History

 

Welcome to the home of the St. Thomas More Society of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington!

 

The Saint Thomas More Society of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is a collection of attorneys of various faiths committed to the examples of Saint Thomas More.  The Society’s patron was born in 1477 and educated in Oxford.  He married and had one son and three daughters. While Chancellor in the King's Court, he wrote works on the governance of the realm and in defense of the Faith.  He was beheaded on July 6, 1535, by Order of King Henry VIII, whom More had resisted in the matter of the King's divorce.  A layman, spouse, parent, learned jurist, scholar, and martyr, St. Thomas More was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935.

 

Founded in 1988 with approximately 100 members of the Delaware bar, the Society has grown tremendously.  For over twenty years, the Society has attempted to serve the Diocese of Wilmington and members of the local bar. 

 

The new Society first met on November 10, 1988 at St. Peter’s Rectory.  More than 25 lawyers attended the organizational meeting.  They elected officers and adopted a logo.  The minutes of the organizational meeting and attendance sheet are linked hereto.  The St. Thomas More Society, Diocese of Wilmington thus came into being. 

 

The first year was a whirlwind of excitement and activity. The Executive Committee of the Society met regularly in its first year, usually at the Town Wharf Restaurant.  Planning the First & Second Red Mass, adopting bylaws, establishing an annual award to be presented at a special dinner  on Saturday, May 13, 1989, with many lawyers in formal attire attending 5:00 p.m. Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral celebrated by Monsignor Taggart, then repaired to the Rodney Square Club in the heart of Wilmington for the  reception and dinner.  More than 150 guests attended, including Bishop Mulvee, Chancellor and Mrs. Seitz, and Chief Justice and Mrs. Andrew D. Christie. Guests were treated to a musical prelude by The Delaware Singers.  Professor Diana Hays from Georgetown University’s Department of Theology was the guest speaker.  Supreme Court Justice Joseph T. Walsh presented Chancellor Seitz with the first St. Thomas More Award, setting the standard for a stellar event that set a standard for the dinners that we hold each year. 

As the first year ended with the Society moving toward the second Red Mass, a solid organizational foundation had been laid.  In succeeding years, the Red Mass and the St. Thomas More Award and Annual Dinner became fully established annual traditions.  In its second year, the Society developed a lecture series as its major service activity.  Still later the Society developed an annual program of continuing legal education devoted largely to ethics in law. 

 

We invite you to learn more about the Society's past, present, and future as well as opportunities to get involved with the Society!

St. Thomas More Society Diocese of Wilmington  P.O. Box 1320  Wilmington, DE 19899

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