April 29, 2011

Meeting set in May for renewal of local St. Thomas More Society

By Sean Gallagher

When Marion County Superior Court Judge David Certo was a law student in the late 1990s, the St. Thomas More Society was a support for him as he sought to live out his profession in a way that was in harmony with his Catholic faith.

“As a law student and then as a young lawyer trying to meet other Catholic lawyers, it was important to me,” said Certo, a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis. “It showed people good examples of public servants, and attorneys practicing their faith. I think that’s always important for people to be able to experience.”

In recent years, the activity and membership of this organization of Catholic legal professionals in the archdiocese has decreased.

Certo and a group of other Catholics in the legal community are now committed to renewing the life of the St. Thomas More Society.

Any Catholic lawyer, law student or judge interested in joining the society or learning more about it is invited to an organizational meeting at noon on May 13 at 401 E. Michigan St. in Indianapolis.

“I’m very excited to see old friends and to say thank you to all of the people who have done the hard work that has made the St. Thomas More Society such a vibrant influence in the past,” Certo said.

Annette “Mickey” Lentz, the archdiocesan chancellor, has been meeting since late last year with Certo and others interested in renewing the society.

“It’s exciting for me to see the promise of all of them gathering,” Lentz said. “I am really moved by their commitment to their ministry [as legal professionals] as well as to the Catholic Church.”

In the future, the St. Thomas More Society will sponsor an annual Red Mass in the fall, which will be followed by a banquet with a keynote speaker.

The society also have social meetings on a regular basis that include Mass then sharing lunch.

The society will also offer continuing education classes for legal professionals. Many of the classes will focus on legal ethics as seen from a Catholic perspective.

The society is named after the 16th century English martyr, Thomas More, a renowned lawyer and public servant who was executed when he refused to publicly acknowledge King Henry VIII—whom he had previously served as chancellor—as the supreme head of the Church in England.

“He was regarded as an exceptional lawyer at the time,” Certo said. “Even though he had very public positions, he lived a life of heroic virtue as a family man and as a public servant. He demonstrated, at the cost of his life, that the practice of his faith and his beliefs was the most important thing in his life.”

(For more information about the St. Thomas More Society and its May 13 organizational meeting, send an e-mail to Judge David Certo at dcerto@indy.gov or call him at 317-331-3669.)

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