The Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Diocese of Lansing, MI, this past week, presented Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), with its annual St. Thomas More Award. This distinguished honor is presented to the attorney in 2021 who best exemplifies the values of Saint Thomas More.
Thompson was introduced by attorney John Bursch, vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a former Michigan state Solicitor General, and a nationally recognized U.S. Supreme Court advocate.
Dante Ianni, the current president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, presented the award following the Red Mass and dinner.
In his after-dinner remarks to the audience of judges, lawyers and government officials, Thompson offered as a guide in their daily work, the famous statement of Thomas More as he stood on the scaffold waiting the executioner’s axe, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
Some of the other awards that Richard Thompson has received throughout his legal career for his pro-life efforts, include:
- Family, Faith and Freedom Award from the Family Research Council
- Defender of Life Award from The American Center for Law and Justice
- Friend of the Family Award from Michigan Christian Coalition
- Eagle Forum Michigan Person of the Year, 2009
- Lifetime Achievement Award from Right to Life of Michigan for taking a stand in defense of life
- Lifetime Achievement Award by the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas
- Champion for Life Award, for Biblical Christian Values and for Children, from the American Family Association of Michigan
- Award in recognition of service defending traditional Judeo-Christian values in the public arena from Foundation for Traditional Values
- Defender of Life Award from Lenawee County Right to Life
- President’s Award by the Executive Board of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan for efforts against assisted suicide
- Victims Justice Award from the Parents of Murdered Children
The Red Mass has been celebrated annually by the Catholic Church since 1245 at the opening of the judicial year. Its purpose was to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance for all who seek justice including judges, lawyers, law school professors and law students and government officials.
It was first celebrated in the United States in 1877, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Detroit by what is now known as the University of Detroit Mercy.