Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington
Celebrant and Homilist for the Diocese of Arlington's Red Mass
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge was born June 16, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pa., the second son of Francis and Shirley Burbidge and brother of Francis Burbidge, Jr. He attended Catholic grade schools and graduated from Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield, Pa. in 1975. After high school he went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol in 1984.
Bishop Burbidge holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, a master's in education administration from Villanova University, and a doctorate in education from Immaculata College.
Fr. Michael Burbidge's first priestly assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Bernard Church in Philadelphia, where he served for two years. From 1986-1992 he was on the faculties, successively, of Cardinal O'Hara High School, Archbishop Wood High School and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he also served as Dean of Students.
In 1992 Fr. Burbidge was named administrative secretary to Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, and served in that capacity until 1999. In 1998 he was made Honorary Prelate to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor.
Monsignor Burbidge was appointed Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1999. In 2002 he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. As auxiliary bishop, he oversaw the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the Office of Communications.
On June 8, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Burbidge the fifth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh; Bishop Burbidge was installed in Raleigh on August 4, 2006. On October 4, 2016, he was announced by Pope Francis as the fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington; he was installed on December 6, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.
Bishop Burbidge has served as USCCB chairman for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (2013 to 2016) and was the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications (2018 to 2021). He was also a member of the USCCB Administrative Committee (2018 to 2021) and a member of the USCCB Religious Liberty Committee (2018 to 2021). Additionally, he serves as a member of The Catholic University of America's Board of Trustees, its Executive Committee and its Seminary Committee (2009 to present). He is a member of the Mount Saint Mary's Board of Trustees (2019 to present) and its Seminary Development Committee (2021 to present). He is also a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (2017 to present) and the current chair of its Finance Committee (2020 to present). He is a member of the Episcopal Advisory Board of Catholic Athletes for Christ (2007 to present), the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors Episcopal Advisory Board (2008 to present), the Virginia Catholic Conference Management Committee (2017 to present), the Catholic Distance University Board of Trustees (2018 to present), and member of the Board of Trustees of the Commissariat of the Holy Land (2019 to present). Recently, Bishop Burbidge was elected as chairman of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee (2022 to present).
In recent years, Bishop Burbidge has published pastoral letters titled, “In Tongues All Can Hear: Communicating the Hope of Christ in Times of Trial” and “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology.”
Judge Justin Walker
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
Judge Walker was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals in September 2020. A graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School, he clerked for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Anthony Kennedy. In 2019, he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. Prior to that, he practiced at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (D.C.) and Dinsmore & Shohl (Louisville). He has taught law in several states and foreign countries.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico
The Acton Institute
Rev. Robert A. Sirico is president emeritus and the co-founder of the Acton Institute. In that capacity, he lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Fr. Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS' 60 Minutes, among others.
Fr. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.
In April of 1999, Fr. Sirico was awarded an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and in May of 2001, Universidad Francisco Marroquin awarded him an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pèlerin Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Philadelphia Society, and is on the Board of Advisors of the Civic Institute in Prague. Father Sirico also served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1994 to 1998. His pastoral ministry has included a chaplaincy to AIDS patients at the National Institutes of Health. He is the Pastor Emeritus of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Father Sirico holds dual Italian and American citizenship.
Helen M. Alvaré
Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Robert A. Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty
Helen Alvaré is the Robert A. Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a Member of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (Vatican City), a board member of Catholic Relief Services, a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS’ Section on Law and Religion, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.
In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and CNN.com. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.
Prior to joining the faculty of Scalia Law, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.
Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.
Nicole Stelle Garnett
University of Notre Dame School of Law
Associate Dean for External Engagement and the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law
Nicole Stelle Garnett's teaching and research focus on education policy and topics related to property law (especially land use and urban development policies). In addition to dozens of articles on these subjects, she is the author of two books, Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools' Importance in Urban America (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and Ordering the City: Land Use, Policing and the Restoration of Urban America (Yale University Press, 2009). Currently, she is engaged in an ambitious research effort in collaboration with scholars from around the world to gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal rules governing, and public funds available to, faith-based schools in the Global South.
At Notre Dame, Garnett is a fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, and the deNicola Center for Ethics and Culture. She also is the senior policy advisor for the Alliance for Catholic Education, a program engaged in a wide array of efforts to strengthen and sustain K-12 Catholic schools. From 2008-2010, she served as provost fellow at Notre Dame, and, during the Spring 2007 semester, as a visiting professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School.
Garnett received her B.A. with distinction in Political Science from Stanford University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Morris S. Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining the law school faculty in 1999, she worked for two years as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice, a non-profit public-interest law firm in Washington, D.C.
Heather A. Lachenauer
University of Dallas
Vice President for Board and Legal Services and General Counsel
Heather A. Lachenauer is an experienced litigator, appellate advocate and educator who has successfully represented international companies, federal agencies, financial institutions, businesses and individuals. She has advocated on behalf of clients in a variety of pro bono matters involving asylum, the death penalty, and religious liberty, among others. Ms. Lachenauer has taught political science, rhetoric, and poetics and aesthetics as an adjunct professor and is a former member of the Board of Regents of St. John Paul the Great Catholic University. She is the co-founder of Epiphany Prep Charter School, a school dedicated to providing quality education to children living in low-income communities in San Diego. Ms. Lachenauer received her B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, a M.A. in Education at the George Washington University, and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
Ethics and Public Policy Center
Erika Bachiochi, an EPPC Fellow, is a legal scholar specializing in Equal Protection jurisprudence, feminist legal theory, Catholic social teaching, and sexual ethics. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and a Research Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Ms. Bachiochi speaks widely on abortion, sexual economics, the impact of the new sexual norms on women and the poor, care ethics, and authentic reproductive justice. Other interests include the American renaissance of classical education, the vitality of civil society with a focus on how religious institutions can help the poor and marginalized, virtue ethics, and the American founding.
Ms. Bachiochi’s essays have appeared in publications such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Christian Bioethics (Oxford University), First Things, CNN.com, National Review Online, Claremont Review of Books, SCOTUSblog, and Public Discourse. Particularly noteworthy are law review articles, “Embodied Equality: Debunking Equality Protection Arguments for Abortion Rights” (2011) and “A Putative Right in Search of a Constitutional Justification: Understanding Planned Parenthood v Casey‘s Equality Rationale and How It Undermines Women’s Equality” (2017). She is the editor of two books, Women, Sex & the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching (Pauline Books & Media, 2010) and The Cost of “Choice”: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion (Encounter Books, 2004).
Ms. Bachiochi has represented the Holy See at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, has presented in conferences sponsored by the Pontifical Council on the Laity, and was a speaker at the World Meeting of Families in 2015. Ms. Bachiochi is a contributor to the Law Professor Blogs Network blog Mirror of Justice and serves on the Advisory Council of the Catholic Women’s Forum and the Advisory Board of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. She is a co-founder of St. Benedict’s, a classical Catholic school in Massachusetts where she served as President of the Board from 2013-2015.
She received her BA from Middlebury College, her MA in Theology as a Bradley Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Politics and Religion at Boston College, and her law degree from Boston University School of Law.
Ms. Bachiochi currently resides outside of Boston with her husband and six children.
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Mark L. Rienzi is a professor at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Professor Rienzi teaches constitutional law, religious liberty, torts, and evidence. He has been voted Teacher of the Year three times by the student bar association.
Professor Rienzi's litigation and research interests focus on the First and Fourteenth Amendments, with an emphasis on free speech and the free exercise of religion. His scholarship on these issues has appeared in a variety of prestigious journals including the Harvard Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, and George Mason Law Review.
As a litigator, Professor Rienzi has represented a range of parties asserting First Amendment claims in courts across the country. For fourteen years, Professor Rienzi represented parties challenging the Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone, finally prevailing in a 9-0 decision at the Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley (2014). Professor Rienzi also successfully represented pharmacists challenging an Illinois law forcing all pharmacists to sell the week-after pill and morning-after pill, and pro-life pregnancy centers challenging speech regulations.
Professor Rienzi is also Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, non-partisan religious liberties law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious faiths. At the Becket Fund, Professor Rienzi has successfully represented a variety of parties at the Supreme Court including in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius (emergency order, 2014); Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014); Wheaton College v. Burwell (emergency order, 2014); and Holt v. Hobbs (2015). Professor Rienzi is currently representing the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious petitioners in Zubik v. Burwell, which the Court will hear in March 2016.
Professor Rienzi is a widely sought after speaker on constitutional issues, particularly concerning abortion and the First Amendment. Professor Rienzi has been invited to discuss these issues at schools across the country, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and Georgetown Law Schools. His writings on constitutional issues have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Times, USA Today, Roll Call, U.S. News and World Report, National Review Online, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the National Catholic Register. He has appeared on various television and radio programs, including CNN, NBC, ABC, FOXNews, and NPR.
Caro Law P.L.L.C. and Dominion Law Group
Mattias A. Caro, Esq. is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, earned his legal degree from George Mason University in 2009, and has degrees from William & Mary and Christendom Graduate School. A native Virginian, Mr. Caro has built strong ties with local families and businesses in Northern Virginia. He and his family live in Hamilton, Virginia. He is a member of boards of directors for a number of non-profits and he and his wife are on the founding leadership team of Good Shepherd School, in Purcellville, VA.
Mr. Caro specializes in Wills & Trusts, Corporate Law and Intellectual Property. In his Estate Planning practice, Mr. Caro takes care to find the solution that is right for your family and situation and to present you with options to help you through difficult conversations. As a practicing Catholic, Mr. Caro believes in the importance of Estate Planning documents embodying the values and morals important to each person, including a basic protection of life and family property. Mr. Caro works with the experienced attorneys of the Dominion Law Group to provide decades of experience to each of his Estate Planning clients. Most work is done on a flat fee basis, discussed upfront. This gives Mr. Caro the ability to work with each client to assure they understand their Estate Planning and are satisfied with the legal work. Additionally, Mr. Caro is excited to work together with the wonderful attorneys of the Dominion Law Group in the provision of Estate Planning services.
In his corporate work, Mr. Caro has worked for both both domestic and Latin American clients, in the areas of consulting, information technology, coding, and education. He has worked on large, multi-national, multi-million dollar investment contracts, streamlined internal operating processes, developed licensing agreements to protect key intellectual property, reviewed governing documents such as by-laws, incorporation, D/B/As, and meeting minutes, provided support to all key internal processes including finance and Human Resources, and offered strategic advice to C-level exexcutives and boards. He enjoys working greatly with start-up businesses, in particular, to provide critical legal services in a cost-effective and timely manner. Mr. Caro has also regularly worked with non-profits and educational institutions. He has particular experience with businesses and clients working with the Catholic Church and other related institutions.