Staff

Thomas Brejcha

President and Chief Counsel

Tom Brejcha has been litigating cases in federal and state courts over the last four and a half decades.  For the last 17 years, he has served as president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, defending the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and family values.

Tom grew up on Chicago’s South Side, attending Catholic schools and graduating with honors from Notre Dame.  He won a competitive Root-Tilden Scholarship to New York University Law School where he was Note & Comment Editor of the NYU Law Review and was elected as Class Representative for other members of the Class of 1968.

Serving as an Army Captain in Vietnam during 1969-70, Tom was awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal.  Then he enrolled on the GI Bill to pursue further studies at the Sorbonne and Alliance Francaise in Paris.  Coming home, he became a successful business litigator in two private law firms, handling antitrust, securities, labor, and other cases, two of which reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1986, Tom volunteered to assist the principal named defendants in the infamous NOW vs. Scheidler case. The NOW case was so vast and complex that it crowded Tom out of his business law practice.  When his law partners told him to “quit the case or quit the firm,” he resigned his law partnership and co-founded the Thomas More Society with Joe and Ann Scheidler in March, 1997.  NOW vs. Scheidler went before the U.S. Supreme Court three times.  The pro-life defendants prevailed on the merits by decisive margins of 8-1 in 2003 and then again by 8-0 in 2006 (Justice O’Connor retired before the decision was handed down or else it would have been 9-0).  The case finally drew to a close (28 years after its filing!) when the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago finally rejected the abortion forces’ last appeal from the lower court’s award of some $65,000 as reimbursement for the pro-lifers’ out-of-pocket costs (filing fees, witness fees, etc. – a fraction of their actual total costs).  The opposition’s objections were rebuffed as groundless and even “preposterous.” Mirabile dictu!  Four weeks later, NOW actually paid in full!

Tom has testified before U.S. Congressional Committees (Judiciary, Ways & Means), as well as before state and city legislative and regulatory committees.  He has appeared on many national and local broadcast shows and other media, such as Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity shows, MSNBC, CNN, Relevant Radio, EWTN, CBN, the 700 Club, and Chicago Tonight. Many groups have given him awards for his legal work as well as for his pro-life and religious commitments, including Catholic Charities, Pro-Life Action League, National Lawyers Association, Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, Illinois Citizens for Life, Illinois Students for Life, Chicago Catholic Citizens, and others.

He has been a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by the March for Life, National Catholic Bioethics Council’s U.S. Bishops Conference, SpeakOut Illinois, Law of Life Summit, National Council of Catholic Women, American Bar Association, National Lawyers Association, and more.

Tom lives in Evanston, IL with his wife, Deborah, a recently retired high school Spanish teacher and amateur painter.  They have two sons, Matthew, a marketing executive based in the Chicago area, and Peter, a lawyer in Los Angeles.

Melissa Bryce

Melissa Bryce

Business Manager

Melissa Bryce brings over twenty years of accounting and human resource experience to the Thomas More Society. Her enthusiastic and positive attitude is an integral interface with Thomas More Society’s dynamic team. Prior to joining the Thomas More Society staff in 2008, she worked as Controller at two medium size corporations. Her experiences both before and after coming to TMS have given her a broad spectrum of knowledge in the private and charitable sectors.

Melissa served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Circle Rocking “S” Children’s Farm in Free Soil, Michigan, a non-profit children’s charity that provides animal touch therapy and recreation for persons with disabilities. She continues to volunteer and support the farm long distance with productive fundraising venues for its wish list.

Locally, she donates countless hours of her time to St. Joseph’s School in Lake County, Illinois where one of her children attends.  She provides her resourceful creativity for the school’s fundraising campaigns, events, and parties. She also provides pro bono accounting and tax preparation to those in need. Melissa has benefited the children’s farm, the school, and the Thomas More Society with her talent and years of commitment.

Melissa is a graduate of Saint Xavier University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She lives in Lake County, Illinois, with her husband Bob and their children.

Sr. Christine

Sister Christine M. Moskal, C.R.

Administrative Services and Donor Relations

Sister Christine M. Moskal, C.R. is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.   Sister has served her Congregation in the educational apostolate for nearly 40 years, specializing in fields of catechetics, theology and pastoral studies.  Sister has developed and directed the C.R. Lay Associate (spiritual formation) Program and Women’s Retreats. For her “faith witness” in this ministry, Sister was honored by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.  For her research and workshops on the Paschal Mystery as Director and Chairperson of the Center for Resurrection Studies, Sister received the “Resurrection Moment Award” from her Congregation.  Sister has been an elected delegate and secretary for numerous Congregational Chapters and two international meetings in Rome focusing on the New Evangelization.

Having been involved in the pro-life movement from its early days, and having developed pro-life programs for adolescents during her teaching years, Sister Christine Maria came to Thomas More Society by way of Joe Scheidler’s Pro-Life Action League and the Women’s Center, begun by Conrad Wojnar in Chicago. Sister now serves in Administrative Services and Donor Relations in the Chicago office.  She assists with public witness programs such as the Springfield, IL Nativity Scene and has been the Chicago liason for the five TMS fundraising banquets spearheaded by Thomas More Society-Omaha.

Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Researcher/Investigator

Timothy J. Murphy, a long-time veteran of the pro-life activist movement, was employed by the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago from 1988 until autumn, 2001, when he joined the Thomas More Society as a research assistant to Tom Brejcha on the NOW v. Scheidler appeal. Tim was known for innovative protest tactics, an uncanny ability to inspire and motivate others, and for organizing highly effective and visible pickets and street demonstrations. Tim was named as a defendant in the NOW v. Scheidler case when RICO charges were added in February, 1989.

Tim was sued due primarily to his involvement in the humane retrieval of the remains of over 5,000 aborted babies which had been left in formalin-stained, disheveled cardboard cartons on a pathology lab’s loading dock in Northbrook, Illinois. This enactment in real life of Sophocles’ Antigone (also a corporal work of mercy for Roman Catholics, fulfilling a duty to bury the dead) lasted nearly nine months, without any interference on the part of the pathology lab personnel. The dead babies were buried at ecumenical religious services at their places of origin (detailed on each formalin-filled bag of remains), including a burial of some 2033 infants by Chicago’s Roman Catholic prelate Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.

Well known in the pro-life movement as a researcher, Tim uncovered over 300 malpractice lawsuits filed against abortion providers in the Chicago area alone. He has also contributed articles to the Wanderer, a Catholic weekly, All About Issues, published by American Life League, to the Pro-Life Action News, Life Advocate, and other publications. In 1998, Tim spearheaded a four year post-trial investigation of false testimony in the NOW v. Scheidler trial on the part of plaintiff’s witnesses who claimed that pro-lifers had engaged in violent assaults against abortion providers or clinic patrons. This was reported in an exclusive cover story in World Magazine (10/02/02). Tim and his wife, Beatrice, whom he met while sidewalk counseling, reside in the Chicago area.

Dennis Vena

Dennis Vena

Director of Operations

Dennis is responsible for the day to day internal business operations of The Thomas More Society. He also provides the Board of Directors and the President with annual financial plans and periodic financial analysis with appropriate metrics.

Dennis comes to Thomas More Society with more than 22 years of senior management experience in managing business operations, developing strategic plans, implementing financial budgets, monitoring financial performance, and forecasting year end expenses.

Before joining Thomas More Society, Dennis served TCF National Bank for fourteen years, as Senior Vice President-Legal, Assistant Corporate Secretary, and Regional Counsel for the Bank’s retail operations in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Dennis represented the bank in legislative meetings in Washington, D.C., Springfield Illinois, and Madison Wisconsin. As a result of his legislative efforts, he received the Distinguished Bank Counsel Award from the Illinois Bankers Association.

Prior to TCF Bank, he reported to the Chairman of the Board of Citibank, FSB Illinois and served Citibank Illinois as Senior Vice President-Legal, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, member of Citibank’s Senior Managers Committee.  Dennis was responsible for all legal risk management at Citibank’s Illinois affiliate and advised Senior Management on legal and regulatory issues involved in expanding its retail branch network, developed three legal expansion strategies, and successfully implemented these strategies.  While at Citibank, Dennis also contributed his skills and insight to the Chicago community by serving as a Trustee of a Chicago area nonprofit that works with assisting at-risk inner city students.

Before joining Citibank, Dennis practiced law for twelve years as partner in the Chicago law firm of Garvey and Novy, LTD.

Dennis received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from DePaul University earned his JD degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.