Tag Archives: 5 Minutes

Steve Ray – 2019 Summit speaker


Steve Ray sat on a hotel balcony, watching a group of pilgrims swimming and relaxing in the Sea of Galilee.

“Every time we come, there are always new things to discover and new things to learn,” Ray, 60, a well-known Catholic apologist, speaker, author, and filmmaker, said during a break from a pilgrimage in early October that he led to the Holy Land.

Ray, who was a Baptist before he and his entire family converted to the Catholic faith 24 years ago, will be speaking at the Legatus Summit in January, and will also lead Legatus’ Holy Land pilgrimage in 2019.

Known as “Jerusalem Jones,” Ray and Janet, his wife of 41 years, have been to the Holy Land more than 160 times. They also travel throughout the world, speaking at conferences. While in Galilee, Ray spoke with Legatus magazine.

What will you be speaking about at next month’s Summit?

The talk is going to be related to the upcoming pilgrimage, the working title being, “The Beauty and Truth of the Fifth Gospel.” When Pope St. Paul VI went to the Holy Land, he said, “This land is the fifth Gospel.” When you come here, it makes the other four pop into technicolor widescreen.

What is on the itinerary for the 2019 pilgrimage?

We’ll spend three nights in Galilee. We got a nice hotel right on the shore of Galilee so they’ll have access to the water. The first day we’ll go have Mass at the Mount of Transfiguration. We’ll renew our marriage vows in Cana, then we’ll have lunch in Nazareth. Then we’ll go to the Church of the Annunciation, where Mary was visited by the angel and given the good news, and where God became man. We pray the First Joyous Mystery in front of the cave at the altar where the angel spoke to Mary.

The next day, we have Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes. We go up to the Golan Heights and have lunch up there. We actually look out over the country of Syria and Lebanon and talk about the political situation going on here in the Middle East. Then we come back down and look at some more sites along the Sea of Galilee. The next day we have Mass at the place where Jesus said to “eat my flesh and drink my blood” in Capernaum.

How spiritually enriching can a pilgrimage to the Holy Land be?

There is no other place you can travel to where God actually walked with His own feet. I tell people, “You come here, you want to touch the land. But be careful, because the land is going to reach out and touch you.” This is sacred ground, this is where God himself walked, this is where the Mother of God walked. You can’t come here with an open heart and not be touched by it and changed forever.

You’ve been to the Holy Land more than 100 times. Does it ever get old?

Never. I always tell the pilgrims that I see it again for the first time through their eyes. It’s always exciting to see newcomers, people who have never been here before, and to see the tears well up in their eyes and the excitement when they realize this is where Mary and Jesus stood.

What projects are you working on now?

I have a new book coming out with Ignatius Press called The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters. Also, we have nine of the Footprints of God movies done. I have one more to do. In 2020, we’re going to do Doctors of the Church. I’m also in the middle of another book with Ignatius Press on the Book of Genesis and we have pilgrimages already planned for the next five years, not only to the Holy Land but also to places likes Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Mexico, Poland, and Ireland.

Matt Birk – 2019 Summit Speaker


As an NFL player for 15 years, Matt Birk enjoyed a long, successful career, winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 and being named to the Pro Bowl six times.

Birk, 43, who played football at Harvard University before he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998, is also a devout Catholic who was recognized for his community service work by winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2011.

Birk remains passionate about his Catholic faith and is active in the pro-life movement. He and his wife, Adrianna, live in St. Paul, Minnesota, with their eight children, ages 2-16. Birk is a featured speaker at the Legatus Summit in January. He recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

What will you be speaking on at the Summit?

People are surprised to learn that football is a very spiritual game. The locker room is a very spiritual place. The NFL is this huge thing. It’s a highly visible job and you experience very high highs and very low lows. As a player, there’s a certain element of danger because it’s a physical game. For a lot of guys, myself included, faith is actually strengthened by playing football.

You have to tap into that because otherwise it’s really hard to survive in this fantasy world that’s the NFL, where you have money, fame, and all these people telling you how great you are. You need an anchor, something that keeps you grounded and keeps you focused on what’s real and what’s the truth. That’s where my Catholic faith came into play.

How did you become a practicing Catholic during your NFL career?

I went to a Bible study and started asking some questions. The chaplain mentioned that he used to be Catholic but that he left the faith. I took it personally from the standpoint that, “Geez, I better figure out what I believe.” That put me on my own personal quest for truth. I dug deeper, learned more and began to really appreciate the faith and sort of claimed it as my own.

What did you discover that made you claim the Catholic faith as your own?

Reading some of the arguments against the Church, I realized that the Scripture passage is true, that the Church is the pillar of Truth and that it will prevail against the gates of hell. All the things that have happened in the Church and all the sins of men 2000 years later, the Church is still thriving. To me, that was kind of like the truth that the Church is real, that it is the Church that Jesus established and that it will prevail over all evil.

What was it like to win a Super Bowl?

With that Ravens team in particular, three years prior we had gotten close but lost some games in heart-breaking fashion. There was a feeling on that team that we were all brought together at that time for some reason, that God was at work. There was this belief that there was a purpose to everything we were doing.

Were people surprised to learn that an NFL Pro Bowl offensive lineman attended Harvard University?

Oh yes, especially back then. Anytime they mentioned me on TV, they’d say, “Oh, Matt Birk went to Harvard.” It became sort of my tagline.

How did you get involved in pro-life work?

I speak a lot at pro-life events. I’m on the board of a life center here in the Twin Cities. I spoke at the March for Life a few times. I’m just trying to use my gifts and my platform to advocate for the unborn.

Have you had any prior interaction with Legatus?

I’ve known Legatus for a long time. I spoke at the Legatus Chapter in Naples, Florida last year. Legatus is a great organization. In the workplace, Legatus can be a gateway to the Gospel. I think it’s a great organization to help people stay the course.

Rita Cosby – 2019 Summit Speaker


Rita Cosby says people who see her walking down the street in Manhattan often still think she’s on Fox News.

It’s been a few years since Cosby, an Emmy-winning radio host, journalist and veteran correspondent, was on that channel, but she is as busy as ever. She is a co-host and political editor at WABC radio in New York City and a correspondent for CBS’ “Inside Edition.”

Cosby is also the author of the bestselling 2010 memoir Quiet Hero: Secrets from My Father’s Past. As a speaker at the Legatus 2019 Summit, Cosby will be sharing the lessons about faith, forgiveness, and hope that she learned after reuniting with her father, a Polish native who was haunted by his experiences as a fighter and prisoner of war in World War II. Cosby recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

For people who don’t know your story, what is Quiet Hero about?

When I was a teenager, growing up, my father left the family, literally at Christmas. For a long time, I did not know very much about my father.

Just a few years ago, in late 2008, after my mother had passed away, we were going through an old storage locker and I found this briefcase. Inside was an old rusty POW tag and a bloody white-and-red fighting Polish armband. I saw a name on a card that looked like my father’s. My father was Polish, and I knew he had been in the resistance, but I didn’t have any idea to the degree that he had been a prisoner of war and what he had gone through.

I knew within minutes what I had to do. I knew that I had to forgive my father and find him, and see if he was alive.

What enabled you to forgive your dad?

On my mother’s death bed, she told me, “Your father was a hero. I hope you can forgive him.” What gave me strength was my faith. I knew as a Christian that I had to forgive him. I had to find out who he was.

How did you find your father?

I used my journalism investigative skills. When I located him, he was living outside of Washington D.C., and I remember taking the train ride down. I was so nervous. He looked a lot older. We didn’t really know each other. It was like two strangers meeting again and having to start from square one because there were so many long, lost decades.

How did the relationship develop?
My father passed away in 2012. We at least had a few years together, and we were best of friends at the end of my dad’s life. After telling me his story, my dad broke down in tears, and I found a very broken man with a lot of regrets and a lot of pain from the war and other things. I went from many years of anger and frustration to really admiring that he was even able to function given what I learned what he went through.

What had he been through in the war?

He lost almost 90 percent of his unit in the Warsaw Uprisings. He was in Warsaw, a 13-year- old citizen-soldier, when the Nazis invaded. He literally saw front-line fighting for 5 1/2 years, was captured and taken to a POW camp. He escaped through sewer pipes, and when he escaped, he was 90 pounds and 6 feet tall.

What have been some reactions to your book?

I get letters from people all over the world telling me that my book has inspired them to forgive. I’ve done book signings too where I’ve had Holocaust survivors saying, “You’ve inspired me. I’m going to go home and tell my grandkids my story now.” That’s been unbelievable for me, and an incredible gift.

What role has the Catholic faith played in your life?

Faith has always been an important part of my life. I feel like it’s given me, just as a journalist, incredible grounding and perspective. As a person, I felt it’s always motivated me and kept me appreciative and grateful for everything I’ve had and kept me able to connect to people and understand them.

From stay-at-home mom to boundless Catholic outreach


Berni Neal, among the newest members of Legatus’ board of governors, jokes that she and her husband, Rob, flipped a coin to see who would stay home when they decided to raise their family on one income.

“I won the coin toss, and I got to stay home with the kids,” said Berni Neal, 57, who left a careerin corporate marketing and advertising to raise the couple’s two then-young children, who are both adults now.

In that career transition, Neal began using her professional skills to benefit the nonprofit sector, particularly organizations involved in evangelization and forming Catholics in their faith. She sits on a number of boards, including those for Thomas Aquinas College, the Catholic Leadership Institute, and the Obria Group, a nonprofit aimed at creating a brand of pro-life health clinics.

Neal and her husband are also members of the Papal Foundation and Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter. In a recent interview with Legatus magazine, she discussed her faith life, her nonprofit work, and her hopes for Legatus’ future.

To what do you attribute your vibrant Catholic faith?

I credit the fact that my parents gave me the name Bernadette, although I go by Berni. I always had an affinity for St. Bernadette, and felt very connected to her. I think that’s the gift of giving a child a Catholic name. As I grew up, I always felt this connection to St. Bernadette and to my Catholic faith.

What prompted your family’s desire to switch from a dual income to a single income household?

Like many families, once we had children, we attempted to be a two-income household with childcare, and quickly realized that that was not the way we wanted to raise our children. It was not easy at first. But in retrospect, Rob and I never regretted that decision. If anything, we see the fruits of it, now more than ever, in that I think our children have a different perspective and sense of place in the world.

How did you get involved in the nonprofit world and in Catholic evangelization?

I had capability that I brought with me from my professional experience that could be offered for the Church. So this was a wonderful opportunity to share what talents I had in regard to the Church and in the non-profit environment, and also to be an example to my children. While my foremost priority was to be a wife and mother to my children, I also looked for opportunity to envelop service to Our Lord, to our faith, and to our community — as part of the fabric of who we were as a family.

How long have you and Rob been members of Legatus?

Since around 1999. It’s been an amazing time. Rob and I both credit Legatus as being one of the key turbo boosts for our faith. Legatus as a community fortifies our resolve. The Legatus meetings allow us to lock arms with the Church Militant and then the Legatus Summit is that annual vaccine that allows us to prepare for the year ahead.

What are your duties as a member of Legatus’ board of governors? What are your goals in that role?

I serve in a general position on the board. My personal hope is to focus on the growth of Legatus nationwide because it’s been such an important thing in my life, my husband’s life, and my faith life. Second, I want to make sure there are new and younger members who see the validity and importance of Legatus. And third, I want to strengthen the idea of an internship program for Legatus.

Why a Legatus internship program?

I think an opportunity to provide our membership’s children and grandchildren with opportunities to work for these incredible Legatus members can only be a win-win. I want our children to work for the kind of people who have the kind of ethics, faith, and virtues that can be strengthened and carried forth into the business environment.

Taking a step back in time, to touch eternity


Steve and Elizabeth Crawford, members of Legatus’ San Antonio Chapter, frequently look at each other and reminisce about the Legatus pilgrimage to Italy that they took last October with Legates from across the country.

Steve and Elizabeth Crawford

The pilgrimage was a memorable and life-changing experience for Steve, who has a career in real estate, and Elizabeth, the CEO of Senero Wealth Management in San Antonio. The Crawfords, who have been married for 19 years and have four children, discussed their private tours in the Sistine Chapel and their meeting with a saint’s daughter in an interview with Legatus magazine.

Where did you go on last year’s Italy pilgrimage?

Steve: We started in Milan. We took a day trip to Lake Como with the group. We also met with St. Gianna Molla’s daughter in another day trip and spent the whole day with her. Then after Milan, we went to Rome for the last five days of the trip.

What was it like spending a day with St. Gianna’s daughter?

Elizabeth: You think of saints as people who lived hundreds of years in the past, and here you were looking at the relics of a saint who was born in the last century and who has a daughter there present. I think one of the neat things to hear her talk was how she referred to St. Gianna as ‘Mama.’

Steve: We went to her mother’s grave, and while we were all there, this man came up, dressed as nicely as he could be in a suit, and he asked if St. Gianna’s daughter was there. Once he got her attention, he dropped to his knees and asked her to intercede on his behalf to her mother for some family members who were having trouble conceiving. Seeing her hold his hands and give a blessing was just an amazing experience.

Had you done the pilgrimage before?

Steve: Not the Legatus trip. Elizabeth’s parents are Legates and they went on the trip in 2005. So we’ve been hearing about the pilgrimage for a long time. During their trip they had an audience with John Paul II in his personal library. There are photos in their home of them holding and kissing the hands of John Paul II. We got the opportunity this past fall to do it, and we decided it was a trip that we needed to take, to experience it for ourselves. And it was undoubtedly one of the best trips that either of us has ever taken.

What were some of other highlights of the pilgrimage?

Steve: We’d never been to Lake Como, and it was beautiful. Everything in Rome, with the access we got in the Vatican, was Catholic-centric. We got to go to the North American College, which didn’t seem like it was going to be a highlight. But for me, I really enjoyed getting to have lunch with the diocesan seminarians who were there from not only North America but from all around the world.

Would you do this pilgrimage again?

Steve: Absolutely. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it. Frequently we will look at each other and say how and when are we going to do this again. It’s difficult with a growing family and with small children, but it is very high on our bucket list to do the Legatus trip again.

What would you tell a Legate who is thinking about the pilgrimage?

Elizabeth: We look at each other and say all the time, “Italy.” It just created a bond between us and a bond with our faith. You’re just exposed to things you would never have access to. I got to do the readings at the St. John Paul II chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica when it was closed to the public. You’re investing in memories when you take the trip.

Diana Parent – Past-President –Fort Wayne Chapter


Diana Parent, the outgoing president of Legatus’ Fort Wayne Chapter, led one of the most vibrant and rapidly growing Legatus chapters in the country. She did that while being a high-performing CEO and president of SVN/ Park Group, a full-service commercial real estate corporation, and a mother of five children who range in ages from 8 to 20.

Diana and her husband of 24 years, Chad, are active in their community and were co-owners of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, a professional team in the NBA’s development league. Diana has also served on a number of community boards and organizations, and she and her family are active members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

How did you become acquainted with Legatus?

We were looking for something to get involved in. There was no Legatus chapter near us so we actually ended up joining Young Presidents’ Organization. We’ve been in YPO for ten years, and then came the opportunity for Legatus to open up a Fort Wayne chapter, so we jumped in head-first.

How would you describe your experiences so far with Legatus?

It’s been wonderful. It’s really allowed us to focus on our faith together as a couple in a much deeper way than we definitely would have without Legatus.

What is it about the Fort Wayne chapter that makes it so vibrant?

Our membership is extremely engaged. I think 80 percent of the members made at least 75 percent of our meetings last year. Everyone just enjoys being together. We’re very grateful for Legatus. It’s already a big part of our community.

How did you approach the demands and responsibilities of a chapter president?

We have a wonderful chapter coordinator. And we have a really good board that’s very engaged. My goal as president was to bring in new members, integrate and engage them and all our members to get to know each other. I spent most of my time building things around that. I also started a new-member orientation meeting.

How did you develop a strong Catholic faith?

I’m a convert. I converted in 1999 from Methodism. I was looking for an opportunity to deepen my faith, and my husband was already Catholic. We found a great home at St. Vincent’s, which is a very charismatic, Catholic parish.

How do you integrate your Catholic faith into your daily work life?

I think Legatus is a great monthly reminder of our civic responsibility as employers – for keeping in mind our influences and our responsibility to witness.

How did you and your husband get involved in co-owning a professional basketball team?

We’re both avid basketball fans. It was part of economic development for our community. We support our community in several different ways, especially where we can on the economic development side. Chad is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sports medicine orthopedics. So when the opportunity was presented to us, we were just kind of a natural fit.

We sold the team three years ago to the Indiana Pacers. We owned them for nine seasons. We won a championship, and we had a championship runner-up year. It had a big impact on our community. It was a very interesting experience.

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

Basically managing the schedules of five children. It dictates what our hobbies and interests are for that particular year. We enjoy quality time. We have a lake home with the kids.

Don Mucci – 2017 National Ace of the Year

When Don Mucci learned that he was Legatus’ 2017 National Ace of the Year, the president of the new Louisville Chapter joked that he had to look up what the award was about.

As National Ace of the Year, Mucci recruited the most new members into Legatus last year. He helped grow the chapter from zero to 20 members in about three months, and estimates that he has already helped recruit five or six new members this year.

With a rewarding career in insurance and commercial real estate, Mucci, a married father of three grown sons, says he sees Legatus as a perfect fit for his faith, family, and business life. He recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

How did you get acquainted with Legatus?

Last spring, Archbishop [Joseph] Kurtz invited some people to his house to learn about Legatus. My wife Caryn and I went and thought it was something we’d want to get involved with. About a month passed by, and we hadn’t heard anything. So I reached out and suggested inviting people to my house, kind of following the same setup we did at Archbishop Kurtz’s house.

Knowing that we wanted to be large enough to be effective but small enough to be somewhat personal, we decided on seven couples. We had a typical cocktail hour, then dinner, then we did ‘the ask.’ I always joke that you can’t host an ‘ask event’ in Louisville and not serve bourbon. Well, one of the guys stood up at our party after a bunch of drinks and said he couldn’t see a reason why we all don’t join right now, so all seven people signed up that night. That got us started.

What was it about that dinner night that got people interested in Legatus?

I think one of the things that made it neat, and it wasn’t scripted or anything we planned to do, was that we went around the table and had everyone tell a story about themselves and their faith journey. It was amazing how it was almost like being on a Christian Awakening retreat. People were telling their story, their love of the Church, their love of Christ. I think that got us off to a good start and gave us some momentum.

What have been your initial impressions of Legatus?

Certainly, it’s been extremely favorable, or I wouldn’t be putting in the time as president of the chapter and the amount of recruiting I’m doing. All told, we’re now up to 25 or so members. I probably invite an average of two guests to every meeting and chapter event. I want to continue to grow it, because the more people who get involved in it, I absolutely believe the world will be a better place. And it’s been a great thing for my wife and me.

How do you go about recruiting new members?

At this point, I constantly keep my eyes and ears open, thinking about who I know in the business realm who would qualify, then picking up the phone and inviting them to one of our events.

We have a good story to tell. The speakers are the sales pitch, but the food is good, the Mass is good, the rosary is good. You can go out to dinner and for drinks anywhere, but to get together with a group of Catholics and say the rosary together is not as common. You don’t get that everywhere. Plus, the quality of speakers we’ve had has been truly phenomenal.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It was a real treat for me to pick up Tom Monaghan up at the airport and take him to our archbishop’s office, and spend an hour listening to Mr. Monaghan and our archbishop talk about the Church. It was a real thrill for me to be able to spend that time with him. I’m just appreciative for him for starting this organization.

Jerry Jones – 2017 President of the Year

Jerry Jones, Legatus’ 2017 President of the Year, has an undeniable love for his faith, and relishes his servant leadership in many realms.

Jones, 67, past president of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter and a Legate for 11 years, credits the chapter’s previous presidents, membership directors, and chaplains with establishing the foundation for a vibrant organization.

Last year, Jones retired from Cannon IV, the family business he cofounded with his father, Richard, in 1974. He is still busy though, serving on various boards and volunteering in the community. He recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

How did it feel to be honored as Legatus’ President of the Year?

It was flattering. The Indianapolis Chapter has been so strong for so long, I was just so humbled by the fact there were so many great presidents before me that really just put this chapter on the fast track.

What makes the Indianapolis Chapter so vibrant?

We begin with Mass, as all Legatus chapters do. Second, we always have a healthy number of people, and we try to really make it fun. That’s one of the things that I think all organizations have to do. You have to make it fun so when people get there, they’re laughing, and really just having a good time. We know we’re going to deliver a good spiritual message, but we’re also making it fun and lively, so when people come to our organization who are prospective members, they leave and they’re laughing, having fun and they want to come back.

How would you describe your experiences with Legatus over the years?

Legatus is just a fantastic organization for my wife Peggy and me. It affords us the chance to be with very likeminded people. We also really enjoy that it is a planned date night. We get to see wonderful friends. We always get a great spiritual message and go to Mass. We get a great dinner and a speaker. We look forward to it every month.

What do you love about the Catholic faith?

I identify with the Catholic faith. It has a style. I love the fact that from early on, you’re part of a parish and you’re part of a community. It’s a strong church, but it’s the whole neighborhood and the school and everything. It’s a religion that fits my wife and I like a glove.

What led you to start the family business with your father?

My father and I started the company back in 1974. When we started off, we were just selling typewriter ribbons and carbon paper. My father passed away, and I took over the business in 1978. As the industry started to change, we changed, and we got into the technology part of the business. My dad’s dream was to have all his sons in the business. I have three younger brothers, and that’s why the company is called Canon IV because there are four boys in the family and all four are in the business. Now my son is in the business.

How are you enjoying retirement?

I absolutely love it. I’m very busy with being on several boards. But for the first time in my life, I get a chance to dictate my day and do what I want to prioritize for the day. So yes, it’s wonderful.

What is servant leadership?

I think it’s a philosophy of wanting to give back, to nurture and teach, and be a servant of the organization – humbled that you work for a good organization, and flattered that you actually have a chance to be a leader.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to bike, run, and hike. My wife and I also love to travel. We enjoy the theater and we like to read. We stay pretty busy.

Dr. William Fessler – Founding member, Fairfield County Chapter

When he first visited Honduras in January 2011, Dr. William Fessler saw the need for dental care in an orphanage that sustained over 600 children. More than seven years later, Fessler, a licensed dentist with a practice in Norwalk, Connecticut, has built a state-of-the-art dental facility to complement a medical clinic at the orphanage.

Dr. William Fessler and wife, Mary Beth.

Fessler, a founding member of Legatus’ Fairfield County Chapter, also volunteers his time and talents to benefit a dental clinic in the Dominican Republic. He and his wife, Mary Beth, have also been members of the Order of Malta. Fessler, 58, recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

What made you want to start a dental clinic in Honduras?

Someone suggested we go down there because they needed dentists. They had 500 to 700 kids at the orphanage without any dental facilities. We went down, our first time there, and fell in love with the place. Some of the kids needed surgery, but all of them needed dentistry. We made a commitment that we would build a state-of-the-art dental clinic there, not only to service the people on the orphanage and the staff that services, educates and takes care of them, but also to reach out to the community. Dentistry is a luxury in that part of the world.

Where in Honduras is the clinic?

We’re in an area called Olancho, about one hour outside of Tegucigalpa. We have our own cattle. We grow our own food. We educate the kids. We have service opportunities for not only the kids but for volunteers who come down. It’s a very well-run machine that was founded through the organization Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, which is located in nine different countries.

How often do you get to visit the clinic in Honduras?

We’ve been down there episodically, but we’re trying to get down there three or four times a year now, to make sure that the dental clinic is running smoothly and efficiently. The dental clinic recently joined One World Surgery and is open year-round. One World Surgery provides state-of-the-art medical and dental care to those in need in third world countries.

Our dental clinic is not yet staffed to the extent that we would like, but we have tremendous facilities. The hope is to eventually bring down brigades of dental teams to serve the communities that don’t have access to care. I also intend to connect with Catholic universities with dental schools in the U.S., to see if we can develop educational exchange opportunities between dentists in Honduras and dentists at these U.S. schools.

How did you also come to be involved with dental care in the Dominican Republic?

My wife and I met 35 years ago while working on a mission through Georgetown University in the Dominican Republic. I’ve been back there several times with my classmate from Georgetown to continue that effort to provide dentistry to the people that don’t have access to it.

What role does the Catholic faith play in your charitable works and in your life?

Our faith has been a gift to us. My grandparents gave it to my parents, and my parents — I’m one of ten kids — passed it on to us. We really feel just so blessed to have had that faith given to us.

We also feel it’s not only good, but it’s a duty for us to make sure that the Faith lives on through our children. To me, the most important thing we can do is show our faith to our children through our actions, and if we can do that, then it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to bring it home.

What do you and your wife like to do in your free time?

My wife has been running three miles every morning with her best friend that she met in Catholic grammar school. She’s involved in a lot of activities. I like golf. We like to travel together. Honestly, most of our activities in the last 10 years have been focused around the Order of Malta and working down in Honduras. Now, we’re very much involved in Legatus and in working with the bishop in our community.

Nancy Haskell – Legatus Vice President

From start as chapter coordinator, diverse experience brings versatile skill

Nancy Haskell, 41, a Michigan native who has worked for Legatus since 1999, became Legatus’ vice president in September 2017. Formerly the Great Lakes regional director, Haskell now oversees a variety of the organization’s day-to-day activities. While attending the Legatus 2018 Summit in January, she spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.

Nancy Haskell

What does your role as vice president entail?

As vice president, I am responsible for Legatus’ magazine, marketing, website, and training department, as well as Legatus’ forums and ambassador Atlarge programs. To enhance and expand Legatus, I also assist with overall strategic planning and new chapter development.

How did your previous positions in Legatus prepare you for this new role?

I feel very prepared. Having started as a chapter coordinator and serving in a variety of roles to this point, I have a good knowledge of the organization. I understand the Legatus membership and the field staff positions that serve them. I’m looking forward to using this knowledge to enhance all of the departments that are involved in my new role.

What does the future hold for Legatus?

Right now, the focus is on enhancing the Legatus experience and introducing the Legatus mission to as many Catholic executives as possible. As the Legatus team works to expand throughout the entire United States, we’re striving to grow the Legatus Endowment Fund to raise the necessary funds to expand internationally.

What drew you to Legatus early on?

I have always been passionate about firing up Catholics for their faith. Before joining Legatus, I shared my personal testimony at youth events, served on Net Ministries, and organized retreats at my local parish. I felt that if Catholics knew more about their faith, as a result, they would be on fire about it and the Faith would become contagious to others. When I received an invitation to work for Legatus, I knew the Legatus mission to study, live, and spread the Faith would be a perfect fit for this passion.

What value do you see Legatus having for its members and for the Church?

Legatus is truly a ministry where Catholic business leaders are offered the opportunity to deepen their faith through monthly events that offer the sacraments, fellowship, and education through top-notch presenters. The membership includes extremely talented people who know how to get a job done. It’s wonderful to watch them partner with other Legatus members and to be inspired by their peers. The value of having a business executive living out the Faith is not limited to a business leader’s soul, but has the infinite potential to dramatically change the Church through spoken and unspoken evangelization with family, community, peers, and employees.

What was your life like growing up?

I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My entire family is Catholic and passionate about the Faith. My dad is a Legatus member, retired attorney, and actively running a nonprofit. I couldn’t speak more highly of my parents and entire family of origin which includes four siblings, spouses, and 16 nieces and nephews. I have four children. My daughter, Mariah, is at Ave Maria University, and I have three sons – Josh is in high school, Caleb is in middle school, and Elijah is attending grade school.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I love to ski and do event planning for my family and friends.

How would you describe your experience at the Legatus Summit?

I enjoy seeing Legatus members connect with other members from across the country. A typical Legatus experience is at the chapter level where members get to see the impact locally. However, when members attend the Summit, they get to see firsthand the impact that Legatus is having on the world.