New Light in the City by the Lake
On the evening of June 15, the newest Illinois Legatus Chapter – Downtown Chicago – began its Chartering Ceremony with the rosary, Confession and installation Mass at the historic University Club of Chicago on East Monroe Street.
Some 22 new inductees participated in the induction and installation ceremony immediately following Mass, during which Legatus founder, Tom Monaghan, personally welcomed and took individual pictures with each founding Legate.
The sixth Legatus chapter in Illinois, the Downtown Chicago Chapter achieved its chartering threshold in short order.
Chapter president Neal McNamara, co-founder and managing partner of Chicago’s Virtas Partners (a newly launched consulting firm in mergers, acquisitions, finance and restructuring), and previously of the Chicago Chapter, said he was approached with the opportunity to help establish a new downtown chapter.
“I was struck by a scenario Tom recounted for us all, about a meeting of billionaires he participated in many years ago,” McNamara recalls. “As each one was profiling what he would do to change the world – money for this cause, cures for that disease – Tom said he had the overriding thought that none of it mattered if people didn’t ultimately get to heaven.” McNamara said that incredible remark will stick with him all his life. In helping launch Illinois’ newest Legatus chapter, McNamara said he’s honored and enthused to collaborate in furthering Legatus’ mission of ambassadorship for Christ in the marketplace.
The presentation for the evening highlighted a “fireside chat” between Tom and executive director Stephen Henley, who directed audience questions to Tom from their advance written submissions. Many of the new members delighted in engaging Tom on this more personal level, and experiencing the “family” collegiality of Legatus.
An equally welcoming meal featured Gulf shrimp shooters and fried artichoke heart appetizers during the cocktail hour – during which Tom signed copies of his newly released biography, Monaghan: A Life (by bestselling author Joseph Pearce, published by TAN Books). The delectable dinner reception followed, with a filet and lobster entrée with charred onions, spinach and mushrooms, and a dessert finale of milk chocolate crème brulee dressed with cherries and a pistachio cookie.
“Tom laid down the gauntlet to me at the chartering ceremony,” said McNamara, “telling me what the chapter with the highest growth was able to do last year. So I have my sights set on more than doubling in size in our first year.”
CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s Managing Editor.