The Red Mass
Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Saints Peter & Paul Church
666 Filbert Street
San Francisco Thursday, October 23, 2014 5:30 p.m.

The Mass will be celebrated by the Most Revered Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco The Homily will be delivered by Monsignor Peter Vaghi, of Washington, D.C.

Current and former members of the Judiciary are invited to join a procession of judges at 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by
THE ST. THOMAS MORE SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO

Honoring the 2014 St. Thomas More Award Recipient

JUSTICE PETER J. SIGGINS
CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL, FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT- DIVISION THREE

Reception and Dinner will follow the Red Mass at
The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club 1630 Stockton Street
San Francisco
7:00 p.m.

Kindly RSVP by Monday, October 20, 2014

___

Justice Peter J. Siggins To Be Awarded The 2014 St. Thomas More Award on October 23

The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco today announced that Justice Peter J. Siggins of San Francisco is the recipient of the 2014 St. Thomas More Award. This prestigious award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the legal community, the Catholic community, or the Society and/or have dedicated themselves to public service or charitable works.  Past winners have included California Supreme Court Justices Carrol Corrigan and Ming Chin, Ninth Circuit Judges Carlos Bea and John Noonan, former United States Attorney Joseph Russoniello, and Fr. Louie Vitale, the founder of St. Anthony’s Dining Room.  According to the Society’s President, Isabelle Ord, “The St. Thomas More Society is pleased to present this year’s award to Justice Siggins, who embodies the mission of our society and has made significant contributions to our community through serving as a Catholic attorney while affirming a higher calling through faithful instruction and example.”  Fellow First District justice and past St. Thomas More Award winner Justice Martin J. Jenkins, added “For over thirty years Justice Siggins has served the citizens of California in significant and challenging government positions.  He is a cherished friend, an esteemed judicial colleague and his commitment to family, faith and community reflect the values most evident in the life of St. Thomas More.  Justice Peter Siggins is truly deserving of this special award given annually by the St. Thomas More Society.”

A native San Franciscan, Justice Siggins is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Preparatory, Loyola Marymount University, and Hastings College of the Law. He currently serves as a justice on the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District.  His long record of public service includes positions as Chief Deputy Attorney General for Legal Affairs for the California Department of Justice and Legal Affairs Secretary and Counsel to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is active in a number of religious and non-religious organizations and currently serves as a trustee for the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, Jesuit High School in Sacramento, and St. Ignatius College Preparatory. Justice Siggins and his wife Veronique Laband Siggins live in Marin County and have two sons and two daughters.

Justice Peter J. Siggins will be honored at the St. Thomas More Society’s Red Mass on Thursday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Church located at 666 Filbert Street in San Francisco with a reception and dinner to follow at the San Francisco Italian American Club. The Mass will be celebrated by the Archbishop, the Most Revered Salvatore Cordileone, and the Homily will be delivered by Msgr Peter Vaghi of Washington, D.C.  Information about the Red Mass and Dinner can be found at stthomasmore-sf.org.

Archbishop Cordileone delivered a powerful and poignant homily, as follows:

“We have come together in this church as those who have dedicated their lives to the service of the law, a gathering of people who studied and worked hard to prepare for a career in the legal profession, to dedicate their lives to interpreting and applying the law, and to protect and promote the importance of the law for the sound governing of our society. And what does St. Paul tell us in the first reading for our Mass today? ‘You are not under the law’! So, what is the point of it all?

Role of Law

Of course, St. Paul immediately qualifies that statement. Not being under the law does not mean freedom for sin, but rather, for righteousness.

I believe that the meaning of freedom is one of the greatest crises we are facing in our time. This is most especially so in a country such our own, which is such a great innovator and champion of democracy. The whole point of democracy is freedom, to guarantee freedom for its citizens. However, this cannot work unless the citizens of the democracy are virtuous, that is to say, they exercise freedom responsibly, for the common good, lest it degenerate into license. This, in fact, is the very purpose of the law: far from impeding freedom, the law is necessary precisely to preserve freedom.

For this to work, though, freedom must be grounded in a higher truth, a higher truth to which the citizens must conform themselves. This is a truth of our human nature that the founders of our nation understood very well. This is why our second president, John Adams, could say, ‘Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’ And it is why even Thomas Jefferson – whose most distinctive mark, after all, was not his religious devotion – could say, ‘Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.’ These words are inscribed on his memorial in Washington, DC.

This idea, though, goes back way further than the founders of our country. St. Thomas Aquinas spoke of knowledge of the truth as being a participation in eternal law, which is unchangeable. He then develops this idea as applied to the effect of law. He tells us:

... it is evident that the proper effect of law is to lead its subjects to their proper virtue; and since virtue is that which makes its subject good, it follows that the proper effect of law is to make those to whom it is given, good .... For if the intention of the law-giver is fixed on true good, which is the common good regulated according to Divine justice, it follows that the effect of law is to make people good ...[1]

Law, then, is necessary so that society may be ordered in accordance with divine justice. Only in this way will the law be effective in providing for the common good, in that such law will help to make the people of the society good, it will encourage their growth in virtue. Such a society will be one in which people have a special concern the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable, a society which will make sure to vindicate the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Slaves of Righteousness

With this in mind, the teaching of our Lord in today’s gospel should especially make us sit up and take notice. He speaks here about the steward. Note what a steward is: the steward is the servant – or, as in the case of biblical times, the slave – who administers goods, but not his own, but rather those of his master. The master expects the steward to do so in a responsible way, so that he will return them to him with an increase. Nonetheless, the steward remains a slave like the others, subject to the condition of a slave. A slave belongs totally to the master. A slave has nothing – possessions, time, or anything else – for himself. It all belongs to the master.

This social reality of that time is reflected in the teaching of St. Paul: ‘Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?’ What this really means is that we all have to live our lives according to some philosophy of life, some standards of conduct; we all will be slaves of some basic operating principle of life. The choice, according to St. Paul, is either sin or righteousness. The former confuses freedom for license, and when left unchecked will undermine human flourishing, ultimately destroying the individual, at least morally, and often – precisely because of this – in material ways as well, such as financially, in terms of physical health, in one’s relationships, and so forth. But when this becomes the basic operating principle of a society as a whole, it harms common good and society’s proper ordering, resulting in untold suffering – poverty, violence, lawlessness.

The latter – the choice of righteousness – accepts the discipline of virtue, subordinates the lower desires to the obedience of faith, and so strives to conform one’s life completely to the demands of divine justice – completely, not holding back, in every dimension of life, even and especially the hard parts. This is the idea, as St. Paul says, of using the parts of our bodies as ‘weapons for righteousness.’ The human person is integral, we do not exist in compartments. Christian discipleship means giving our entire self completely to God, without holding back: body, mind, spirit. Being a slave to righteousness means being truly free, because it is freedom from sin.

The Obedience of Faith

This necessarily means that we cannot, we must not, make false separations and conveniently ‘compartmentalize’ our lives, separating the demands of faith from how we live our life in public; or divorcing morality from policy, or conscience from action. This is not imposing our religion on others; rather, it has to do with natural truths regarding justice and human dignity, universal principles which therefore are not confined to religious doctrines. Yes, our religious doctrines do confirm them, build upon them, and help us to understand them better, but they are knowable outside the confines of specifically religious doctrines.

We are not, then, imposing the doctrines of our faith on others; rather, our faith demands from us an unconditional commitment to respecting and promoting these universal principles of natural moral truth. To falsely separate this commitment from our faith life would mean not being a slave of obedience for righteousness; it is not true Christian discipleship, Christ is not the basic operating principle of our lives, directing our actions and informing our decisions.

Stewards of Democracy

This is a truth we need to be reminded of frequently. It is no surprise, then, that the Church does gives us such reminders, such as the ‘Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life’ issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith eleven years ago now. It is still quite relevant to our situation today. The Instruction points out how the atrocities which were witnessed in the twentieth century resulted from this very separation, and how the twentieth century proves the falsehood of what it calls ‘the notion that there is no moral law rooted in the nature of the human person, which must govern our understanding of the human person, the common good and the state.’ We may think that we are far from such regimes and ideologies, but the Instruction cautions us against this, even those of us who live in a democratic society. It tells us, ‘democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society.’

What happens when democracy is no longer based on this true and solid foundation? The powerful few take over, uninhibited in imposing their will on the masses. If there can be any doubts about what happens when we take faith and God out of the social picture and violate those ethical non-negotiables, a cursory review of the history of the century we have just left behind should be enough to teach us of the horrendous consequences of doing so. Disordered societies breed reigns of terror.

St. Thomas More

This, then, is the grave responsibility of those entrusted with creating, applying and interpreting the law in a society: to do so in accordance with divine justice and eternal truth, to reflect the very justice of God. This is always difficult because of the inner struggle it involves, the spiritual discipline needed to renounce those selfish tendencies in order to grow in virtue and righteousness. But I believe it is even more difficult nowadays when the social and cultural institutions of society no longer support this principle as they once did.

It is noteworthy that Blessed – soon to be Saint – John Paul II, in the Apostolic Letter by which he proclaimed St. Thomas More the patron of statesmen and politicians, holds St. Thomas More up as an example for our time. He says that he was a man who never compromised despite being subjected to various forms of psychological pressure, and so ‘he taught by his life and his death that ‘[the human person] cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality.’’ Saint Thomas More – lawyer, statesman, politician – was canonized alongside a member of clergy, Bishop John Fisher, the only member of the hierarchy in England to resist the pressure of the king to violate the communion of the Church for his own personal motives.

A lawyer and a priest were canonized together, in 1935, exactly 400 years after their death. That may seem like a long time, yet the timing was not lost on Pope Pius XI, who realized what was happening in the world at his time. That is why, during the ceremony of canonization, he referred to them as ‘grand lighthouses set up to shine and enlighten in the ways of God’.[2] He asserted, moreover, that everyone can imitate their martyrdom because there are ways to do so other than by blood, for example, fidelity to conscience and fulfilling one’s duty exactly and faithfully, no matter how difficult. But if the example of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher was timely and necessary back then, let us listen to what G.K. Chesterton said about the lawyer-saint even before his canonization, in 1929: ‘Blessed Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying, but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years’ time’.[3] We are now over three quarters of the way there, and I would say that Chesterton’s prophecy was right on the mark!

A lawyer and a priest were canonized together: all of us here in this church, priests and lawyers, need to take heed. We are the ones who have been ‘entrusted with much’: much responsibility for the good of our society, for a social order that reflects divine justice, and also much in the sense of the gift of faith with which our Creator has endowed us. And our Creator will, then, require much from us: the integrity of faith lived out in every dimension of our lives, using our freedom for righteousness, being slaves of obedience to God and rather than the self-aggrandizing pursuits of wealth and power. We will be held accountable for the stewardship of this responsibility: accountable to the One Who has created us with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the very basis of those non-negotiable ethical principles which underpin life in society. And make no mistake: there will, for sure, be a price to be paid for fidelity, in some form or another. Besides the spiritual discipline needed to renounce selfish pursuits at the expense of others, in the times in which we are living it may very well be a price inflicted upon us from without. In such a circumstance, it will take courage to resist, and the price to be paid may well be very high, such as in one’s economic status, career advancement, or good name due to calumny and character assassination. It will especially take courage when fellow believers in positions of leadership and service in the community diverge from these non-negotiable ethical principles.

Conclusion

A lawyer and a priest were canonized together. We each have a patron saint to help us, to emulate and who now prays for us to God face-to-face. But God has also blessed us with role models we have known, in our own lives, to inspire us to live our callings well and faithfully, indeed, who inspired us even to begin thinking about pursuing our respective calls in life. We all knew such people in our lives who have helped to bring us where we are today, and for them we give thanks in this Mass.

There is one in particular, though, whom we especially wish to thank and honor; one who especially has been a great example of the lesson our Mass today teaches us: Bill McInerney. It is a joy for us all to honor him at this Mass with the well-deserved St. Thomas More award. He is a true example of a life well lived, of a wise and generous steward of the gifts God gave him. God certainly has given him many gifts, of intellect, unbounded energy, deep faith; and, he is very well-connected! He has used all of these gifts as a wise steward, returning them to God with increase, with an abundant increase.

Most of all though, I’m sure that Bill would say that his most precious gift of all is his family, and most especially, his beloved wife Mary. We are so happy that they are with us here tonight, to accept the St. Thomas More award for Bill in his absence. Congratulations!”

Note 1. ST IaIIae q. 92 art. 1.

Note 2. Quoted in Gerard B. Wegemer, Thomas More: a Portrait in Courage, p. 226; original source: The Tablet, March 16, 1935, pp. 337-338

Note 3. Quoted in Wegemer, p. 227; original source: G. K. Chesterton, The Fame of Blessed Thomas More, Being Addresses Delivered in His Honour in Chelsea, July 1929, p. 63


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photos

St. Thomas More Award Acceptace
by Recipient J. Dennis McQuaid

Thank you, Don Carroll, for your kind and generous introduction. I appreciate that you omitted mentioning lots of things you know about me; the revelation of which would have cast great doubts on the wisdom of my selection for this award!

Thank you Bishop McElroy for being the celebrant of the Red Mass this evening and for your comments and blessing of our meal. I am confident the bowed heads during the blessing were not due to people checking their smart phones for the Giants and 49’er scores!

Thank you to President Bob Zaletel and the members of the Society’s Board for the honor you have given me in choosing me to receive this year’s St. Thomas More Award.

When I look at the list of past award winners: an Archbishop and other outstanding members of the clergy, a Lieutenant Governor, Supreme Court and Appellate Court Justices, Judges and distinguished members of the Bar (like my introducer, Don Carroll), I am surprised and humbled to now be included on that list.

When I think about St. Thomas More in connection with the Award, I look for things in my life that could even faintly resemble aspects of the life of this incredible man.

He was a man of great learning which he demonstrated in his voluminous writings and which led to his selection by King Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey as the first layman to be the Lord Chancellor. He was a fervent believer and adherent to his faith in the Church, which of course led to his martyrdom when he chose loyalty to his Church over the demands of the King he otherwise served faithfully and well.

I cannot of course begin to be considered in the same realm as this great saint. So I searched further and discovered a few faint resemblances in our lives.

We both initially studied for the priesthood before choosing to serve the community as laymen.

We both became lawyers.

We both tried our hand at politics – his efforts resulted in great success but eventually martyrdom. Mine resulted in minor success before I was handed my head, so to speak, by the likes of John Burton and Barbara Boxer in my campaigns for Congress.

I did discover one interesting parallel in our lives. After his first wife died, Thomas More married again. So did I. I have always said that I have been blessed in my life to have married two fabulous women; and no, I did not find them in a binder!

But Thomas More was heard to comment that he never understood why his second wife did not find his attempts at humor to be funny. Now that I can identify with.

So obviously having difficulty justifying this award by comparing myself to the Saint for whom it is named, let me share with you some other thoughts I have as a result of my selection.

It is often said that a person is a product of his environment. In my case, I have been blessed all my life with incredibly supportive and sustaining environments, most of which are represented by you who are in this room tonight.

The first environment was and is my family. I was one of eight children of Jack & Helen McQuaid, both 3rd generation Northern Californians. We were raised in San Carlos. My parents were truly pillars of St. Charles Parish. They ran the annual parish carnival; then helped build the new church and school. I was in the first graduating class of St. Charles under the guiding hand of a great teacher, Sister Ann Maureen. My deceased wife, Barbara, was also a member of that class.

My father always went to the 7 am mass on Sunday because there was no sermon at that mass! My mother went to mass daily and made sure we knew she was praying for us. Lord knows her prayers were needed!

My family has always been there for me. My wife, Susan, my children John, Sheila & Michael along with my grandchildren, Ella, J.J., Mazie & Jana are here tonight. My daughter Christy and grandson Ryan are up in Oregon but here in spirit. I am so proud of my kids.

After grammar school, I entered the Seminary (to the great surprise of my parents and delight of my sisters!) and found the next great environment in my life. I spent over 9 years at St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s and formed friendships that continue to this day. I loved my years in the Seminary. One of the tables is filled with my Rhetoric Class of ’59 classmates, 3 of whom were con-celebrants of the Mass tonight. “Rhetoric” Class was so named because that year we had to give speeches in a class taught by a really tough professor, Father Charlie Dillon. If he were here right now, I fear what marks I would get.

After I left the Seminary, I was suddenly eligible for the draft so I entered the Air Force. While on active duty, I went to USF Law School and entered the legal community environment. I stayed in the Judge Advocate General’s department in the Reserves and worked with many outstanding lawyers all over the country during my 30 years of service. One of those lawyers, Ladd Bedford, joined my small Sonoma law firm 36 years ago and we have been colleagues and friends ever since. He is here tonight as are a number of my partners from Hanson Bridgett. I have been blessed to practice with these outstanding lawyers and am proud to be part of a firm that is so committed to public service and diversity. Proof of Hanson’s Bridgett’s commitment to diversity was shown when I was admitted to the partnership even though they knew I am a Republican! In fact, the St. Thomas More Society should be proud of honoring not 1 but 2 Republicans tonight as my good friend, Don Casper, whom was eulogized at the mass, was also a die-hard Republican! In San Francisco yet!

One of my colleagues and close friends has been my mentor as a lawyer for the past two decades. His name is Ted Kolb and he too is here tonight. Ted is a legend in the San Francisco legal world – a recipient of the 50 year award from the American Bar Association and Alumnus of the Year at USF Law School. Ted is still practicing full time as he has for the past 67 years. Ted, thanks for being here.

Another of the environments that have nurtured me has been my involvement in some terrific organizations over the years like the Seminary Alumni Association, Friends of Marin Center, Novato Human Needs Center and North Bay Children’s Center. A special place in my life has been the Family Club, an organization dedicated to music and the arts and good fellowship. Several tables are filled with great friends from the Family Club and I thank them as I do all of you for being here tonight.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the environment of my Catholic religion that has sustained and supported me all my life. My involvement with the St. Thomas More Society has been a special source of great discussions about moral issues critical to our lives. I have been in nurturing parishes in Marin and Sonoma. Two of my previous pastors were planning to be concelebrants at the mass tonight, but one of them, Monsignor Jim Tarantino, had to cancel late this afternoon. Father Ray Decker, now retired pastor of my parish in Bolinas, is here. These two priests are two of the best homilists you will ever hear.

I also had the privilege of serving on the Archdiocesan Finance Council with Bishop McElroy and Monsignor Harry Schlitt. Thank you Monsignor for joining us tonight.

There are two people here tonight who have contributed in special ways to my Catholic environment. Our homilist Father George Crespin has been a close friend since my Seminary days. He has become a part of our family performing all our weddings, funerals and baptisms. Susan and I just returned from a vacation in Europe with him. Father George was a pastor in Berkeley after serving as Chancellor and then Vicar General of the Diocese of Oakland under Bishop John Cummins. George is a priest who was ordained at the time of Vatican II and his priesthood has always reflected “ Gaudium et Spes” the Joy and Hope that was the liberating vision of the Second Vatican Council. He is one of the voices calling for dialogue in the Church to move things in a positive direction despite recent scandals and retrenchment from the spirit of Vatican II by some in the Church. His life has been dedicated to the poor and to reminding those in authority in the Church that the Church does not exist for its own sake but has a liberating mission of service to the world.

The second special person here tonight is a recent acquaintance of mine. I met Sister Sandra Schneiders when she gave a great talk at the St. Thomas More Society on the current role and to some extent the plight of Women Religious (aka the nuns) in the church of America today. Sister Sandra is a scholar and a theologian at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. In August of this year, she was given the “leadership award” by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Her acceptance address was an unshrinking look at the struggle in the Church arising out of the Vatican’s investigation of Women Religious in the United States. Her focus in her talk was to view the current distress caused by the investigation in the context of the theology of Vatican II. Her talk is a “must read” for all of us who are concerned about the current struggles within the Church and are seeking clear direction. We are indeed honored to have Sister Sandra join us tonight.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that this honor you have given to me tonight is really an honor that is recognition of the fact that I am a product of some wonderful environments –

My family …….my seminary years…….my law career, my community involvements and my life in the Catholic Community.

What all of us need to do as members of our families, as members of the legal profession or as members of the clergy, as citizens of a great country – is recognize that we are creating an environment for those who come behind us. I hope we can be as positive for them as all of my environments – all of you – have been for me. Thank you.


THE ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO RED MASS
Sponsored By
THE ST. THOMAS MORE SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO

Saints Peter and Paul Church
666 Filbert Street, San Francisco

Thursday, October 18, 2012
5:30 p.m.

Honoring The 2012 St. Thomas More Award Recipient
J. DENNIS MCQUAID
PARTNER, HANSON BRIDGETT LLP
(With a special tribute to Don Casper, former President of the STMS)

The Annual Banquet will follow the Red Mass
The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
1630 Stockton Street, San Francisco
7:00 p.m.


J. DENNIS MCQUAID

J. Dennis McQuaid graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary in 1959 and from St. Patrick’s Seminary in 1961 with a degree in Philosophy. After leaving the seminary in 1962, Mr. McQuaid enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served both domestically and overseas.

While still in the Air Force, Dennis began his legal studies at the University of San Francisco School of Law, from which he graduated in 1970 and thereafter began his legal career as a Judge Advocate General officer. After leaving active duty in 1972, he continued to serve his country as a member of the Air Force Reserve, including as a Senior Member of the Judge Advocate General’s Department, where he concentrated on environmental and governmental contracts law before retiring as a Colonel in 1992.

Upon leaving the Air Force, Dennis embarked on a 40-year private legal career with an emphasis on real estate and land use practice. He is currently a partner at the law firm of Hanson Bridgett LLP in San Francisco.

Throughout his career, Dennis has served as leader of his local, national, and spiritual communities. From 1977-78 he was a Planning Commissioner for the City of Novato and was elected to the Novato City Council in 1983-87, serving as Mayor in 1984-85. In both 1980 and 1982 he ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Congress. Among his charitable and civic activities, Dennis has served as Chairman of the Lincoln Club of Northern California, President of the Ignacio Rotary Club, Trustee of The Air Force JAG School Foundation, President of the Family Club of San Francisco, and on the Boards of Directors of the World Trade Club, the Novato Human Needs Center, the Friends of Marin Center, and the Marin Symphony.

It is within the local Catholic community, however, that Dennis has most prominently served as both leader and servant. As a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Social Services of Marin County from 1972 to 1978, he led the effort to establish The House at San Quentin, which to this day serves the needs of inmates’ visitors and families. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Joseph’s-St. Patrick’s Seminary Alumni Association since 1985, and he served as the group’s President in 1989-90. From 1998 to 2002, he served on the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he helped to develop the St. Mary’s Chinese Center in Chinatown. Dennis is a long-time member and former President of the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco. He is an active member of St. Leo’s parish in Sonoma where he serves as a lector. Dennis and his wife Susan are the proud parents of four children, and doting grandparents of five grandchildren.


The Annual San Francisco Red Mass
Sponsored by The St. Thomas More Society

Bishop Robert McElroy and Msgr. John Talesfore with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kathleen A. Kelly Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. with St. Thomas More Award Recipient Judge Kathleen A. Kelly and St. Thomas More Society President Adrian G. Driscoll

Bishop Robert McElroy and Msgr. John Talesfore with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kathleen A. Kelly following the annual Red Mass for the legal profession at SS. Peter & Paul Church. Bishop McElroy presided and Msgr. Talesfore was the Homilist at Mass, during which the 2011 St. Thomas More Award was presented to Judge Kelly.

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. with St. Thomas More Award Recipient Judge Kathleen A. Kelly and St. Thomas More Society President Adrian G. Driscoll at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club for the annual Red Mass banquet. The sold-out banquet was attended by Bishop Robert McElroy and many members of the Clergy, Justices of the Court of Appeal, Superior Court Judges, and distinguished Bay Area lawyers.

Saints Peter and Paul Church
666 Filbert Street
San Francisco

Thursday, October 27, 2011
5:30 p.m.

Honoring the 2011 St. Thomas More Award Recipient
The Honorable Kathleen A. Kelly
Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court

The Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
will be the Principal Celebrant of the Red Mass

The Annual Banquet followed the Red Mass at
The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
1630 Stockton Street
San Francisco
7:00 p.m.

Remarks by The Honorable Kathleen A. Kelly, Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, Recipient of the 2011 St. Thomas More Award

I would like to extend my Deepest thanks to the St. Thomas More Society for this great honor. I particularly wish to thank: Society President Adrian Driscoll, Vice President Bob Zaletel, Judge Suzanne Bolanos, Tippy Mazzucco, Tim Crudo, Isabel Ord, John Ring and St.Ignatius College Prep, Joanne Desmond and FX Crowley for all their time and effort organizing this beautiful event.

I would also like to recognize all my judicial colleagues, for your presence and support, not just tonight but each day, as you dispense justice in a society so in need of your thoughtful, fair and courageous work.

Washington, DC may boast that the U.S. Supreme Court attends their Red Mass, but how fortunate are we to have both Monsignor John Talesfore and our one of a kind Governor Jerry Brown with us here tonight!

. . . (Thank you/recognition of Kevin Holl, and family members….)

As I look around this room, it is striking the number of dedicated leaders who give back immeasurably to causes ranging from ICA to AA. Our community is better for your extraordinary work and --as we St. Cecilia grads were taught to say-- You are all the “finest, the greatest and the best!”

St. Thomas More, inspires us, especially in difficult times, to strive to be courageous and just.

No matter your faith, St. Thomas is a model for doing what is right, no matter the personal cost. While Thomas More had the distinction of serving in the King’s Court, for me, as both a lawyer and judge, I feel most privileged and indeed blessed to have served in the Juvenile Court.

In this time of economic crisis, our court is being significantly impacted and sadly, the children who appear in our juvenile courts are often forgotten. This is a time, when we should all aspire to live up St. Thomas’ model of integrity and take courageous action for those who may have no voice.

During my many years at Youth Guidance Center, I have seen unspeakable suffering and pain, yet

At the same time, I have also been witness to remarkable acts of courage, indeed miracles, that unfold without fanfare or even a mention, in the juvenile court every day.

In this place, I have seen extraordinary acts of mercy, such as when a father whose daughter was killed by a stray bullet came to the sentencing of the young shooter and spoke of compassion. Despite his own anguish, he comforted the boy by saying his family had forgiven him for his daughter’s tragic death.

I met a young man who was involved in a very serious case; his life was spiraling down. He had given up on school and even more, yet with the help of the amazing Juvenile Re-entry Team, present here tonight, he went on to complete a rigorous program and is now in college. As his probation was about to end, his mother cried with gratitude at his remarkable success.

I have seen the sad eyes of a young girl all alone in court, with no family or other support, and then seen her smiling face months later when, with the help of her probation officer and Catholic Charities, she was all dressed up receiving an award for her efforts in school and in her group home.

I have seen children confined in juvenile hall give thanks at Thanksgiving for being alive and on Christmas for the simple gift of a gingerbread cookie.

For- it is in the Juvenile Court, where true saints exist among us today. I am grateful beyond measure in particular to Sister Janet Harris and Jack Jacqua both of whom are with us tonight. Sister Janet, has worked miracles through her juvenile jail writing program (the inspiration for the local program known as The Beat Within). And I don’t know where our City would be without Jack Jacqua, co founder of the Omega Boys club, who spends every day, holidays and late nights in our jails, with our kids, dispensing the firm commitment and love of a father figure to young men who are so grateful for his prayers and support.

It gives me hope, as well, that the next generation is coming forward, through innovation and collaboration to lead the nation in cutting edge efforts to give youth and their families the support they need to succeed: Becky Marcus, Danny Reyes, Marci Sandoval, and Elizabeth Fairbanks, you never give up and your courageous work inspires me every day.

As I close, I would like to share a portion (excerpt) of a prayer by Ina J. Hughes:

…Let us pray:

For children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money…
And we pray for those who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Whose pictures are not on anyone’s dresser, whose monsters are real.
…We pray for children who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.
…And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who aren’t spoiled by anybody, who cry themselves to sleep.
We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,
For those we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance.
For those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

I thank you for this great honor and pray that we remember the children in our community who need us most.


October 21, 2010: Annual Red Mass and Dinner was held at the beautiful Church of Notre Dame des Victoires on Bush Street. The principal celebrant was Auxiliary Bishop William Justice. The homily was given by Father Tony Sauer, S.J.
Read: Homily given by Father Tony Sauer, S.J. >

The recipient of the St. Thomas More Award was the former President of the St. Thomas More Society and one of our most inspirational leaders: Hugh Donohoe.
Please note the citation he received >

The Red Mass was followed by a no-host cocktail reception and dinner at the Family Club at the corner of Bush and Powell Streets, just one block from the Church.

Remarks by Hugh A. Donohoe of this year's St. Thomas More Award honoree >


August 8, 2010: During the American Bar Association convention held in San Francisco, we are sponsored a special Red Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass. The celebrant was Auxiliary Bishop William Justice. The Cathedral choir sang traditional Gregorian Chants. After the Mass, our Society hosted a reception in the meeting rooms below the Cathedral.


2009 St. Thomas More Award Recipient -
FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL JUSTICE ROBERT L. DONDERO
Thursday, October 22, 2009

New: Read Justice Dondero's Remarks >>
New: Read Archbishop Niederauer's Red Mass Homily >>

St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco is pleased to announce that the Robert L. Dondero, First District Court of Appeal Justice, was the 2009 recipient of the Saint Thomas More Award.

The award was bestowed upon Justice Dondero on October 22, 2009 during the Red Mass at Saints Peter and Paul's Church. Our annual banquet was followed at the Italian American Athletic Club.

We are very pleased to announce that Archbishop Niederauer celebrated the Mass and deliver the homily.

St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco sponsors the annual Red Mass and dinner, at which the Society presents the St. Thomas More Award to one who exemplifies the ideals of service and sacrifice in the pursuit of justice so conspicuously reflected in the life and death of St. Thomas More. The Red Mass continues a tradition begun by English barristers and judges in the 13th century of offering prayers to the Holy Spirit that all men and women in the legal profession, the judiciary and the public life be blessed with wisdom and understanding. Red vestments are traditionally worn at the Mass to commemorate the scarlet robes of the Lord High Justices.


Justice Robert L. DonderoJustice Dondero's Remarks:

Thanks to the following persons for this event: Gregory Schopf, Dennis McQuaid, Members of the Board of Directors of St. Thomas More Society who selected me, Father Charles Gagan for his remarks, Wife & Daughters for their support ----You have to always thank your family for their support.

I first learned I had been selected for the award on June 8, 2009. I had just returned from a vacation in Hawaii with my wife and I was at the Courthouse at 400 Mc Allister reviewing materials that had accumulated while away. I received in the morning a call from Greg Schopf, president of the St. Thomas More Society, telling me that I had been selected to receive the award at the Red Mass. I was quite surprised by the notice, asking Greg was the organization sure they wanted to give it to me. He indicated he was very sure and we discussed the details for this Red Mass. A couple of hours later, oddly enough, I received a phone call from the Governor’s office, and the Appointment Secretary, Sharon Majors-Lewis. She advised me in the strictest confidence that the Governor was going to elevate me to the Court of Appeal. Hence in the span of a few hours on the same day, I realized the experience of the Biblical admonition, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Needless to say, I could have bounced home that evening.

Each honor was a most humbling experience. I, however, want to focus on the first honor tonight--- the St. Thomas More Award. In all candor, I can say I am most surprised and shocked by this honor. I am so awed because it is named in honor of a man who was martyred for his beliefs. I have seen on stage the presentation of A Man for All Seasons and viewed the film starring Paul Schoefield. I am awed by this giant. He was a man much more religious than me; he even studied for the priesthood before he decided he could do more as a lay person. He wrote Utopia, studied with Erasmus, was a respected lawyer, colleague of Wolsey and Henry VIII, eventually became the Lord Chancellor of England---indeed the first layman to serve as the Lord Chancellor. Also, the man was named the patron saint of politicians by Pope John Paul II. And because of his successes as a lawyer and his strength as a spiritual person, he is today honored in major cities of this nation at Red Masses annually.

That is not me and it is probably not any person in this room.

When you receive an award like this and reflect on the life of its inspiration-----you need to ask yourself the question: What is it about Thomas More that allows you---the recipient---to at least attempt to share in such an honor. You think about this question and even meditate on it for answer.

Sainthood is hardly the answer---at least for me. Martyrdom is not an option I wish to consider at the moment. Any evaluation of this issue needs to be assessed----at least for most of us-----according to Shakespeare’s admonition in Julius Caesar: “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” We are mortals, subject to humanness and therefore, error.

Yet there is at least one feature of our humanity that can be developed to make us like Thomas More----and that is the matter of conscience. We are all human and therefore we all have one.

Pope Paul VI described conscience as the “most secret core and sanctuary of a man. Where he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in a person’s depths.”

More was obsessed with being true to his conscience. Being conscientious---true to his moral code-----was in the forefront of his life especially as he faced Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell over the issue of the Act of Supremacy. Thomas More’s prison letters in the last year of his life contain serious reflection on being conscientious----honoring his beloved family obligations, his king as the national leader, and of course, his God.

We also live our lives as conscientious, motivated people. Call it a moral compass or a rooted spirituality----by reflecting on values-----core values of our lives and applying them daily to our conduct-----our conscience becomes as Father Robert Araujo Society of Jesus noted, “well formed.” The well formed conscience will separate and indeed elevate us, from the selfish and narcissist who thinks only about personal gain or attention. I believe a well formed or nobler conscience will allow me to judge fairer, follow the meaning of the law more diligently, and of course exercise compassion within the legal framework. To you in this group who practice law in all arenas, you will be able to strike, as advocates, fair but not foul blows as you litigate or make decisions in your legal practice. To those who are involved in fund raising or charitable activity, or in the area of finance or the corporate world, the well formed conscience essentially reflects the golden rule---do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Receiving this award reaffirms the need for me to be reflective of my core values and spiritual personality. Complacency and the moment can present distractions, but your recognition tonight and reflecting on this award brings me back and renews the focus. Thank you very much.


Bishop George Niederauer photoArchbishop Niederauer's Red Mass Homily

For the twenty years or so, we have heard the word “values” very often in public life: family values; national values; traditional values. Values are claimed by both political parties and all candidates, on each side in every political issue.

What are values? Briefly, values are judgments and beliefs about what matters and what does about what matters more than something else. We make assumptions about our lives and then we make choices based on those assumptions. Those assumptions embody our values and our choices express them.

Jesus Christ was in favor of values even before the Republicans and Democrats discovered them. Today’s gospel reading, from Matthew, contains the opening sentences of Jesus’s famous Sermon on the Mount. This passage is called the “Beatitudes”, because in these sentences Jesus declares who in this world he considers beatus or blessed--happy. This is where Jesus announces the values of the kingdom of God which he has come to proclaim and establish. The Beatitudes are the platform for his public ministry and for his work of redeeming us and making us his own people, now and forever.

The Beatitudes are not new laws. They are new ways of living beyond mere human laws. They are values for kingdom living. If we take these Beatitude values seriously in our daily lives, we will find that they not only fly in the face of conventional wisdom, they blow that wisdom apart! These values turn human expectation upside down and inside out: blessed are the poor, the meek, the sorrowing, the persecuted? Our world commonly assumes that fulfillment comes mainly through earthly goods.

Years ago, when I was teaching in the seminary, I was asked to give a talk about these Beatitudes to future priests. In preparation, I asked myself what the beatitudes meant to me? I also asked whether they were the only values or beatitudes I had ever heard of as I grew up in a middle¬ class Catholic neighborhood in the 1950s. No, they were not. Alongside these Scriptural beatitudes, I had heard other “beatitudes” in the world around me. So with apologies to Matthew, Chapter 5, and Luke, Chapter 6, these are some of those worldly Beatitudes I remember hearing in the air around me:

Let’s be fair: most of those values are not sinful, they just aren’t good ultimate values, and when they try to pass as ultimate, they sound narrow and shallow.

The Beatitude wisdom of Jesus contradicts what we might call “natural cleverness.” You know the kind of cleverness I mean: When someone starts a sentence by saying, “Now several years ago, if I had been really smart, I would have…” How do you expect that sentence to end” “I would have sold all my dot-com stocks” Or, “I would have bought that house across the street real cheap when those people had to see so fast.” That’s natural cleverness. You don’t usually expect to say “Now last year, if I had been really smart, I would have: made a weekend retreat; set aside some time for prayer each day; volunteered to serve meals to the homeless center one day each month; cleaned out my closet and sent things I never wear to the St. Vincent de Paul Society for the needy.” We don’t usually talk that that. Alas, too often we don’t think like that either.

Compared to natural cleverness, the values of Jesus can seem wimpish, even foolish. That’s why our second reading is so important: St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, saying that Christians are not wise, influential or well-born in a worldly sense; that we often seem weak and foolish, compared to the strong and clever ones of this world. But, Paul says, God has chosen the weak and foolish to “show up” the strong and clever ones, and God our Father has given us his Son, Jesus Christ, to be our wisdom and justice and holiness and salvation, so that we can do no boasting before God, only in God.

We’ve had fair warning: these beatitudes of Jesus will not make us rich or famous or powerful or envied, or even comfy – they will make us God’s children and give us a share in his life forever. Are we still interested?

Before we answer, let’s take a close look at the meaning of some of Christ’s Beatitudes.

“How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs”--while the rich in spirit want abundance, control and authority, the poor know they need everything from God.

“Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled.” We maximize pleasure and most of all avoid pain and suffering. Suffering is not to be sought, but neither is it to be avoided at all costs, particularly the costs of becoming fully human (“without a hurt the heart is hollow”) [Laurie sings here] of being open to others’ suffering and joy; of experiencing the kind of vulnerability which caring and loving lead to; of sharing the Cross of Christ.

“Blest are the lowly; they shall inherit the land.” We bristle at being overlooked, passed by, neglected, unappreciated. “We’re NO.1!” The lowly aren’t grovelers, but they inherit the land because they know they don’t own it; they don’t grasp and hoard; they share and are generous.

“Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill.” We are called to a passion for life in Christ; a craving for goodness. Not “Lord, you know what I really want next” but “Lord, help me know what you want next” - for me, from me.

“Blest are the peace-makers, for they shall be called sons of God.” We scorn do¬-gooders and bleeding hearts, but Jesus was one, IS one, and he will judge us. Face head on the difficulties of building solid, trusting relationships between people, with people.

“Blest are those persecuted for holiness’ sake; the reign of God is theirs.” Living the beatitudes COSTS – we will seem “fools” - it will be embarrassing; we will not always win or finish first; Jesus was persecuted and considered a fool right up until the moment when he entered into glory. Those are his values. He proclaims them to us. Now it’s our move. And tomorrow and the day after, and all our lives, it will always be our move - and He will always be there - as he is here--to urge us on, to pick us up when we fall to nourish and strengthen us, forgive and console us - be with us and within us—but in the value we live by, it is our choice, it is our move.

BEATITUDES (To be contrasted with Mt. 5: 3-12 and Lk. 6:20-26)

Blessed are those who own their own home;

Blessed are those who have a car, a stereo, and a hair dryer;

Blessed are those who go to college;

Blessed are those who can write their own ticket, are self:-employed, keep getting better jobs, promotions, or more money;

Blessed are those who live on clean, well-lighted, safe streets;

Blessed are those who know the right people, have reservations, make wise investments, can afford nice vacations;

Blessed are the winners;

Blessed are those who are charming, clever, witty, and can handle people well;

Blessed are those who live in a place where, the movies are first-run, and change weekly;

Blessed are those who get waited on by others in a store, and don’t have to wait on others themselves;

Blessed are those who can demand and get respect for who they are, for what they say and do;

Blessed are those with a high standard of living and a strong national defense;

Blessed are the young, the strong, the healthy, and especially those who are sexually attractive to one another;

Blessed are hospital patients only if they have a private room or if necessary, a semi-private room, but in no case a bed in a ward;

Woe to renters, immigrants, the unemployed, drifters, oddballs, the sick, the elderly, and people who talk to themselves out loud on the bus- - avoid them like the plague, because losing is catching!


2008 St. Thomas More Award Recipient - THE HONORABLE MING W. CHIN

Honorable Ming W. ChinThursday, October 23, 2008
5:30 pm - Red Mass
7:00 pm - Dinner

St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco is pleased to announce that the Honorable Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, will be the 2008 recipient of the Saint Thomas More Award.

The award will be bestowed upon Justice Chin on October 23, 2008 during the Red Mass at Saints Peter and Paul's Church. Our annual banquet will be followed at the Italian American Athletic Club.

St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco sponsors the annual Red Mass and dinner, at which the Society presents the St. Thomas More Award to one who exemplifies the ideals of service and sacrifice in the pursuit of justice so conspicuously reflected in the life and death of St. Thomas More. The Red Mass continues a tradition begun by English barristers and judges in the 13th century of offering prayers to the Holy Spirit that all men and women in the legal profession, the judiciary and the public life be blessed with wisdom and understanding. Red vestments are traditionally worn at the Mass to commemorate the scarlet robes of the Lord High Justices.


2007 St. Thomas More Award Recipient - THE HONORABLE CARLOS T. BEA

October 18, 2007 - 70th Anniversary Red Mass Dinner Celebration
Honoree Judge Carlos T. Bea and Archbishop George H. Niederauer, Ph.D.


The Red Mass Awardees

Dean Marvin J. Anderson
Hon. Carlos T. Bea
Hon. Louis H. Burke
Hon. Walter I. Carpeneti
Donald C. Carroll
Hon. William P. Clark, Jr.
Charles H. Clifford
Hon. Carol A. Corrigan
David P. Dawson
Hon. Preston Devine
Richard C. Dinkelspiel
Robert H. Fabian
Mary Bridget Flaherty, R.S.C.J.
Hon. Daniel M. Hanlon
John F. Henning
Hon. Martin J. Jenkins
Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy
Hon. Donald B. King
Floyd A. Lotito, O.F.M.
Hon. Eugene F. Lynch

Hon. Leo T. McCarthy
John M. McGuckin, Jr.
John J. Meehan
Thomas J. Mellon
Martin D. ("Pete") Murphy
Hon. John T. Noonan, Jr.
Hon. Edward A. Panelli
Hon. Joanne C. Parrilli
Eugene C. Payne III
Archbishop John R. Quinn
Hon. Timothy A. Reardon
Joseph P. Russoniello
Thomas F. Smegal, Jr.
Hon. Raymond L. Sullivan
John A. Sutro
William F. Terheyden
Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM
Bernard J. Ward
Hon. Raymond D. Williamson, Jr.

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