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Association of Catholic lawyers honors four recipients with St. Thomas More Award

The Atlanta legal community came together to pray for guidance in delivering justice and to celebrate its annual Red Mass which was held on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Atlanta, Georgia. Over forty judges attended, including members of the Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory was the principal celebrant and homilist of this year’s Mass.

Following Mass, the society honored the recipients of the St. Thomas More Award at a luncheon at the Capital City Club. The award is presented annually to judges or lawyers to recognize specific actions showing a commitment to the principles of justice and humanity, especially in difficult circumstances. This award is given without regard to the recipients’ political or religious affiliations. This year, the St. Thomas More Society recognized Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein; attorney Patrick J. Rice, of Hull Barrett, Augusta; retired attorney H. Lane Dennard, of King & Spalding, Atlanta; and attorney Patrick C. DiCarlo, of Alston & Bird, Atlanta.

Co-chair of Hull Barrett’s litigation department, Mr. Rice has been a trial lawyer since 1966 and practices in the areas of general civil litigation, health care and general business matters. By providing experienced counsel for several decades he has helped clients from numerous industries find solutions to conflicts and avoid future conflicts. Mr. Rice is a graduate from Spring Hill College and earned his L.L.B. from the University of Georgia.

About Red Mass
The Red Mass tradition began more than 750 years ago in Europe. Its name refers to the scarlet robes of the judges who attended the Mass centuries ago, as well as the color of the vestments worn by those celebrating the Mass. The first recorded Red Mass celebration in the United States was in 1928 at St. Andrew Catholic Church in New York City. Since then, the Red Mass has been celebrated in an increasing number of cities across the country. Since 1995, Atlanta’s St. Thomas More Society has sponsored the Red Mass. It is now a regular event on Atlanta’s legal calendar. The Washington, D.C., Red Mass has been especially noteworthy since that city’s celebration began in 1953. The president of the United States, members of the United States Supreme Court, judges, Cabinet officials, members of Congress, and diplomats customarily attend the annual Red Mass in Washington, D.C., on the Sunday before the opening of the Supreme Court’s new October term.

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