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Catholic Bar Association establishes Arlington Diocese chapter

The national Catholic Bar Association (CBA) has created a new chapter called the Thomas More Guild for Catholic Legal Professionals in the Diocese of Arlington.

The CBA educates, organizes and inspires its members to uphold and bear witness to the Catholic faith in the study and practice of the law. St. Thomas More, after whom the guild was named, is the patron saint of both lawyers and the Diocese of Arlington. 

“Those called to the legal profession have an important responsibility to bring truth and justice to our society and to our communities,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. “We know their work is not always easy and, in fact, is sometimes very challenging. We pray, through the intercession of St. Thomas More, for courage and strength for each member, and that, guided by the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom and counsel, they will be faithful to the great work to which God has entrusted them.”

“Today’s long-awaited announcement marks the beginning of an exciting year as we kick off the Thomas More Guild,” said Paul J. Abraham, founder and managing attorney at PJI Law in Fairfax and president of the Thomas More Guild. “For a long time, countless Catholic legal professionals in our area have been striving to live their faith through the profession, but by being part of a larger community, they can now amplify the good they do. The opportunities for those of us serving in the legal profession to make an impact are greater when we act as a group, particularly in a culture that increasingly tries to discourage us from living out our faith in public.”

Beginning this spring, the local chapter will meet monthly and focus on eight primary objectives:

  Build fellowship and community among members and their families.

—  Engage in pro bono work supporting local Catholic ministries.

—  Host lectures on issues of law, faith and morality.

—  Provide networking opportunities for members.

—  Engage in public policy advocacy consistent with Catholic principles.

—  Participate in the annual Red Mass, celebrated for all members of the legal profession, including judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students and government officials, to mark the opening of the judicial year.

—  Mentor and assist law school students and college students interested in legal careers.

—  Provide continuing education opportunities.

Other founding members include Mattias Caro of Dominion Law Group in Leesburg;

Thomas Johnson, general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission; and Father Thomas Ferguson, a canon lawyer and pastor at Good Shepherd Church in Alexandria.

Father Scott Sina, parochial vicar at St. Agnes Church in Arlington and a former attorney, will serve as the guild’s chaplain.

“Our legal system is a sacred moral commitment to the common good, and lawyers and judges participate in making it flourish,” said Father Sina. “The guild will serve as a spiritual and professional resource to strengthen their personal and public commitment to truth, justice and mercy.”

Find out more

Attorneys and canonists interested in learning more or becoming a member, contact the guild at Guild@tmglaw.org.



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020