The Constitution State adds its second Legatus chapter
After being dormant for more than five years, Legatus’ Fairfield Chapter is back in a big way.
The chapter — which chartered with 25 member-couples at St. John’s Basilica in Stamford, Conn., on Nov. 16 — was reignited in late 2015 at the invitation of Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
“The chapter’s first member couple was Bill and Mary Fox who joined right before Christmas 2015, and it quickly grew in the first half of 2016,” said John Knowles, director of Legatus’ Northeast Region. “The chapter’s earliest leaders — along with the Foxes — were the chaplain Fr. Michael Jones and Mike and Cece Donoghue, who became the founding presidents.”
Katherine Gschwind and her husband John attended their first chapter event in July 2016.
“It was beautiful,” she said. “The people we met were lovely, and the speaker was so edifying. Legatus’ spirituality is very joyful, and the people are interested in growing in their faith as adults.”
Gschwind said she was hesitant at first to join, but the chapter’s quality programs and Legatus magazine sold her on membership.
“The world needs successful business people who have an ethical, moral, spiritual, religious core; Legatus provides that,” she explained. “Also, I was blown away by the quality of the magazine, and all the great stories and resources for lay leaders in the Church who really take ownership of their faith.”
Mike and Cece Donoghue, founding co-presidents of the chapter, also hesitated. When they were on their way to the first chapter event, they were discussing how they were too busy to join Legatus.
“We were talking about all of our commitments, our various obligations and all that would get in the way of our attending Legatus,” Cece explained. “Then we went to our first chapter event in December, which is the craziest month for all of us. We fell hook, line and sinker. We both agreed in the car on the way home that it was a shame that we were too busy to join Legatus because we really enjoyed it.”
Living the mission
The Donoghues soon decided to attend one more chapter meeting. “After we went to the second event, it was a no-brainer,” she said. “We were all-in.”
The thing that sold Donoghue was that Legatus exists to help its members learn, live and spread the Catholic faith.
“We all have room to learn more about our faith and Legatus gives us an opportunity to learn in a creative way, and it challenges us in our faith. Mike and I are impressed with the speakers each month and have really enjoyed all of the new people we have been meeting at each event.”
Jess Di Pasquale was a member of the original Fairfield County Chapter, joining with his wife Andrea in 2002. He served as chapter president for a number of years.
“I love the people I meet through Legatus,” he said. “They’re very spiritual, successful people. It’s made me feel better about furthering the Catholic faith in business because I meet a lot of vibrant people who are doing some wonderful things in their business. It’s contagious.”
Donoghue says she’s embraced the Legatus mission.
“We are given a big task, and that’s exciting. We are missioned with the task of bringing people closer to God. We’re challenged with helping to form holy men and women, those we come in contact with in our work and within our own families. That’s a mission that I’m happy to accept.”
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.