Tag Archives: Catholic laity

Ways we can support our priests

Recently, Legatus Magazine polled members on what topics they would like to see addressed. One of the topics that surfaced was:

Stephen Henley

How can we, as laity, support our priests to be healthy, happy and holy?

As an imperfect layperson, I will humbly offer recommendations.

Pray: often, specifically. God willing, our prayers will sustain them in their hardest moments, those moments they find themselves in the desert.

Live your vocation as leader: in your business, at home, but spiritually as well. We are all examples to each other and the example we set helps to hold up those around us. Feeling needed in our vocation is something we all desire. Priests seeing that you are going to daily Mass, praying the rosary daily, availing ourselves to go to Confession, will help to edify our priests.

Be a friend: As a married man, I take for granted that I have a wife who is my ‘second opinion.’ When it comes to making decisions in my life, whether that be dealing with a work issue, writing this article, or with my kids, I can count on my wife to bounce ideas off of or to call me on something when needed. For many priests, however, they may not have such a person. They need personal interaction; they need people who are going to cheer them up when they feel down, or provide a dose of reality if needed.

Invite them to dinner: growing up, I can recall having our parish priest to a family dinner at least once a year. As a kid, I always thought it was something special. How many young men and women have been led to a religious vocation as a result of that dinner time with a priest!

In your chapters: you can support your priests in the life of your chapter by hosting a panel of priests. You could even host one of your monthly events at the local seminary. Many chapters create prayer buddies in the chapter that pray solely for local priests and seminarians.

Reach out: write to your priests (bishops and cardinals included), to commend them and thank them when they are doing the right things. Letter-writing is often thought of when things are going wrong, but it is just as effective when things are going well.

While it is easy to paint the clergy with a broad brush after the actions of some, it is the good and holy priests who will and do suffer. It is those priests we have to support, even more so in these times. As Ambassadors for Christ, it is within our vocation to lead the way in building up our clergy.

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

Read, read, read

As summer ends and students head back to school, Catholic education is our theme for this issue. I do not think the importance of Catholic education can be overstated, as it is so critical to shaping the minds and hearts of our children and young adults.

Yet, the process of studying and learning is never meant to end! As you know, a part of the induction into Legatus is the pledge to study, live, and spread the faith. Recently, I read To Light a Fire On The Earth by Bishop Robert Barron (with John Allen Jr.) and this quote struck me:

“… Barron’s unwavering belief in the importance of truth is why his standard response to anyone who asks his advice about how to get started as an evangelist is, read, read, read.”

I hope that all legates would put spiritual books on their reading list. At the head of the list I think should be the Bible and Bible commentaries such as the Navarre Commentaries and the series recently done by the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit called the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (www. CatholicScriptureCommentary. com).

Also near the top of the list of course would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). In fact, we have a badge pin to recognize anyone who reads it from cover to cover. It can be done in little bits at a time and over a period of time.

I have also found that the lives of the saints are often very inspiring to read. However, some that were not originally written in English can be a bit awkward depending on the quality of the translation, so it can be helpful to read a review of the certain translation before purchasing.

There are many good Catholic books coming out every month. Ignatius Press, Tan Books,

Sophia Press, and others are all great sources. You will not find much in secular bookstores, but most are available on Amazon if you do not have a local Catholic bookstore near you.

Many prominent, former Protestants have told me they read themselves into the Catholic Church. We legates are already in the Church, but we can nourish our faith by taking advantage of this vast array of spiritual books available to us. If you have read a good book, let us know about it.

Read, read, read.

TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman and CEO.

Sharing the faith and growing Legatus

By virtue of our membership in the Church, we are all called to share our faith. Likewise, when we find something good, we are compelled to share it with others.

I cannot tell you how many Legates over the years have shared with me that Legatus has changed their lives! Or how many bishops have commented on the impact that having a chapter in their diocese has made. Who does not want Catholics in their community to be well formed and on fire about their faith? And if those Catholics are also business leaders who are blessed with gifts and resources to serve the Church and their communities, how can that not strengthen the Church?

As I mentioned in my last column, I am working closely with Stephen Henley and the Legatus staff (both at the headquarters and in the field) to have all the support and systems in place to both start new chapters and grow our existing ones. However, members know from personal experience that current members recruit the vast majority of our new members, and with such a small percentage of the population who qualify for Legatus, most advertising is not worthwhile. Since most people who qualify for Legatus have never been approached, most have not heard of Legatus, let alone know about our mission and the kind of support and spiritual growth that our members experience.

Cardinal Bevilacqua once called Legatus the most effective lay organization in the Church in the country… Just think about how much more effective it could be if there were more members.

I truly believe we have the potential to transform the Church by inviting fellow Catholic CEOs to join Legatus. As you reflect on the impact that Legatus has had on your life and the life of your spouse, I encourage you to prayerfully consider who you might invite to an upcoming chapter meeting… it could change their life — and the lives of countless others — forever.

TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman and CEO.

Poised for the future

This month, specifically on May 7, we celebrate the 31st anniversary of Legatus’ founding. I continue to be excited about the direction of Legatus and our calling to live out our mission in the Church and society.

Tom Monaghan

It is great to have the Legatus headquarters back in Ann Arbor and right across the hall from my office. The move took place 18 months ago and there have been many changes not only in the headquarters, but also in the field. The staff is very focused and I believe poised to help Legatus meet its fullest potential. Given what we have learned over the years, we have been tweaking some existing positions, as well as adding new ones.

We have added Chapter Development Officers (CDOs) to each of the five regions. CDOs focus strictly on chartering new chapters. We expect their efforts to pay off soon in the opening of more new chapters than ever before. As regions have grown, we also established the position of zone managers. Their role is to assist the regional directors in serving existing chapters by sharing best practices and other efforts. A consultant of the Table Group – a Patrick Lencioni Company has also been advising us (pro bono) regarding how best to make some of these internal organizational changes.

It is my determination that Legatus will soon be a well-oiled machine, giving chapters all the attention they need to thrive. The mission of Legatus is too important to leave its future to chance. Currently, some chapters are doing well, and others are struggling a bit. We want to do everything possible to assist each chapter to reach its full potential and be a source of life and an inspiration to its members.

The number-one objective of a chapter is to have great monthly meetings. This does not happen by itself, but takes relentless and consistent planning and effort. A key person in this effort is the chapter administrator (CA). This person follows up on the many details involved in putting on great meetings. We have been reinvesting in extensive CA training under longtime Legatus executive and training director Laura Sacha, who is overseeing this effort.

It is often said that Legatus is the most effective lay organization in the Church in the U.S. That is certainly its potential. The board of governors, Stephen Henley, and the staff are dedicated to that mission. Sometimes change is not easy, but I certainly hope that every Legate will understand as we make the needed adjustments and upgrades to this all-important organization.


TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman and CEO.