Tag Archives: Chicago Chapter

Hope despite a hostile culture

JOHN HUNT writes that despite the Culture of Death, we are called to bring the hope of Christ . . .

John Hunt

John Hunt

by John Hunt

During our annual pilgrimage through Lent, we have an opportunity to refresh our understanding of the Economy of Salvation (i.e., Christ’s atonement for our sins) made manifest in the Lord’s guidance of his Church.

It’s important that we, in our human frailty and spiritual aridity, come to Jesus as pilgrims who seek the strength to be his apostles to the world because being apostolic is what we are all called to be.

Often our response to the call to be Christ in the culture, the marketplace, the parish and the home is: “Really? You want me to be your ambassador, your legate to the world!?” Well, we are called to represent Him for one concise reason: As Legates, we have been blessed with our Catholic faith, and we’re charged with bringing that faith into the marketplace and the culture — and sharing it with others.

With Easter and Pentecost behind us, we must call upon the same Holy Spirit who inspired the apostles to take Jesus’ message to the whole world. Today we are called to be those disciples to mankind. And why not? For as the Holy Spirit lifted up the early Church, we too have every reason to be joyful and optimistic in the face of a culture that threatens our religious liberty and the very life of the Church. This is a time when our faith is under attack on all sides.

The trust Our Lord places in each of us during these challenging times should be cause for joy because he has called us to be his foot soldiers. However, we are not alone. Those marching beside us in the New Evangelization are young and old. Business executives bring wisdom, trust and life experiences. A younger generation brings youthful passion for Christ. Fine examples are found in the university-based Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and the Dallas-based Young Catholic Professionals.

It’s no accident that each of us has been placed here at this time to engage the culture despite the massive forces arrayed against Christ and his Church. With prayer as our weapon and spiritual fortitude as our shield, we must go forth in confidence to proclaim that His will be done! We are all called to the cross. After all, if not us, then who?

JOHN HUNT is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are charter members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.

St. Ignatius would approve of Legatus paradigm

Legatus’ Chicago chaplain, has a love for life, travel, Spanish and Legatus . . .

Fr. Jeremiah Lynch

Fr. Jeremiah Lynch, SJ
Chicago Chapter

Installed as chaplain in late 2011, Fr. Jeremiah Lynch, SJ, succeeded longtime chaplain Fr. Anthony Brankin, whose new pastoral duties were too heavy for him to retain his chaplaincy. The eldest of eight, Fr. Lynch is a native Chicagoan and worldwide traveler whose Jesuit preparation included two years teaching high school in Peru. Fluent in Spanish, he has worked closely with America’s burgeoning Latino community, which he believes will have a powerful and lasting impact upon the U.S. church.

Tell us about your call to the priesthood.

I always knew I had a call. I went to the diocesan minor seminary, but after my first year of major theology at Mundelein Seminary, I decided I wanted to do something else first and to travel — only Africa remains undiscovered in my travels. I taught school in inner-city Chicago, then got my law degree and worked as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney — as a trial lawyer specializing in criminal prosecution — before going into private practice.

Over the course of my time traveling and meeting people, I knew I wanted to become a religious rather than a diocesan priest. I especially admired the Jesuits I met for their intellectual acumen and the wider understanding of the worldwide Church they embrace. I joined the Jesuit novitiate in 1994 at age 44 and was ordained at 53.

How did you become acquainted with Legatus?

Through my friend Fr. Matt Gamber, a fellow Jesuit and friend of Chicago Legates who invited me to meetings. I also traveled with Chicago Legates on their pilgrimage to Rome in fall 2010, celebrated Mass for them daily, and came to know and love them.

They have a commitment to talking with their priests about faith, issues of morality, politics, etc. Their impact on their parishes and corporations is incalculable. How does one measure God’s love?

What do you think about Legatus from a Jesuit point of view?

The potential of these people to infuse the faith into the business community is something St. Ignatius Loyola would understand — this strategic targeting of the faith, working with committed executives to influence other executives, the people they come into contact with, the people who work under them.

How would you like to see the chapter progress?

In addition to discussing some aspect of the faith at every meeting, I think it’d be wonderful for Legates to do service projects of some sort — like pro-life work. I would love to help.

You have a vocation, of course. Any avocations?

I do a lot of reading, especially in the political, cultural and economic contexts. Every day I read The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and, on the end of the spectrum, The New York Times. I also love music. Mozart is proof that there’s a child alive and well in each of us; Beethoven provides a paradigm for someone searching for resolution to a conflict; but Bach, my favorite, is clearly proof that there are angels.

Any lessons you’ve learned as a priest that are especially apt for business leaders?

You can bring people to God under any situation because the presence of God is in all things: all experiences in life and in the people you meet. This is a good antidote to any struggle one has in life. I want to help people see that in our struggles in life, we have a general paradigm for reinterpreting life by knowing God can be discovered in any situation.

Do you have any special devotions you can recommend?

Prayerful reading of Scripture in general and reflections on the daily Mass readings in particular. I’m a big believer in the Magnificat series, which includes daily readings and reflections, and biographies on the saint of the day. Knowing the saints is a rich and rewarding spiritual devotion.