Author Archives: Christine Valentine-Owsik

Cardinal Weurl: Legatus members represent Christ

Cardinal Donald Weurl speaks to charter members of the Washington DC Chapter on Oct. 27

Cardinal Donald Weurl speaks to charter members of the Washington DC Chapter on Oct. 27

WASHINGTON, DC (October 27, 2016) — Legatus members are called to represent Christ and his Church in the world, Washington Cardinal Donald Weurl told charter members of Legatus’ Washington DC Chapter this evening following the chapter’s chartering event.

“The creation of this chapter was to say that’s who you are, that’s what you’re committing yourselves to be: ambassadors of Jesus Christ, ambassadors of his kingdom, ambassadors of his Church, ambassadors of his message, ambassadors of his gospel,” he said.

“And when you do that, like every ambassador, you stand in the midst of wherever you’re sent as everything that kingdom stands for.”

CLICK HERE to listen to Cardinal Weurl’s remarks just prior to the chartering event’s evening meal.

19th Annual Northeast Gala

Save the Date for the 19th Annual Legatus Northeast Christmas Gala

monaghan-kudlow, galaFRIDAY, DECEMBER 9. 6:00 PM.

Rosary, Confession, and Mass
59 Park Avenue (at East 38th Street)
New York, NY 10016

Followed by a reception and
black-tie dinner at

38 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016

With Legatus founder Thomas S. Monaghan
and special guest of honor & keynote speaker
Mr. Larry A. Kudlow

For more information and to RSVP, please contact John Knowles, Legatus Director for the Northeast Region: (215) 262-3832 or

Legatus announces new executive director, HQ relocation

AVE MARIA, Florida (July 13, 2016) — After more than eight years of successfully leading Legatus’ day-to-day operations, John Hunt has stepped down as executive director, a position he has held since March 2008.

John Hunt

John Hunt

“After considerable thought and prayer, now seems like the right time for a leadership transition for the organization,” Hunt said. Legatus founder and chairman “Tom [Monaghan] and I have been talking about succession planning for some time and what this might look like both for me personally and for the organization. With the current financial and organizational health of Legatus, now seems like the opportune time.”

Monaghan commented, “John has done a tremendous job leading Legatus to a place of organizational stability and building strong bench strength among our staff. The beauty of the arrangement is that John will not be leaving Legatus, but just taking on a new role — one that he essentially designed.”

Effective immediately, Hunt will assume a new role as “ambassador at large.” In addition to assisting with the leadership transition, Hunt will continue to visit and support chapters across the country as well as represent Legatus at key functions.

Stephen Henley

Stephen Henley

Stephen Henley, who has served as director of Legatus’ Central Region for almost three years has been selected as the new executive director.

“I am looking forward to working with Stephen and am excited about the future of Legatus under his leadership,” Monaghan said. “He has distinguished himself in each of his previous positions and I am confident he will do the same as our new executive director.”

Commenting on his appointment, Henley said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with John [Hunt] and the tremendous staff  we have in the organization, as well as serve the members, who are obviously the reason Legatus exists.”

Also last week, Legatus’ Board of Governors voted to relocate Legatus’ headquarters from its current location in Florida to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tom Monaghan

Tom Monaghan

“With the transition in leadership, I plan to work closely with Stephen in both mentoring him as well as taking an active role in the continued growth of Legatus. It seemed important for both the executive director [Henley] and the headquarters to be close to where I am,” said Monaghan. “Therefore, I asked the Board of Governors to consider moving the headquarters back to Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor. I told them that I would cover the moving costs, since it was at my request. In addition to it being where I am, having the home office in Ann Arbor will create many organizational efficiencies for Legatus,” Monaghan continued.

Monaghan and the Legatus leadership are acutely aware of what this transition could mean for the Legatus home office staff and are working closely with each member to ease the burden of the relocation to Michigan or personal transition if a relocation is not possible.

Monaghan concluded, “We have a great staff at Legatus, both in the home office and in the field. Furthermore, with the new roles being assumed by Stephen and John, I am enthusiastic about the future direction of Legatus and believe we are poised to continue to support our current membership and reach new members in the pursuit of our mission.”


Legatus wins two international press awards

ST LOUIS — Legatus’ monthly membership magazine picked up two international press awards here on June 3.

Brian Fraga

Brian Fraga

At its annual convention, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada presented Legatus magazine with a third-place award for Best Coverage of Religious Liberty Issues for the third consecutive year. Judging is conducted “by a group of experts and Catholic press professionals,” according to CPA guidelines.

The religious liberty category called for three articles. Winning submissions included “To The Bitter End” by Judy Roberts (April 2015), “Religious Freedom and the Family” by Monsignor Joseph Schaedel (June 2015), and “Religious Liberty on the Line” by Brian Fraga (May 2015).

Judges wrote that Legatus‘ entries provided “timely coverage of important issues.”

cover-march15Legatus staff writer Brian Fraga received a third place honor for his article “What Glass Ceiling?” (March 2015) in the Best Feature Article category for Professional and Special Interest magazines.

Judges wrote: “The author’s use of case study to help promote women’s issues is effective. The writing style is informal but clear, and the stories are truly inspiring.”

Legatus magazine has won 23 Catholic Press Association awards for graphic design, writing and its website since it gained CPA membership in 2005.

Founded in 1911, the Catholic Press Association is composed of 238 member newspapers, magazines, and newsletters throughout the United States and Canada. This year’s contest winners were chosen among 2,500 press submissions in dozens of categories.


ObamaCare vs. Little Sisters of the Poor

by John Garvey

On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, a landmark case challenging the Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

In addition to the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns whose mission is to “offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ,” the objecting parties include the university I head, the Catholic University of America, the Archdiocese of Washington, and a host of other religious institutions.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, President Obama vowed that he wouldn’t let it be used for federal funding of abortions. That promise was necessary to get the law passed. Bart Stupak, a congressman at the time, and a small group of pro-life Democrats provided the necessary votes. In regulations implementing the act, HHS has chosen a different, and more offensive, way to fund abortions: It makes Catholic and other religious employers pay for them.

It is common knowledge that the Catholic Church has taught the immorality of abortion and contraceptive use for millennia. Yet the regulations in question force our institutions to pay for insurance that covers abortifacients like Ella and Plan B, plus prescription contraceptives and surgical sterilizations.

Some people defend these regulations by pointing out that they don’t make anyone get an abortion or use contraceptives. The regulations only require employers to provide insurance, leaving decisions about reproductive health up to individual employees. But we believe it is wrong to cooperate with evil acts, even if we are not the primary actor.

The government has offered to solve the problem for scrupulous employers by moving them one step further away from the wrongful act. Many employers, like Catholic University, hire an insurance company to handle their employees’ health claims. In return, we pay our insurer an annual premium, set to cover our usual claims experience. HHS proposes that instead of paying for abortions (and other objectionable services) ourselves, we can opt out, and the government will direct our insurance company to pay. The regulations add that the payments can’t come out of our premiums.

So where does the money come from? HHS suggests that insurers should front the money themselves, and it says that they will actually save money by offering free abortions and “preventive services.” According to the regulations, because the mandated services reduce childbirths, insurers can recoup their costs “from reduced pregnancy-related expenses and other health care costs.”

There isn’t much empirical evidence for this, but let us suppose it is true. In that case, the premiums that Catholic University pays once again cover the costs of abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations. Our insurance company simply moves the change around in its pockets so the objectionable services don’t get posted to our account. But we pay the insurer enough to cover the bills.

What the insurance company should do in future years, if HHS’s hypothesis is true, is lower our premiums to take account of the “reduced pregnancy-related expenses and other health care costs.” But in that case we have another moral dilemma. Then we are sharing in the financial rewards produced by giving our employees free early-term abortions and other “preventive services.”

Consider this analogy. I give my builder $100,000 to build a home. He finishes the job $10,000 below budget by employing underage workers and using black-market materials. It would be wrong for me to share in the savings from those immoral activities, even if I didn’t make the arrangements.

The Affordable Care Act requires employers like Catholic University to carry health insurance. The problem we are trying to solve arises because HHS has imposed a further obligation to cover “preventive services,” and insisted that either we or our agent (the insurance company) pay for them. A more tolerant solution would be for the federal government to fund “preventive services.” But President Obama had to promise not to do that to get the law passed. A still more tolerant solution would be to exempt religious organizations like ours from a duty to pay for services that go against the fundamental tenets of our faith.

The United States was founded on the concept of religious freedom. The First Amendment says clearly that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Little Sisters of the Poor, the university I represent, and countless other religious institutions across the country ask that the Supreme Court recognize our religious beliefs and strike down those regulations that would force us to violate them.

JOHN GARVEY is president of the Catholic University of America and a member of Legatus’ Washington, DC, Chapter. This article originally appeared in the WSJ on 03/20/16.

Legatus honors pro-life filmmaker

ORLANDO, Florida — Legatus honored pro-life journalist and filmmaker David Daleiden with its Courage in the Marketplace Award today.


David Daleiden accepts Legatus’ Couarage in the Marketplace Award from Legatus Founder Tom Monaghan © Legatus.

The California-based founder of the Center for Medical Progress accepted the award at Legatus’ annual Summit, just days after a Texas court indicted him on second-degree felony charges of tampering with government documents and Daleiden a misdemeanor charge of attempting to buy human tissue.

The Center’s explosive videos alleged proof of an illegal trade in fetal tissue, and a criminal investigation was launched in Houston at the behest of Texas’ pro-life lieutenant governor, led by a prosecutor that described herself as a “proud, pro-life Texan.”

After several months of investigating, a Harris County grand jury found probable cause that a crime had been committed — but by the undercover investigators, not Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

University of Notre Dame law professor Gerald Bradley, who served a number of years as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, told the National Catholic Register that grand jurors “can request to be instructed on charges which may not have been contemplated going in.”

“If the evidence in front of the grand jury would be sufficient to support those requested charges, I think a prosecutor should give them,” he told the Register in an email.

However, he said there is a “very good chance” that the charges “could be dismissed by the court upon defendants’ motion, on the ground that it is a selective prosecution.”


The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Song-BernadetteStarring Jennifer Jones, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb
Run time: 156 min.
DVD Available Now, Not Rated

The classic film that beautifully portrays the appearance and miracle of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the life of the girl to whom Our Lady appeared in 1859: St. Bernadette Soubirous.

The film was adapted by George Seaton from Franz Werfel’s 1941 novel The Song of Bernadette. With a superb cast including Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb, and Jennifer Jones, this film won five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Jones as Bernadette, and Best Score. (Movie is in black and white.)

Order: The Catholic Company

Catholic Marian Classics, Vol. VI

Catholic-MarianCatholic Marian Classics
The Cathedral Singers
Conductor Richard Proulx

Once again, The Cathedral Singers and conductor Richard Proulx bring their incomparable talents to the sixth recording in a bestselling Catholic Classics series. This Catholic Marian Classics disc features beloved favorites as well as some lesser-known pieces, and is a wonderful tribute to the Blessed Mother.

The songs contained in the volumes of the Catholic Classics series have stood the test of time. These are definitive Catholic songs — the ones that are always popular, that everyone sings, knows by heart, and wants to hear over and over again. And the Catholic Classics is not “for Catholics only.” Catholics are joined by Christians around the world in singing these wonderful and beloved hymns.

Order: The Catholic Company

The Imitation of Christ

imitation-christThomas à Kempis
Catholic Book Publishing
288 pages, bonded leather-zippered $18.95

The most popular book in Christianity after the Bible, this treasured classic by Thomas à Kempis has been revised in an easy-to-read edition by Clare Fitzpatrick. In this prayer-book size edition, readers will experience the peace and wisdom that has comforted Catholics around the world.

The Imitation of Christ shows how to better live the life of a Christian by closely following Our Lord’s example. The elegant burgundy book with a zipper binding also presents sections on the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross with illustrations in full color. It is a blessing for all who want to respond to the call to follow Jesus.

Order: The Catholic Company

Life of Christ

Life-of-ChristSr. John Dominic Rasmussen, OP
Lumen Ecclesiae, 2015
331 pages, paperback $21.99

Catholics are often accused of not knowing scripture as well as they should. While that may be true, it doesn’t have to be. A new resource from the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist — subtitled Lectio Divina Journal — is an unrivaled aid for adults and students in middle and high school.

More than a textbook, this personal journal allows you to have an encounter with the Person of Christ by going deeper into His Word. As you journey through the life of Christ by reading the selected scripture passages, readers slowly move through Jesus’ life, meditating upon His word using lectio divina— a traditional practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer.

This is the perfect resource to build your Bible “muscles” and deepen your friendship with Christ.

Order: Amazon, Education In Virtue