Members of the legal profession called on to defend the weak and uphold laws for the oppressed at the Red Mass

Gathered to pray for those working in the legal profession as judges, lawyers, and advocates, the St. Thomas More Society held their annual Red Mass on Thursday, October 26, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco.

During the Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Archbishop Cordileone, he called on the Heavenly Advocate, to assist those working in the legal professions to attain right judgement, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

The Most Rev. Kurt Burnette, bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic and Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchies of Parma, Phoenix, and Toronto delivered the homily, reflecting on Psalm 82, God’s direction for judges and advocates with the theme: “God stands in the midst of gods, and as God who judges other gods.”

Bishop Burnette explained:

“In Psalm 82, the highest judge of all gives a plan of action for judges, ‘Defend the weak and orphans, uphold the laws for the poor and oppressed, rescue the meek and the needy.’ He sums it all up when he says, ‘Stop favoring the wicked.’ On a more primal level, the Psalmist has ask us a more basic question, ‘What are judges for?’…The psalmist says they are to defend the weak. After all, the strong don’t need judges. They don’t need laws and they don’t need advocates.”

Following Mass, the president of the St. Thomas More Society, Marcus Quintanilla, awarded Timothy Crudo the 2023 St. Thomas More Award for promoting and advancing the ideals of service and sacrifice that reflect the life and death of the society’s lawyer-patron.

“Tim Crudo and his family are really first among equals,” said Philip Kearney, member of the executive committee of the St. Thomas More Society.

In addition to the many academic and professional accomplishments, Crudo lives a life of humble service, providing pro bono legal services, serving on boards, and providing guidance to numerous humanitarian organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Little Sisters of the Poor, Missionaries of Charity, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, and civil rights work on behalf of state prisoners. He is also a Knight in the Order of Malta and a member of St. Dominic’s parish.

Learn more about the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco at