Regardless of whether our law firm clients tend to be Catholic or not, I have learned that the legal profession is steeped in tradition. Amongst Catholic lawyers, there is a great practice celebrated called the Red Mass. I was honored to hear about it this year and took some members of the CSR team along as well.
In the Catholic faith, the color red has a variety of meanings – here, the red is used to symbolize the law profession but also the tongues of flame of the Holy Spirit (which descended upon the apostles at Pentecost) as well as the blood of the martyrs. This is prominently brought to mind via the sacrifice of the Mass but especially in the name of the society which sponsors the Red Mass – the St. Thomas More Society.
St. Thomas More, for those of you who don’t know him or don’t remember his story, was a man who was King Henry VIII’s right hand man. He was true to his principles and maintained fealty to the ideals that Henry had originally proclaimed and promulgated – this loyalty was what ultimately led to his death as he steadfastly believed that he could be loyal to the king as well as God. When forced to choose, he decided that he had to follow his conscience – which led to his execution by the king.
What is the relevance to Atlanta, 2019? Plenty – we are called to be true to who we are (indeed, this is a core element of the CSR service offering: determining who and what the best version of ourselves are so that we can take that to market and provide that awesomeness to the world!) – with St. Thomas More as a role model, and in today’s climate, this is especially needed and valuable.