Red Mass

“Another name for you is ‘Restorer’!” This was the crux of the homily delivered by His Lordship, the Rt Rev. Bernard Paul (Bishop of Malacca Johore), to members of the legal fraternity during the Red Mass that was celebrated on 18 January 2020 for the opening of the new judicial year.

Red Mass - 18 January 2020

During this Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Church in Melaka, concelebrated by the Rev. Fr Devadasan Madala Muthu (Parish Priest of SFX Melaka) and the Rev. Deacon Anthony Chua (himself also a practising lawyer), Bishop Bernard emphasised the crucial role of legal practitioners in restoring for people what they had lost, that is, aspects such as justice, human rights, and freedom. In that light, His Lordship explained that there was no contradiction between the vocation of a Christian and that of a lawyer.

The Malacca-Johore Catholic Lawyers' Guild was established in 2015 during the episcopate of the Rt Rev. Paul Tan, then Bishop of Malacca-Johore. The purpose of establishing this guild was the strengthening of the Catholic lawyers' sense of vocation as legal practitioners called, by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation to direct the affairs of the legal field towards the Kingdom of God. Elaborating further on this vocation, the Bishop of Malacca-Johore called upon the lawyers to allow themselves to be used by God in such a way that His grace builds upon the nature of their professional training.

In the past year, the Catholic lawyers in this diocese have run legal aid clinics in several parishes around Johor Bahru. These legal aid clinics were open for parishoners and non-parishoners from all walks of life to come and consult with our Catholic lawyers on personal matters pertaining to properties, marriage and family, religious freedom, immigration issues, and other legal-related matters. These legal aid clinics will be continually held around the diocese for the rest of this year with the hope that more people will receive such meaningful assistance for the betterment of their lives.