KANSAS CITY — St. Thomas More was beheaded at the order of King Henry VIII of England on July 6, 1535. His last words summed up his life and his ideal: “I die the King’s good servant, and God’s first.”
In March 2015, a national meeting of Catholic attorneys took place at the Polsinelli, PC office in Kansas City to discuss the creation of the Catholic Bar Association, a national organization of Catholic legal professionals. The meeting was convened by attorney Joshua McCaig, whose opening remarks were on the initiative’s history, beginning with his founding in 2007 of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kansas City and his growing desire to see a national or even international association of Catholic attorneys. At that time there were over 60 independent Catholic lawyers group in the United States, including the one in Kansas City, however there was no national or international organization with the sole purpose of creating a community of Catholic legal professionals.
Networking and future meetings led to the establishment of the Catholic Bar Association on the 480th anniversary of St. Thomas More’s martyrdom, July 6, 2015. The inaugural conference of Catholic attorneys, judges, paralegals and politicians will be held at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City Oct. 27 – 30. There will be talks on St. Thomas More, Canon and Civil Law, Law and Medicine and Catholic Judges on Oct. 28. On Oct. 29, the talks will include Religious Liberty, Law and Business, Catholic Media, Conscience Rights and on Thomas More and the National Lawyers Association. Talks are open to the public.
Speakers include Bishop James Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Ill; Hadley Arkes, Amherst College, Thomas Monaghan, Founder of Domino’s Pizza, John Manos, Vice President and General Counsel at EWTN, Hillary Byrnes, Asst. General Counsel for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lester Ruppersberger, M.D., President Catholic Medical Association, Tish Dugan, board member, Canon Law Society of America, Ruth Nordstrom, Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers, Thomas Brennan, former Michigan Judge, Louis Karlin, David Oakley and Clay Rossi, St. Thomas More Scholars.
The annual Red Mass for legal professionals will be at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 28, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 2552 Gillham Road. The Mass and Oct. 28th and 29th conference talks are open to the public. The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Johnston, with Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Paprocki, concelebrating. The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles of Gower, Mo., will sing the hymns and liturgical music. The Red Mass is also open to the public.
Dinner following the Red Mass is at the Westin Crown Center with Keynote address and Mike Debus (performance painter) performing. $100 per ticket for guests and others not registered for the conference. The Saturday evening dinner features Hadley Arkes as the Keynote. Also $100 per ticket. The 4 -day conference is $300/person, includes dinners Friday and Saturday night, Law Students —$200/person.
Joshua McCaig, President of the Catholic Bar Association, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for Kansas City area attorneys and others in the legal profession to be at the forefront, the establishment of the Catholic Bar Association and its inaugural conference. We expect more than 200 lawyers, judges, politicians and law students from across the country, and the world, to attend.”
To learn more about the Catholic Bar Association and the inaugural conference, visit www.catholicbar.org.