A few minutes later at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, the Catholic legal community presented its Man for All Seasons Award to a woman who is an exemplar of those ideals.
The Honorable Mary C. Reese has spent more than a decade as an associate judge in the 10th District Court of Maryland. She’s a past president of the St. Thomas More Society of Maryland and the Howard County Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association, all while continuing to honor the church and parents who formed her.
She has served on boards at those and other Catholic schools, and currently mentors the pre-law students at Mount St. Mary’s.
“She gives back to all of those schools, and more, all as a volunteer,” said Monsignor James P. Farmer, chaplain of the St. Thomas More Society and the 2013 recipient of the Man for All Seasons Award. “She is a woman of amazing legal ability and moral integrity.”
St. Thomas More was a 16th century English martyr.
“We would see them pray together, attend Mass and adoration together, and say the rosary together,” Reese said. “We would see them go to the Hillcrest (abortion) Clinic to pray the rosary for the mothers and babies every Friday during 40 Days for Life.”
Reese cited “the true and present St. Thomas Mores, people who have suffered tremendously because they hold, and have taken positions, due to their religious beliefs, which are not politically correct.”
She mentioned Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was slain because of his Jewish faith; Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who has challenged Muslim beliefs about education of females; Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples; and the Little Sisters of the Poor, whose fight against the HHS contraceptive mandate has gone to the Supreme Court.
“Each of you,” Reese told her peers, “are being called to be like St. Thomas More.”
She pointed to ethics rules recently adopted by the American Bar Association, which could prohibit lawyers from participating in institutions that do not believe in, for example, same-sex marriage.
In his homily, Archbishop Lori referenced the presidential campaign, where “rhetoric substitutes for reasoned political speech, and as society splinters on very fundamental questions such as the humanity of the unborn, the worth of the frail elderly and terminally ill, the definition of marriage and the role of the family in society, race relations, the plight of immigrants and refugees … and even the pride of place that the fundamental freedoms of religion and speech should occupy in our culture.”
In addition to Monsignor Farmer, the pastor of St. Thomas More in Baltimore, concelebrants included Sulpician Father Phillip J. Brown, president and rector of St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Father Gregory Rapisarda, who serves several parishes in eastern Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital. Deacon Gary Dumer, who serves St. Mary in Pylesville, assisted.
The Red Mass marks the beginning of the judicial year.
Justice Scalia urges Christians to have courage