“The Lawyers’ Studium was a wonderful opportunity to take a step back and focus on the much larger moral and theological issues that relate to the daily practice of law,” said attorney Matthew Byrne. “The combination of thoughtful presentations with time for private prayer and Mass served both the head and the heart. I left refreshed, energized, and eager to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ and to stay in touch with the attorneys I met at the studium.”
Mr. Byrne expressed his gratitude to the St. James Project for sponsoring the event. The idea evolved a few years ago through conversations with Catholic attorneys from the St. Thomas More Society of America who wanted legal workshops or classes which would also bolster their faith.
“Having attended numerous legal conferences I can say that the experience was great in a number of different ways. The speakers, especially Monsignor Frank Lane, were fantastic and it was a good experience to be in the company of like-minded Catholic professionals,” said Kevin Gerrity, Deputy Public Defender (Warrenton, Virginia).
The Lawyers’ Studium was modeled after the very successful Principals’ Studium on Catholicism that has been held at the Athenaeum three summers in a row. The St. James Project sponsors both events; however, the Principals’ Studium features two and a half days of workshops and reflection as opposed to the one day event for attorneys.
“The lawyers who came had a particular interest in the retreat. In most cases, they had to take a day off of work to attend,” said Dr. Tobias Nathe, Athenaeum faculty member and Director of the St. James Project. “The responses were overwhelmingly positive. I don’t think I’ve been thanked more on one occasion in my entire life.”
Seven Athenaeum faculty members helped facilitate the studium. The event included: talks, a tour, Mass, Holy Hour, and a social. A number of the lawyers expressed interest in an annual Catholic studium where they could receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits as well.
“I was very happy with how the studium turned out. It seemed like many of the attorneys were very touched by what they heard and appreciated the time for prayer, Mass, and Confession,” said attorney Michael Gray. “Thank you.”
Feature photo of participants with Fr. David Endres and Dr. Nathe, courtesy of Susan Declercq. Additional photos: