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Legatus Magazine

Cover Story
John Hunt | author
Sep 01, 2010
Filed under Columns
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Why share Legatus?

Unfortunately many Legates are reluctant to invite prospective members to Legatus . . .

John J. Hunt

2009 was a difficult year. Few sectors of the U.S. economy were spared, and Legates were not immune. So it should be no surprise that Legatus membership reflected the state of the economy with a dip in membership.

I’m pleased to report, however, that the downward trend has been reversed. Renewals have rebounded to historically high levels and new members are discovering Legatus to a degree not experienced in recent years. Legatus continues to be the leading lay organization for Catholic CEOs and their spouses that was envisioned by its founder, Tom Monaghan.

Despite this good news, there is still much to be done if we are to fulfill our leadership role in the Church. In addition to faithfully embodying the Legatus mission to “study, live and spread the Catholic faith in our business, professional and personal lives,” we must share Legatus with every qualified business executive we know. Unfortunately many Legates are reluctant to invite prospective members to share the Legatus experience — monthly Mass, rosary, Reconciliation, dinner and speaker, not to mention extraordinary annual Summits, pilgrimages and conferences.

My conversations with Legates have convinced me that this reluctance is a reflection of their not being familiar with membership criteria or not understanding the rationale for requiring such standards. In this and subsequent articles, I will discuss some common questions that deter members from inviting others to Legatus.

Q: Why does Legatus require that executives lead businesses of a certain size to qualify for membership?

Business executives, principally CEOs, are in a unique position of influence. They are responsible for the ethical and moral conduct of their organizations and should serve as models of Christian conduct in their business and private lives. Their example necessarily has an impact on the lives of their employees, families, business associates and the broader community. While there are many other influential Catholics serving the Church, the commonality of authority and responsibility of private sector business leaders is a unifying aspect of Legatus membership. To be continued.

John Hunt is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.

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