Tag Archives: legatus

Non-solicitation policy and speakers

Last month I was visiting a chapter on the East coast and as sometimes happens, I was unfamiliar with her and her organization. She was a “local” speaker, so I was a little hesitant. Now, in full disclosure, some of the best talks I have heard visiting chapters have been from the local area. This is a great way to watch the budget, but even more, the speaker also knows the people/culture and can often resonate well with the members.

Stephen Henley

Now this speaker spoke on chastity and marriage and her own conversion story, which was hugely impactful. So much so that the chapter gave her a standing ovation. But then the dreaded happened: she finished her talk with the “ask.” This speaker gave such a great talk, and then crossed the line because she proceeded to solicit for funds for her organization.

Of course, I am a little more sensitive to the “ask” as I am a protector of our “nonsolicitation” policy, but this policy is sacred in Legatus. I often refer to our meetings as a “safe space” for this reason. I have heard from many of you about how much you value and appreciate the genius of this rule in all Legatus chapters. To this speaker’s, credit, she probably didn’t know any better, which is why it is up to us to make this policy clear.

As you embark on planning 2020’s speaker selections for your chapter, it is important, regardless of how many chapters a speaker has spoken at, that we revisit this “no fundraising, no soliciting” policy (the written policy can be found on the secure portion of our website under “resources” or by contacting your regional director). I further encourage either the president, CA or program chair to make it a policy of calling the speaker a week or two before the event to discuss the chapter, its demographics, review the chapter’s themes for that month or year, and lastly, to highlight these crucial policies.

To conclude, I am also pleased to announce the hiring our new regional director of the West region, Angela Chargualaf. Angela joined the team on March 14 to begin the transition from former regional director, Ty Soto. Angela is married to Jeff and the mother of a 20-year-old son and 17-year-old twins in Lake Forest, CA (Orange County). Although new to this position, Angela has been working as a chapter administrator for two chapters, Orange Coast and San Diego. Angela was named the Chapter Administrator of the Year in 2018 for the West Region. Elevating Angela to the role of regional director is a testimony to the chapters she serves, but further to the importance and role of chapter administrator in each chapter. Both chapters experienced 92 percent retention and an average of 13 percent net growth in 2018.

May you and your family be blessed as you celebrate the true meaning of Easter, from the reflection of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday and the promise of eternal life.

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

Securing the future

Happy New Year! We have just had our 2019 Annual Summit, which is the highlight of all our national events and a joyful gathering of more than 450 Legatus members from across the continent. At the Summit, we announced exciting news that in 2020, we will be going back to having two Summits a year. As a result of our growth, we want to make the Summit available to more of our members. Each Summit will not be identical, so we would love to have as many members as possible at both events.

Stephen Henley

I want to take the time to also touch on our endowment fund. In your renewal invoices, we give the option for members to donate to the fund. The fund is meant to ensure the growth and longevity of Legatus. Each year, we have members give between $15K-$30K. Your previous generosity in giving above and beyond your dues is nothing short of inspiring, especially as we continue to aim even higher in our goals. Each of you is part of a chapter that, at one point, was in development. We recently ran the numbers on what it takes to develop a chapter and it is a NET cost of $50K. This is by far the largest expense in our budget. However, how can we say “no” to growth when we can see the impact on all our lives and the amount of souls it has brought back to Christ? Throughout our 32 years, Legatus has had a great benefactor in its founder, Tom Monaghan, who has given over $13 million to Legatus and continues to pay his own way in all ways (dues, Summits, pilgrimages). But we are self-sufficient now and should not continue to count on his generosity.

Our goal in 2019 is to develop at least 12 new chapters, which equates to a net cost of $600K. Our national budget is not built with a surplus of $600K, so where do we get it? Either a chapter founder funds the development (we have had many of these before, such as Tim Busch or Joe Canizaro), we utilize funds from the endowment, or we raise dues $200/ member. I believe our two best options are to find chapter founders and to increase our endowment.

A possible fourth option is for those chapters that have excess funds year to year, to sponsor and/ or adopt a developing chapter. This is a way for a chapter to be involved in the future growth directly and put their excess funds to the best investment out there.

Between pages 38 and 39 of this issue, you will find an envelope where you can make a fully tax-deductible donation to the Legatus endowment fund. Please consider making a gift, and also consider naming Legatus in your will. You know the impact and potential Legatus has in our world. Let’s work together to secure that for many years to come!

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

Newest Florida chapter galvanizes faith-energy for founding members

A burgeoning Florida chapter that got derailed during the financial crisis of 2008 just celebrated its first holiday season as a new “ambassador village” of Legatus.

The Jupiter/Palm Beach Chapter chartered officially on the evening of December 11, with 22 founding members, beginning with praying the rosary, Confession, and Mass celebrated by chapter chaplain Fr. Scott Adams at St. Ann Catholic Church in West Palm Beach. The long-anticipated chartering ceremony immediately followed, as Legatus founder and chairman Tom Monaghan personally welcomed each new member.

A celebratory reception and dinner commenced at the world-renowned Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach. During the lively cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour, members and guests delighted in music by a guest pianist in the Club’s elegant White and Gold Ballroom.

After dinner, the chapter’s founding president, Frank Maurno, conducted a congenial ‘fireside chat’ interview with Mr. Monaghan. The inspiring question-and-answer session delved into the Legatus founder’s life-snapshots – such as how Mr. Monaghan’s Catholic faith intensified; his personal interactions with Pope St. John Paul II; his time running Domino’s Pizza then, the Detroit Tigers; and finally his reasons for starting Legatus.

Originally named the Boca Raton/Palm Beach Chapter when it began developing in 2008, the Chapter suffered a membership drop at the onset of the Great Recession – in tandem with Florida’s economic downturn during that time. Maurno and his wife got involved in 2013 and worked with core members to rebuild and re-enliven the chapter. Word spread excitedly once again.

“New members began to come from the north end of our county, so we eventually changed the name and location of start-up meetings.” Many Catholic business leaders want – and seek out – situations where they can interact with like-minded peers. “And so, one of the first things you notice at our meetings is the joy that’s so evident – the room gets very loud, filled with lively chat and laughter,” Maurno says. He admits that he sought out Legatus for the same reason – “I wanted a place where I could share ideas about family and work, but in the context of our faith.” He and his wife Michelle enthusiastically joined Legatus after attending an open house at their parish.

Though Maurno just stepped down in December as chapter president after 18 months in the role, he’ll still be strongly focused on the Chapter and its new-member development.

Southeast Regional Director Ed Trifone also applauds chapter development officer, Karen Saum, with bringing the chartering threshold to recent reality. “She did a terrific job in late 2018 in meeting with several interested couples who ultimately decided to join. Her energy, enthusiasm, and devotion to Legatus ultimately led to the increase in membership, and certainly inspired the Chapter to continue the momentum she started.” Trifone says they’ll boost her efforts by meeting with others who’ve expressed keen interest.

And most members’ engagement with Legatus has a common denominator.

“Legatus gives me strength,” Maurno says. “It is so uplifting to be in a room with folks much like myself who are fighting the same battles, and wrestling with similar issues.”

CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s editor.

From City By the Lights – to City By the Bay

Two major coastal cities are home to the newest Legatus chapters, as a fresh wave of faith enthusiasm swells far and wide.

Legatus’ third chapter in New Jersey — the seventh in the New York City metro — the Newark Chapter chartered officially on the brisk evening of Wednesday, October 24 with 21 founding members. With enthusiasm high for Legatus throughout the central Northeast region, Newark is the region’s fifth new Legatus chapter to form in the last three years (since December 2015). All five of the latest Northeast chapters each attained their chartering threshold in under 10 months.

Beginning with rosary and Confession at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood, NJ, followed by the opening Mass celebrated by founding chaplain Fr. Bob Stagg, new members were each officially congratulated and photographed with Legatus founder and chairman, Thomas S. Monaghan, during the twilight induction ceremony.

A hearty celebratory reception and dinner followed at nearby Roots Steakhouse, featuring autumn hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, gourmet entrees of chicken, fish and filet, finalized with sumptuous carrot cake. Then Mr. Monaghan began his cozy Fireside Chat with the group, welcoming new Legates’ questions and comments and engaging each personally. This is at the heart of Legatus – camaraderie and comfort at the intersection of business and faith.

The Newark Chapter actually began taking shape in late 2016. Longtime Legatus members Brian and Janine Deane told Northeast Regional Director John Knowles of their desire for a chapter closer to home in far northeastern New Jersey, within their own archdiocese. Previously they’d been driving over an hour each way to attend Legatus meetings. So when Joseph Cardinal Tobin became bishop of Newark in early 2017, Knowles began a dialogue with him and ultimately received His Eminence’s blessing to launch a new chapter there.

After a strategy meeting with the Cardinal in summer 2017, it was agreed that Fr. Bob Stagg, Pastor of Presentation Church in Upper Saddle River – one of New Jersey’s largest and most active parishes – would serve as the Chapter’s founding chaplain.

The fast-developing Chapter held continued meetings in 2017 and ‘18, attracting new members at a rapid pace.

“Northeast Chapter development officer Matthew Keeny worked this year with Newark founding members Mario and Sue Costabile in rallying even more founding members,” said Knowles. “Fr. Stagg and Deacon Andy Zucaro, another founding member, celebrated memorable Masses for the new developing chapter, and always maintained a high spiritual focus at our formation meetings.”

Newark’s founding president, Lewis “Sweet Lew” Mulvaney, said he was drawn to Legatus because he found its members to be spiritual and sincere. “That’s important for a Catholic longtime businessperson.” Mulvaney says he aims to spread the ‘hope of the Catholic message’ not only to his chapter, but to whomever he encounters having questions about the faith.

The following evening on October 25, the new 21-member San Francisco Chapter met in the crisp, sunny late-afternoon for rosary, Confession, and opening Mass at St. Dunstan Parish in Millbrae. The special-occasion Mass was concelebrated by His Excellency Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco; Auxiliary Bishop Robert Christian; and Fr. Anthony Giampietro – who had worked as chaplain with the Chapter during its formation years. The Archdiocese’s new Benedict XVI choir enhanced the Mass with soaring, traditional hymns throughout, with classical organ accompaniment. The Benedict XVI choir has been part of the Archbishop’s initiative to reintroduce sacred music back into the Mass.

Immediately following was a black-tie gathering at the exclusive Green Hills Country Club in Millbrae, CA, approximately 20 miles south of the city. White-gloved servers delighted Legates at the opening reception/cocktail hour with special hot and cold passed hors d’oeuvres. Mr. Monaghan personally signed copies of his recent biography, Monaghan: A Life, as he greeted new members in the adjacent Fireside Room. The grand dinner event, flanked with chairs in white ‘dresses’ with black bows, featured cedar-plank smoked salmon and filet mignon, with a dessert finale of sacher torte. And the evening capped off with the much-anticipated, personalized Fireside Chat between Mr. Monaghan and his newest family of Legatus members.

West Regional Director Ty Soto, says, “The new San Francisco Chapter is really a much-needed ‘shining light’ right now, in the midst of a very anti-faith, anti-Catholic culture.” It is the West Region’s 16th Legatus chapter.

San Francisco Chapter president Dan Vogl was among the earliest founding members of the Chapter beginning in 2015. He saw it as critical that successful Catholics also openly embrace their faith.

“Most business leaders and executives I meet keep their faith hidden,” Vogl says. “Many older businesspeople seem to be tired, and not willing to commit to what they perceive as another financial and time commitment. But even some younger businesspeople that I have encountered fear the perceived consequence of mixing business with religion.”

But Vogl added, “The great news is that those who have joined the new chapter have all expressed that it has been a blessing and answer to their prayers.” Each new member was also presented with a special rosary, made of Italian silver-oxidized blood-red crystal beads, featuring a red enameled Cross and St. Michael centerpiece.

CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s editor.

A year in review

As we head into the season of resolutions, I think it is a good time to recap 2018 for Legatus and share some of our accomplishments, shortcomings, and our goals for the year ahead. As I begin my third year as executive director/president of Legatus, it has truly been an honor to serve you, our members, and to help ensure the continued growth and success of Legatus, and ultimately, achieving our goal of steering as many souls toward heaven as possible.

Stephen Henley

Since I began in this role, our chairman and CEO, Tom Monaghan, has reiterated the operational goals: better chapters and more of them, in that order. Regarding the order of better chapters: through the life of Legatus, we have chartered over 100 chapters, but for various reasons, too many chapters have closed prematurely. Upon examination, we determined that this is where it is on us as an organization to ensure our chapters are providing the experience for members that keeps their chapters alive and fruitful.

One part of this effort was the increased role of our chapter administrators. We have all grown to value them, but we simply were not giving our chapter administrators the precise tools to do their job most effectively and support growth in their positions. I now believe, with the proper support through the chapter boards, along with their national liaison and the online training modules, we will continue to see better results.

The role of the chapter administrator is the reason why our renewals were ahead of any year previously and the reason we finished at 88.5 percent renewal.

The second component to our operational goals is more chapters. This year to-date, we have chartered chapters in Louisville, Tulsa, San Francisco, and Newark, and are on the cusp of chartering five more before year-end: Kansas City, Bismarck, North Georgia, Greenville, and Jupiter/ Palm Beach. I project that by year-end, Legatus will have had a growth of around 3-4 percent.

I am delighted to say that we also have formulated a new model for development. Over the past five years, Legatus has been geared in new-chapter growth mode. Unfortunately, at times, this had been at the sacrifice of current chapters. We had to figure out how to grow new chapters while maintaining the integrity of our current ones. I have enlisted the expertise of Nancy Haskell to oversee all new development. This means that regional directors and zone managers will be focused on current chapter growth and sustainment. Nancy, having chartered over 15 chapters herself, knows what it takes to cross that goal line. Our chapter development teams will be more focused and more effective, while at the same time, being less costly.

We are proud to see what we have accomplished this year and look forward to the challenges ahead. From the Legatus headquarters in Ann Arbor, I pray you all have a blessed Christmas and fruitful New Year!

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

Pro-family message of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Last month, Legatus members and their families traveled to Mexico City for our annual Guadalupe pilgrimage. I have been to Mexico City on this pilgrimage three times now, and each pilgrimage leaves something with me. The Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, which is the home of the tilma of Juan Diego, is a very unique pilgrimage site. It is the most visited Marian pilgrimage locale in the world and as is sometimes pointed out, the only place we can still see the physical evidence of an apparition of our Blessed Mother.

Stephen Henley

One of the most unique aspects of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the ribbon at her waist. In ancient times, this attire for an Aztec woman would signify that she was pregnant. This would mean that this, then, is the only apparition where Mary appears pregnant with Jesus. During the pilgrimage, I spent time reflecting on this aspect of Mary as the mother of God, and on Our Lady of Guadalupe as the patroness of the unborn.

I tie this image of Mary with child to that of the Holy Family. Among other characteristics, being pro-life means being pro-family. When visiting the Shrine, aside from seeing thousands of pilgrims, there are many Mexican families traveling together to make this pilgrimage. Not only parents with their kids, but several generations, great-grandparents, grandparents, extended family. There are fewer images in our world that can speak more to real pro-life belief, than that of a family praying together.

Children, regardless of circumstance, are a real, tangible gift of God’s powerful love. Mother Teresa once said, “we must remember that life begins at home and we must also remember that the future of humanity passes through the family.” The family is the first Church, and an example for the world of God’s presence and love. In the historical moment of tolerance in which we find ourselves, it was a relief and a reassurance to see so many families come together united in Christ.

Our Lady of Guadalupe sends us a powerful message, an example of love and sacrifice for family to nations and cultures that have great need of her. Let us take this time to focus on family as a symbol of God’s love in our world.

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

The battles of our time

This month we reflect on the service of our many members in the Armed Forces. First, thank you for your service! As a veteran myself, I always feel a sense of deference and humility when I receive these thanks for my service, because I did not pay the ultimate price. But I recognize how important it is to show appreciation to our veterans and their families for the many sacrifices, even those “smaller” ones, made for our freedom.

Stephen Henley

When I think of our veterans, I have a special appreciation for the chaplains. The vocation to be a priest and a chaplain is truly a daunting one. During my time in the Marine Corps, I had many chaplains, and all of them were great mentors to me. It is hard to think about chaplains in the Marine Corps without thinking about Fr. Vincent Capodanno, the Grunt Padre. Fr. Vincent was a heroic chaplain from the Archdiocese of NYC, who earned the Medal of Honor while attached to a Marine infantry unit in Vietnam.

Fr. Vincent was part of Operation Swift in the Que Son Valley, when the battalion of Marines to which he was attached encountered a large contingent of the North Vietnamese army. When he heard about Company M taking casualties and that they were about to be overrun, Fr. Vincent went to those Marines and Corpsmen to give them last rites. Unfortunately, with those Marines pinned down by an enemy machine gun, Chaplain Capodanno also perished in the firefight.

Fr. Vincent is now a Servant of God on his way to canonization.

In our own chapters, we have chaplains. They are not necessarily running into physical enemy fire like Fr. Vincent did, but the daily spiritual battle can be as fierce as enemy fire. Our priests are heroic men who constantly engage in battle for us. The chaplain in various ways reminds members not to be like the ship “which has made many voyages, escaped many storms, only to run on a rock in the very harbor, with all its lost overboard.” (St. John Chrysostom: Homily on Evangelical Perfection)

The local chaplain serves each chapter as its spiritual father. Chaplains ensure chapters are reciting the rosary, encourage members to take advantage of Confession, offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ensure speakers are orthodox, and are available to guide members in spiritual direction. Our chaplains are willing to be there when we need them most, by our side in our own everyday battles. The role of the chaplain is so important in the life of our individual members and chapters; we must not overlook their importance.

In closing, join me in seeking the intercession of Fr. Vincent Capodanno’s protection of all our service members, past and present. Let us also use this opportunity to thank our own chaplains for their service and pray that Fr. Vincent will intercede to protect them, who seek to protect us in the battles of everyday life. Fr. Vincent Capodanno: Pray for us!

You can read more about Fr. Vincent Capodanno in his life story written by Fr. Daniel L. Mode, The Grunt Padre.

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

Holiness is rooted in community

“Rejoice and be glad” (MT 5:12). Pope Francis spoke these words from the Gospel of Matthew recently in his Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate. His new and inspiring work highlights the call to holiness in the world and how we must live this vocation with joy.

Stephen Henley

This last month, Legatus celebrated its 31st anniversary. At the same time, the Genesis (Toledo, OH) chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary. During the memorable celebration attended by over 120 members, Bishop of Toledo Daniel E. Thomas spoke to the chapter and offered congratulatory remarks along with a charge to the Toledo members. His charge to them is to take 30 minutes and read the Holy Father’s latest Apostolic Exhortation.

I would like to take this opportunity to pass that charge on to you, because it is truly is a work of the Holy Spirit. The idea of conforming one’s life to holiness is antithetical to what the world tells us. This is part of what makes Pope Francis’ call so incredibly important to us. Please allow me to highlight a few of my own reflections from the bishop’s presentation.

“Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:44; cf. 1 Peter 1:16). Pope Francis calls on us first to be holy, for if we are living a false life, we are incapable of helping others to be holy. As such, we are all called; we all have an individual vocation to holiness. “A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). Each saint is on a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.”

To be holy, and to remain holy, requires us to lean on one another, to form community. Moreover, this is the purpose of Legatus, to bring us into communio. Pope Francis tells us “when we live apart from others, it is very difficult to fight against concupiscence, the snares and temptations of the devil and the selfishness of the world. Bombarded as we are by so many enticements, we can grow too isolated, lose our sense of reality and inner clarity, and easily succumb. Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others.”

As I visit many chapters, I am often impressed by how many people comment to me how their lives have changed because of their involvement in Legatus. Yet, in Legatus, we don’t sell a product. What we “sell” is community.

Lastly, Pope Francis put us on guard against the “snares of the devil.” He reminded us that we are not simply in a battle against the world, but the most cunning deceiver of all. It is providential that Legatus is committed and we have dedicated our organization to St. Michael, and I encourage you all to continue invoking the protection of St. Michael in all the battles you face each day. In this way, then, we can come together to form that strong community so vital to our mission of holiness.

 

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.

The Connection of Church and State: Harrisburg Legatus Chapter Meets at the Capitol

On Tuesday, February 20th, Harrisburg Legates held a chapter meeting unlike any other.  The entire evening took place within the hollowed halls of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in downtown Harrisburg, including Confession, Rosary, and Mass.  Harrisburg, Legatus’ fastest growing chartered chapter from 2017 and most decorated chapter by awards received at the 2018 Legatus Summit in Orlando, celebrated its recent good fortune in a very special way.

The unique evening was made possible by Senator John DiSanto and his wife Maria, founding members of the Harrisburg Legatus Chapter.  In 2016, DiSanto was elected as a Senator in the Commonwealth after a long and accomplished career in construction and real estate development.  A full-access, in-depth guided tour of the Capitol preceded the Legatus meeting.

The influence of Christian themes and imagery is omnipresent at Pennsylvania’s Capitol.  The centerpiece, as with most capitol buildings, is its dome – colored a distinctive green on the exterior with a design inspired by Michelangelo’s plans for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  A massive mural on the interior of the dome calls forth “religion” as a pillar of Pennsylvanian society – within a 272-foot-tall rotunda interior inspired by the foyer of the Paris Opera House.  Wrapped around the rotunda is a timeless quote from William Penn, the Founder of the Commonwealth: “There may be room there for such a holy experiment, for the nations want a precedent. And my God will make it the seed of a nation. That an example may be set up to the nations. That we may do the thing that is truly wise and just.”  The quote reminds all visitors that faith in God and hope the American people would honor him were considered essential by both the founding generations of our nation and the builders of this twentieth-century public building.

Highlights of the tour, aside from rare access to both the House and Senate floors, included a detailed presentation in the Governor’s Reception Room, whose walls are lined with murals expressing Christian messages and celebrating the “spirit of religious liberty”.  Moving to the Supreme Court Chamber, a majestic room with a massive image of the Ten Commandments sprawling across the wall behind the justice’s bench.  Artwork in this chamber includes tributes to “Divine Law”, the full text of the Beatitudes teaching laid out underneath an image of Christ, and the crediting of “The Creator” as the originator of the law alongside numerous references to Natural Law and “Divine Law”.  Many Legates commented that the Chamber was richer in Christian references than many churches they had visited.

After Mass, the question was posed how often a Catholic Bishop has celebrated a full daily Mass alongside both Confession and praying of the Rosary before at the Pennsylvania Capitol.  No one knows for sure, but it is infrequent, and it happened this time because of Legatus.  As rare and exceptional as the Legatus visit to the Pennsylvania Capitol was; when one considers the overall theme that the building conveys to all that enter: clearly reveling in the Catholic origins of Western Civilization and the deep Christian faith of the founders of the American Republic, it also seemed perfectly appropriate.  If our nation’s finest state capitol could easily pass for a majestic Christian shrine, and Legatus members feel perfectly at home professing their faith and participating in the sacraments under its dome, perhaps Legates and other Catholics everywhere should feel completely confident anywhere expressing their authentic beliefs in both their business and personal lives, too.

John M. Knowles is Legatus’ Northeast Region Director.

Dedication to St. Michael the Archangel

The presence of evil in our world is indubitable. With difficult events in our own individual lives, the recent tragedy in Parkland, FL and the unrest on the global front, we do not need to look far to find the presence of the evil one, physically or spiritually.

The Book of Revelation provides us an antidote to the despair it is so easy to feel: St. Michael, the powerful intercessor against evil. We see St. Michael “fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven” (Revelation 12:7-9).

It was Pope Leo XIII who composed the prayer of St. Michael, after having a vision of the devil having a conversation with God in front of the Tabernacle. The prayer that Pope Leo created was so powerful that it was later approved for use during exorcism rituals. The prayer we know by heart today is a shorter version of the exorcism prayer. Pope Leo saw the need for this prayer during tempestuous times of the 19th century and though those times are long past, we see the continued need for this same prayer in our own day.

In 2016, one of our board members, at his last meeting culminating six years’ service, made the recommendation to the board that we dedicate Legatus to St. Michael the Archangel. It didn’t take long for the board, our ecclesiastical advisor, Archbishop José Gomez, and our International Chaplain, Bishop Sam Jacobs, to come up with a plan to implement this dedication in our organization.

Legatus was officially dedicated as a whole to St. Michael at our largest gathering of members — at the 2018 Orlando Summit this past January. Since then, we have distributed prayer cards and instructions to all chapters for dedicating each chapter to St. Michael. While we have so much joy and enthusiasm in our meetings, praying the prayer to St. Michael at the close of our time together reminds us that we also need the support of each other and our holy angels and saints to carry out our daily mission and great commission: to get to heaven and bring as many souls with us as possible.

With our goals of becoming an organization to be reckoned with as a support to the Church, the devil will be attacking us even more. It is important that we first work on our own interior lives to be an Alter Christus (another Christ) and be unified to Him, and then work with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Prayer to St. Michael:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director.