Skip navigation

Legal community invited to Red Mass Law Day

April 15, 2018 Tags: Faith , University News

All area judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, friends and area residents of all faiths are invited to participate in the annual Red Mass/Law Day Lunch at Saint Francis University on Friday, April 27.  

Red Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. Bishop Mark Bartchak, J.C.D., will serve as celebrant, and Fr. James Sean Code, will deliver the homily. 

Justice ToddLunch will follow Mass at the John F. Kennedy Student Center. The keynote address at the Law Day Lunch will be given by Justice Debra McCloskey Todd, Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Register for lunch:

To register for lunch or find out more information about events contact Vickie Soyka at (814) 472-3001 or

 Law Day is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law in the United States. It underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms of all Americans, and it provides an opportunity to recognize the rule of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service in maintaining the integrity of the courts.

About Fr. Code

Fr. Sean Code is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Educated at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Md., he was ordained in 1993 and has ministered throughout the eight-county region since. Prior to entering the seminary, the Johnstown native earned a Bachelor’s degree at St. Vincent College, Latrobe, and a Master’s degree in Journalism at Ohio State University.  He worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Florida and Rhode Island, as well as Pennsylvania, and edited publications of U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.  While employed at the Pittsburgh Press, Fr. Code enrolled in the evening division of Duquesne University School of Law. Upon graduation in 1985, he served as an appellate attorney in the Office of the Allegheny County, Pa., District Attorney. Fr. Code represented the Diocese for 20 years as a member and later moderator of the Social Concerns Department of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.  He also participated in two research projects of the State Joint Government Commission – the Advisory Committee on Wrongful Criminal Convictions, Science Subcommittee, and the Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment, Policy Subcommittee.  He is currently the full-time chaplain for the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

About Justice Todd

After serving as a Judge on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from 2000 through 2007, Justice Debra Todd was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November 2007 and was retained for a second ten-year term in November 2017. Prior to serving on the bench, she was a trial attorney in Pittsburgh for eighteen years, first as an in-house litigator for U.S. Steel, and later in private practice with an emphasis on complex civil litigation.  

Justice Todd received her Bachelor’s Degree (with Honors) from Chatham College; her Law Degree from The University of Pittsburgh (Law Review); and the LL.M Degree in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia.

She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, and a Fellow of the Allegheny County and PA Bar Foundations. She is a frequent lecturer and panelist for CLE programs on appellate practice, ethics, elder justice, child abuse, and veterans’ issues.

Her awards include an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Chatham University; the Philip Werner Amram Award; the Pitt Law Distinguished Alumni Award; and the Amen Corner's Judge Robert E. Dauer Award for Judicial Leadership and Excellence.  In 2016, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape awarded Justice Todd its first Visionary Award, recognizing her significant impact in the lives of survivors of sexual violence.  In 2017, she received the Women's Bar Association of Western PA's Susan B. Anthony Award, for promoting equality in the legal profession.  

Justice Todd chaired the Statewide Elder Law Task Force, and is the Supreme Court's liaison to the Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts, Pennsylvania's Veterans Courts, and the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.