2008 she received the Chicago History Maker Award from the Chicago History Museum. Gray’s most recent publication is her memoir, An Academic Life, published by Princeton University Press in 2018.