Tag Archives: Archbishop Jose Gomez

Legatus is essential to the New Evangelization

Archsbishop Jose Gomez

Archbishop Jose Gomez, Ecclesiastical Advisor

In 2012, Archbishop Jose Gómez of Los Angeles became Legatus’ second ecclesiastical advisor, succeeding Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Archbishop Gómez, a priest of Opus Dei, became LA’s fifth archbishop in 2011 and is the city’s first Hispanic archbishop. In September, he will be one of four delegates representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican’s Synod on the Family. The former auxiliary bishop in Denver and archbishop of San Antonio is a longtime Legatus supporter who has helped foster the growth of local chapters. He spoke with editorial assistant Brian Fraga on Legatus’ role in the New Evangelization and his hopes for the synod.

How has your experience been as Legatus’ ecclesiastical advisor?

It’s been wonderful for me because I have met many members of Legatus across the country, and it’s wonderful to see so many good committed Catholics who try to learn more about their faith and share the message of joy.

When did you first become acquainted with Legatus?

Probably since the beginning. I first met some members of Legatus when I was still in Houston, Texas, probably in the late 1990s. When I was appointed an auxiliary bishop in Denver, I was very happy to have met Legatus members. They welcomed me in and I participated in meetings.

We have many chapters here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I am very happy to participate in their meetings. We just started a new chapter in Santa Barbara.

What is it about Legatus that drew your interest?

Sometimes it’s a challenge to put together your faith and work in your life as a businessperson. I think Legatus provides people with that connection between faith and business.

For me I think it’s important because I understand the importance of the sanctification of work, looking for God in your daily life. We occupy most of our time at work, so I think that Legatus is a good support for people in the business world.

What are your hopes for the synod? What will you say in your address to the synod?

It’s a blessing that Pope Francis decided to have a family focus as the theme of the synod because there are a lot of good things happening in marriage and the family. But the truth is also that marriage is in some kind of a crisis, just looking at the statistics and also the challenges young couples have — and everybody has — as they live in a society that’s becoming more and more secular.

My hope is that the synod will be an instrument to provide leadership for the Church and for society on the importance of marriage. From there, I hope we can find what it is that can strengthen the institution of marriage. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I’m working on it.

When you became the ecclesiastical advisor, you said Legatus had a role in the New Evangelization by reframing the ethics of business. Do you still believe that?

I think Pope Francis is asking us all to recognize the reality that the global economy needs to be evangelized because it’s not just about finances. It’s about life, family, ecology and work — basic issues that belong to the human person — and the Catholic faith can illuminate those issues and kind of humanize and give them supernatural meaning.

Legatus is essential to the New Evangelization as we bring the teachings of Christ to the business world and to leadership in our society. Through Legatus the Church is making a big contribution to the life of our country through the witness of so many people in the business world and in every area of society.

BRIAN FRAGA is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.

Annual summit builds bonds

LEGATUS SUMMIT: Members from across the country rally to change the culture for Christ . . .

summit-huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks to Legates on Jan. 31

When Legatus members gather, they always grow in their passion for the mission “to learn, live and spread the faith.”

This happens at monthly meetings, but the 2015 Annual Summit multiplied that spiritual growth exponentially, according to Legates who attended the three-day annual conference hosted by Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter.

The gathering – among the largest in Legatus’ 28-year history – drew nearly 650 Legates and guests from across the country to the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Fla., from Jan 29-31.

Diverse Topics

One of the most notable elements of this year’s Summit was the diversity of topics presented by an all-star lineup of speakers that included New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, author Jennifer Fulwiler, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and current Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, among others.

Topics ranged from chastity to same-sex attraction, from religious liberty to physical fitness, from atheism to the importance of the Mass, and from evangelization to the success of the free-market system.

In his homily during the opening night’s Mass, Cardinal Dolan saluted Legates for beginning their events with Mass.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivers his homily at the Summit’s opening Mass.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivers his homily at the Summit’s opening Mass.

“We can’t forget the words of Pope St. Pius X,” he said, “who reminded us that the greatest vehicle we have to sanctification is through the Mass and worthy reception of Holy Communion —  which is the aim of Legatus. There are many excellent groups in the Church, but Legatus starts first with holiness of life and personal sanctification.”

Later that evening, Jindal discussed the challenges to religious liberty and reminded attendees of Ronald Reagan’s warning that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

“Every generation has to choose for itself to renew those principles of freedom because I believe we live in the greatest country in the history of the world,” the possible presidential contender said. “It’s not because of our DNA, it’s not because of our geography or our soil, it’s not because of our natural resources. It’s because our founders believed in limited government to secure, but not create, our God-given rights.”

Jindal, a convert to Catholicism, saluted Legatus members for its bold mission and dedication to the faith.

“What I understand Legatus to be is an organization of committed Catholics, committed to the Gospel, committed to Jesus’ instructions to us on how to live our faith, to care for the least among us,” he said. “I told [Legatus founder Tom Monaghan] that if this organization didn’t exist, it’s the kind of organization we’d have to create.”

Defending Marriage

Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks on Jan. 29.

Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks on Jan. 29.

One of the greatest challenges to the culture comes from the rapid advance of the LGBT agenda, several speakers told Summit attendees. C-Fam president Austin Ruse talked about the growing acceptance of gay “marriage.” (Read a summary of his talk here.) Also defending marriage was Courage in the Marketplace award winner Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage and a member of Legatus’ Philadelphia Chapter.

Huckabee, another potential presidential contender, devoted much of his talk to defending natural-law marriage.

“Until someone convinces me that there is a new standard [for marriage], and tells me who changed the standard, and by what authority they changed the standard, and what the consequences are of changing the standard, I’m just going to stick with what we’ve got,” he said.

Quite often people who hold to natural-law marriage, he said, feel alone in a left-leaning media-saturated culture.

“Part of the thing I want to say to people is, ‘No you’re not,’” he explained. “There is still a whole lot of America who think like you do. But even if the whole world changes, why would you come up with a standard other than the one that God laid forth?”

Austin Ruse’s talk  was entitled No Better Time to be a Faithful Catholic.

Austin Ruse’s talk was entitled No Better Time to be a Faithful Catholic.

One of the most lauded speakers at the Summit was virtually unknown to attendees before his address. Former male model Paul Darrow told how he left the gay lifestyle, converted to Catholicism and now lives a chaste life dedicated to the Lord.

“I used to think I was happy being part of drug-filled parties in New York City penthouses, surrounded by famous movie stars,” he said. “But today I realize that’s nothing. I’ve never been so at peace, so full of joy than when I’m on my knees before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”

The Summit also included a seminar hosted by Thomas Aquinas College entitled “On Human Dignity and Religious Freedom.”

Other speakers included Harry Kraemer, former CEO of Baxter International; Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio; fitness author Chris Crowley; Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute; and comedian Tom Dreesen, who doubled as master of ceremonies.

Passion for the faith

Summit co-chair Sam Reed of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter said he was thrilled not only by the speakers, but by Legates’ enthusiasm for their faith.

“It was a privilege for our chapter to host the Summit, to meet folks from across the United States and talk about common concerns,” he said. “I don’t think the Summit missed a beat with regard to leadership and the issues that we’re concerned about as Catholic leaders.”

Legatus conference director Laura Sacha saluted the host chapter and all attendees.

“Legatus members are some of the most committed Catholics I have ever met, and seeing their enthusiastic attendance at this year’s Summit was truly inspiring,” Sacha said. “Their energy  is contagious.”

Oklahoma City Legate Peter Hodges said the Summit experience met and exceeded his expectations.

“I expected to meet a lot of devout Catholics and have a good educational experience, and that’s what happened,” said Hodges, who was attending his first Summit. “It was time well spent.”

Reed commended Legatus staff and the members of his chapter for the record-setting sold-out gathering, which tied Legatus’ 25th anniversary event in 2012 for the best-attended Summit.

“Hosting the Summit really brought our chapter together,” Reed said. More than 20 couples from Indianapolis attended. “The camaraderie among members from across the country was remarkable. We have different geography, but our concerns and experiences are very similar.”

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine.

2014 Award Winners

Defender of the Faith
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Ambassador of the Year
Tom & Glory Sullivan

Officer of the Year
Maureen Adams (Phoenix) & Craig Henry (Lafayette-Acadiana)

Courage in the Marketplace
Brian Brown

Bowie Kuhn Award for Evangelization
David Lukinovich

Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award
Kathy DiFiore, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, Wesley Smith

Angott Award
Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh, Baton Rouge

Campbell Award
Cleveland, Jersey Shore, Lexington, Phoenix, Portland

###

On the air in the City of Angels

LEGATE DOUG SHERMAN brings Catholic radio to Los Angeles for the first time 14 years . . .

cover-feb15Scott Turicchi confesses he was a little skeptical when he was asked to meet a fellow Legate named Doug Sherman who wanted to bring Catholic  radio to Los Angeles.

Past efforts to start Catholic stations in the City of Angels had not panned out, and Turicchi, a member of Legatus’ Ventura/LA North and Hollywood chapters, wasn’t sure another could compete with the myriad of choices vying for Angelenos’ attention.

“But I said, ‘Sure, I’ll meet this guy,’” he explained. “I was pretty convinced that we’d have a nice lunch and I’d have some questions, figuring there’s no way he’s going to have really good answers.”

Towering presence

However, Sherman surprised Turicchi. The At-Large Legatus member and custom home builder from Tahoma, Calif., had started more than 25 Catholic radio stations in 16 years. He had a proven business model and knew how to generate a donor base.

Turicchi was intrigued. Following a series of meetings and conversations, Turicchi’s family foundation invested in what became the 33rd station in the Immaculate Heart Radio network. In addition, Turicchi pointed Sherman toward other interested parties, including Legatus members who responded with monetary and other donations.

KHJ 930-AM, a former top-40 station purchased for $9.75 million, went on the air Nov. 17 with a reach of 15 million listeners, making it the biggest Catholic station in the network — and in the country. It was the first time in 14 years that English-speaking Catholic radio had been heard in the LA market.

Sherman said the network decided to establish a Catholic station in Los Angeles because the area represented a huge void. “It’s the largest market by some metrics in the country and when you looked at our map,” he explained, “it stood out like a sore thumb. We had stations everywhere but LA, and we would hear from people that we needed to be there.”

Immaculate Heart Radio also had been challenged in 2010 by Chuck Haas, a member of Legatus’ Napa Valley Chapter, to expand its reach to all of California. Haas had been personally touched by Catholic radio several years earlier when he tuned in to an Immaculate Heart Radio station after seeing a billboard while driving on I-80.

“It turned a kind of nominal, lukewarm Catholic to where he is today — now Catholicism is the center of my life,” said Haas. When he started supporting the network, he was asked to take over a stalled Immaculate Heart Radio campaign for the San Francisco Bay area during an economic downturn.

Haas, now the network’s chief financial officer and member of Legatus’ Board of Governors, said said he would agree to direct the campaign if the network would commit to covering the entire state. At the time, Sherman thought just finishing the capital campaign in San Francisco would be overwhelming. “And trying to tie that into a campaign to cover the rest of California was beyond overwhelming.” Still, he continued, “Four years later, we’ve done it and Chuck has been a huge part of it.”

Besides Los Angeles, Immaculate Heart Radio in the last four-and-a-half years has added California stations in Monterey/Carmel, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Orange County, Modesto and the Central Valley. Additional stations went live in Las Vegas and Maui. The network also provides access to its programming online, MP3 streaming, and smartphone apps. More recently, it has added streaming channels that play contemporary Christian music and sacred music.

Healing touch

Legate Doug Sherman

Legate Doug Sherman

The network started in 1997 with KIHM, named for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, where Sherman lived and ran Sherman Homes. At the time, the station was the seventh full-time Catholic radio station in the country — compared to 1,600 run by evangelical Protestants. The number of Catholic stations and translators has since grown to more than 300.

Sherman, a convert to Catholicism who was raised “Presbyterian with a Southern Baptist twist,” was impressed during World Youth Day in 1993 by St. John Paul II’s message about the New Evangelization. Even before that, however, he had come to a new appreciation of the Church as a gold mine of truth that needed to be shared.

Then, while driving across the country to take a car to one of his children, he reached into a grocery bag full of Catholic cassette tapes that a fellow parishioner had given him. While listening to them, he thought, “This needs to be on the radio.”

When the idea to start a Catholic radio station began to take shape, Sherman said he never thought it would involve more than one station for Lake Tahoe. Expansion came quickly, however, beginning with a request from Sherman’s bishop to start a station in Sacramento. Other opportunities soon followed and within a decade eight stations had been added in California and New Mexico.

As the network grew, Sherman was spurred on by the stories he heard about lives being changed through Catholic radio.

More than 40 listeners have contacted the network to say they had been considering suicide, but changed their minds because of what they heard on Immaculate Heart Radio. Others credit the network’s messages opposing contraception and abortion with their decisions to bear children.

A recently widowed woman told how she had been overwhelmed with grief and unable to get out of bed each morning when she happened to hear the rosary on her clock-radio. Soon, Sherman said, she was praying it every morning. “She called to thank us for bringing her back to life.”

Another woman was driving to a drug store to buy pills to end her life when, while listening to a rock music station, her car hit a bump and the radio changed to Immaculate Heart Radio, which was airing the rosary.

Doug Sherman, Rev. Ed Benioff and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez

Doug Sherman, Rev. Ed Benioff and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez

“She hadn’t heard the rosary since she was a little girl sitting on her grandmother’s lap,” Sherman explained, “and it brought her such a sense of peace that all she could do was pull over to the side of road and listen.” The next morning, she drove to the nearest Catholic parish, met with a priest and began the process of returning to the Church.

In addition to starting radio stations, Sherman’s interest in Catholic radio led to the formation of the Catholic Radio Association, a trade group that provides support for fledgling and established stations.

About the time he began Immaculate Heart Radio, Sherman learned about stations that were being started by a mortgage banker in St. Louis and a dentist in Florida. “The three of us got together along the way because our combined knowledge about radio couldn’t fill a thimble.” Their monthly phone calls grew into the association.

Immaculate Heart Radio sees its mission as helping Catholics better understand the truth and beauty of their faith and bringing non-Catholics and lapsed Catholics to a greater understanding of Christ and the Church. Toward that end, the network produces much of its own programming, including The Patrick Madrid Show and Right Here, Right Now.

Turicchi, president and CFO of j2 Global and member of Legatus’ Board of Governors,  said that despite the number of distractions people in Los Angeles experience, he thinks Catholic radio will reach people there because, amid the “cacophony of sound, half truth and partial truth,” there is a legitimate hunger for the truth.

“When people find the truth, if they listen for 10 minutes, I think they will want to consume more. If they consume more, they will understand the Church better.”

JUDY ROBERTS is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.

Learn more: IHRadio.com

Legatus Summit: A call to action

Speakers at the annual event asked Legatus members to bring Jesus to a hurting world . . .

Legatus’ 2014 Summit was a rally cry for Catholic business leaders to activate their faith and change the culture for Christ. Both speakers and attendees voiced concern for the way America is slipping further away from the Christian ideals it was founded on.

The three-day annual conference, hosted by Legatus’ Orlando Chapter, drew nearly 500 Legates and guests from across the country to the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla., from Feb. 6-8.

Faithful citizenship

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Speakers from former Sen. Rick Santorum to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput called on attendees to embrace the Legatus mission statement to live, learn and spread the Catholic faith. In his Feb. 7 homily, Archbishop Chaput exhorted Legates to exercise their rights of faithful citizenship to create a culture for Christ.

“When we do that, the Church will change because the leadership of the Church will be multiplied thousands upon thousands of times,” he said. “Rather than waiting for the bishops to act, you can act on your own — in union with the bishop, of course, and encouraged by him.”

In his Saturday evening address, former presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum challenged Legates to mobilize and save America before it’s too late. He pointed out that the vast majority of Americans are conservative Christians, but the liberal secularists who make up less than 20% of the population are highly organized, passionate and relentless in changing hearts and minds.

“America is broken,” he said. “We have to take responsibility for that. It was [on] our watch. America is broken because we’re afraid to fight. We must be committed, be all in. We must know what is on the line — souls, eternal souls. We don’t live in a time in America when we can afford to stop fighting.”

Archbishops Wenski, Aquila and Chaput

Archbishops Wenski, Aquila and Chaput

Santorum called on Legatus members to repair the damaged culture by activating their faith. “This organization, the people in this organization, can have a profound effect, can move the needle,” he said. “You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to be all in. You can do it. I have no doubt.”

Legates also heard from Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz, Bill Donohue from the Catholic League, author Matthew Kelly, pro-life activist John Smeaton, CEO and business author William Thorndike, Canadian author and journalist Michael Coren, fitness pioneer Dr. Kenneth Cooper, and the hosts of EWTN’s The Catholic View for Women. Motivational speaker Ross Shafer served as the master of ceremonies.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez celebrated the opening Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Orlando Bishop John Noonan celebrated the closing Mass.

Call to evangelize

David Bereit

David Bereit

Other speakers urged attendees to bring their faith boldly into a culture that has rejected Christian values. Members of a three-bishop panel — Archbishop Thomas Wenski (Miami), Samuel Aquila (Denver) and Chaput (Philadelphia) — said that kind of evangelization can only happen when we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Curtis Martin — a member of Legatus’ Denver Chapter and founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students — told attendees that discovering Jesus and coming into right relationship with him is akin to the parable of the buried treasure (Mt 13:44).

“To have that kind of passion — because we discovered the treasure first — that unleashes a power in the world that will transform the world,” he said. “When we allow God’s grace to transform us through our wounds and brokenness, nothing is impossible.”

Picking up on that theme, 40 Days for Life founder David Bereit assured Legates that abortion will end.

“History books are going to document how it ended,” he said. “I believe they’re going to point back to 2014, the tipping point when people realized it was a spiritual battle and the revival that broke out as a result. They’re going to read about how business people brought their best practices into the fight.”

Stephen Ray

Stephen Ray

Engaging the culture

Summit co-chair Troy King of Legatus’ Orlando Chapter said he was thrilled not only by the speakers, but by Legatus members’ determination to engage the culture as a result of the conference.

“The highlights were seeing the passion for the faith in all the speakers, seeing the new-found fire for the New Evangelization, and seeing how much emphasis they’re placing on putting us all into action,” he said. “I can’t wait to get home and put these things into action.”

Baton Rouge Legate Sam LaVergne, attending his second Summit, said the event far exceeded his expectations.

“Rick Santorum brought the house down, but the speaker that most intrigued me was Stephen Ray,” he said. “He made us think that visiting the Holy Land is something we need to do.”

Bishop John Noonan

Bishop John Noonan

LaVergne said that Legatus has been a blessing to him and his wife Sally.

“The most important thing that Legatus has done for us — even thought my wife and I have been Catholics for a long time — is the amount of education we’ve gotten to defend our faith,” he explained. “Legatus has empowered us with a lot of information to help us live our faith.”

In his Feb. 7 homily, Archbishop Chaput gave Legates all the advice they need to do just that. “Be embraced by the Lord Jesus,” he said. “Put on the Lord Jesus, as St. Paul says. Make him all of your life. When we do that, we will transform the face of the earth.”

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine. This article contains reporting from LifeSiteNews.com.

2013 Award Winners

Defender of the Faith
Matthew Kelly, Erin Mersino

Ambassador of the Year
Larry Blanford

Officer of the Year
Scott Teepe

Courage in the Marketplace
Paul Barron, Bruce Barron, Rod & Karen Mersino

Bowie Kuhn Award for Evangelization
Curtis Martin

Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award
David Bereit, Reggie Littlejohn, Rita Marker, John Smeaton

Angott Award
Baton Rouge, Cincinnati

Campbell Award
Cleveland, Mobile, Las Vegas, Twin Cities, Wichita

Immigration and the Next America

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez writes that immigration is the test of our generation . . .

gomezImmigration and the Next America
Archbishop Jose Gómez
Our Sunday Visitor, 2013
128 pages, $11.95 paperback

Archbishop Gómez has written a personal, passionate and practical contribution to the immigration debate, calling for a recovery of America’s highest ideals. Subtitled Renewing the Soul of Our Nation, he writes that immigration is a human rights test of our generation and a defining historical moment for America.

The archbishop’s passion for the dignity of every person — particularly the migrant — comes through loud and clear. Unfortunately, he barely addresses pressing issues like border security; e-verify; the cynical and corrupt Mexican government; and most notably, the economic, political, and cultural impact of large-scale immigration. These issues would be fitting material for his next book on this subject.

Order: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Apostles in business and finance

Archbishop Jose Gomez congratulates Legatus on 25 years of forming Catholic CEOs . . .

Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez

My congratulations to Tom Monaghan and to all the Legatus members! By God’s grace, you have accomplished so much in these last 25 years.

To me, your most important achievement has been spreading the truth that business ownership and leadership are ways of Christian discipleship and witness in our society. Legatus understood from the start that business is a true Christian “vocation.” It is a noble calling to participate in God’s own work — using the resources and talents he provides, guided by Gospel values and ethical principles.

All of you know that business is about more than the bottom line. Through the products you develop and the services you deliver, your businesses can contribute to the common good and to building God’s kingdom on earth. Through your innovations you can promote human dignity — making people’s lives healthier, easier and more enjoyable. You can help bring prosperity — not only to your employees and investors, but also to the wider society.

As we look to the future, Legatus’ mission is more important than ever. These last 25 years have seen the “globalization” of our economy and the growing influence of the financial sector, spurred by communications technologies like the Internet. We are more aware every day that what we produce and how we work, what we earn and our lifestyles and standards of living, are tied to technologies and other forces we can’t always control.

And as we know, this new century has already been marked by international financial crises and economic turmoil with farreaching implications. That’s one reason we’re seeing great debates across our country over issues such as unemployment, economic growth, government regulation, social welfare programs, education, taxes, unions and public debt.

These debates raise deep questions: What is the purpose of society? What role should private businesses play? What responsibility do individuals have, and what place is there for social institutions such as the family and churches? What is government for, and how should our economy work? These debates will shape our country’s future. And Legatus members must be out front and leading, helping to frame the issues and craft solutions that serve justice and the common good.

In this new century, as business and finance exert more and more influence in our society, Legatus will need to assume greater responsibilities for the new evangelization. I urge all of you to make a new commitment to being apostles and missionaries. Always try to find new ways to share your Catholic faith and the Church’s teachings.

As you know, in the Catholic vision of society, business activity and economic life are meant to serve the needs of the human person and the common good. But as our Holy Father has pointed out, our economic and financial crises reflect an ethical crisis. Legatus could perform a big service if it would promote what the Pope calls a “people-centered” business ethics based on Catholic social doctrine.

Legatus has a responsibility to share what Blessed John Paul II used to call a “unity of life.” That’s the missing dimension in a lot of today’s business and finance culture. Recent scandals reveal that many people are leading a fragmented or “dual life.” They seem to have set up a kind of psychological “firewall” that isolates their professional lives from any sense of moral obligation.

When this happens it becomes much easier for people to pursue their own selfish interests without regard to the costs to society and people. It becomes easier to treat employees badly, to behave recklessly with natural resources, to seek only to maximize profits or try to make as much money as possible. As Legatus members, you can show your colleagues that God doesn’t intend for us to lead this “dual life.” You can show them that our jobs and daily activities can never be divorced from our moral responsibilities before God and our ethical duty to society.

Legatus has a beautiful truth you are called to share — that our work is something we are called to sanctify, to make holy. That what we create and sell, and everything we do should be a service of love that we offer to God and our neighbors.

You have accomplished much in Legatus during these past 25 years. And there is much more for you to do in this new century!

I ask Our Blessed Mother to watch over you and your families. May she help you in your vocation to be the creators of a new business culture in which concern for profit and productivity is joined to a deep desire to renew our society through the Gospel of her Son and the teachings of his Catholic Church.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez is the archbishop of Los Angeles and Legatus’ second ecclesiastical advisor.

Archbishop Gómez addresses Legates

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez addresses Legates on May 4 at the Cathedral  . . .

For the first time as the ordinary of the country’s largest diocese, Archbishop Gómez addressed more than 110 Legatus members from three chapters in the greater Los Angeles area. In his homily, delivered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angeles, the Archbishop reflected on the recent beatification of Pope John Paul II and the dignity of work.

 

My friends, it is great to be here! Thanks for your kind welcome!

I’ve been asked to speak a few words about work and holiness, and about how we can sanctify our daily work. That’s a topic that’s always close to my heart. The sanctification of work is the key to the mission of lay people in the world. Promoting that mission has been an important priority in my pastoral ministry for many years, back to the days when I was a priest.

So I’m happy to talk about that with you this evening.

I want to start by saying something about the beatification of Pope John Paul II a few days ago, on Mercy Sunday. I know that Pope John Paul had a big influence on some of your lives. You are not alone. He was very important to me, also. I still feel a strong spiritual connection with him.

When he was named Pope in 1978, I had been ordained a priest only for three months. So I feel like my pastoral ministry has continued to unfold under his care as my spiritual father.

I believe his beatification will be a beautiful grace for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, for California, and for all the nations of the Americas and the rest of the world. And Blessed John Paul is relevant to what we’re talking about tonight. Because he was “the Pope of work,” he talked a lot about the dignity of work. He even wrote an encyclical letter on the subject, called On Human Labor.

Blessed John Paul believed that the Gospel of Jesus Christ included a “Gospel of work.” In fact, he said one of the pressing needs in the world today is to understand the relationship of our work to the Gospel. He said we need to live out in our lives a true “Christian spirituality of work.” i What a lot of people forget is that Blessed John Paul’s teaching grew out of his first-hand experience with hard manual labor.

When the Nazis invaded and set up their occupation regime in Poland in 1939 and 1940, he was forced to go to work in the stone quarry of a chemical company. This company made bicarbonate soda that was used for explosives. The work was hard and dangerous. The limestone had to be blasted out of the walls with dynamite. Then the rock had to be broken up and shoveled into small railway cars and hauled out of the quarry. The young John Paul worked for a time breaking the rock and shoveling it. Later he was moved into the factory. There he worked the night shift, hauling heavy wooden pails of whitewash from the limestone calcinating furnaces. ii

For the rest of his life, Blessed John Paul always said that his experience taught him to see human labor in a new way — in light of the cross and the Gospel. He wrote a poem about his experience called The Quarry. Let me quote two lines from it. The first is this: “The greatness of work is inside man.” This is the second: “Man matures through work which inspires him to difficult good.” iii Those are two good lines to start our conversation tonight. They are the outlines for a truly Catholic understanding of work.

We have to admit, my friends: that’s not how our culture thinks about work. For us as Catholics, work must always be more than a means to an end. Work must always be more than what we do to get things done. More than a way we make the money we need to buy things. In the Catholic vision, work is part of the duty we have as children of God. Through our work, we take the bounty of God’s creation and we use and transform it so that it serves the good of our neighbors and the betterment of our world.

Our professional work is the “crossroads” where we meet God and serve him. It is one of the arenas in which we are called to play out God’s call to holiness. We are called to be saints, my friends, holy men and holy women. We are called to be people who live for the love of God and the loving service of our neighbors. And as lay people, you are called to become saints — not in a monastery or rectory or chancery — but in the middle of the world. We are called to become saints through our ordinary work.

That’s not easy. You know that better than I do. There are a lot of pressures and competing values that you have to contend with. So I want to offer you this evening three practical points of advice for developing what Blessed John Paul called a “spirituality of work.”

My first point is this: Remember that you are always in the presence of God. God is with you all the time my friends — whether you’re waking or sleeping, working or playing. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, God is not far from us. That means that you can talk to God all day long. You can make your work into a prayer. Everything you do can be part of an ongoing, daily conversation with God.

St. Benedict had a rule for his monks. In Latin it was ora et labora. It means “work and pray.” That’s a good way for you to think about your day. As a dialogue of love with God in which you are “offering up” to him all the little things you do during the day.

My second piece of advice is this: Remember that your work is a “divine commission.” God has put you here for a reason. Your professional work is part of God’s plan for your life. Jesus Christ calls each one of us. He doesn’t only call priests or religious. He calls each of us by name. He knew you by name before you were born. He had a plan for your life. And your professional work, your state of life in the world, is a part of that plan.

Each of us can say what Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman said: “God has committed some work to me which has not been committed to another. I have my mission — I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told of it in the next.” iv Each of us is here to play a part in God’s plan that only we can play. We are here to be “co-creators” with God. We share in his work of redeeming this world in Christ and growing the Kingdom of God. And as lay people you fulfill your role, in large part, through your professional work.

So keep this in mind all the time during the day, my friends: Your job, your work, is part of a mission that God has entrusted to you. There is not a one-size-fits-all style for Christian holiness. In an advanced industrial and technological society like ours, we need good Christians everywhere: in boardrooms and in factories; in quarries and in laboratories; in corporate management, non-profits, in government.

Blessed John Paul used to say: “The ways of holiness are many, according to the vocation of each individual.” v The mission you are called to do is different from the mission that the person sitting next to you is called to. But you all share a common purpose: To grow in holiness and love through your work. And, also through your work, to help others grow in holiness and love, too.

This brings me to my third point: Make everything you do in your work something beautiful you do for God. St. Paul said: “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord not men.” vi All our work can be offered to God as a kind of worship, an offering of love, a way we give him thanks and praise. Any honorable task you do during the day can be offered to God. Even the littlest things. Everything you do can be sanctified. “Whatever you do,” St. Paul used to say, “do all for the glory of God.” vii You have to look for these opportunities in the course of the day. You have to get in the habit of beginning every new task with a prayer of offering to God.

Blessed Mother Teresa used to say: “Offer to God every word you say and every movement you make.” She taught us that everything we do can be “something beautiful for God.” viii My friends, if you keep these three basic points in mind, you will begin to notice a difference in your lives and in your work. Your work will start to become a labor of love. You will find yourself developing your own personal spirituality of work. Practice the presence of God. Treat your work as a calling from God. And make everything you do something beautiful for God.

One final point: Stay close to Christ and his Church and sacraments. Join your work in the world to the “work” of the sacred liturgy.

The Eucharist should be the pattern for everything you do. The Eucharist gives us a true spirituality of work. In the Eucharist we take the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands and we offer them to God in a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise.

We need to bring everything that we do to the altar. We need to offer all the works of our hands along with the bread and wine. We need to make our lives — and everything we do with our lives “a sacrifice that is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord.” We need to see our work — and our lives — “Eucharistically.” Everything can be your Eucharist. Every little thing you do during your day. Make it a prayer to God! Do it beautifully for Jesus!

Thank you for your invitation to speak with you tonight. I ask the prayers of the new Blessed John Paul for you and your families. May he help you learn to see your work as the means through which you grow in holiness and virtue. Through your work, may you help others achieve the holiness and virtue for which each of us is made.

I also ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for you and your families. May she help you to follow her Son more faithfully — that through your work you might give honor to God and help to sanctify yourselves, and your brothers and sisters.

Legatus members from the Pasadena, LA West and South Bay of Los Angeles Chapters were joined by Legatus founder Tom Monaghan and LA Archbishop Jose Gomez (front row center) after Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on May 4

 

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i Laborem Exercens (1981), 24–27.

ii Weigel, Witness to Hope (HarperCollins, 1999), 53–58; Szulc, Pope John Paul II (Scribner, 1995), 115–117; Pope John Paul II, Gift and Mystery (Doubleday, 1996), 20–22.

iii In Wojtyla, Collected Poems (Random House, 1982), 61–71.

iv “Meditations on Christian Doctrine” (1848).

v Novo Millenio Ineunte, 31

vi Col. 3:23–24.

vii 1 Cor. 10:31.

viii Scott, A Revolution of Love: The Meaning of Mother Teresa (Loyola, 2005), 52.

Legates urged to evangelize

Catholic business leaders must know Christ, speakers say at record-breaking Summit . . .

Despite one of the biggest blizzards in recent history blanketing a third of the nation, the 2011 Legatus Summit realized a near-record turnout of over 500 attendees — including some 430 Legates, plus guests, VIPs and staff.

The Feb. 3-5 event, held at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Fla., drew a stellar line-up of speakers and provided members with daily Eucharistic adoration, Confession and Mass. Drawing on the Summit’s theme, “Communicating the Word,” speakers urged members to know Christ personally and make Him known.

Jesus is the Word

Fr. John Corapi makes a point at the Legatus Summit on Feb. 4

Fr. John Corapi makes a point at the Legatus Summit on Feb. 4

Speaking directly to the Summit’s theme, renowned preacher Fr. John Corapi told Legates that the Word of God isn’t something, but Somebody.

“In the eternal silence of the Trinity, God spoke only one word, ‘Jesus,’ and He has nothing more to say. The Word of God is Jesus.”

In his four one-hour sessions, Fr. Corapi encouraged attendees to study their faith. “If we’re going to communicate the Word, we need to know the Word,” he said. “And not just know it, but we must be one with the Word.”

The surest way to know the faith, he said, is to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “You can’t give what you don’t have. This is all the more important for you ambassadors. You’re leaders, point men. And the bigger the man, the bigger the target, especially when it comes to being stricken with fear and anxiety, two things I’ve heard from many attendees. But remember this: Without God, we are nothing. But when we are united to him, even at our weakest, we are strong.”

Justice Clarence Thomas enjoys a laugh at the Summit on Feb. 4

Justice Clarence Thomas enjoys a laugh at the Summit on Feb. 4

Equally compelling was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who had attendees alternately laughing aloud and getting misty-eyed. Thomas himself became emotional as he spoke about his maternal grandfather, a Catholic convert who raised him. But Thomas, one of six Catholics on the high court, also addressed fear.

“It’s easy for us to hide our faith today — people not wanting to wish each other a merry Christmas, make the Sign of the Cross at restaurants, guys who will only whisper to their wives, ‘I love you.’ Why should we be so afraid? Why should we hide the things that are — or should be — most meaningful in our lives?”

Justice Thomas signs his book for a Legatus member

Justice Thomas signs his book for a Legatus member

Thomas, who delivered his remarks in an easy, unrehearsed style, spoke of integrity anchored in Christ. “What word would you be communicating to your children by living a life without principle, without faith? What word would I be communicating if, as a judge, I didn’t live up to my own word expressed in that oath I took?”

The Georgia native lingered for more than an hour after his talk, signing books and chatting with members.

 

Archbishop Jose Gomez preaches the homily at the Summit's opening Mass on Feb. 3

Renewed by the Word

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez, who celebrated the Summit’s opening Mass, applauded Legates’ efforts as ambassadors of Christ.

“Legatus represents the spirit of the new evangelization because this new evangelization is founded upon an ideal of holiness which sounds new, but is truly ancient: to faithfully fulfill our daily duties as Christians wherever we find ourselves,” he said in his address to members on the Summit’s second day.

“Saint Paul said, ‘Whatever you do, do for the glory of God.’ In Legatus, you know that we must do this for God, our communities and our country,” he continued. “You are leading efforts for the renewal of the American spirit and character, a renewal of the ideals this nation was founded upon.”

On the divisive issue of illegal immigration, the Mexican-born prelate said he understood the “anger and frustration” among many native-born Americans. However, he said, it’s essential to treat immigrants with Christian charity, papers or not.

Austin Ruse addresses Legates on Feb. 5

Austin Ruse addresses Legates on Feb. 5

Other speakers included the Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Knight Carl Anderson; Austin Ruse, president and founder of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute; Mother Assumpta Long, prioress general and a founding member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, who encouraged a renewed appreciation of Americans who sacrificed to get the country out of similarly dark times.

Legendary college football coach Lou Holtz gave a rousing talk that linked faith and virtue, complemented by a good dose of humor.

“Life’s not complicated,” Holtz said repeatedly. “Life can be tough but it’s not complicated, believing as we do in a God whose essence is simplicity itself.”

Legendary football coach Lou Holtz makes a point during his talk on Feb. 5

Legendary football coach Lou Holtz makes a point during his talk on Feb. 5

Holtz, who also spent more than an hour patiently signing books and chatting with Legates, said that he has tried to live by three rules: “Do what’s right, do everything the best you can in the time you have to do it, and always show people you genuinely care.”

Take-home value

The Summit’s atmosphere and attendance mirrored that of last year’s record-setting event in Dana Point, Calif. Members appreciated the liturgies, which drew about 30 chaplains and prelates, including Legatus’ international chaplain Bishop Sam Jacobs; Bishop Roger Gries, OSB, chaplain of Legatus’ Cleveland Chapter; Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla.; and Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, former secretary to Pope John Paul II.

Summit veteran J. Kevin Hand, a member of Legatus’ Hollywood Chapter, has been to 17 annual conferences. “It’s been one of the best for spiritual growth, encouraging us to reach out and spread the Gospel,” he said. “Clarence Thomas set the tone with his openness about living one’s faith wherever one finds oneself in the world. Father Corapi spoke so compellingly about our role in counteracting opposition to God and his Church through proper formation of our faith lives.”

Master of Ceremonies Sherri Van Meter gets into the Super Bowl spirit

Master of Ceremonies Sherri Van Meter gets into the Super Bowl spirit

Shaji Chacko is an executive of an aluminum company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He joined Legatus last year.

“I feel very blessed to be here,” he said. “Christians should share Jesus Christ with the world. This has been a great time to reflect and learn how to more practically fulfill our mission. If you want to be driven in Catholic leadership, you can’t complain. You’ve got to get involved,” said the native of Kerala, India, whose first Christian community was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. “Legatus helps me serve this end.”

Keith Armato served as Summit chairman, and his Chicago chapter hosted the event.

“It was a joy to add a Chicago flavor to the Summit,” he said. “All our speakers gave a very different presentation than they would to other groups. Legatus is special and this is evident to our speakers. To a person, the presentations were heartfelt and personal. Thus the speakers were able to connect to our members and share very personal reflections.”

Armato says the chapter tried a few different things at this Summit, which were well received.

Bishop Frank Dewane celebrates Mass for Legates on Feb. 4

Bishop Frank Dewane celebrates Mass for Legates on Feb. 4

“Our objective was not to plan a three-day event but enhance a successful Summit model that will serve us into the future,” he explained. “Our success will only be achieved when we are able to present an event that no Legate can pass up. Legatus is a family and if 10% of a family came to a Christmas or Easter dinner we would know that, although the home was decorated and the food was excellent, there was something important missing. We should only claim that we have achieved a success when 100% of our Legatus family joins us at the Summit.”

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

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Papal Blessings

Legates attending Mass on the second day of Legatus’ annual Summit received a double blessing during the liturgy with news of a papal blessing for attendees.

Principal celebrant Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., read a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. Signed by the Vatican’s substitute secretary of state, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the letter imparted the Holy Father’s blessings and encouragement.

“The Holy Father’s blessing and friendship is a gift to Legatus,” acknowledged Legatus’ executive director John Hunt. “Our spiritual filiation with His Holiness is a source of strength and comfort in these challenging times.”

This is the first time that the current pontiff has publicly praised Legatus. Pope John Paul II acknowledged Legatus three times during his weekly general audiences. He also met with members privately on several occasions.

Pope Benedict’s communiqué conveyed his prayers that “the members of this worthy Catholic association will be confirmed in their commitment to bear witness to the faith and to promote the values of God’s Kingdom within the business community.” Invoking upon Legates and their families “the joy and peace that flow from fidelity to Christ and his Church,” he “cordially impart[ed] his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abundant graces.”

—Matthew Rarey

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2010 Award Winners

Ambassador of the Year: Dr. Richard Toussaint

Officers of the Year: Rusty & Cookie Reed

Courage in the Marketplace: Sean Flanagan

Sr. Rosalind Moss & Tom Monaghan

Sr. Rosalind Moss & Tom Monaghan

Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Award: Alveda King, Sam & Gloria Lee, Monsignor Philip Reilly

Bowie Kuhn Special Award for Evangelization: Sr. Rosalind Moss

Defender of the Faith Award: Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Campbell Award: Lincoln, Genesis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Orange Coast

Angott Award: Baton Rouge, San Juan Capistrano

A passion for the faith

L.A.’s Archbishop Jose Gomez talks immigration, family and the Legatus Summit . . .

cover-dec10With the 2011 Legatus Annual Summit less than two months away, members from across the country are anxious to hear from the stellar line-up of faculty and clergy who will focus on this year’s theme – “Communicating the Word.”

Attendess will hear from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus Carl Anderson, legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Sam Jacobs, Pulitzer Prise-winning author David McCullough, and others.

As a preview of the Feb. 3-5 event – to be held at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton beach resort in Naples, Fla. – We bring you an exclusive interview with Summit speaker Archbishop Jose Gomez. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Archbishop Gomez actively supported the Legatus chapters in San Antonio and Denver during his tenure as bishop of those dioceses. He will automatically succeed Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony upon the cardinal’s retirement on Feb. 27.

You’ve been coadjutor archbishop for six months. What’s been the biggest surprise?

The biggest surprise has been how active the faithful are. It’s a wonderful place where people participate in the life of the Church. There are 5 million Catholics, making it the largest archdiocese in the country. We have all kinds of ministries — all joyfully active. We have Mass in 42 languages.

Pope John Paul II called for a New Evangelization. Since your diocese encompasses the entertainment capital of the world, how can Hollywood be evangelized?

In Los Angeles, the beautiful thing that I have experienced is how many Catholics in Hollywood want to bring the truths of the faith to that industry.

I went to the Legatus Hollywood Chapter meeting last fall. They are wonderful people trying to evangelize Hollywood. There are many initiatives trying to influence the way that things are portrayed in the entertainment industry. It’s a big challenge, but I was happily surprised to see how many good people are trying to make a difference.

I met someone who decided to make educational vignettes for kids. I also met with Eduardo Verástegui — a member of the Hollywood Chapter — who just finished a movie on the Mexican martyrs [Cristiada, also starring Andy Garcia and Peter O’Toole, is due in theaters in 2011]. If there is some coordination and support from the archdiocese, I think that these initiatives will be very successful.

The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton

You’ve preached extensively on immigration. How should Catholics understand this issue?

This is an issue about the dignity of the human person. The U.S. bishops have said many times: Latinos are a blessing for the Catholic Church. I think those two things can help us understand the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform. The particulars of the legislation are up to our elected representatives. But what is urgent is that we have some resolution to this issue.

I think we all agree that we have to protect our borders, and that it’s a national security issue. But we have to keep in mind what we have with the immigrants: many wonderful people who are coming to work and to be part of society in a positive way.

Why are people so angry?

One of the big challenges is that some of the new immigrants don’t speak English. The Hispanic community is addressing this.

Another issue, which is very delicate and important for people, is that immigrants come breaking the law. I understand that it’s not right for anyone to do that. But they had to do that because there is not a legal way to come to this country if you are looking for menial jobs. The demand is there and so they come.

I have made one suggestion — and that is to ask these immigrants to do community service. It’s a win-win situation. They understand that breaking the law is not correct, and at the same time they become more integrated in the community.

What do Hispanics contribute to the Church?

There is a long-standing tradition of the integration of faith and culture in the Hispanic way of life. A challenge we have with the Hispanic community is education in the faith. More and more are becoming cultural Catholics. Many Hispanics come from areas in Latin America where there were not enough priests. This lack of formation leads them to leave the Church. We must use electronic means, the Internet, to reach out to the people. We can’t just wait for people to come to us. We need to tell them about the truths of the faith.

What can parents do about the culture wars?

Present to your children a positive view of life and issues. Look at the positive side of our culture: discipline, work, community. Keep communication between generations. Have the family eat together for dinner. Parents and children must be able to listen and talk together. That is basic. Attend their school events. Not all activities that children are involved in are essential. The essential is to be together as a family. We have to continue giving parents more options for movies, games, Internet sites. We need to be engaged in the culture.

How can we encourage vocations?

Vocations start in the family. Parents need to be praying for vocations and presenting them as good options. Priests are essential in the promotion of vocations. We priests need to be happy. We need to talk about the possibility of vocations.

A good, solid seminary program is essential. Someone who is committing themselves to the priesthood should expect a solid foundation that is human, spiritual and apostolic.

You’ve had years of interaction with Legatus members. What’s that been like for you?

I have had a wonderful experience with different Legatus groups. I was involved in Denver and San Antonio, where I made wonderful friends. I think Legatus is a very important organization for the U.S. church.

When I speak to Legates at the Summit in February, I will talk about immigration. I think that when we understand the issue of immigration, we see how positive it is for our country. I will also speak about how important it is to be involved in the cultural issues of our times — immigration, marriage, life and the New Evangelization.

Sabrina Arena Ferrisi is a Legatus Magazine staff writer.

Three ways to register:

Call: (866) LEGATUS (534-2887)

E-mail: conferences@legatus.org

Online: legatus.org

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How to convert the world

Summit attendees to hear from Fr. John Corapi

Fr. Corapi

Fr. Corapi

As a young layman, John Corapi made millions in the real estate business. The jet-set Hollywood playboy became a drug addict, lost his fortune and was homeless for three years. His journey back to God began when his mother sent him a one-way ticket home to New York state. She begged him to pray one “Hail Mary” every day.

Today, Fr. John Corapi — a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) — preaches the Good News to the masses. Catholics around the world listen to his weekly program on EWTN. He will address Legates at the Summit in February and preach a mini-retreat the following day.

Father Corapi told Legatus Magazine that he will speak about the Summit theme — Communicating the Word — from his own perspective. During the retreat, Fr. Corapi said he will do what any good football coach would do.

“You return to the fundamentals when the game is not going well,” he explained. “I look to what the Catholic Church teaches. It can’t get better than that.”

The renowned preacher’s challenge to Legates is never to stop educating themselves in the faith.

When asked about the culture war and how to fight it, Fr. Corapi’s answer is simple. “The most eloquent and convincing sermon you can give is a life well-lived,” he said. “To the degree to which we learn — and most importantly live — our Catholic faith with intensity, that’s the best thing you can do.

“An example from the history of the Church is St. Francis of Assisi. He didn’t set out to convert the world. He set out to convert himself. That’s the lesson for us. To the degree to which we are converted, that we live our faith with fidelity and intensity, to that degree and that degree only will we contribute to the conversion of the world.”

—Sabrina Arena Ferrisi