Students recently gathered for the semester’s Outside the Box speaker series event, featuring successful D.C. lawyer and Christendom board member Julian Heron. Heron, who is an owner of the firm Tuttle, Taylor & Heron, spoke to students on how to live out their Catholic Faith in Washington, D.C.
Heron has been working in D.C. for years, with his firm representing cooperatives, corporations, insurance companies, farmers, and trade associations. He has an extensive practice in the areas of administrative law and foreign trade and is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Ninth Circuit, several United States District Courts and the United States Claims Court. It is a role that demands Heron face many difficulties and people who disagree with him and his Faith, but Heron does not struggle with being fully Catholic in the nation’s capital.
“It is possible to be a Catholic in Washington without losing your soul — but, you have to be alert and attentive,” said Heron. “Washington is the capital of the free world, and it has an influence worldwide. Working in D.C., you have an opportunity to have a real impact. Never underestimate the power of a conversation because you are never just talking to one person. People have a spouse, children, colleagues — always think of one conversation as impacting at least ten people.”
Due to Christendom’s proximity to D.C., many students take on internships in think tanks and on Capitol Hill or transition into careers in the city after college. The question of how they will be able to make an impact in politics in the city and not lose their souls is often on their minds. Heron touched on this point and more in his talk, reminding students that their Christendom education is preparing them to be able to go out into the world and truly restore all things in Christ.
“In D.C. you have the opportunity to share the Faith with friends through your example,” he said. “In the end, being a Catholic in Washington is the same as being one in Front Royal. Go to Mass daily and say the Rosary. The key to bearing witness to others is honesty, integrity, and determination.”
Heron gave an example of how he has been able to do this in his daily work, thanks to a pin he wears daily. One time, a person asked about the pin’s relevance and he told her that he was a Third Order Dominican. The lady replied, “Oh, I always thought you were American.” Though it was humorous, it gave Heron an opportunity to share the faith with her.
“So many things you do are Catholic without saying anything — this causes curiosity,” he explained.
He exhorted the students to participate in the political realm, reminding them of the irreplaceable value they can add.
“It is so important, especially for us Catholics, to vote,” said Heron. “If people really took this seriously it would make a huge difference. It is also important for us to get involved — there are many opportunities to volunteer for candidates. Take every opportunity you are given because, not only will you be contributing to a greater good, but also you can learn so much from the different experiences. In the political world every little bit of help is important.”
Heron concluded the talk by encouraging the students to use the valuable education they have received.
“What can you do with our education? You have so much you can share with D.C. and the world,” he concluded. “This is a great gift. The ultimate question is: will you share, or if you don’t then who will? To reawaken the words of Ronald Reagan, ‘if not now, when?’”
The “Outside the Box” speaker series is organized by the college’s career development office and has hosted such notable guests as U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, philanthropists Tim Busch and Declan Ganley, Sr. Joseph Andrew, O.P., Paul Rugg, and Matthew Galvan, and Tom Jones.
Contributed by Ashlianna Kreiner ’22.