The purpose of Legatus is to help its members be better Catholics. The Church and Scripture make it clear that regardless of the level of our wealth, we are all called to support the Church and our fellow man with our material resources, or in other words practice philanthropy. I hesitate to write about this topic, but do so because it is the theme of this month’s issue and because it is an important part of being a good Catholic, not because I spend part of my time raising money for the various institutions that I founded.
We all know that there are many motivations for giving and myriads of organizations and causes seeking our support. When I founded Legatus, I was hoping that a manifestation of members being more engaged Catholics would be that they would not only be more charitable in terms of the level of their giving, but also more discerning in terms of the organizations / charities they support. Just as we explore where we invest our funds, I envisioned Legates would take the time to research the various needs and ministries out there and then give to particularly high-priority and effective causes that further the faith.
I am convinced that as more Legates give to highly worthwhile Catholic causes, that individually and collectively they will have an incredible impact on the Church and on their own souls. I believe that philanthropy is also something that is learned and needs to be modeled. As Legates practice philanthropy, I think they will inspire others in their local churches and communities to do the same and also hopefully model this practice for future generations.
As you know, the only cause Legatus can raise money for is Legatus – namely its endowment. There are two purposes for our Endowment Fund: (1) To provide a rainy day account in the event there is some sort of economic setback and (2) To fund international expansion after we cover most of North America with chapters. We mention it on our renewal forms, but we really have not pushed it much over the years. We raise about $10,000 per year.
TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman and CEO.