Slain Judge John Roll was remembered during the annual Red Mass Jan. 18 in Phoenix. The Catholic Sun, the diocesan newspaper, has coverage of the Mass and the text of the homily, delivered by Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif.
In opening remarks before the Mass, Alan Tavassoli, president -elect of the St. Thomas More Society, recognized the life of Roll, who was fatally shot in the Jan. 8 shooting spree outside a Tucson, Ariz., Safeway. He called him a “great and humble servant of God” and compared the late judge’s life to the patron saint of the legal profession.
“His quiet example of abiding faith with its warmth is especially relevant in our society today as it was in the time of St. Thomas More,” he said.
The judge’s wife, Maureen, was in attendance at the Mass, just as she was three years ago, when Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver was invited to Phoenix by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to deliver the homily at that year’s Red Mass. In a Jan. 12 column in the Denver Catholic Register, the archbishop recounts how some months later he received correspondence from Judge Roll. It was the first of “several extraordinary letters” from him, he said.
Archbishop Chaput acknowledged that “it’s impossible to fully know a man from correspondence alone,” but each of the letters, he said, had “the same four clear marks: generosity, intelligence, largeness of spirit and a sincere love for his Catholic faith.”