Monroe attorneys organize 2015 Red Mass celebrationRed Mass- Louisiana

At Family Promise of Ouachita, the goal is to serve as a “hand up” — rather than a handout — to homeless families with children. Recently, the group received a helping hand thanks to a Catholic tradition with a rich history.

As the result of Red Mass, an annual celebration of judges, lawyers and the community, Family Promise received a donation of $900. Attorney at law J. Antonio Tramontana served on the committee that organized and hosted Red Mass in Monroe, Louisiana.

The traditional Red Mass seeks divine guidance for legal counselors to properly represent their clients and for representatives of the justice system to rightly administer the law in the court system and in public office.

Red Mass: A rich history

The Roman Catholic tradition of Red Mass — attended by members of the bench and bar — began in England in the Middle Ages. The name Red Mass hails from the color of the robes worn by clergy members and representing tongues of fire that symbolize the Holy Spirit. The celebration historically denoted the official beginning of the judicial year.

In the United States, the tradition began in 1928 at New York City’s old St. Andrew’s Church. Since that time, Red Mass has been celebrated throughout the country in the autumn prior to the beginning of the term of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Red Mass celebration in Monroe

In Monroe, members of the legal and judicial professions, along with local leaders and students, celebrated the 22nd annual Red Mass and marked the opening of the session for the 4th Judicial District of Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes. The service, held at St. Matthew Catholic Church, sought the blessing of the Holy Spirit for the administration of justice during the court’s new year.

About Family Promise of Ouachita

The mission of Family Promise of Ouachita is simple: helping homeless families with children. The organization works to assist families in getting back on their feet and providing a stable and healthy living environment for children.

Founded in 1988, Family Promise of Ouachita is one of 192 shelter programs in the country. The program and its affiliates have served more than 600,000 individuals with assistance from 160,000 volunteers and more than 6,000 congregations.

The group often works with local churches to provide temporary assistance to homeless families. When families in Ouachita Parish don’t know where to turn, they look to Family Promise for help.

“We don’t take any state or federal grant money here at Family Promise,” Executive Director Sandra Jones notes in a video presentation. “We like to rely on the community, our churches and businesses here to really support us and these families.” She noted that homelessness is “becoming an epidemic in our communities.”

Family Promise assists homeless families in a number of ways, including:

  • Congregational support and hosting — working with interdenominational congregations in the local area to provide hospitality, meals and lodging for homeless families.
  • Classes focusing on life skills — including job search, resume creation, goal setting and personal financial management.
  • Day Center — providing a homelike atmosphere for guests during the day. Services include Internet access, showers, a mailing address and a phone to assist in searching for jobs and housing.

About J. Antonio Tramontana

Since grade school, Monroe has been home to attorney Tony Tramontana. When not with his wife and three children, Tony spends time getting involved in the community, including serving his church and local charities.

As a practicing personal injury lawyer since 1991, Tony represents people across the state of Louisiana who have been injured through accidents, medical malpractice and the negligence of others. Tony also seeks justice and rightful compensation for those who have lost loved ones to wrongful death.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to negligence or medical malpractice, please contact Tony Tramontana through his website or by calling 318-340-1515.

Photo via Wikimedia by  Villanova Law Library

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