Tag Archives: catholic leaders

What Happens Now? Reinvent Yourself as a Leader Before Your Business Outruns You

John Hillen and Mark Nevins
Select Books
308 pages

New how-to books on business and management are published every week, and “change or die” is a recurring theme. This book, co-authored by Legate John Hillen, fits that mold, but its focus is not so much on creating more efficient production workflow or superior personnel practices, but on the ever-changing assets required of business leaders themselves. As an enterprise or organization scales up and evolves, so must a manager’s leadership skill set lest he or she lapse into a professional “stall.” Constant learning and reinvention is the key to staying on top of the game. Consider this a guide to the “interior life” toward an effective and sustainable career.

Order: Amazon , Select Books

Championing Underprivileged Youth – in Life Skills and Meaning

In Luke 16:10, the Lord Jesus counsels his disciples that someone who is faithful in small things will be faithful in important matters.

That is how Andre Julian, a member of Legatus’ San Juan Capistrano Chapter, views his role as an ambassador for Jesus Christ.

“It’s the little things that we do, these little acts of faith, that give us as Catholics even more faith as we do them,” said Julian, 48, a Merrill Lynch management executive who has offered his investment insights as a commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business Network.

Motivational mentoring

Julian offers advice to high school and young college students each summer as a mentor with LEAP (Leadership, Excellence, Accelerating Potential), which seeks to provide participants with valuable life skills such as networking, surrounding oneself with positive people, and preparing for job interviews.

The program offers Julian the opportunity to share with young people how the Church sustained him and his family through difficult times, and how the Catholic faith informs his approach to work and his outlook on life.

Julian emphasized that being a LEAP mentor allows him to offer his Christian witness in an authentic and natural way, not in a proselytizing manner.

Life raft of the Church

“Our job as ambassadors is to present the good news. God will take care of the rest,” said Julian, who was only three years old when his parents divorced. His mother, who was Catholic, found strength and healing in the Church.

“From an early age, I associated the Church with something that healed my mom and made her feel better,” Julian said. “When I was very young, she told me that Jesus is the most important thing in your life. He will get you through the difficult times.”

As a teenager and young adult, Julian said he wavered in his faith at times, but he never stopped praying or reading the Bible. In college, he met his wife, Christine, who was also Catholic, and they chose to live the faith as a family. They have a daughter, Chloe.

Living Catholicism on purpose

Deciding to live as an intentional Catholic, a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, places demands on one’s life that Julian compared to a police officer who puts on a uniform and is reminded that he or she represents something bigger than oneself.

“When you label yourself as a Catholic, then you have to live it,” Julian said. “It forces me to be consistent in my beliefs and it forces me to make decisions.”

As a Legatus member for 2 ½ years, Julian sees the organization’s mission as interwoven with the Great Commission.

“We are called to be ambassadors of Christ out in the world,” he said. “I see Legatus as a place where you can go and speak with likeminded people who can give you strength and who can fill you with discussion and knowledge, and make sure that your faith is kept strong.

“But out in the world, I think, is where we have the most impact,” Julian said. “There are these things we as Catholics do to gain strength, but then we need to go out into the world and we need to do something with what we’ve been given.”

A friend got Julian involved in the LEAP program, which brings young people from across the country and the world together for a week every summer and seeks to provide them with the life skills they will need to be successful adults. Most of the young people in the retreattype program come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mentoring others stirs own faith

As a LEAP mentor, Julian makes himself available to groups of participants who interview him about his life. Julian said being a mentor has made a positive impact in his own life.

“It’s just a phenomenal program,” said Julian, who has done TED talks but added that the LEAP program gives him a chance to discuss the biblical themes that undergird his perspective on life. The program is secular in nature, but gives him a natural platform to share his faith.

“I can tell them my story. I can tell them my background, that I came from a broken home,” Julian said.

Sharing his story has also prompted Julian to learn more about his own Catholic faith, and to try to be a credible witness by authentically living the faith’s tenets every day, whether he is at home, work, socializing with friends, or guiding young people.

Said Julian, “It forces me to look at my actions and ask myself what am I doing to be a better man of God, to be a better family man and a better man of faith. When you’re in a position where people are looking at you for advice, and you have to responsibly give that advice, then you have a responsibility to yourself, to your faith, to God, to act out that advice.”

Talking is one thing, but Julian, a martial arts enthusiast, said principles must be put into action. Every day.

Said Julian, “It’s in our acts that we become known.”

BRIAN FRAGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.


God will pierce the corporate veil

A statement I really hate is “I’m just doing my job.” People use this either as a humblebrag (“Piece of cake because I’m awesome”), or to evade moral responsibility (“I was just following orders”). While the first usage is annoying, the second is dangerous. Adolf Eichmann’s defense in the Nuremburg trial was nothing more than, “I was just following Hitler’s orders.” This defense did not convince the Nuremburg judges, nor will it convince God.

Conor Gallagher

You can’t separate the person from the work. This simple truth lies at the core of the ever growing, overly complex subject of “business ethics.” Peter Drucker once said, “There is neither a separate ethics of business nor is one needed,” meaning that the same ethical rules that apply to man in his private life apply to him in his business life. An altruistic statement for sure, given our cluttered world of regulations and corporate law. Drucker, however, has a great point – as always.

As Catholic leaders, we must not allow ourselves to excuse or justify every decision we make with an unreflective “I’m just doing my job.” As leaders, we must take ownership of our actions and examine our individual consciences in light of what we profess to believe. If this reflection causes a few more sleepless nights, or, hopefully, more prayerful nights, then so be it. Actions have moral consequence. The corporation may be a legal “person”, but God judges real persons. He judges us.

Sometimes I wonder if the concept of a corporate entity, distinct from the people themselves, leads to a convenient disconnect between the person’s actions and the business’ actions. I remember the question being raised in metaphysics: does a community of persons have its own essence? And I remember a similar question being raised in corporate law: is this corporation a legal person? Both philosophy and law grapple with the same question. That should not surprise us, for it is an interesting and important question, especially for those of us for whom the answer is so fraught with significance. I understand the need for a legal entity and the need for a corporate veil. But we must not delude ourselves into thinking that the business actually took action. We took action. The legal entity is a fauxperson – convenient, yes, but faux nonetheless. It is we that will be judged, not the corporation.

In other words, God will pierce the corporate veil.

If we are virtuous through our businesses, God will reward us. If we are sinful through our businesses, God will punish us. “But God, I was just doing my job!” I would not want that as my defense on judgment day.

After being asked about corporate ethics, Milton Friedman once said, “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no, they do not.”

I think my fellow Legates would disagree with the great Milton Friedman on this point. For we all know that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead, not the S Corp, C Corp, or LLC.

CONOR GALLAGHER is publisher at Saint Benedict Press and TAN Books. He is the author of If Aristotle’s Kid Had an iPod: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents and obtained his J.D. and M.A. in philosophy from Catholic University. He and his wife, Ashley, have 12 children.

Hospitality lights Long Island

Rob Salvatico, a Legatus member in the Long Island Chapter and 45-yearold corporate president, is not the kind of person who thinks things just happen, or that one can stand still waiting for them to happen. Rob is the kind of leader who is hungry for the ball and wants to get into the arena.

“I firmly believe that God has a plan for each of us,” Salvatico says. “As I look back on my life and career so far, a few themes emerge: I want to do good for my family, my business and all the people we employ and serve, and I want to constantly be giving back to the less fortunate.”

From Italian Catholic immigrants

Rob’s perspective has its roots before he was even born, in the remarkable story of his father Albert Salvatico, son of Italian immigrants and native of the Bronx. Catholic institutions, especially Catholic education, were resources the Salvaticos could always count on as they pursued the American dream. Albert recalls that Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx instilled him with the “respect and manners, along with the morals, ethics and confidence” to lead an aspirational life.

Albert rose rapidly through the ranks of leading insurance firms – first as a top executive in established companies, and then founding his own firm, fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming an independent entrepreneur. In 2000, Albert and his brother, Lou, joined with Rob in a completely new venture: developing and managing hotel properties on Long Island. The adventure that awaited them has been remarkable, to say the least.

“By God’s grace, our new family company enjoyed immediate success,” Rob recalls. “We were surprised. We are humble people and when the risks we took and the hard work we put in paid off quickly we felt so blessed. It enriched our family in so many ways and brought us together.”

Faith and family footing

Rob grew up in the Village of New Hyde Park just east of Queens. From the beginning, faith and family were at the center of everything for Rob.

“I’ll never be able to thank my family enough for the foundation they gave me,” Rob says. “From the very beginning, I knew unconditional and limitless love. Our Catholic faith was the foundation for everything. My parents and other relatives embrace all Catholic teachings fully, but more importantly, they live it each day!”

Rob followed his father’s example in realizing the value of Catholic education. He graduated from the acclaimed Chaminade High School in central Long Island before earning his college degree at Hofstra University and an MBA from Fordham University. The timing of Rob completing his advanced education coincided nicely with his family’s new hotel initiative, and Rob became the general manager of Wingate Inn in Garden City, New York. Driving that property to excellence was a key element of the family company’s early success – allowing the Salvaticos to invest in their Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Express properties on Long Island’s East End, which also prospered. As the company grew, so did Rob’s role, quickly earning promotion to president and chief operating officer (COO).

Hard hit – and healed – from recession

Few businesses experience uninterrupted growth, and the Salvaticos’ company, incorporated as JARAL Properties as their holdings became more numerous, was no exception. “The financial crisis and recession that shocked the economy in 2008 hit my industry hard,” Rob soberly recalls. “The years that followed were the toughest of my life. We were not sure when things would turn around, and we had to make many difficult decisions. As much as my family expressed gratitude when we got off to a great start in the hotel development business, we again turned to our faith and each other to persevere through a terribly rough time.”

The business has recovered fully from the challenges of 2008-12, and today Rob is growing his personal leadership to the next level. He completed the Energeia Partnership of Long Island in 2013, a community-focused curriculum for serviceoriented civic leaders and shortly thereafter accepted an appointment to the Molloy College Board of Trustees. In July 2016, Rob and his wife, Cynthia, joined Legatus, accepting an invitation from several of that chapter’s members who are active in business leadership organizations. Rob jokes that he is known widely as the “Hotel Guy” across Long Island. He hopes to translate his growing recognition and influence into good works for his community.

Change through affirmation

“The Salvaticos have always given back in a big way,” Rob expresses with pride. “Charity and community service are central to our company’s identity. We provide financial support, donate hotel stays, and volunteer hours to worthy causes all over Long Island and beyond.” Rob notes that his father, Albert, a student decades ago at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, today serves as chairman of the board there and is on campus giving back several times a week. Cardinal Hayes has a 100% minority student body and a 98% graduation rate. Rob is also active with Cardinal Hayes and his own alma maters, and says, “Every kid needs to know that they are believed in! Through mentorship and encouraging each young person, we can change lives and families just as mine was transformed.”

His mother, Jean, devoted many years working pro-bono for the Hospice Care Network until the need to care for family became greater, and she now serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Garden City. Rob credits his mother with being the figure in his life most responsible for keeping him strongly connected to the Church and the faith.

Looking forward, Rob is eager to continue growing his company and giving back. “Long Island is my home and I love it, but it has its challenges. Infrastructure issues, divisions among the various interest groups, class segmentation, young people migrating out and others. I am determined to be a part of the solution to these challenges and preserve my home as one of the best places in the world to live and work.”

Legatus has been a positive addition to his life at this exciting moment: “Long Island is a diverse Legatus chapter with many different age ranges, professional orientations, and personal backgrounds represented. It is blessed with amazing leadership starting with Paul and Sherry Durnan and Monsignor Jim Vlaun. Cynthia and I love the ‘date night’ aspect, and being around people who share our values and belief in service. It is important to us that Legatus is a Catholic organization, starting each meeting with the sacraments and Mass. Legatus is a perfect organization for someone with my family’s story and worldview to be an active part of.”

Leaders engage causes. What about fatherlessness?

Quick, think of a few companies you admire. If you are in business, include your own. Now, what social, civic or charitable causes do they support? Diversity? Environment? Cancer? Climate? Animals? Diabetes? Fairness? Veterans? Equality?

Bill McCusker

Similarly, what are key ministries at your parish or prominent issues in your Catholic newspaper? Hunger? Immigration? Youth? Homelessness? Evangelization? Clothing, diapers, jobs, furniture and other examples of compassionate outreach?

Thankfully, many businesses, churches and other organizations have the time, talent and treasure to devote to numerous causes. Many individuals generously support their own pet charities, independent of those supported by the organization to which they belong. However, I believe there is one cause which businesses, churches and individuals unfortunately overlook. It is directly related to children living in poverty, dropping out of school, getting arrested, going to jail, getting pregnant, committing suicide and other tragic outcomes. It is spreading, leaving hopelessness and despair in its wake. It is the epidemic of fatherlessness.

Very simply, too many kids are being raised without fathers. Yes, there are situations requiring mothers to raise children by themselves. Sadly, however, kids without dads are becoming more of the norm than the exception. The results are as disastrous as they are well-researched and documented.


  • In the United States, 17.4 million children lived in father-absent homes in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.That is roughly the combined total populations of New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Nevada, Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Children living in female-headed homes with no spouse present have a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. That is more than four times the rate for children living in married-couple families.
  • “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison,” then-Senator Barack Obama pointed out in a June 2008 speech.

Business leaders should take note. Why?

Let’s see. In building the long-term value of the enterprise, business people spot needs, manage risks, develop solutions and prevent problems from metastasizing. But what happens when children leave school early, develop no skills, and join gangs? Logic suggests they will not become the employees, customers and clients that businesses will need tomorrow. Should this not concern business people?

And a growing percentage of the workforce — single moms raising poor, undisciplined, inadequately supervised, and lonely kids at home — will be more distracted, stressed and unproductive on the job. Should not businesses be troubled, if for no other reason than their own vitality depends on adequate employee engagement?

What about churches and non-business organizations? To me, leaders of all stripes should be alarmed by what is at risk: the survival of our ideals of equality, fairness, public safety and civility. Indeed, should not all responsible and caring people, otherwise committed to charity, ethical practices and social responsibility, heed a root cause of what is fraying the fabric of our society?

I applaud businesses, churches and other groups for their charitable efforts to build a better world. In choosing what efforts to support, however, I suggest they considerfatherlessness, a driver of many of today’s most pressing problems. But despite its devastating impact, fatherlessness isn’t on many organizations’ short list of favorite causes. It isn’t trendy. It probably doesn’t comport with the politically correct tenets to which many business leaders cling. Nor, sadly, does it tend to register among the efforts that Catholic organizations and their leaders support.

Frankly, it would take courage to commit to reverse the erosion of fatherhood and restore fathers to the vital roles they have historically played in the lives of their children. But successful leaders, be they CEOs, bishops, pastors or parishioners, typically don’t succeed by being afraid to take on big challenges.

BILL MCCUSKER is a business developer with KPMG in Philadelphia. He has worked for 35 years in senior marketing and business development roles with large global firms. Bill is also the founder and CEO of Fathers & Families, Inc. and the author of Fatherhood: In Pieces. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.


Discerning Bio-advances with a Catholic Lens

At no time in history has the line separating good and evil been so blurred. It is especially so in the fields of science and medicine where the lines are vanishing while the right to conscience is being legislated away.

When evil poses as ‘care’

Discovery, relieving suffering, finding cures…these were once understood as absolute goods. However, when ending suffering means ending lives on both ends, and curing diseases happens through experimentation on embryos and designer genes, and when discovery means playing God, then evil masquerades as good.

“The Catholic Church has a vitally important role in helping people distinguish between morally appropriate and inappropriate uses of biotechnology and medicine,” Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, explained in an interview with Legatus. He noted that many people are grateful for the way the Church articulates well-defined positions on moral questions.

Church guidance at forefront

Although the Church may reflect for some time to identify important considerations and guiding principles in the biosciences, Fr. Pacholczyk said that even with this slow and deliberative process, the Church stays well ahead of the curve. “For example, by the time of the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996,” he said, “the Catholic Church had already been reflecting on the question of human cloning for many years, and concluded, nine years prior to Dolly, that human cloning would be morally unacceptable in an important document called Donum Vitae (On the Gift of Life).”

When the first test tube baby was born in 1978, the serious moral concerns raised by the procedure had already been spelled out 22 years earlier, by Pope Pius XII, in his 1956 Allocution to the Second World Congress on Fertility and Human Sterility. The Pope concluded: “As regards experiments of human artificial fecundation ‘in vitro,’ let it be sufficient to observe that they must be rejected as immoral and absolutely unlawful.” The Church’s stance was explained in greater detail later in Donum Vitae, as well as in various other statements and addresses, according to Fr. Pacholczyk.

“The Church is one of the last remaining voices in our culture to remind us of the most basic truths about sexuality, how new human life must be procreated in the warmth of the marital embrace and in the protective hearth of the maternal womb, not in the icy, impersonal world of the research laboratory, or the manipulative setting of a Petri dish,” he said.

Science often unheeded

Charles LiMandri, a Legate with the San Diego Chapter, is the President and Chief Counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, (FCDF) a nonprofit law firm that defends constitutional liberties, conscience rights and the sanctity of human life. He and his wife Barbara are also the parents of five children. According to him, the culture has gotten extremely aggressive, pushing a liberal agenda in which science is often ignored in the case of gender issues, or used in immoral ways such as with experimentation on embryos.

“A lack of respect for the sanctity of life and separating the procreative from unitive aspect of sexuality has fueled many unethical practices,” LiMandri said. “Once it is just about pleasure rather than cooperating with God’s natural law, it really is a slippery slope.”

Courts bully Catholics

According to LiMandri, the far left uses the courts as the least representative form of government to take away the right of Catholics to follow Catholic teaching. “Many of these appointed judges can use the force of law to make Catholics, Christians and other individuals follow their liberal agenda, with the threat of serious repercussions,” he said. “The opposition will stop at nothing to force the Christian community to accept their agenda carte blanche.”

LiMandri writes about many of these issues at Alumni for Catholic USD, a page he started to promote the truth after his Catholic alma mater, the University of San Diego held a drag queen contest.

Inspired into bioethics, genetics by JPII

Marilyn E. Coors, Ph.D., a Legate in the Denver Chapter, is an associate professor of ethics in genetics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. When she and her husband Peter sent the youngest of their 6 children to school, Coors returned to school also, receiving a masters in cytogenetics and another in ethics and religion, a Ph.D. in bioethics and a post-doctoral fellowship in bioethics and human medical genetics.

“It was a quote from JPII, that we should infiltrate the bastions of science with the word of God, that became my inspiration while I was going to school,” Coors said. According to her, the field of bioethics is changing quickly and posing many challenges.

“Genetic science and technology have advanced tremendously from the first decoding of the human genome in 2001 to 17 years later being able to edit it in specific ways,” Coors said. “The Church, through teachings of JPII and Pope Benedict, endorses the use of genetics to treat and cure disease, but editing genes has significant concerns for both science and religion.”

Mushrooming bio-quandaries

Everything from bioterrorism that could impact the environment, to gene editing in order to hardwire babies for desirable traits, has serious moral implications, according to Coors. She also pointed out that for humans, editing genes at the embryonic level, which involves fertilizing eggs in test tubes, is illicit.

Experimentation on human gene editing is just beginning. This past July, experiments were done on embryos to edit out the fatal gene for cardiomyopathy, then they were destroyed. Coors pointed out that a potential risk with this kind of technology is that insurance companies will refuse to cover conditions that could have been edited out.

Have a personal advocate

Bobby Schindler, president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, became involved in bioethics and defending personal rights after witnessing firsthand the harm that judges, political figures and bioethicists can have on vulnerable people like his sister Terri who had her lifesustaining nutrition removed by a judge. “I realized that my vocation was advocating for medically vulnerable persons,” he said. “Before that, I assumed that physicians would want to care for disabled people like my sister rather than fatally starve and dehydrate them. It opened my eyes.”

Schindler is in the second year of a masters program in bioethics at the University of Mary to expand on years of practical experience advocating for his sister and more than 2,500 medically vulnerable patients and their families. “Ethics committees and the courts are imposing their values and medical determinations on whether a patient receives medical treatment, rather than the directives of family members,” he said.

Medical decisions are often made based on cost, Schindler said.

“Simply put, the heath provider is making medical decisions with their best interest in mind—which is cost containment dictated with the accountants more in mind than God— rather than the patient’s best interest,” he said. According to him, the physician’s principle to “do no harm” has come to be re-interpreted as to hasten death for patients.

“Ultimately, there’s no silver-bullet solution to the bioethical challenges we face,” he said. “The best protection for each and every one of us is to have heroic advocates in our lives who will fight for our basic care.”

PATTI MAGUIRE ARMSTRONG, who wrote the newly published book, Legatus @ 30, is an award-winning author and Catholic journalist, TV and radio commentator, and mother of 10.

Catholic Bioethics Resources

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 5th edition
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2009)

Dignitas personae (Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (June 20, 2008)

Address to an International Conference on Organ Donation
Pope John Paul II (August, 2009)

Fides et ratio (Faith and Reason)
Pope John Paul II (September 14, 1998)

Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life)
Pope John Paul II (March 25, 1995)

Veritatis splendor (The Splendor of Truth)
Pope John Paul II (August 6, 1993)

Donum vitae (The Gift of Life)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (February 22, 1987)

Declaration on Euthanasia
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (May 5, 1980)

Redemptor hominis (The Redeemer of Man)
Pope John Paul II (March 4, 1979)

Humanae vitae (Of Human Life)
Pope Paul VI (July 25, 1968)

Address to the First International Congress on the Histopathology of the Nervous System
Pope Pius XII (September 13, 1952)

IronMan runs world-epic for kids’ mental wellness

Seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. Jonathan Terrell believes he is up to the challenge.

Mid-lifer takes on world in a week

“People have done it before, so I know it’s not impossible,” said Terrell, 55, a charter member of Legatus’ Washington, D.C. Chapter.

This coming January, Terrell will be competing in the World Marathon Challenge. In one week, participants run seven marathons on all seven continents, beginning at Novo Base in Antarctica, located in the Antarctic Circle.

Assuming there are no injuries or setbacks during training or the actual competition, Terrell will then run a combined 157.2 miles over six days in South Africa, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Colombia and Miami. Terrell’s week will consist of running and catching chartered flights.

“When he told me, I was like, ‘Are you crazy? That doesn’t even make sense,’” said Christine Terrell, Jonathan’s wife.

Parallels of endurance, spiritual strength

From late September to early December, Jonathan will run a marathon every week to prepare himself.

“I’ve put this out there, so it would be too embarrassing not to finish,” he said. “Even if I have to crawl the last one, I’ll finish it.”

Terrell is running in the World Marathon Challenge to raise awareness and funds for children’s mental health services at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., a cause dear to his heart. Terrell said he figured he could generate more media attention than running a simple 5K or regular marathon.

“There is still a tremendous prejudice and discomfort in society about talking about mental health issues,” Terrell said. “As a result, even though 1 in 5 children will have some kind of mental illness, they don’t get treated until many years after the symptoms start manifesting themselves.”

As a devout Catholic, Terrell also sees strong parallels between endurance running and the spiritual life. He quotes St. Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians how athletes train and deny themselves. Terrell also notes how the Apostle encouraged the faithful to run in such a way as to win the prize of eternal life.

“This kind of endurance activity is very much a metaphor for the spiritual life,” Terrell said.

“As we know it, in the spiritual life we constantly fall down, we set ourselves up to fail, but we get back up and we go to confession, we go to Mass, and we keep at it.”

Those spiritual insights have come as Terrell, who grew up in England in the Anglican Church, has matured in the faith he embraced when he entered the Catholic Church 20 years ago. The depth of his spirituality has developed through lessons he learned from attaining the disciplines needed to finish long-distance races.

“Just as the spiritual life is a process and a daily practice, not a one-time event, so it is with endurance sports,” he said. “It’s daily training, preparing for the races. There is a lot of discipline and delayed gratification, but also tremendous rewards that come from all that.”

The first time he ran a marathon, Terrell recounted the deep satisfaction he felt when he neared the finish line to applause, uplifting music, a cheering crowd and the announcer calling out his name.

“I had this flash like, ‘Is this what’s it’s like when you get to Heaven?’ From there, I was hooked.”

Day of awakening reprioritized everything

Terrell began running almost seven years ago. He remembered waking up one morning in January 2011 and finding himself to be in the worst shape of his life. As happens with many adults, the daily demands of being a married father with two young sons and running a consulting firm over time led Terrell to stop taking care of himself.

And he noticed that not tending to his physical health affected other areas of his life, even his spirituality and his mental state.

“I was the fattest I’ve ever been. I felt disgusting, and I felt miserable,” said Terrell, who around that time had read in his diocesan newspaper about an upcoming marathon for vocations and to support seminarians.

He decided to run in a half-marathon and trained for five months. He didn’t tell anyone until right before the race. He then signed up for his first marathon as a member of the diocesan vocations team and trained for another five months.

“I enjoyed being part of that team,” Terrell said. “I enjoyed going to Mass with them and running the race in that way.” The next day, he signed up for the London Marathon as a member of a Catholic Charities team.

“So very early on, this is connected to my faith,” he said. “I started using marathon running as a spiritual exercise.”

At his fifth or sixth marathon, Terrell dedicated the whole race to his pastor, who was ill at the time. Throughout all 26.2 miles, he said the rosary and prayed to a particular saint at every mile marker.

“I offered the whole thing up, that I might through my suffering, for at least a few hours, take away my pastors’ suffering,” Terrell said.

“Jonathan’s faith is very important to him,” his wife, Christine, said. “He lives his life and runs his firm based on his faith and the beliefs that come from our Catholic faith. He derives a lot of strength from his spirituality.”

Taking Catholic leap for life

Terrell decided to become Catholic when he was still a practicing Episcopalian in New York City. Also a talented musician, he sang in the choir at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and described being moved by the homilies given by Cardinal John O’Connor, the late archbishop of New York who was staunchly pro-life.

Since he was a child, and even during his teen and young adult years when he considered himself an atheist, Terrell believed deeply in the pro-life movement. He could never understand the arguments against the unborn child’s humanity. And when he learned that his Episcopal Church had a pro-choice position on the issue, Terrell said he could no longer in good conscience continue on in that church.

His dedication to the pro-life movement is an asset to Live Action, a pro-life organization where Terrell serves on the governing board. Lila Rose, the founder and president of Live Action, said Terrell inspires her.

“I think Jonathan brings an intense focus on the things that matter most,” Rose said. “He often asks me, ‘Lila, what’s the next big thing? What’s the number-one thing we need to accomplish?’ That very intense focus is something he brings to Live Action, to his business and to his incredible workout routine.

“I like to say I’ve learned a lot of business tips from Jonathan. I can’t say I’ve picked up his workout routine,” Rose said. “I’m embarrassed when I can tell him I ran a couple of miles and he just ran 20 that morning.”

IronMan for God

To date, Terrell has run in 19 marathons, multiple triathlons and two full IronMan competitions, where participants run a full marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and a 112-mile bicycle ride.

“It’s something to run a marathon, but imagine running a marathon after doing all that?” said Christine, who added that she and the couple’s sons, ages 12 and 14, have planned family vacations around marathons and have accompanied Jonathan to races in Paris, Rome and England.

Terrell, who trains between 20 to 25 hours a week, said he tries to involve his family as much as possible, adding that the support system is vitally important. Running may seem like a solitary sport, but he said it takes a team to be successful. “I feel physically healthy which makes me feel more spiritual healthy, and as I’ve become more spiritually healthy, I feel even more physically healthy,” Terrell said. “It’s all kind of a virtuous cycle.”

BRIAN FRAGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Conversion spawned Spiritual and Professional Rebirth

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

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

Don’t check faith at the door…

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

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

Belief in greater power – God’s

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

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

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

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

Pondering Christ crucified

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

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

Arising from ashes, professionally

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

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

JUDY ROBERTS is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Crafting Artificial Intelligence on Natural Reason

In the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence, Jane Neumayr Nemcova is playing her part to ensure that ethics will influence the emerging technology.

“I find it ironic that many of the people who are starting to form some kind of industry best practices and ethical standards don’t have any background in philosophy or ethics,” said Nemcova, 40, a vice president and general manager of global services for machine intelligence at Lionbridge, a global language services provider.

Today’s global demands necessitate principled skill

Nemcova travels abroad extensively offering her expertise in the language localization industry, specializing in linguistic support for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Her field is extremely technical and requires the practical skills she developed in completing three master’s degree programs in business and simultaneous translation.

But it was her classic liberal arts and philosophy education at Thomas Aquinas College — a Catholic liberal arts college in Santa Paula, California — that gave her the intellectual foundation to make sense of how future technology will impact human societies.

“The more technical our world becomes, the more critical it is for people to, on a practical level, understand how to reason,” Nemcova said. “Some of the smartest people in artificial intelligence have started to figure that out.”

Ethics-ethos rooted in family, sports and schooling

Before she was a talented and respected business executive, Nemcova grew up as the sixth of seven children in a devout Catholic family. Her father, John W. Neumayr, was one of the founders of Thomas Aquinas College and served as the school’s first dean.

“I grew up in that environment and I certainly developed my life around that,” said Nemcova, who played sports in school and had several siblings attend other colleges on athletic scholarships. By the time she was 16, Nemcova started to imagine life beyond high school.

“I was thinking about how to look at education and what I really wanted to get out of life, in the context of my faith and understanding why things were the way they were, deepening that and having a sort of well-formed education for the purpose of continuing on my path,” Nemcova said.

After enrolling at Thomas Aquinas College, Nemcova met classmates who were dedicated and passionate about not only their faith, but also in seeking truth.

“Whether people would put it that way or not, they were trying to find the answer to why things were the way they were, digging deeper into the reasons for things and learning how to think,” said Nemcova, who described her undergraduate studies at Thomas Aquinas College as the most formative years of her adult life.

“Not only do you meet many of your longtime friends, people who share similar values to you even if they have other interests, but you also are very much connected in having a similar outlook on the importance of your education and your faith,” Nemcova said.

Faith-and-reason blessings on career and clan

After graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1998, Nemcova went on to study for her master’s degrees in France and at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California. She later began working for Moravia, a translation and localization firm based in the Czech Republic where she rose to become an executive vice president and chief sales officer.

She met her husband, Andrej, in the Czech Republic, where they married and lived for a time after their wedding. They now have three children and live in her hometown of Thousand Oaks, California.

Nemcova laughed when asked about work-life balance.

“Does that really exist?” said Nemcova, who travels frequently for her job and says she has really never taken time off from work.

“I’ve just found a way to make it work, and I have a good support system at home,” she said.

Nemcova said her Catholic faith informs how she works with a team that comprises many individuals who live in several countries and come from very different cultures.

“I’ve learned to employ empathy and I try to be a good representative of my own ethics and standards that I grew up with,” she said. “I think when you’re working with a truly diverse workforce in business, you really have to learn how to work well with people.”

Catholic education colors business outlook

Nemcova has also learned that the liberal arts education she received at Thomas Aquinas College has turned out to be an invaluable asset for a business career.

“It’s not only a nice thing to have, but it’s very important for the future,” Nemcova said. “Especially because artificial intelligence is going to put a lot of pressure on people to learn how to learn. I think Thomas Aquinas provided an outstanding education for that. When people start to realize what happens with artificial intelligence in the job market, and how that’s going to affect how people educate themselves, I think that is going to be a huge thing.”

BRIAN FRAGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

A Father for Good

The impact of a strong dad or model business patriarch is often under-recognized today.  But a ‘Father for good’ has an undeniable legacy.

Gerard E. Mitchell is one of the nation’s best lawyers who earned a reputation as one of the most effective medical malpractive attorney’s in Washington, D.C.

Just don’t expect him to tell you that.

“Those things don’t mean too much objectively,” Mitchell, 72, says of the many awards and accolades he has earned throughout his long and distinguished legal carreer. Washingtonian Magazine has listed him amont the District of Columbia’s Best Lawyers and he is consistenly listed in the Best Lawyers of America’s Review.

“It’s nice to be mentioned in the book, but I don’t take that stuff too seriously,” said Mitchell, a charter member of Legatus’ Washington, D.C. Chapter.

That sort of modestly does not surprise people who know him, including Robert B. Desimone, Executive Director of the Youth Leadership Foundation, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that helps inner-city youth and for which Mitchell serves as the Board of Directors’ President.

Desimone recalled an important meeting with a potential grant funder who asked Mitchell what he did for work. Desimone said Mitchell simply replied, “I’m a lawyer.”

Ahem…But There’s More…

“I had to chime in,” DeSimone said. “I said, ‘He’s not just a lawyer. He’s won all these accolades and is one of the country’s best attorneys.’

“He’s not in it for the accolades,” DeSimone added. “He’s really in it for the people he’s trying to serve. That’s how he lives out his profession. He does it with a spirit of service. I think that’s where the humility comes from.”

Mitchell, a Washington, D.C. native, stays grounded with his deep Catholic faith that he says has played an important role in his life since he attended Catholic schools in his youth. Mitchell, a graduate of Georgetown University, met his wife, Germana, through pro-life work.

“We’ve always been serious right-to-lifers,” Mitchell said.

Son of a Catholic convert who Prioritized Prayer, Spirituality

His late father, Howard Mitchell, a former longtime music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was a convert to Catholicism who said the rosary every day.

Along with his father’s example, Mitchell draws inspiration from St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. Mitchell, a 40-year member of Opus Dei, credits the saint’s writings and insights with imparting important life lessons such as the necessity of prayer and the need to prioritize spiritual exercises in one’s daily plan of life.

Mitchell’s discipline in the spiritual life is borne out in that he sees his primary vocation as being a faithful husband to Germana, his wife of 35 years, and as a father to his nine children, one of whom was recently ordained a Catholic priest, son John Paul.

“Your primary vocation is to the Lord,” Mitchell said. “The best thing you can do for your wife is to be faithful to the Lord, and the best thing you can do for your kids is to be faithful to your wife.”

DeSimone said many people look to Mitchell for advice about family life.

“They see his family, his wife, their nine kids, and they see a lot of happiness and virtue, and that’s attractive,” DeSimone said. “They ask him how they can get their own families to be virtuous and happy.”

Secret to Life-Balance-Keeping God First

Asked how he balances family life with professional responsibilities, Mitchell shared an insight from St. Josemaria Escriva: make time for the the important priorities first, and be unbending in keeping those commitments.

“It’s about using your time intelligently and not wasting it,” said Mitchell, who recalls as a younger man seeing the late Edward Bennett Williams at Mass every morning. Williams was a prominent Washington, D.C. trial lawyer who had ownership stakes in the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Orioles.

“Who am I to say I’m too busy if Edward Bennett Williams has time to go to Mass every day,” said Mitchell, who emphasized that kind of time management does not require any genius on his or anyone’s part.

“It just requires will power and a certain amount of trust,” Mitchell said. “If you do what you’re supposed to do, the Lord will take care of everything else.”

In addition to his duties as a longtime partner at Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner LLP, Mitchell volunteers his time on several boards of directors for local nonprofits, including the Youth Leadership Foundation, which seeks to help inner-city youth develop positive habits related to character and hone leadership skills.

Faith Isn’t Without Works

“It helps them to acquire the sense of the importance of doing things right, of doing things in line with good character and good virtue,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also serves on the board at the Catholic Information Center, an initiative that offers spiritual, intellectual and professional programs to help lead an integrated life. Mitchell is also on the board of directors for the Religious Freedom Institute, an organization that highlights the importance of religious liberty as a fundamental human right. Mitchell said those organizations all do a lot of good and important work.

“It’s a chance to make a contribution you couldn’t make single-handedly,” he said. “There is strength in numbers.”

Thomas Farr, a Georgetown professor who serves as president of the Religious Freedom Institute, said Mitchell is “indispensable” to the nonprofit’s board of directors.

“Not only because of his legal expertise as an attorney, but even more importantly, his savvy as a down-to-earth, getit-done kind of guy,” said Farr, who met Mitchell several years ago through various events at Georgetown. Farr said he was pleased when Mitchell accepted his invitation to serve on the RFI’s board.

Knowing His Place

“He’s extremely humble and he’s a wonderful Catholic man who believes deeply in the teachings of the Church,” Farr said. “I think his humility carries over into his legal work. However, I think it’s a big mistake to mistake his humility for an absence of precision and effectiveness as a courtroom attorney. I think he’s terrific in that capacity.”

Mitchell said he never thought of becoming anything other than an attorney. He recalls his mother telling him when he was around 5 years old that he would be a lawyer one day.

“I think it’s because I always had some kind of answer,” Mitchell said with a wry sense of humor. Despite his numerous awards, he describes himself as more of a journeyman whose results are more the the product “of perspiration than brilliance.”

“I’m not a guy that can read executive memos. Nobody’s going to confuse me with a whiz kid,” Mitchell said.

Those who know Mitchell would disagree with that self-assessment, but would agree that he has an unparalleled work ethic, which goes in line with the spirituality rooted in the everyday workplace and home that Opus Dei espouses. Mitchell said several of St. Josemaria Escriva’s writings anticipate what Legatus members do in terms of harmonizing and integrating their faith into business life.

“St. Josemaria understands the modern secular world and how it’s possible to function in that in a really normal way and still live your life to the fullest,” said Mitchell, who added that Legatus has also provided an invaluable forum for he and Germana to make friendships and deepen their faith.

“Legatus is helpful to me,” he said. “It’s a fun date night for us and we’ve made some friendships through Legatus that have been wonderful to have. I’m sure there’s more to come.”

BRIAN FRAGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.