Prayers for our Brother, Judge John Roll

Judge Roll with my son G. Bowman, at my Tucson apartment in 2005

As Thom has asked for prayers for those affected by the Arizona shootings, I would like to personally request your supplications for Judge Roll and his family.

Judge Roll hired me in 2003 fresh out of the first class of Ave Maria School of Law to work in his chambers as a law clerk.  I found him among the judges I applied to work for because he listed Knights of Columbus in his biography. 

Judge Roll was a fervent and humble Catholic, and an ideal husband, father, mentor, jurist and statesman.  Catholic Phoenix honors him in this article, which is undoubtedly only the first of many such profiles that will come out over the next few days and weeks.

For what it’s worth, I believe Judge Roll displayed literally heroic virtue in his serving of God in his profession and his consistent, daily display of care and courtesy for the value of every person he encountered.  Judge Roll lived his life’s vocation in a way truly worthy of comparison to Saint Thomas More’s daily example.

It is a great consolation to me that before Saturday morning’s shooting, Judge Roll attended Mass, as was his custom.  Please pray for Judge Roll, as he would have wanted us to do, and pray especially for his family and chambers staff during their immeasurable grief.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us Sinners, Now and at the Hour of Our Death. Amen.

UPDATE 9:12 pm Sunday:

More faith news starting to come in about Chief Judge Roll.  Yet another group of friends who mourn Judge Roll is the local St. Thomas More Society for Catholic lawyers, in which the judge was very active and in which I had the privilege to be a fellow member with him when I was there.  Tucson’s Bishop Kicanas actively supports the St. Thomas More Society, and the judge knew Bishop Kicanas well.  Here is a comment from Bishop Kicanas, via Fox News:

“Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Church’s Tucson Diocese said Roll was an active parishioner. ‘He lived his faith as a servant of our nation for the cause of justice,’ Kicanas said.”

UPDATE 2: 10:58 pm Sunday:

Fox News interviewed me and several others for an online profile of Judge Roll; here is the story.



  • Patricia

    Matt and all,
    Thank you so very much for sharing about Judge Roll. What a wonderful,ethical, caring person he must have been. Such a great loss for our country as a person and as a judge. The whole event was tragic and I pray for them all.

    Thank you,


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  • Mik

    His death is a great loss: for his wife, his children, his colleagues and for America. Omnia in bonum et requiescat in pace.

  • David G Smith

    Worthy Brother Knight,

    Be assured of my prayers for our brother, Judge Roll.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.



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