A New Springtime in Bucks County, PA
On the evening of April 6, the newest Pennsylvania Legatus chapter began its Chartering Ceremony with praying the rosary and Confession at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Buckingham, PA. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was then celebrated by Founding Chaplain Monsignor Joseph Gentili, who is also the parish pastor. Monsignor Gentili was appointed directly by Archbishop Charles Chaput for the role of Bucks County chaplain based on recommendations from members of the Philadelphia Chapter.
Some 38 new inductees participated in the Induction and Installation Ceremony immediately following Mass, during which Legatus founder, Tom Monaghan, personally welcomed and took pictures with each founding Legate.
The fifth Legatus chapter in Pennsylvania, the Bucks County Chapter achieved its chartering threshold in just five months. Its first meeting was held in October 2016 at the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, PA with Archbishop Chaput.
“I attribute the quick timeline with which this chapter came together to Northeast Legatus Director John Knowles’ leadership instinct and ability to identify a number of men and women who would be excellent candidates,” said Monsignor Gentili. “And recently, of course, there has been a significant population shift of Catholics in the region to this county, making it a logical locale to start a new chapter.”
During a cozy Colonial cocktail-and-hors d’oeuvres reception at the Lookaway Golf Club in Buckingham, PA, Mr. Monaghan signed copies of the newly released biography, Monaghan: A Life, written by bestselling Catholic author Joseph Pearce and published by TAN Books. Lookaway Golf Club maintains the oldest clubhouse in the U.S. It is located very close to where President George Washington’s famous Delaware River crossing took place. An outstanding surf-and-turf dinner followed in the Club’s authentically restored Pennsylvania stone-farmhouse dining room, flanked by several blazing fireplaces.
Upon re-introduction to the group by Mr. Knowles, Mr. Monaghan spoke about how Legatus began 30 years ago. While in Rome in 1987, after a visit with Pope St. John Paul II, Mr. Monaghan was inspired to start an organization for Catholic CEOs and presidents. May 2017 | 25 | legatus.org in Bucks County, PA
“It’s said to be the most effective lay organization in the Catholic Church today,” he added, with it having some 90 chapters across the U.S. “It has a greatly respected purpose: to gather the most prominent business leaders in the Church to help them be better Catholics. There’s no other project [within Legatus] than that.” Mr. Monaghan, who takes no salary and pays dues like other Legatus members, emphasized that there is no solicitation of funding allowed by Legates. “And I’m a guy who’s been approached by seemingly every Catholic organization in the last 50 years!”
The warmth of the room and spectacular meal were appropriately complemented by a traditional “fireside chat” between Mr. Monaghan and Founding Chapter President, Dr. Max Mercado, an internal medicine physician, and his wife, Isabel.
“When Isabel and I were on pilgrimage in Paris, we met Mr. Monaghan for the first time,” Dr. Mercado said. “There we learned about Legatus, and it didn’t take long for us to decide together to start a chapter in Bucks County. I saw this as ‘continuing education’ for the soul,” he said, “and something – unlike other business and educational groups – wherein business leaders and their spouses could be included and we could all invest in eternal life!”
Dr. Mercado said that at his Philadelphia-based medical practice, though staffers are from all walks of life and of differing faiths, “we pray together at work, every day. It makes a great difference.”
CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s Managing Editor.