Lawyers urged to view their work as ‘calling’

This story was originally published by Catholic News Singapore on 15 January 2012. Republished with permission.

Archbishop Chia speaking to members of the legal profession after the Red Mass on Jan 5.

By Nicholas Lee

View the legal profession not just as “a job” but as a “ministry”, “it is a calling from God,” Archbishop Nicholas Chia told the crowd who gathered at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd for the annual “Red Mass”.

More than 100 Catholic legal professionals and law students, including members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild (CLG), attended the special Mass on Jan 5 to pray for blessings at the start of the new legal year.

In his homily, Archbishop Chia stressed that it was important that guild members develop strong bonds with each other and grow as Catholic lawyers.

He also urged them to imitate the early Christian communities and highlighted four characteristics: kerygma (proclamation), koinonia (being community-spirited), diakonia (being a serving community), and eucharistia (thanksgiving).

Concelebrating the Mass with Archbishop Chia was CLG spiritual director Fr Adrian Yeo.“It’s a good start to the legal year that lawyers and the judiciary come to pray…to protect the rights of people, to make right decisions and to represent their clients well,” he said.

CLG president Ivan Lee said he was “quite glad that a lot of people felt motivated to come”.

“Every year we hope to have a better and better turnout” with people being able to take “away a message” from the event, he added.

Also present at this year’s Red Mass was Attorney General Sundaresh Menon.

After the Mass, members of the legal profession were invited to a dinner reception at the archbishop’s house.

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