Tag Archives: 2018 Legatus Summit

Dr. Paul Voss – 2018 Summit speaker

Leadership coach asserts Catholic work ethic – as means toward leisure

Dr. Paul Voss

Though many have heard of the “Protestant work ethic,” Dr. Paul Voss, a renowned leadership speaker and executive coach, presents a Catholic alternative.

Voss, 53, president of the Ethikos consulting firm, discussed the “Catholic Work Ethic” as a speaker at the 2018 Legatus Summit. Where American culture tends to idolize the workaholic who puts in 80-hour work weeks, Voss says a Catholic perspective sees work as a means to leisure, which affords people the opportunity to spend time with family and reflect on life’s deeper meanings.

Voss, who also teaches literature at Georgia State University, expounded on the Catholic Work Ethic in a recent interview with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.

What is the Catholic Work Ethic?

The 2,000-year-old Catholic understanding of work is formulated in a couple of different ways. Work is not an end in and of itself. Work is a means toward an end, and that end should be leisure. Only leisure time is going to give us the opportunity to pray, to love,and to explore the good, the true and the beautiful.

At the Summit, I spoke of five different “awakenings” that should supplement and support our working lives, and then pointed to St. Homobonus, who is the patron saint of Catholic business leaders, for inspiration to give the members.

What are the five awakenings?

They would be love, beauty, philosophy, prayer and death. For example, when someone dies, it can be a profound philosophical moment to reflect on your own mortality but also to say, “Okay, what are my priorities?” Nothing shapes our priorities quite like death.

Can a Catholic Work Ethic be implemented in today’s American economy?

To be Catholic means to be countercultural. How do you live the life of a fully authentic Catholic in a culture dedicated to materialism and keeping up with the Joneses? The Catholic Church does call you to a higher standard, and I do think the old saying that nobody’s tombstone says, “I wish I spent more time at the office” is pretty true. I think a reevaluation of “getting and spending” is very possible. There are lots of people, whether they’re Catholic or not, who are a little fed up with the rat race, the burnout, the quest for material excess, and they’re looking more for meaning.

What are some things you enjoy in your leisure time?

I’m a passionate and addictive reader. I read 3 or 4 books at a time. I love traveling. I’ve been to 40 different countries. I love studying languages. I have five children so I spend a lot of time with them and at their various sporting and academic events. I have no shortage of leisure activities that compel me to get my work done quickly so I can get to my leisure activities.

How can a Catholic Work Ethic benefit family and married life?

Men especially can get in the habit of working hard and rationalizing the long hours by saying, “Ultimately, I am doing this for my family.” Well, maybe there is a point of reflection where the Catholic Work Ethic helps them to see that sometimes the greatest investment for the father is to simply be present with his family for dinner. Families that eat together, pray together, travel together, have a better chance of staying together than those that don’t see each other.

Is there anything else Legatus members should know?

I’m not anti-profit. I’m a free-marketer. I think there is good profit and bad profit. I advocate working really hard, but working really smart too. Working really hard doesn’t mean you have to work 60 hours a week. It means that while you’re working, you have to have incredible focus and laser vision to try and get those goals done. Working smart and taking time to recharge your batteries is very profitable.

Aurora Griffin – 2018 Summit speaker

Aurora Griffin

Harvard grad-author reveals how to safeguard faith in college

Aurora Griffin, 26, is living proof that faith and reason go together.

Griffin graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in classics from Harvard University in 2014. She was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, where she received a graduate degree in theology.

While at Harvard, Griffin served as president of the Catholic Student Association. In May 2014, she took on a leadership role in responding to a Harvard student group’s plans to sponsor a sacrilegious black mass on campus, which was subsequently canceled.

Today, Griffin is a writer on staff at the Catholic University of America. In 2016, she wrote the book, How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard: Forty Faithful Tips for College Students. She will be discussing her book as a featured speaker at the 2018 Legatus Summit. She recently spoke with Legatus Magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.

What will be the focus of your talk at the Summit?

I’ll be talking about how I kept my faith at a secular university and some of the things that helped me stay Catholic there, and to give encouragement to students and to parents.

How did you keep your faith at Harvard?

It was a matter of deliberately moving forward on four fronts. First was cultivating community. Second was maintaining an active prayer life. Third was integrating my faith with my academics and intellectual life. And fourth was living out the faith in other ways, like getting involved in community service. In order to really have a flourishing Catholic life at a secular university, you have to be doing it with other people and you have to be living it out on a number of fronts.

What can Catholic parents do to equip and support their children for when they leave home and go off to college?

It’s simple but not easy to do; the best thing parents can do is to try to live the faith themselves. Once you get to the point of college, people have to make the decision for themselves. You can’t make somebody choose Christ. What you have to do is live the faith in an attractive, authentic way, and hope your example is something that your children find compelling and will follow.

Why do young adults often leave the Catholic faith when they go to college?

I think what happens is people feel isolated. If they don’t have a Catholic community, they start to worry that they have to make compromises, either morally or intellectually, or they feel they have to hide their faith in order to have friends. The solution to that is getting plugged into a good community as soon as you can. Also, some people get into their first philosophy class and say, “Oh my gosh, how do I know that all these things I learned are real?” Fortunately, the Church has a magnificent intellectual tradition to draw upon.

What effect did the black mass controversy have on you and the Catholic community at Harvard?

The most striking thing about it for me was that a handful of people with harmful intentions came together to do something offensive to the Catholic faith, and the result was thousands of people around the world praying for each other, thousands of people walking through the streets of Boston adoring the Eucharist, and then hundreds of people coming together at the Church of St. Paul in Harvard Square to fight the black mass. It was a moment of intense solidarity.

What prompted you to write your book?

The idea came to me on Easter Sunday in 2015. I wrote it in the days between Easter and Pentecost. There was little hesitation. For me it was just very clear that this was not something that was for me, but this was something God wanted to do through me, and I was privileged to take part in it.

Fr. Donald Calloway: Modern-day prodigal son

Rebel-convert to Catholicism resuscitated by Christ’s mercy, Mary’s help

Catholics today may recognize Fr. Donald Calloway as a Marian priest who is a prolific author, speaker and pilgrimage guide. But as a young man, he was a drug-addled high school dropout who had been kicked out of a foreign country and thrown in jail multiple times. A chance encounter with a book about Marian apparitions sparked a radical conversion to the Catholic faith and a subsequent calling to the priesthood.

Father Calloway, 45, the vocations director and vicar provincial for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, today lives in Steubenville, Ohio. He will be speaking at the 2018 Legatus Summit in January. He recently spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.

What are you going to be talking about at the Summit?

I’m giving two talks. One will be on my conversion story. I was not raised a Catholic, and I had a radical life before becoming Catholic. Then I converted to Catholicism and got my vocation to become a priest. Hopefully, I’ll give the people a message of hope in that talk, especially anyone who may be having difficulty with their children who are away from the faith.

The second talk will be about my book, Champions of the Rosary. Tom Monaghan read that book after it came out, and he loved it. He said one of his staff members bought dozens of copies and gave them away. As result of that book, he said he wanted me to come and speak at the Summit. Basically it’s about the history of the rosary, the popes, the saints, the major players, miracles, battles, all that good stuff.

What was your life like before you converted to Catholicism?

It was pretty messed up. I had dropped out of high school. I was involved in criminal activity, immoral activity. I ended up in two drug rehabilitation centers, was kicked out of a foreign country, was thrown in jail. I had long hair down to my waist. I followed the band the Grateful Dead. I was all messed up.

Did you grow up in any faith tradition?

No. I wasn’t anything. I didn’t believe in God.

What brought you to your conversion?

My parents had a big conversion almost three years before I did. They became Catholic, and I was resisting all that. I thought they were crazy. I thought they had joined a cult. I didn’t know what it was, but one night when I was at their house, I picked up a book they had on their shelf about Marian apparitions. I didn’t know what that was, who the Virgin Mary was. I went through that book, and that book changed my life. That helped me to go talk to a Catholic priest, and after that, everything snowballed. My conversion went really fast.

How soon after your conversion did you have the inclination that you were called to be a priest?

It was within one year. I just fell so madly in love with Jesus, Our Lady and the Church that I didn’t know what to do with my life. So in prayer, I kept asking, “What do you want me do?” and I just felt that call to be a priest. To do all that, it took ten years because I had to go back to get my education and do all the studies.

Do you have any hobbies?

My favorite hobby would be surfing, but I don’t get to do it much in Ohio. I travel a lot, so I try to surf when I can. I also write a lot and lead pilgrimages all around the world to Marian shrines. Every year I lead four pilgrimages. I go to Fatima, Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe. I go to Poland just about every year. Those are really powerful pilgrimages with just so many saints and so many shrines. That culture just totally loves Our Lady.

How do you find the time to do everything?

It’s not easy. A lot of time I work in airports because I fly so much. I put in earphones, tune out everything going on around me and I’m there for hours, just writing. It works.

Sue Ellen Browder – 2018 Summit speaker


Sue Ellen Browder recalls a recent conversation where she mentioned the sexual revolution of the 1960s to a woman in her 20s. Browder said the bright-eyed young woman had no idea what she was talking about.

Sue Ellen Browder

“I realized at 71 that I’d become a walking history book, just by staying alive,” Browder joked in a recent interview with Legatus magazine.

Browder, a Catholic journalist who was once a young feminist writer for Cosmopolitan magazine, will speak at the 2018 Legatus Summit on how the pro-abortion agenda became intertwined with the women’s rights movement of the mid-20th century. The story of how that happened is told in a book Browder recently wrote entitled Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement (Ignatius Press, 2015).

The book also details how Browder found peace and forgiveness in the one place she never expected: the Catholic Church.

Why did you write this book?

I was at my little desk at Cosmopolitan magazine in 1971, and it was very obvious to me at the time that the women’s movement, which was fighting for women’s freedom in academia and the workforce, was quite different from the sexual revolution, which was fighting for sexual freedoms. How did we get to the point where those two movements, which were radically opposed to each other, became so joined together, that so many young women today think that what it means to be free is to go to college, get a great degree, have a fantastic job and be as sexually free as possible? That was the question in my mind once I became Catholic at 57 that I wanted to answer. This book is the outgrowth of that question.

How did you evolve from being a writer at Cosmopolitan magazine to a practicing Catholic journalist?

It really took a lifetime. We’re talking about a time from when I was 24 to the time when I was 57. We’re talking a long journey before I saw the light. And it wasn’t until after I became Catholic that I began looking back at what we had done at Cosmo. A lot of the stories we told about women in that magazine, those women did not really exist. It was only after I became Catholic, looking back at the culture and seeing what damage the sexual revolution had done to it, that I realized I needed to come clean with all of this.

What made you want to become a Catholic?

My late husband of 40 years, Walter, had wanted to become Catholic, and you’ve got to remember, I was a feminist at that time and I said, “I’m not going to join that patriarchal church.” But one thing led to another. My husband kind of led me into it. When we talked to our first priest, he told us to get the Catechism. When I got that book, I read it for three days straight. I could not put it down. I said, “This is what I’ve been looking for all my life.” This was the truth. I’m so happy to be Catholic.

How did the women’s rights movement come to embrace abortion?

There was one night in Washington D.C., in November 1967 during the National Organization for Women’s second national conference, where 57 people voted to insert abortion into the women’s movement. A huge fight broke out that night. One-third of those ardent feminists walked out of that meeting and later resigned. It was a fight then, and it’s a fight we’re still fighting.

What kind of feedback have you gotten so far on your book?

We’re getting great reviews on Amazon. I think we’re seeing a very small but fervent Catholic audience reading it. I don’t think we’ve gotten it out into the mainstream, but everyone who reads it has been telling us that they love it. It’s been getting a lot of attention. I’m flying all over the country, giving talks on this.

What do you do in your free time?

My downtime is spent reading, writing and praying. I’m in northern California, in a little town. I live next door to a priest. I transcribe his homilies and I’m kind of like the church secretary. It’s a very prayerful place


Conversion spawned Spiritual and Professional Rebirth

Economist Larry Kudlow is known to many as a broadcast journalist and adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, but at his Catholic parish, he’s the head usher at the Sunday noon Mass and president of the parish council.

In contrast to his high-profile professional persona, Kudlow lives his Catholic faith quietly, but not silently, keeping his relationship to the Church largely local and his devotional life simple. “I’m a Sunday churchgoer — without fail,” he said, adding that he prays regularly — especially the Our Father — to seek direction and guidance more than outcomes. “That’s been my way. Help me today, one day at a time.”

Don’t check faith at the door…

His credo when it comes to his faith and the workplace also is simple: “Don’t check your faith at the door when you go into the office. Some people will take their hat and coat off and lose all sense of faith or morality during the day. That’s not me. I’m functioning in the newsroom and the newsrooms of big media outlets are big, rough places. I try to practice these principles in all my affairs and treat people . . . with respect. I’m not a name caller. I don’t yell. I’m not perfect. I’ve gotten angry a couple of times and said things on the air I wish I could have taken back. I’ve actually apologized on the air.”

Kudlow, who will speak to the 2018 Legatus Summit, converted to Catholicism in 1997 after a descent into alcohol and cocaine abuse landed him at a Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation treatment center in Minnesota. Since then, his embrace of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step recovery program has guided his practice of the faith as well as his life. He sees his ushering duties at St. Patrick’s in Redding Ridge, CT, for example, as an opportunity to serve – “like making the coffee at an AA meeting.” And his faith is not so much in the institution of the Church, but in its head. “I have a faith in Christ. I have a faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Belief in greater power – God’s

To follow the second and third of AA’s 12 steps, Kudlow had to believe that a power greater than himself could restore him to sanity and he had to turn his will and his life over to the care of God as he understood him.

“The only way you can change and survive is by developing a faith in a power greater than yourself. I got to Hazelden and heard that and it clicked: ‘Thy will, not mine, be done.’” When Hazelden counselors recommended he not return to New York after treatment and go to a sobriety house in San Diego, he complied. “That was important in a lot of ways. I actually did turn my will and life over to a power greater than myself — in this case, the counselors at Hazelden – and did what I didn’t particularly want to do.” The move turned out to be good for his recovery, his career as an economic analyst and forecaster and his marriage. He learned to work again and his artist wife, Judith, joined him and they began to patch up their marriage.

By then, having lapsed from the Jewish faith in which he had been raised, but retaining a vague belief in God, Kudlow had begun to explore converting to Catholicism. Still, the Hazelden counselors urged him to wait and concentrate on staying sober. Again, he complied.

As a result, Kudlow’s journey to the Church took place over about seven years. “Mine was what I would call a considered act of faith or conversion. There was no burning bush. I didn’t rush into it.”

Pondering Christ crucified

Two years after his treatment, he was baptized at St. Thomas More Church on New York’s upper east side, the church where he had seen a crucifix and felt at one with the suffering Christ.

“I could never really explain it very well, but the whole idea of Christ on the cross and the Eucharist – Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again – I always sort of identified with that in an odd way the first time I went to Mass and heard that . . . I probably didn’t understand it at that point, but I always thought about it. It was like I was clutching for something hopeful and optimistic and there it was.” To this day, Kudlow said, when people ask him about his faith, he says, “Larry has died, Larry has risen, Larry has come again.”

Arising from ashes, professionally

In many ways, Kudlow has indeed risen from the dead. After becoming sober – he celebrated his 22nd anniversary of sobriety in July – he experienced a professional rebirth. A former chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Co., he went from being an occasional commentator on CNBC and The McLaughlin Group to landing a prime-time show on CNBC with Jim Cramer.

With Cramer’s departure, the show became The Kudlow Report for another 10 years. Today, Kudlow is CNBC’s senior contributor and also host of The Larry Kudlow Show, a radio program heard in 183 cities. “The point of that story,” Kudlow said, “is God changed my career. I never saw it coming.”

JUDY ROBERTS is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Harold Burke-Sivers – the “Dynamic Deacon”


Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers – known as the “Dynamic Deacon” – is one of the world’s most sought-after Catholic speakers today. An accomplished preacher and evangelist, Deacon BurkeSivers, 51, travels across the world speaking at conferences, workshops, parish retreats and other events to help people who desire a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. He is also a published author and radio cohost whose areas of expertise include marriage and family life, men’s spirituality, prolife issues, the sacraments, evangelization and prayer. At the 2018 Legatus Summit in January, Deacon Burke-Sivers will deliver a speech entitled, “Rich in Mercy: Finding Healing in God’s Mercy.” He spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.

How did you get started in your apostolic work?

I never intended to do any of this. I had a career in campus law enforcement when I started studying for the diaconate. The only thing I had been speaking about was job-related, like violence risk, threat assessment, emergency response to terrorism, that kind of thing. What God did was take the speaking ability I had developed in my professional career, and combine it with my theological training. Then once I was ordained, God put me on a path towards eventually leaving my full-time job, which I did five years ago, to speak and to write full-time.

What keeps you motivated to write and speak all over the country?

What fuels me is first of all, knowing that I’m doing God’s will. Also, the love and support of my wife because I couldn’t do any of this without her love and her blessing. And of course, my monastic experience — which fostered a love for prayer, a love for Adoration, a love for the Mass, a love for devotions like the rosary — is something I draw from all the time.

What are the biggest threats facing marriage and family today?

The biggest challenge to marriage and family life is actually keeping God at the heart and center of the marriage. What often happens over time with couples is that life starts becoming about the business of the marriage, the bills, the mortgage, raising the kids, not to mention career building. There is just so much going on that couples don’t have time to work on their relationship. They forget about Christ as the heart and center of what their relationship is all about.

I think trying to really help couples see Christ in the busy-ness, in the everyday-ness of married life, is really critical. If you build strong families, you’re going to build strong children and you’re going have a strong society as a result.

Why is men’s spirituality so important?

Men are the heads of the families, and why are they the heads? Because they’re the chief servants of their wives and children, like Christ, who said, “I did not come to be served but to serve. The greatest among you is the least, is the servant of all.” The model for us as men is Christ crucified. We need to get back to that ethos as men.

What will your talk focus on at the 2018 Legatus Summit?

When it comes to Catholic business professionals and leaders of all sorts, often they will reach a plateau in their lives. They reach a certain level and can’t get past that blockage. Why is that blockage there? Often, it’s not anything to do with the business world at all; it’s internal. It’s things that we’re dealing with from our past that have influenced us as leaders. What I’m going to do is talk, very personally from my own story, about how you can overcome that blockage. To me, it all hinges upon God’s incredible mercy and I’m going to talk about that.

What have been your impressions of Legatus in speaking to chapters across the country?

I think Legatus is a phenomenal organization. The Scriptures say money is not the root of all evil, it’s the love of money. So to have a Catholic organization that brings together business professionals and CEOs and says, “You know that you can do what God is calling you to do in the business world without divorcing your faith from that.” It’s about integrating your faith into your professional life at that level, where they can influence culture, influence their employees and influence society.