Tag Archives: Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Annual summit builds bonds

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


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


Summit Speaker: Cardinal Dolan

Tim Drake chats with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a speaker at the 2015 Legatus Summit . . .

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Cardinal Timothy Dolan serves as the 10th and current archbishop of New York. He was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2010-2013. He previously served as archbishop of Milwaukee, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, and rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He spoke with Legatus editorial assistant Tim Drake.

You have a larger platform from which to speak than most bishops. Has that been a help or a hindrance in advancing the Good News?

It can be a help. I’m grateful for the tremendous infrastructure that I inherited — the schools, the hospitals, the Church, Catholic Charities. New York is big, so those are big. Keeping them all stable is a challenge. You have more people paying attention to you. If you make a blunder, it’s complicated. The major challenges are the constituencies. You have the media, entertainment, business, the Jewish community, all extremes. The Mass is offered in 31 different languages every Sunday in the archdiocese. It’s an icon of the Church. That’s a great source of consolation. It requires great zeal and energy; I pray I’m up to it.

You spent three years as USCCB president. What did you learn during that time?

I learned that three years is a long time. I was honored to serve. I learned a heightened respect for the work of the bishop’s conference. Our ancestors in faith were remarkably prudent in setting up an episcopal collegial tradition. The bishops are amazingly insightful and holy men. They speak their mind and are incredibly loyal. I left with respect for the Catholic family in the U.S., and with huge admiration for my brother bishops.

You wrote in the Wall Street Journal about Pope Francis’ comments on capitalism. How might Catholic business leaders best practice the compassionate capitalism you wrote about?

Business leaders — and I would include my flock here — do it. When you have committed Catholics who are successful business people, they know that there is no cleavage in our Catholic tradition between what we preach at Mass and what we do during the week.

The economy is hardly free of moral values; it’s shot through with moral values. I’m very impressed with Catholic business people. We hold a breakfast where hundreds of financiers come together to hear speakers on Catholic social teaching, morality, and being responsible in business. The very radiant teaching of our Holy Father is easily caricatured. That’s not fair.

The beauty of Catholic social teaching goes back to Pope Leo XIII. It’s a middle way between the two extremes of state socialism and unfettered capitalism. The Pope has been eloquent on that. Our business people know that. They know that the financial community suffers whenever there is gross immorality. They don’t want the Wolf of Wall Street. They recognize the need for moral values and prudent regulation. Once they understand what Pope Francis is saying, they say “we couldn’t agree all the more.”

You’ve engaged on religious liberty. Has the Church seen success in that area?

Our neighbors, fellow citizens, and those who express no faith at all have expressed high esteem in leading the protection for religious freedom. It’s a high value for us as Catholics, but a towering value for us as American citizens. We bishops are sensitive to the role we play. Others look to us for what to do.

Those in other countries really appreciate our high, glorious tradition of religious freedom, especially those who face aggressively secular governments that want to banish religion from the marketplace. We cherish our first freedom. We’ve spoken out and it’s had a lot of good effects.

The archdiocese is downsizing. How is that going?

Many dioceses are going through the same thing. We’re coming to a very important phase in our strategic pastoral plan. We know that we are probably going to have to make some very painful decisions about mergers.

Our business leaders encourage us to sound stewardship. They say that the way things have been going is not a sound way to pastor God’s people. We end up propping up parishes, and we can spend money better. They know the Church is not just a business, but it needs sound business practices. They’ve been wonderful supporters.

That does not hide the fact that the coming months will be very tough. To merge or close parishes always causes a tear. We have some tough days ahead. We already did it with our schools. We closed about one-seventh of our schools. Thankfully, we still have 180 that are stronger than ever, with better faculty, and they’re financially more stable. After two years of consultation on parish planning, we have a list of their recommendations. It’s likely that as many as two or three dozen may have to be merged.


Legatus 1987-2012

This coffee table book charts Legatus’ first 25 years of drawing CEOs to Christ . . .

Legatus 1987-2012
Donning, 2012
200 pages, $150 hardcover

Founded a quarter century ago, Legatus is a gift to the Church. So say Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Both prelates endorsed this book, which relates how the Holy Spirit inspired Tom Monaghan to develop Legatus after meeting with Blessed John Paul II in 1987. Learn how the idea for a “Catholic YPO” developed into one of the most influential Catholic lay organizations in the world.

Each of Legatus’ 75 chapters is profiled. Hundreds of new and historic photos are included along with endorsements and congratulations from Pope Benedict XVI, President George W. Bush, bishops, and dignitaries.

Order: Click here or call (239) 867-4904.

21st century warriors

A quarter-century old, Legatus is poised to substantially impact the culture . . .

Men and women who join Legatus to grow in their Catholic faith may not think they are enlisting in an army, but those at the forefront of today’s culture wars see them that way.

The two most recent recipients of Legatus’ Defender of the Faith Award — Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Catholic League president Bill Donohue — have both described Legates as an army on the front lines, adding that they couldn’t function without such a force behind them.

Upon receiving his award in late 2010, Cardinal Dolan told Legatus members that he and his brother priests rely on prominent lay leaders who are unafraid to give public witness to their faith. “It’s your prayers and support that keep us strong,” he said. “If I’m able to defend the faith, it’s because there’s a great army like you with me.”

Cultural impact

Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Indeed, when Thomas S. Monaghan got the idea to start Legatus within hours of meeting Blessed John Paul II in 1987, he knew he was about to harness a force for great good. By gathering what he calls the most proven leaders in the Church — Catholic CEOs — and helping them to be better Catholics, he believed he could multiply their influence.

“The impact these people have on other people and their ability to get things done and get things organized would have a tremendous benefit to the Church — and that’s the way it’s worked.”

As Legatus grew, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who served as Legatus’ ecclesiastical advisor for more than 20 years, called the group the most effective association in the Church. “There’s just no organization out there like this,” Monaghan said. “They’re action-oriented. They’re doers, not just talkers. I’ve often said there might be classes of people more articulate or intelligent — like lawyers or professors — but as far as getting things done, they’re in a class by themselves.”

Although in founding Legatus, Monaghan wasn’t directly envisioning it as a player in the culture wars, he said the organization may well be the most effective way to deal with the battles Catholics are facing in the 21st century.

By building business leaders into better Catholics, he said, they make a difference because as faith becomes a bigger part of their lives they automatically see what needs to be done. “These are people who see a need and they fill it, and there are lots of needs in the Church.”

New movement

Those who have followed Legatus’ progress over the last quarter century agree the organization has matured to the point where it is having an impact on the culture.

“Legatus is no longer a club — it’s a movement,” said the Catholic League’s Donohue. “I have seen Legatus grow from a small group of CEO Catholics dedicated to bringing Catholic values to the workplace to a large group of distinguished Catholics committed to engaging the culture. That’s quite a transformation.”

Bill Donohue

Donohue added that in speaking to many Legatus chapters, he has been impressed by the growing commitment on the part of members to take sides in the culture wars. “Catholics have been called by the Holy Father to participate in the public square and Legatus has certainly made good on this request.”

When he was at the Legatus Summit in February, Donohue said, many members asked him how they could become more active in the Catholic League. “They want their voices to be heard on national issues even beyond what Legatus is doing.”

Deal Hudson, chairman of Catholic Advocate in Washington, D.C., said he believes Legatus reached a point of critical mass about seven years ago, readying the organization for the current situation in the United States, which includes such challenges as a federally imposed contraception mandate for all health insurance plans. Most believe it to be unconstitutional.

In his 2008 book Onward Christian Soldiers, Hudson told how Monaghan’s desire to create a national network of orthodox Catholic businesspeople and their spouses brought together Catholics of influence in places like New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Phoenix in a significant way.

“The relationships that were created both within chapters and then between individuals in different parts of the country and at national meetings really helped to contribute to the strength of the Church in our country and has really encouraged a lot of the bishops in ways that were not there prior to the founding of Legatus.”

Not only do bishops appreciate hearing the concerns Legatus members raise, Hudson added, but they know they can rely on the body of knowledge and skills Legates offer. “Business covers a broad spectrum from management to law to education to accounting and fundraising. Really, when the bishops want expertise, they know where to look.”

Monaghan agreed, adding that many bishops and cardinals have said they turn to Legatus members when they need help. “I’m not just talking financial, I’m talking organizational,” Monaghan explained. “It goes on quietly and there’s a lot of it going on.”

Engaging the culture

John Hunt, Legatus’ executive director, said part of Monaghan’s original vision for Legatus was that, as people of influence, members would live out the Second Vatican Council’s call for laypeople to be the Church in the world.

As the organization marks its 25th anniversary this month, Hunt said, it’s clear that Legates are continually being honed for this calling through studying the faith and interacting with other Catholic executives and their spouses who take their faith seriously. “They’re well grounded and they are armed with the tools to go forth.”

Hunt, who joined Legatus 19 years ago and was the charter president of the Chicago Chapter, added, “From the beginning I have been very convicted of Legatus’ value and its ability to be of service to the Church both at the parish and diocesan levels, but also on a broader scale.”

But how this service takes shape depends on each member.

Because Legatus’ mission is to help members study, live and learn the faith, Hunt said, it doesn’t lobby politicians or endorse candidates. Rather, it urges members to support their local bishops and communicate with elected representatives in their own way.

For example, after the recent contraception mandate was announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Legatus sent e-mails to members encouraging them to become aware and involved, providing them with contact information for their bishops and legislators, details about pending legislation, and information about litigation by Catholic institutions and business people.

“It’s not Legatus stipulating what to do, but encouraging them to become engaged,” Hunt said.

Catholic Advocate’s Hudson said he thinks the most effective action Legatus members can take in this particular case is to encourage and support their bishops to be as strong as possible, even to the point of civil disobedience, if necessary, in opposing the mandate.

George Weigel

George Weigel, senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, added: “The best thing individual Legatus members can do is to convince their friends, neighbors, fellow parishioners, and fellow business people of the immensity of the challenge before us — which is to defend all of civil society, including the Church. As an organization, Legatus can continue to provide its members with the kind of adult formation that makes their evangelical work in the marketplace, family and neighborhood possible and effective.”

Given that this is a time of great urgency, Hunt said, it may be time for Legatus members and all people of good will to step forward and potentially be “martyred.”

“Certainly, it can be in the form of the world seeking to attack an individual and a business he or she is responsible for because of the faith they exhibit,” Hunt explained. “The fact of the matter is we are probably in about the second inning of a nine-inning ballgame. Pressure is coming from people who want permission to do whatever crosses their minds, and the Catholic Church is standing in the doorway proposing a better way. That’s something we’re going to be under attack for. We should allow ourselves to be a buffer in defense of our faith.”

Judy Roberts is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.