A Philadelphia president’s story
To those busy Catholic professionals who say they don’t have time for Legatus – think again. Thirteen years ago, Sean and MaryJo Bellew, both successful thirty-something lawyers, made the gratifying decision to join Legatus. Earlier this year, Sean finished up a two-year stint as president of the second oldest chapter in the country – Philadelphia – and MaryJo remains an active Legatus member while primarily focused on raising their five children, taking time away from her own successful legal practice. Both of them could not be happier with their decision.
For many Legatus couples, a dedicated monthly Catholic “date night” helps keep their marriage strong, and for Sean and MaryJo, this is no exception. When asked about his advice for young Catholic executives, Sean emphasizes the importance of first choosing a great spouse, then working as a team, setting priorities together, and making sure that Legatus is among them. While this has not always been easy for Bellew, a partner at Duane Morris, one of the largest law firms in the world, it has been well worth it.
According to Sean, one of the other main benefits of Legatus is the opportunity to meet like-minded executives and their spouses. Although over the years Sean has benefited spiritually and professionally, particularly from his relationships with Deacon Al Clay and the other presidents and chapter officers that preceded him, he finds the friendships he’s built with all his fellow Philadelphia Legates truly edifying. He considers many of the Legatus leaders he has grown close to over the years as role models and almost as family.
Sean was very humbled by the Philadelphia board’s confidence in him when they elected him as president and has been delighted to serve. Philadelphia is a thriving Legatus chapter, the largest in the Northeast, with a rich history and a very promising future. He has thoroughly enjoyed working with his fellow board members, and through careful succession planning, is ready to pass on the mantle of leadership to other outstanding leaders. He believes that the new board will perpetuate many of the goals he pursued for the Philadelphia Chapter: increasing membership overall, including younger Catholic professionals; maintaining a very high caliber of programming, especially speakers and spirituality; and increasing fellowship with neighboring Legatus chapters in the surrounding region such as in Wilmington, Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, and Bucks County.
Not surprisingly, Sean is convinced that ultimately the greatest benefit he and MaryJo will receive from Legatus is the enrichment of their Catholic faith, and the increased likelihood that their children will be strong in their relationship with Christ as well.