The Just Advocate

Twenty-five alumni from 25 years of the Catholic Studies program: Elliot Huss.

Captain Elliot Huss discerned out of seminary only to join what some might call an equally demanding brotherhood: the Marines.

For the past two years he has served as a criminal defense attorney in the Marine Corps.

“I went to law school believing that I could help be the leaven in society by engaging in the law and providing the most vulnerable in society proper legal representation,” he recalls.

“My time in Catholic studies helped me to recognize the great dignity in defending the rights of those who are facing criminal charges, especially those who cannot afford to hire their own criminal defense attorney.” In fact, combined with his formation in Catholic studies and seminary, Huss believes the justice system has drawn out of him an even more precise appreciation for the dignity of the human person, and how profoundly important it is to advocate on behalf of that dignity.

“The criminal justice system,” he continues, “whether on the county or federal level, is highly complicated, and I am blessed to be able to stand between the government and my clients in order to protect and preserve their rights. Each person has tremendous dignity by virtue of being made in the image and likeness of God. That does not go away even if he or she has been accused, even convicted of a crime. The Marines I counsel have raised their right hand and sworn an oath to defend our country, so to help protect their own rights, their career, or even just their rank, is an opportunity to protect their inherent dignity as sons and daughters of God.”

Like many alumni, Huss has a particular affection for his time in Rome. As an undergraduate studying in the Eternal City, Huss would finish his classes at the Angelicum and then find his way to the Scholar’s Lounge Irish Pub where he spent his free time reading the papal encyclicals of Pope Benedict. But his first introduction to the Bernardi Campus was when he was still in high school.

“My family and I visited my brother Isaac in Rome in the spring of 2007 when I was finishing my last year of high school. I remember staying up all night on top of the Bernardi residence after the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to pray until dawn! I thought, let’s do this vigil right and thank God for the opportunity to be so close to the heart of the Church! That was a powerful night of prayer, but that trip offered so much more, too. Some of Isaac’s roommates and friends from that semester are some of the greatest people I know, and my mentors to this day.”

“The Rome program was what drew me to Catholic studies,” he says, “but the classes and culture that the program offered rendered it life-giving and fulfilling.”

Next in Lumen