2021 Annual Conference

Catholic Lawyers: Navigating Turbulent Waters

OCTOBER 21-23, 2021


Ave Maria School of Law Naples, Florida - Book a Hotel

Registration Fees

Member  $300 (includes CLE)
Non-member  $375
(includes CLE)
Registration includes lunch (Friday and Saturday), Cocktail  Reception, and CBA Annual Banquet

Single day rate: Friday $200; Saturday $225
Daily pricing includes respective evening event

Student $50  (excludes evening events)
(scholarships available)

Remote Participation
For those that cannot travel or have concerns about meeting in-person, the portion of the conference being held at Ave Maria School of Law can be attended via live-stream webinar format. There is no difference in fee. Please indicate remote attendance on your registration form or email your request to info@catholicbar.org. The webinar links will be emailed near the conference dates.

Cancellation Policy:
CBA conference registrations canceled before October 12, 2021 will be refunded in their entirety. For cancellations requested on or after October 12, 2021, $150 will be deducted from the registration refund to help offset costs and obligations already incurred.


2021 CBA Annual Conference Schedule

Times are specified in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be held at Ave Maria School of Law, 1025 Commons Cir, Naples, FL 34119

Thursday, October 21, 2021

5:00 PM-
6:30 PM
 Welcome Reception, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, 3557 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples, FL 34109

Friday, October 22, 2021
7:45 AM Rosary

8:15 AM
Mass for CBA Conference Attendees, Ave Maria School of Law Conference RoomVery Rev. Kenneth A. Riley 

9:00 AM Welcome & Opening Prayer - Very Rev. Kenneth A. Riley & Eric Gregory

9:15 AM George Ahrend                

The Intersection of Religious Liberty with Antidiscrimination law

10:20 AM William J. Haun

Where Two or Three are Gathered: Restoring the Constitution’s Protections for Civil Society

11:25 AM

11:35 AM Adrian Vermeule delivers the Charles Rice Lecture

The Constitution and the Common Good

12:40 PM Boxed Lunch

1:20 PM Andrew Schlafly 

Conscientious Objection and Independent Judgment in Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines

2:25 PM Steven W. Mosher

In China, the Law is a Penal Tool of the CCP -- and is being used to Crush the Church

3:30 PM Break

3:40 PM Ryan Meade

Serving Clients as Professional Responsibility: The Vocation of a Lawyer

4:45 PM Travis Curtright, Ph.D.

The Holiness of St. Thomas More

5:45 PM
Social and Courtyard Reception

  Dinner on Your Own - Alumni groups and affiliate chapters are encouraged to meet during this time.

Saturday, October 23, 2021
8:15 AM

9:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Prayer - Very Rev. Kenneth A. Riley & Eric Gregory

9:10 AM Christopher Ferrara     

The First Amendment and Church Closures

10:15 AM Kate Anderson     

Parental Rights in Education: A Legal Response to the Rising Tide of Critical Race Theory and Gender Ideology

11:20 AM Break

11:30 AM

Dean John M. Czarnetzky delivers the St. Thomas More Lecture

Catholic Social Doctrine in the American Corporation

12:35 PM Boxed Lunch


1:15 PM

Ronald J. Rychlak

Healing the Constitution: A Catholic Cure

2:20 PM

2:30 PM

Catholic Bar Association General Assembly

President’s Report, Affiliates’ Reports, Elections, Committee Reports

3:30 PM Committee Meetings

  Free Time Until Red Mass

6:00 PM Red Mass, St. Agnes Catholic Church, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Naples, FL 34120

Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Celebrant and Homilist

7:30 PM Red Mass Banquet, Kensington Golf & Country Club, 2700 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples, FL 34109

Most Rev. Felipe de Jesús Estévez delivering the St. John Fisher Lecture

Cuba—Is there a Future of Hope?

Download the 2021 Conference Schedule

Red Mass

Saturday, October 23 at 6:00 PM

St. Agnes Parish
7775 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Naples, FL 34120

Bishop Frank Joseph DeWane
Diocese of Venice, Florida

CBA Annual Banquet

Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 PM

(following the Red Mass)

Kensington Country Club

2700 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples, FL  34109

Tickets for non-conference attendees: $100


The Saint John Fisher Lecturer
Most Rev. Felipe de Jesús Estévez, Bishop of St. Augustine

Cuba — Is there a future of hope?

Bishop Felipe J. Estévez was born Feb. 5, 1946, in Havana, Cuba and arrived in the United States on an Operation Pedro Pan flight as a teenager.

He was ordained in 1970 and has done extensive studies in spiritual theology, earning a doctorate from Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian.

From 2001 to 2003, Bishop Estévez served as spiritual director of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. where he served as rector from 1980 to 1986. He was the pastor of St. Agatha Parish in Miami for 14 years, while also directing campus ministry at Florida International University.

Appointed Auxiliary Bishop on Nov. 21, 2003, and ordained Jan. 7, 2004, he oversaw the archdiocese’s Ministry of Pastoral Services including family life, youth, campus, prison and respect life ministries, as well as all church movements and new communities.In 2010, he was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Miami

On April 27, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Auxiliary Bishop Felipe J. Estévez the tenth Bishop of St. Augustine. He was installed on June 2, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville.

Bishop Estévez is the second of three children (Carlos and Marty) of the late Adriano and Estrella Estévez.

See a more complete biography on the Diocese of St. Augustine website.

Speaker: Professor Adrian Vermeule

The Constitution and the Common Good

Prof. Adrian Vermeule is the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and Council member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).

Before joining the faculty at Harvard, he was the Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. Prof. Vermeule is the author or co-author of ten books, most recently Law and Leviathan: Redeeming the Administrative State (2020) (with Cass R. Sunstein), Law's Abnegation: From Law's Empire to the Administrative State (2017), The Constitution of Risk (2014) and The System of the Constitution (2012).

In 2012, Prof. Vermeule was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on administrative law, the administrative state, the design of institutions, constitutional law and constitutional theory, legislation, and national security law.

His degrees are from Harvard College (AB, 1990) and Harvard Law School (JD, 1993). After law school, he clerked for Judge David Sentelle of the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and then, in 1994 and 1995, for Justice Antonin Scalia.

He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School in 1998, where he was twice awarded the Graduating Students' Award for Teaching Excellence (2002, 2004). In 2015, he co-founded the book review magazine, The New Rambler.

In 2016, he converted to Catholicism, which he credits substantially to following the logic of St. John Henry Newman. He has been quoted as saying that he sees no middle way between atheism and Catholicism.

Speaker: Steven W. Mosher

In China, the Law is a Penal Tool of the CCP--and is being used to Crush the Church.

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute (1995 to present) and a well-known authority on China.  His books include: 

  • Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order,
  • Population Control: Real Costs and Illusory Benefits
  • Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate Asia,
  • A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One-Child Policy.  

Mosher served as the Director of the Asian Studies Center at the Claremont Institute from 1986-95, and as a Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Broadcasting to China.  He has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad, and is a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows on population questions, including Fox News, NewsMax, Fox Business, and EWTN.

He was educated at the University of Washington (B.S., M.S.) and served in the U.S. Navy (1968-76).  Following his military service, he pursued advanced studies at Stanford University (M.A., M.A.), and taught at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.  In 1979 was selected by the U.S. National Academy of Science to became the first American social scientist permitted to do field research in China since the 1949 Communist revolution.

During his time in China, as an eyewitness to the newly instituted one-child policy, he documented the widespread practice of forced abortion and forced sterilization in that country.  Later, he worked with Congress to pass the Mexico City Policy and defund the UNFPA, which was heavily involved in both promoting and funding China’s policy.  

He served on the Catholic Advisory Group to the Trump Campaign in 2016 and again in 2020.  He and his wife, Vera, have nine children and 11 grandchildren (and counting).

Speaker: Dean John M. Czarnetzky

Catholic Social Doctrine in the American Corporation

Dean John M. Czarnetzky is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1982, Chemistry) where he played football, and the University of Virginia (J.D., 1989), where he was an Executive Editor of the Virginia Law Review and an editor of the Virginia Journal of Environmental Law.

Before law school, Dean Czarnetzky served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer specializing in foreign chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities.

After law school, he practiced bankruptcy and commercial law with Sidley & Austin in Chicago, and McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe in Richmond, Virginia.

Czarnetzky joined the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1994, where he taught courses in bankruptcy, corporate reorganizations, secured transactions, civil procedure, business associations, and international trade. He also directed the law school’s Cambridge Summer Session for some years, taught several undergraduate courses at the university’s Honors College, and co-founded the law school’s St. Thomas More Society.

In 2016, then-Professor Czarnetzky received the Elsie M. Hood Award for “outstanding professor at the University of Mississippi,” the highest honor awarded to Ole Miss faculty members. In addition, he was honored five times as the outstanding professor at the law school itself by vote of the law students.

Dean Czarnetzky currently serves as a legal adviser to the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations. In that capacity, he has represented the Holy See in negotiations pertaining to the establishment of the International Criminal Court and several international treaties, including a treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities.

His scholarly interests are bankruptcy, commercial and international law. In 2020, Dean Czarnetzky became a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He has published in the Notre Dame Law Review, the Fordham Law Review and the Arizona State Law Journal. His recent scholarship explores the intersection of Catholic social theory and American corporate and commercial law—his topic today.

Dean Czarnetzky is a lay member of the Dominican Order and a third-degree Knight of Columbus.

Speaker: William J. Haun

Where Two or Three are Gathered: Restoring the Constitution’s Protections for Civil Society

Will joined the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty as Counsel in 2019. Since then, he has been a member of the legal team that unanimously prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, successfully argued Diocese of Lubbock v. Guerrero before the Supreme Court of Texas, and has briefed and argued cases defending various religious institutions in courts nationwide.

Will is also a Nonresident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in its Center for Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies. There, he focuses on the intersection of religion and self-government, American constitutionalism, and the Supreme Court. 

Before joining Becket and AEI, Will practiced appellate and antitrust law at two international law firms, Shearman & Sterling and Hunton & Williams (now Hunton Andrews Kurth). 

Will served as a law clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Judge Claude M. Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Will lives in Maryland with his wife and children. They enjoy sailing on the Eastern Shore, participating in the life of their parish, spending time with close friends and family, and cheering on their favorite baseball teams.

Speaker: Andrew "Andy" Schlafly

Conscientious Objection and Independent Judgment in Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines

Andy Schlafly has practiced law for nearly 30 years, specializing in litigation on constitutional issues. He practices in New Jersey and New York, and before the U.S. Supreme Court and every U.S. Court of Appeals. He currently has a lawsuit pending against the federal government concerning its interference with early treatment for Covid-19. He has won jury trials in state and federal court, and has filed many amicus briefs in cases having heightened significance. Andy speaks often at conservative conferences.

Andy has testified before state legislative committees in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Indiana, and Louisiana. He has a college engineering degree from Princeton and graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review along with Barack Obama. Andy did a clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg. Andy founded Conservapedia, an online conservative encyclopedia, and has been active in politics since an early age.

Speaker: Travis Curtright

The Holiness of St. Thomas More

Travis Curtright, PhD, is editor-in-chief of Moreana:  A Journal for Thomas More and Renaissance Studies, founded in 1963 and published twice a year by Edinburgh University Press in Scotland.  Moreana is the flagship journal of international research in More studies and of interest to both specialist and general readers.  

An accomplished scholar, Dr. Curtright has published over a dozen essays and two books on More’s life and writings: including a critically acclaimed explanation of how More combined Renaissance humanism with polemical theology in The One Thomas More; and as editor and contributor to Thomas More:  Why Patron of Statesmen?.  The latter addresses how or why More should be considered the patron saint of statesman, in accordance with Pope John Paul II’s promulgation of More as such in 2000, and with attention to explicating More’s Catholic political philosophy, his union of faith and action, and depictions in later literature.  

Dr. Curtright is Professor and Chair of the Humanities at Ave Maria University in Southwest Florida, where he founded and directs Shakespeare in Performance, a theatre arts program of study that includes annual productions, a minor degree in complement to the major in humanities, and a summer theater camp for high school students. He is author of Shakespeare’s Dramatic Persons and has directed 14 plays in the last ten years. He and his wife, Mary, have five children. Each child is named after a character from one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Speaker: Ryan Meade

Serving Clients as Professional Responsibility: The Vocation of a Lawyer

Prof. Ryan Meade is a Research Fellow of Blackfriars Hall at the University of Oxford where he is also a member of the Oxford Faculty of Law. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Compliance Studies at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he taught health law, administrative law, and a variety of regulatory courses for over 20 years prior to his appointment at Oxford. At Blackfriars Hall he is a member of the Aquinas Institute.

Ryan’s academic work focuses on jurisprudence, philosophy of law, administrative law, constitutional law, legal history (Roman Law and Medieval legal theory) as well as health law and policy. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre at Oxford. His teaching and writing in jurisprudence and philosophy draw heavily from the work of Aquinas and others in the Medieval era, and from Wittgenstein in the contemporary era.

Ryan is the Co-Convener of The Common Good Project at Oxford, which explores how positive law directs and coordinates regulated actors to the common good. The Common Good Project hosts a variety of related sub-topics associated with the notion of the common good in law and society including legal history, social policy, and health policy.

Along with his academic work, Ryan has practiced law for nearly 30 years, focusing principally on U.S. health care regulations, administrative agency appeals, FDA law, and a host of matters at the intersection of False Claims Act risks and participation in the Medicare program. He is the co-author of several amicus curiae briefs in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court related to health law matters.

Ryan received a BA from Northwestern University. He received his JD from Cornell University where he cross-studied in the Sage School of Philosophy. He was also awarded a PostGraduate Diploma in Law from the University of Edinburgh Law School and undertook two years of graduate studies in theology. He is a member of the UK’s Aristotlean Society, the Catholic Union of Great Britain, and has been admitted as an Ordinary Member of the United Kingdom’s Society of Legal Scholars. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and an Associate Member of the Canon Law Society of America.

Speaker: George Ahrend

The Intersection of Religious Liberty with Antidiscrimination law

George is a trial and appellate lawyer practicing in Washington State. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and his law degree from Gonzaga University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Gonzaga Law Review. He served as amicus counsel for the Washington trial lawyers association for seven years, consultant to the Washington Office of Public Defense for nine years, and an adjunct professor of law at Gonzaga for two years. He is the immediate past president and a current board member of the Catholic Bar Association.

In 2002, George left the practice of law to attend Princeton Theological Seminary in anticipation of entering full-time ministry in the Presbyterian Church. 

However, after becoming convinced that the Catholic Church embodied a fuller and truer expression of the Christian faith, he and his family were received into the Church on Easter 2005. Thereafter returning to the practice of law, George has been able to integrate some of his theological education with his practice, most notably Arlene’s Flowers, involving the defense of a Washington florist who was sued by the Washington Attorney General and private litigants for sexual orientation discrimination because she declined to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

George lives in Central Washington with his wife of 29 years. Together, they have six children, ages 6 to 21.

Speaker: Christopher Ferrara

The First Amendment and Church Closures

Christopher Ferrara is the President and Chief Counsel of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, which he founded in 1990.

In 2020, he joined the Thomas More Society and concentrates his legal work on pro-life defense, religious liberty cases, unjust laws that attack Catholic institutions, and that infringe on parental rights.

Mr. Ferrara is also a widely published author on Catholic Church affairs. 

Mr. Ferrara is a graduate of Fordham Law and practices out of a satellite office in the New York metropolitan area.  He is married and has six children.

Speaker: Kate Anderson

Parental Rights in Education: A Legal Response to the Rising Tide of Critical Race Theory and Gender Ideology

Kate Anderson serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is the director of the Center for Parental Rights.

Since joining ADF in 2015, Anderson has focused on protecting the conscience rights of individuals being unjustly compelled to forfeit their beliefs under threat of government retaliation, heavy fines, or other punishment. In Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing, she has defended the constitutionally protected right of a farmer to express his beliefs without fear of losing his license to serve customers at the city’s farmer’s market. In 303 Creative v. Elenis and Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison, Anderson has counseled creative professionals in pre-enforcement challenges to laws that would force them to promote messages contradicting their core beliefs. In R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Downtown Hope Center v. Municipality of Anchorage, Anderson argued that all Americans should be free to rely on what the law says and that redefining “sex” to mean “gender identity” creates chaos and is unfair to women and girls.

Her litigation practice also includes Privacy Matters v. United States Department of Education, one of several ADF challenges to the Obama-era federal mandate that denied students, parents, and community members the fundamental right to bodily privacy.

Prior to joining ADF, Anderson was an associate attorney with Ellis, Li & McKinstry, PLLC, in Seattle, where she litigated both civil and criminal cases. She served on the trial team in Stormans v. Wiesman, a pivotal case in defense of freedom of conscience for pharmacists in Washington state. Anderson obtained her law degree magna cum laude in 2009 from Gonzaga University School of Law, where she served on the Gonzaga Law Review. Anderson is admitted to the state bars of Arizona and Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court, and several federal district and appellate courts.

Speaker: Ron Rychlak

Healing the Constitution: A Catholic Cure

Ron Rychlak is Distinguished University Professor and holder of the Jamie L. Whitten Chair in Law and Government at the University of Mississippi, where he has been on the faculty since 1987. He is an advisor to the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations, Secretary of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Executive Committee, a member of the Mississippi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Ron graduated from Wabash College and Vanderbilt University Law School.

Before Ole Miss, he practiced law with Jenner & Block in Chicago and served as clerk to Judge Harry Wellford of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is the author or editor of 12 books and over 100 articles. Among them are: Disinformation (co-authored by the highest-ranking officer ever to defect from the Soviet bloc) and Hitler, the War, and the Pope, which the Congregation for the Causes of Saints called “definitive.”

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

The 2021 annual conference has been approved by the following states:

  • Florida for 13 hours of credit (12.0 General and 1.0 Ethics)
  • Illinois for 10.0 hours (Ethics hours pending determination)
  • Missouri for 12.0 hours  (includes 2.4 Ethics)
  • Pennsylvania for 10 hours  (8.0 General, 2.0 Ethics)
  • Texas for 10.0 hours (includes 1.0 Ethics)

Applications are pending with Washington and Virginia.

Credit requirements vary by state. More information will be provided at a later date.

There is no additional charge for requesting CLE credit.

Book a HOTEL

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Naples Hotel reservation instructions:

Book online at:

2021 CBA Conference hotel reservations

Reservations can also be made by calling the hotel at 239-593-1300 and asking for the group code 102121CAT.

Additional information is available at HAWTHORN SUITES NAPLES INFO.
To receive group block rates, you must make your reservations by 9/30/2021.

Hilton Naples reservation instructions:

Book online at:

2021 CBA Conference hotel reservations

Reservations can also be made by calling the hotel at 1-800-HILTONS and ask for the group code CBAR.

To receive group block rates, you must make your reservations by 9/30/2021.

Transportation options

Shuttle service will be provided from the Hawthorn Suites on Friday and Saturday to and from the Conference at Ave Maria School of Law and to and from the Red Mass and Banquet. There is no additional charge to ride the shuttle.

For travel to and from the airport or elsewhere in Naples, here are some transportation options for you to consider:

If you are traveling as a group and/or wish to arrange ground transportation with others from the Ft. Myers Airport, we recommend you contact:

Dolphin Transportation at (239) 530-0100 or

Naples Transportation and Tours at (239) 260-3272

If you do not wish to rent a car, the most convenient way to travel from the Ft. Myers Airport to Naples is via Uber or Lyft. The cost is typically about $45 one way.



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software