First Red Mass 2015 Held In Malacca-Johor Diocese

Approximately 25 Catholic lawyers attended the inaugural Red Mass held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Johor Baharu on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

The Red Mass being held for the first time in the Malacca-Johor diocese was presided by His Lordship Bishop Paul Tan.

Con-celebrants included Msgr James Rajendran, Rev Fr. Valentine Gompok OFM Cap, Rev Fr. John Baptist Yeow and Rev Fr. Michael Teng.

Others present were Pemanent Deacons, Adrian Ng, Dr. Leslie Petrus and Anthony Chua. Religious sisters from various congregations were also present including Rev Fr Arul Mariadas OFM and Stulang Laut State Assemblyman, Andrew Chen.

In his sermon Bishop Paul Tan reminded lawyers that justice is the business of lawyers. He acknowledged Datuk Ambiga and Christopher Leong, past presidents of the Malaysia Bar as brave lawyers who stand for justice.

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Bishop Paul Tan and other celebrants with the Catholic lawyers. Photo courtesy of Moses Chen
He asked how Catholic lawyers are different and explained that it is our faith in Jesus and this faith should colour our life. He quotes Pope John Paul II who said, ‘justice goes hand in hand with peace’. He referred to Pope John XXIII’s 4 pillars of peace, that consists of truth, freedom, justice and love. To this 4 pillars he explains that Pope John Paul II has added ‘reconciliation’.

‘The promotion of justice is not enough for a Christian lawyer, he must also promote truth, freedom and love which cannot be achieved without reconciliation’, the prelate said.

The prelate preached that, ‘Jesus says he is the truth and the truth will set you free. We must be free to stand up against temptation that block our parts to the practice of justice. Love is the crown of Christian action. The practice of justice alone is not enough. One must practice truth, freedom, love and reconciliation.’ Bishop Paul Tan urged all Catholic lawyers to have these treads that will set us apart from other lawyers.

After communion, Deacon Anthony Chua led the lawyers in prayer through the intercession of St Thomas More, patron saint of lawyers.

Mr Jayakumar spoke on behalf of the Catholic lawyers and thanked His Lordship for presiding at the 1st Red Mass of the Diocese. He also thanked the clergy and religious and all present for gracing the celebration.

Also present at this inaugural mass were several law students from the Multimedia University in Malacca (MMU). The Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur were represented by 6 members lead by its president, Allen Miranda.

All were then invited to fellowship and a sumptuous meal.

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