On Tuesday, November 14, the six Legatus chapters of the Chicago area gathered together for an inspiring evening at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Over 160 members attended from the chapters of Chicago, Downtown Chicago, St. Charles, DuPage, Rockford, and from the developing chapter of Northwest Chicago. The evening began by offering a breakout session with special guest Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, the well-known author of 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus. Fr. Gaitley shared his personal experience of the Marian consecration and Divine Mercy and emphasized the transformation these can bring to our lives. Prior to the celebration of the Mass, five priests heard confessions while members led the rosary. Officially kicking off the evening, Fr. Gaitley served as the main celebrant and homilist for the Mass with four concelebrants from the Chicago area, all clad in the signature Legatus vestments.
After the spiritual enrichment of the sacraments and following the cocktail reception, Tim Rivelli, DuPage County president, welcomed the attendees. Father Andrew Wawrzyn, chaplain of the Chicago Chapter, led a blessing of the meal and Stephen Henley, Legatus executive director, offered opening remarks. Once dinner concluded, Tim Rivelli introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Tim Busch, for his presentation titled “Principled Entrepreneurship.” A member of the Orange County Legatus chapter and featured speaker at the 2017 Legatus Summit, Tim Busch founded The Busch Firm, Pacific Hospitality group, the Magis Institute, the Napa Institute, and Trinitas Cellars in Napa, CA. Most recently, the Catholic University renamed their school of business and economics to honor Tim and Steph Busch’s support of business education informed by the principles of Catholic social teaching.
This event was the second of two six-chapter events to be held in the Great Lakes Region of Legatus during 2017, the first of which took place in Michigan in June. Amy Dillon, Great Lakes regional director, shared the importance and power of these events for the members and the region: “These multi-chapter events offer the members an opportunity for greater fellowship within the Legatus community. It’s inspiring to see a room full of not only incredible business leaders and spouses, but leaders and spouses who share the Catholic faith and are committed to the Legatus mission to study, live and spread the faith. Many members have already mentioned how much they are looking forward to next year’s event, and I’m excited to see these events continue and grow in the Great Lakes Region.”
Leave it to Legatus members to change the course of history.
The Catholic University of America’s incredibly popular business program — led by Legatus members — grew into a full-fledged business school in 2013. Now the school is taking another bold step in its offering of authentically Catholic business formation.
In May, CUA received a $15 million gift from the Tim and Steph Busch Family Foundation. The Busches are longtime members of Legatus’ Orange County Chapter. Their gift is the largest single donation in the university’s 129-year history. Five other donors brought the total to $47 million. The funds will help grow CUA’s business school, which has been re-named The Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics.
Tim Busch is the founder and CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group, which operates a group of luxury hotels. He also founded the Napa Institute and The Busch Firm, a law firm in Irvine, Calif.
Tim and Steph Busch
The Busches say they chose CUA because they believe in the school’s mission.
“I’ve been on the board of Catholic University for the past 12 years,” Tim Busch said. “In the beginning I didn’t know much about it. But the more I became aware of the school and its mission, the more I got enthused.”
Catholic University will use the funds to renovate Maloney Hall, which will house the business school. The money will also help develop new academic programs in the school, including an Institute on Human Ecology.
CUA always had a business department, but in the last decade the department saw explosive growth. More than 700 of CUA’s 4,000 undergraduates now major in business.
“In 2010, the department was growing like something out of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” said CUA president John Garvey, a member of Legatus’ chapter in Washington, D.C. “We could not contain the students. It seemed appropriate to build a school for them. Other Catholic universities have business programs, but I don’t know if they integrate faith and finance in the way that we do.”
In a secular Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, students learn to maximize profit. A few schools have elective courses on ethics. But when CUA founded its business school in 2013, the goal was to turn business education on its head by integrating Catholic social teaching in every class, Garvey explained.
“Ignorance of rules is not the primary reason for misdirection in business,” he said. “We need to focus on guiding the students to becoming better people who instinctively make better moral judgments. Aristotle says that virtue is a habit, a practice that becomes second nature. We need to train people thoroughly, and this can’t happen by only taking one course.”
William Bowman, dean of the business school, remembers what happened when Enron — one of the world’s largest energy companies — collapsed in 2001 because of unethical accounting practices.
“After the Enron scandal, a priest friend of mine — Fr. Michael Barrett — said, ‘What about business ethics?’ He had been a stockbroker and had a real understanding of the business world, but he also knew about Church teaching. He led me to read several encyclicals dealing with the free market system,” Bowman explained.
Bowman, a member of Legatus’ DC Chapter, spent several years studying Church teaching on business and economics.
“This is a very new area, looking at business through the Catholic lens,” he said.
One of the biggest contributions to this field comes from Andrew Abela, CUA’s provost and founding dean of the business school. Abela spent three years researching every papal encyclical, Vatican II document, and papal speech on business. In 2009, his findings were published in A Catechism for Business. The book answers 100 tough ethical questions for business leaders.
Philosophy and theology are the foundation of the university’s business school curriculum. Students can expect to read several encyclicals like Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, Pope St. John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. They study the themes of subsidiarity, solidarity, virtue, entrepreneurship and human ecology.
“So it’s not just about accounting and finance,” Busch explained. “We want students to understand why we do what we do.”
A higher standard
Steph Busch, a business partner with her husband, decries the theological drift in many of the country’s Catholic colleges.
“There is so much liberal teaching in universities,” she said. “It’s out on a limb and it doesn’t speak to mainstream society. We hope that CUA’s business school can change the rhetoric. Students need the right formation.”
The Busch School also wants to become a center for sharing “best practices” in the world of Catholic business.
A combination of modern and classical design is envisioned for the Maloney Hall renovation, shown in this architectural rendering
“We bring in Catholic businessmen and women to talk about what their faith has to do with their work,” Garvey said. “Turnout from the students has been overwhelming.”
In the long term, CUA wants its business students to learn what it means to be good stewards who can serve society and the common good. Once the school graduates students with doctorates, these leaders can influence future businessmen and women.
“We realized that a professor in a business school can impact 100,000 students in his or her lifetime,” Tim Busch explained. “The school’s mission is to impact how people think.”
Although there are some elements in the Catholic Church critical of the free market system, the Busches point out that Catholic social teaching reveals that business is a force for good when done right.
“We are all called to co-create with God,” Tim Busch said. “Handouts will always be necessary as a safety net for the poorest of the poor, but at the end of the day, it’s better to teach someone how to fish than just to hand them a fish.”
The Busch family is serious about the idea that business people have a responsibility to give back to society.
“Capitalism is in trouble because of this attitude among some to take all that they can as long as it’s legal,” he said. “We want to develop a higher standard than just profit, even though profit is important.”
Tim and Steph Busch firmly believe that a business can be ethically run, treat its employees and customers with dignity, be profitable and give back to society.
“I give credit to Legatus,” Busch said. “It has really formed us. Through it, we have really deepened our formation in the faith and how it relates to work.”
SABRINA ARENA FERRISI is Legatus magazine’s senior staff writer.
The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business and Economics offers an undergraduate degree in business. Graduate students can earn a master’s degree in one of five business programs: Master of Science in Business Analysis, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Arts in Integral Economic Development Management, and Master of Arts in Integral Economic Policy Development.
The university hopes to offer an MBA and a doctoral program in the future. A post-doctoral fellowship begins this fall on how to teach business as a force for good. —Ferrisi.
Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley took on a diabolical satanic group and won . . .
Christians have always recognized the presence of evil in the world, but nothing mocks our faith more profoundly than the satanic black mass.
So when Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City discovered that his city’s civic center had decided to allow a satanic group to hold a black mass last September, he went into action. For three months, he did everything in his power to get the city to cancel the event. His courageous stand has become an example of what bishops must do when faced with this kind of evil.
“When I first learned about this, honestly, I was astonished,” Archbishop Coakley told Legatus magazine. “I thought it was a theatrical production. I’d never heard of a black mass taking place in a public venue. When I realized it was really happening, I was angry.”
Archbishop Coakley immediately contacted city officials and asked for a meeting to express his concern. Especially distressing was that the satanic group was in possession of a consecrated Host, which was to be desecrated during the black mass. Archbishop Coakley told city officials that this was dangerous and offensive to Catholics. City officials listened but didn’t attempt to stop the event because, in their words, they were “afraid of lawsuits.”
The archbishop then met with Legates Michael Caspino and Tim Busch at the Napa Institute to discuss a legal strategy. Caspino, a Legatus member of the Orange Canyons Chapter and shareholder with Buchalter Nemer law firm, immediately set to work pro bono to get the Host back. With the help of Fr. Joseph Fox, a professor of canon law, Caspino studied the situation and came up with a simple argument.
“We argued that the Catholic Church had ownership and dominion over the Host,” Caspino said. “For instance, a host must be stored in a tabernacle and must be placed in a proper vessel. We set forth the complaint that they had stolen our property and needed to turn it over.
Three thousand gather at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oklahoma City to pray on Sept. 21, 2014, while a black mass took place three miles away
When a priest consecrates a host, it is for the purpose of being received in Holy Communion.”
This argument was presented in a lawsuit before an Oklahoma County District Court judge who agreed, ordering the satanic group to return the Host immediately.
“I got a written statement by the court that they had to hand it over,” Caspino explained. “Their lawyer at first said they could give the Host back to us within a week and that we had to pay them $2,500. I told him, ‘We don’t make deals with the devil. You will hand it to us today and we will not pay you a dime.’”
The defendants finally agreed, and Archbishop Coakley sent a priest and off-duty sheriff to their attorneys’ offices with a vessel for the Eucharist.
“The interesting thing was that the lawyer gave back the Host and then asked if his office could be blessed,” Caspino said. “He was very spooked and regretted taking on this assignment.”
Public hate crime
What shocked many people was that the city government allowed the group to use public space and sell tickets for the event to the public.
Legatus founder Tom Monaghan presents Archbishop Paul Coakley with the 2014 Defender of the Faith Award
“Black masses have gone on since the Middle Ages, but not in public venues,” said Fr. William Novak, vicar general for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. “As far as we know, this was the first time a city government allowed this kind of a thing in a public space.”
Boston had seen a similar attempt to hold a black mass on May 12, 2014, at Harvard University, a private university. The event was cancelled due to significant protest against the event.
“Many Oklahoma City leaders said they weren’t in favor of this event, but felt that they could not say ‘no’ because it would bring on a lawsuit,” Fr. Novak explained. “Our thought was that this was a hate crime. It’s taking something which is sacred to us and that’s not OK.”
Archbishop Coakley even asked city officials if they would use the same reasoning to allow other distasteful events at the civic center, such as an anti-Semitic rally or a Koran-burning. City officials did not respond.
When it was clear that Oklahoma City would not cancel the event, Archbishop Coakley asked all parishes to pray to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of every Mass as well as to hold holy hours. He asked people to pray and fast specifically in reparation and for the black mass to be stopped. Not only did locals respond, but Catholics across the nation and around the world did as well. He received letters and emails in support from all over the globe.
The satanic event ended up taking place on Sept. 21 without a consecrated Host. Christians stood outside in prayer and protest. Over 3,000 people joined Archbishop Coakley at an event three miles away from the civic center at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. He led a prayer service of Eucharistic adoration for one hour, followed by an outdoor Eucharistic procession and final benediction.
“It was a beautiful, prayerful witness,” said Fr. Novak, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi. “My parish only has seating for 550 people. We had to seat people in our gym and on the grounds around the parish, as well as on the street. Even more people joined when we did the Eucharistic procession. It was unbelievable.”
Ultimately, people from the Oklahoma City archdiocese saw the event as a teaching moment for the Church on many levels.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about our faith when everyone was listening,” said Archbishop Coakley. “Even our legal briefs talked about transubstantiation. It galvanized our Catholic community and gave us something to rally around.”
Though the city refused to cancel the event, they ironically had no problems allowing Archbishop Coakley to come into the civic center the next morning and perform an exorcism.
Legatus awarded Archbishop Coakley with its Defender of the Faith award at the annual summit in January.
“He defended the most precious body of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said John Hunt, Legatus’ executive director. “He made it clear that even though to others this was a small piece of bread, what their opponents attempted was an enormously evil act.”
SABRINA ARENA FERRISI is Legatus’ senior staff writer.
Tim Busch’s Napa Institute has a mission to catechize through its various programs . . .
For four days every July, Catholic leaders gather in California’s Napa Valley to learn from theologians, bishops, philosophers and others how to live and defend their faith in a world that is increasingly hostile to religious belief and practice.
The Napa Institute is the brainchild of Orange County Legate Tim Busch, who was inspired by the annual Legatus Summit as well as by the secular Aspen and Vail Leadership institutes.
Busch, CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group and co-founder of Busch & Caspino, began envisioning the Napa Institute, after a 2006 Legatus conference at his Meritage Resort in Napa.
Connect and learn
Busch’s plan was to create a place where Catholic lay and ordained leaders could connect with each other and learn about new and growing movements in the Church. In an atmosphere enhanced by opportunities for prayer, Mass, devotions and Eucharistic adoration, participants would listen to academically trained speakers whose presentations would be published after each conference.
Response to the idea was positive from day one, Busch said, and has grown in intensity, as reflected by the attendance and requests from those who want to speak at the event.
“It’s a great joy to bring all of these people together,” Busch said. “I saw it as an opportunity to develop an experience that I personally would enjoy. I wanted something really engaging that makes faith not only fun but passionate to be involved with.”
The institute’s motto is “Equipping Catholics in the Next America,” a phrase drawn from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput’s article “Catholics and the Next America.” He spoke at the 2012 Napa Institute and will return this year.
In the article, the he warns Catholics about a growing trend toward secularization in American culture, one in which they face a dwindling relevance that threatens their ability to be heard.
“The ‘next America,’” he writes, “has been in its chrysalis for a long time. Whether people will be happy when it fully emerges remains to be seen. But the future is not predestined. We create it with our choices. And the most important choice we can make is both terribly simple and terribly hard: to actually live what the Church teaches, to win the hearts of others by our witness and to renew the soul of our country with the courage of our own Christian faith and integrity. There is no more revolutionary act.”
Busch said the Napa Institute seeks to provide courage and an example to Catholic leaders to help them deal with the challenges of life in an America where faith is no longer encouraged in the public square. The effort is rooted, he said, in what he has learned through his 25 years in Legatus — and from Legatus founder Tom Monaghan, whom he considers a mentor.
“We’re trying to stop the flow of faith from the public square and put it back in the public square and business,” said Busch, who has been instrumental in founding 10 of Legatus’ 79 chapters.
Faith and reason
Legate Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press and a Napa Institute board member, said the conference has shown people that the Catholic faith has something to say regarding the modern world and contemporary scene.
He credits Busch with generating enthusiasm for the project when it started. “People see Tim as a solid Catholic leader who is quite a bridgebuilder.”
Board member Liz Yore said the institute exudes a confidence in Catholicism. “That, for me, is an example of how each of us as Catholics needs to incorporate our faith in a real, substantive way into our work and lives.”
Each year, the Napa Institute focuses on three themes, one of which is always faith and reason. This year, the other two will be economic justice and faith and beauty. Busch said economic justice is a timely topic in light of what Pope Francis has been saying on the subject, although speakers also will address it from the perspective of the Bible and what the Church has taught through the centuries.
The institute —which drew 235 attendees last year — also has a component for young leaders under 40. And this year it will offer a special panel on faith and the feminine genius as articulated by St. John Paul II.
“It’s going to be fun and interesting to see what comes out of it,” said Yore, who will moderate the panel. “My sense of the Napa Institute is that initiatives come out of it, things start happening, and people start working together on projects that they’re exposed to or create as a result of the institute.”
In addition to the summer conference in Napa, the institute holds an annual pilgrimage and other off-site events. This year’s events also include a conference on free markets and Catholic social teaching, and a symposium on Christians in the Middle East.
Kevin Hand, a member of Legatus’ Hollywood Chapter, has attended all three Napa conferences and plans to be at this year’s July 24-27 event. The institute, he said, has helped him grow spiritually by giving him a better understanding of the Church’s teachings. He cited in particular his participation in the institute’s 2013 pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
“It was such a gift from God,” he said, adding that it helped him better understand the perspective of migrating people from all over the world. “It’s fascinating how the Church has assisted in taking care of them.”
Yore said she finds the institute to be a perfect blend of the intellectual, spiritual and social. In addition to having a wide range of choices for Mass and prayer, Yore said she most enjoys the exchanges with speakers and other participants in the smaller breakout sessions. The way the institute is set up, she said, attendees have an opportunity to meet almost everyone who is there.
“That’s unusual because I’ve been involved in lots of conferences where you don’t have that sense of meeting the whole group of people and really discussing in depth the issues presented at the conference,” she explained. “It’s very stimulating on a lot of different levels and I always feel like I’m coming home refreshed, with a new set of friends as well as Catholic compatriots.”
Brumley said he believes the institute is influencing people who might not be reached through other avenues.
“They may be involved in the academic world or the creative cultural world like filmmaking, screenwriting or poetry and have a kind of leadership role in their universe, but they don’t find places to connect and to have this kind of high-level intellectual, spiritual, cultural engagement in the context of the Church.”
Legates help acquire the cathedral and transform it into a Catholic worship space . . .
When Legates in California’s Orange County tell the story of how Dr. Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral became their diocesan cathedral, they use superlatives like “miracle” and “astounding.”
“It’s probably one of the most amazing miracles I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Tim Busch of the Orange County Chapter. Fellow Legate Jim Tecca concurred: “It was one of the most astounding things I’ve ever seen in business.”
The acquisition of the iconic church and its 34-acre complex by the Diocese of Orange started out somewhat inauspiciously as an idea not everyone was ready to embrace.
In fact, when Busch asked, “Why don’t we buy the Crystal Cathedral?” at a meeting of then-Bishop Tod Brown’s executive committee, the bishop and most of those present turned thumbs down.
Bishop Brown in particular was concerned that trying to buy the property, which belonged to Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral Ministries and was in bankruptcy proceedings, could touch off a “holy war.”
“He didn’t want any animosity to exist between two Christian churches,” Busch explained.
However, the idea resonated with Monsignor Lawrence Baird, chaplain of Legatus’ Orange County Chapter, who was at the meeting, leading to discussions about why acquiring the Garden Grove property might make sense for the relatively young diocese of 1.2 million Catholics, still without its own cathedral.
Advisers convinced Bishop Brown that buying and adapting the site would be less expensive than building a new cathedral, and Busch began making inquiries behind the scenes. After Crystal Cathedral Ministries announced that a real estate developer wanted to acquire the property, the diocese made its interest in the site public. That was in July 2011, and by the following February, the $57.5 million purchase had been completed.
Several months later, work began on a series of renovations and restorations that culminated in relocating St. Callistus Church to the Arboretum (the first worship building built on the Crystal Cathedral campus), and moving the diocesan offices and St. Callistus School (since renamed Christ Cathedral Academy) to a four-story building on the property.
Now the focus is on transforming the former Protestant mega-church known as the Crystal Cathedral into a Catholic place of worship called Christ Cathedral. The diocese expects to have the church ready as a fully functioning cathedral in 2016.
“We want the interior to reflect classic Catholic worship,” said Bishop Kevin Vann, who had served as Legatus’ Dallas Chapter chaplain prior to being named bishop of Orange last year.
As he walks the campus in the morning or on his lunch break, Bishop Vann said he sees it as a place of worship and also great energy. “There’s a lot of new life. Everybody’s beginning to feel it, too.”
In particular, he said, “the cathedral points to God and draws others to it.” Furthermore, he added, “it makes a statement that Christ is here, the local Church is here and we’re about the business of preaching the Gospel.”
Serving the Church
Throughout the process of acquiring and developing the site, Legatus members have been key players, giving their time and talent, but also their treasure.
Cindy Bobruk, executive director of the Orange Catholic Foundation, said with their contributions Legates have helped move the project forward and also have supported the $100-million For Christ Forever capital campaign, which will fund the cathedral project along with Catholic education, parish support, priest retirement and diocesan ministries.
Rob Neal is a member of Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter and chairman of the Christ Cathedral architecture and renovation committee. He said it’s not surprising that Legates in the diocese, which is home to four chapters, would have been extensively involved in the project.
“It’s exactly what [Legatus founder] Tom Monaghan sensed would happen — that he would create a corps of faith-filled leaders in the community who would have the leadership skills and the financial substance to be of great assistance to their faith,” he explained.
Neal said Legates’ participation in the project has been such that when he goes to meetings of the Cathedral Guild — a group of leaders who have supported the Christ Cathedral at a certain giving level — “it’s like going to a Legatus meeting.”
Busch, whose law firm represented the diocese in negotiations for the Crystal Cathedral property acquisition, said it is no secret that many Legates are leaders in the Orange diocese.
“Through Legatus and meeting every month, you get to know these people personally,” he said. “You’re in a position where you can call them up and sort of put together a group so it doesn’t seem like you’re the only guy supporting this idea.”
In advancing the plan to buy the Crystal Cathedral property, for example, he was joined by fellow Legates Mike Hagan and Jim Tecca, a retired Wachovia Bank CEO, who is now chairman of the Orange Catholic Foundation board.
Orange County Legates pose at Christ Cathedral
Legates involved in the project, however, know that it took more than their connections and professional expertise to make the acquisition happen. A significant element was the support of Schuller, whom Busch informed of the diocese’s plans as soon as they were made public.
“The very day I sent the letter,” Busch said, “I got a call from Dr. Schuller on voicemail, saying he was extremely interested in the Roman Catholic Church buying the Crystal Cathedral and to please keep him personally informed as to how the conversation was going.”
Meanwhile, several bidders for the property surfaced, including Chapman University. Initially, although Chapman’s bid was lower, it appeared the university was going to get the property because their proposal included a 30-year lease to Crystal Cathedral Ministries for continued use of the cathedral, something the diocese could not offer.
During the bankruptcy hearing the judge learned that Chapman’s bid was not going to fully pay creditors, so the university increased its bid and sent the offer back to the Crystal Cathedral Ministries board for reconsideration. Thanks to Schuller and his wife Arvella, the board’s vote favored the diocese’s now-lower bid.
In November 2011, the court approved the board’s decision after hours of testimony due to the judge’s disbelief that a debtor would accept a lower bid even though the creditors were paid in full under either bid.
“It was Divine Providence all along,” Busch said.
Another challenging aspect of the sale, he added, was learning after approval by the bankruptcy court that the diocese still needed permission from the Vatican because the purchase exceeded $10 million.
Over Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, Busch called American Church officials in Rome to garner support for the acquisition. “I started calling everybody we knew because we had to have this done and we knew it could take months.” Again, he said, “an amazing miracle happened.”
The diocese received a letter the Monday after Thanksgiving saying the question had been reviewed and the purchase would be approved.
Although the Crystal Cathedral Ministries property was an incredible real estate value for the diocese because of the worth of land and buildings (one estimate put it at $500 million), Neal, a developer and managing partner of Hager Pacific Properties, said buying it was more than a matter of economic calculus.
“This is a remarkable property that is literally unique,” he said. “I would challenge anyone to find another property in the world where you have the handwork of three of the greatest American architects located within 100 feet of each other. It’s located on a very large parcel of land in the geographic heart of one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It’s just unbelievable.”
Leading Legates talk about building and revitalizing membership and their chapters . . .
Joe and Paula Melançon with Thomas Monaghan
In business there’s an old saying that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Legatus has always prided itself on growth, spurred by the vision of founder Tom Monaghan and his mission to “spread the faith.” As a result, Legatus’ membership has increased nearly every year since its founding in 1987.
Legatus’ executive director John Hunt says the hallmark of the most successful chapters is their attitude toward service: They treat their responsibilities as a sacred honor to fulfill well.
The following are some of Legatus’ leading membership builders offering insights into growing new chapters and breathing new life into existing ones.
Marching Baton Rouge
Ending 2012 with 94 member couples, Baton Rouge is Legatus’ largest chapter. Membership chairs Joe and Paula Melançon have played a major role in building it up from 20-some couples since taking on the role in 2007. But Baton Rouge does have something extra special going for it, says Paula: “Catholicism is in the bones of the people in Louisiana.”
Thomas Monaghan with the Genesis Chapter
Martini magic. To build momentum in the early days, “we hosted small cocktail receptions at home and invited friends,” remembers Joe, a member of Legatus’ board of governors. “Our chaplain, Fr. Miles Walsh, and other members were present. There was a lot of one-on-one conversation.” The majority of prospective members would join on the spot or down the road.
Just say ‘no’ to no. Joe continues: “My motto is that if someone says no to joining, they really don’t mean ‘no,’ they just mean that I or someone else hasn’t done an effective enough job convincing them. I usually say that right now may not be a good time to join, but ask them if it would be appropriate if I followed up in a year or two. Nobody has ever turned me down. We’ve often had members join a couple of years after being introduced to Legatus.”
Toledo’s silver touch
When the Michigan Chapter moved to Toledo and renamed itself the Genesis Chapter, “there were only 24 or 27 members,” remembers chapter president Bob Savage, one of Legatus’ founding members. “As of now, we have 63 paid members and we continue to grow.” The move to his native Toledo “reinvigorated” Savage, who brings more than 25 years of chapter-building expertise to the table.
Tim & Steph Busch
Talking points. Great speakers not only enrich chapter meetings, Savage says, but energize members, attract new ones, and build Legatus’ influence within the local church. “Our formula is that each year we have seven months covered by: 1) our bishop, 2) our chaplain who prepares us for Advent, 3) two priest panels on different topics, 4) a panel of high school principals or seminarians, and 5) two local practicing Catholic CEOs — not necessarily members — who form a relationship as they learn about the chapter. With this formula we have seven months covered and virtually no expense.”
Evangelical calling. Savage adds that members “owe it to the Church to be evangelical” about Legatus. An effective outreach to clergy inspires priests to tell prospective members in their parishes about the group. (Guests at a recent meeting included 58 priests and religious.) This approach benefits the chapter, but is also a boon for the local Church. “We need to remember that Legatus doesn’t exist for itself, but to be active in the local church, too.” It’s important that local church leaders know that in Legatus they have “a pool of successful, committed Catholics whom they can call on to serve the Church’s needs.”
Striking gold in California
Tim Busch, a member of the Orange County Chapter, has spearheaded the founding of most California chapters and is busy helping to launch another in Santa Barbara. “It’s been a joy having brought in hundreds of members through the grace of the Holy Spirit,” says Busch. “I know Legatus has changed my life, so it’s an easy sell.”
Sell the vision. Busch’s bottom line: “Sell to people that Legatus is their path to salvation. Tell them they’ll learn proper formation through the routine of monthly meetings, but also bonding and socializing with like-minded people who, over time, will become their inner circle.” Because America is evicting faith from the public square, “committed Catholics need to know they have to develop their faith by associating with people whose faith is critical to their survival. You need to evangelize each other, and then the unchurched and fallen-away Catholics. And you can’t count on your parish on Sunday to adequately form you because it’s serving a diverse population. You have to go beyond that, and the movement to join is Legatus,” he says.
Mike & Beth Anne FitzPatrick
Take ownership. Although just a couple of people might found and form a chapter, Busch says this is no strategy for long-term success. If those founders should leave, “you lose the culture, the momentum. So you have to have a dedicated group of people who feel true ownership of the chapter and build it over time.”
Success in six easy touches
Michael FitzPatrick, a member of Legatus’ board of governors, co-founded the Northern New Jersey Chapter in 2000. It doubled in size to 52 couples in the first six years. To evangelize new members, he recommends applying the “six touch” approach developed by Malcolm Baldrige, the late guru of organizational excellence.
FitzPatrick explains: “Baldrige believed that the first time a new idea is presented we reject it because our lives are so full to begin with. The second time we reject the new idea to affirm our original decision. The third time we’re approached, we listen to the message because someone believes we’re important. The fourth time the message is received we consider looking into the idea. The fifth time we look into the idea, and the sixth touch convinces us that this was our idea from the beginning; this is something I want to join.
“We can reach potential members in a variety of touches: a letter from a member, a follow-up letter from Legatus headquarters or the chapter, a copy of your most recent Legatus magazine, a note inviting them to an upcoming chapter event, or a note with the chapter’s annual event programs. Make a personal phone call and invite them to lunch with another chapter member. Imagination is the key; activity is the glue.”
MATTHEW A. RAREY is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.
Legatus members from across the country explain how Legatus has affected their lives . . .
From the beginning of the organization, Legatus has been focused on the faith development of its members. Legatus exists to help its members learn, live and spread the faith. As we reflect on the last 25 years — and look ahead to the next 25 — we asked members from across the country to tell us what Legatus means to them.
In a word, Legatus is the best. As a member for almost the full 25 years of this great organization, I have been truly blessed in learning to “study, live and spread the faith in my business, professional and personal life.”
When I originally joined as the young president of a publicly held commercial real estate company, it was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills as a businessman, be a good family man, and be social, all the while practicing and spreading our great Catholic faith. This made the sharing of business information, networking, and the faith experiences exciting and fun with the many dedicated and quality members of Legatus.
This great experience was only heightened when, after having been a member for several years, I became widowed at a very early age. I was left with two major challenges — a family to raise and a business to run at the same time. With the help of Legatus, I truly lived and put into practice the four key elements of Legatus: faith, family, business and social. I went from a very tragic situation to a very fulfilling experience.
The camaraderie of Legatus members and the quality of its many programs — all with similar faith, family and ethical business objectives in mind — have provided a rewarding successful life experience. Thank you, Tom Monaghan. And thank you, Legatus!
Bob Pliska Detroit Chapter Member since 1989
Tim & Steph Busch
We joined Legatus 22 years ago during its infancy. By Divine Providence, the only chapter west of the Mississippi was in Orange County, which is where we lived.
The mentorship of Tom Monaghan and fellow member Catholic CEOs and spouses has greatly directed our faith formation. I returned to attending daily Mass and we were inspired to co-found two private Roman Catholic schools: St. Anne School and JSerra Catholic High School in South Orange County. It further inspired us to participate in the founding of 10 other chapters in the West. Through those efforts, hundreds of friends and acquaintances became members of the various west coast chapters.
Steph converted to Catholicism in 2000. Our children have witnessed our commitment to the faith, which will pay spiritual dividends for many generations to come. We are forever indebted to Tom Monaghan who, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, created such a fabulous organization.
Through Legatus we met the amazing Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Legatus’ former international chaplain. With him we co-founded the Magis Institute, a great ministry focused on spiritual life, especially the relationship between faith and reason. And by attending Legatus Summits, we were inspired to found the Napa Institute. Its mission — “Equipping Catholics in the ‘Next America’” — is elaborated at the Institute’s annual conference, held each July at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa.
Tim & Steph Busch Orange County Chapter Members since 1990
Patrick & Andrea Molyneaux
Legatus is an incredible grace that helps us become the best version of who God wants us to be. If we could summarize Legatus in one scripture verse, it would be “iron is sharpened by iron, one person sharpens another” (Prov 27:17). The Legatus relationships we’ve established with like-minded Catholic leaders bring out the best in us. These relationships sharpen our encounter with Jesus Christ through His Church.
An example of that sharpening process happened in March 2011 when a fellow Legate invited us to put our pro-life convictions into action by praying with him in front of a Planned Parenthood operation the following Saturday. I agreed, and for the first time in my life I prayed in front of an abortion clinic. The surreal experience of watching pregnant women pass by and walk through a door to kill their babies changed me forever.
It was a wake-up call that made me realize I needed to do more to defend life. A few months later I felt inspired to leverage my network and influence and reach out to Bishop David Zubik and the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Pittsburgh to organize a significant pro-life event in front of Planned Parenthood. Together we organized Pittsburgh’s first “Mass and Prayer Walk for Life,” scheduled for April 28, 2012.
This is the first pro-life initiative of its kind in Pittsburgh history. Our prayer is that it will become an annual event. The seed was planted by a Legatus member whose faith and convictions sharpened the faith and convictions of fellow Legates. Faith is indeed contagious, and Legatus helps it spread.
Patrick & Andrea Molyneaux Pittsburgh Chapter Members since 2009
Larry & Mary Anne Eagan
We’ve received just so many gifts and blessings from being members over the past five years. But one of the greatest and most personal of all these gifts, I’d have to say, is having the sacrament of Reconciliation made available at our monthly meetings. It’s a sacrament we long for.
And our chaplain, Monsignor Chris Connelly, gives voice to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gifts of good counsel, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. He gives voice to them through both the confessional and Mass.
For us, Legatus has brought that Biblical verse about “the way of love” in 1 Corinthians 13 truly alive. This is especially true in relation to the sacrament of Marriage. Through Legatus, we have come to share more deeply in our search for God’s peace. We witness the faithful love of our fellow Legatus couples, and this helps strengthen our own commitments to love — love for the Holy Trinity and Our Mother Mary, for each other, for our family, our community and the world.
The sharing and enrichment of our faith at the monthly meetings and the Summits have inspired us to work diligently to develop ourselves further spiritually. Legatus magazine gives us a blueprint to explore our faith further through books, media and stories of inspiration.
Larry & Mary Anne Eagan Western Massachusetts Chapter Members since 2006
John & Jennifer Feltl
I first heard about Legatus from a business contact, but it was a few years before I actually made a meeting. When I did, an historian-theologian priest gave a talk on the history of Catholic education in the United States. I came alone, but the next time I brought my wife. A date night with rosary, Mass and a speaker is the best date night on the face of the earth.
Before I joined, I was a cradle Catholic who took the faith for granted. The more we can learn and be trained in our faith, the better. The world today is so confused and in such need of evangelization.
Legatus is a real gift that is easy to make time for, including attending Summits. It’s a great way to help us all become better Catholics, better people, better husbands, fathers, owners, better everything. As a business person, I never had the tools or the forum to talk comfortably with other business people about our faith until Legatus. Now I’m not sheepish or ashamed at all to ask, “Do you know about Legatus?”
Legatus is also helping us do a better job of passing on the faith to our kids. Legatus gives us clarity through solid catechesis, especially through our monthly speakers and the two priests who serve as our co-chaplains: Fr. William Baer and Fr. Michael Keating. The spiritual direction they give is another reason why Legatus is so important to us.
John & Jennifer Feltl Twin Cities Chapter Members since 2009
The Wall Street Journal profiles efforts of Orange County Legate Tim Busch . . .
Wall Street Journal February 2, 2010
Tim Busch [a member of Legatus’ Orange County Chapter] has an answer to the epidemic of closing Catholic schools. And it has nothing to do with vouchers.
It couldn’t come at a more critical moment. Over the next few days, nearly 2.2 million students and their families will celebrate Catholic Schools Week. Though the Catholic school system remains America’s largest alternative to public education, the number of both schools and students is roughly half what they were at their peak in the mid-1960s. According to the National Catholic Education Association, the trend continued last year, with 162 Catholic schools consolidating or closing against only 31 new openings.
Amid the gloom Mr. Busch offers a prescription for revival: End the financial dependence on parish or diocese. Build attractive facilities. And compete for students.
If that sounds like a business formula, it is. Mr. Busch is a good friend I came to know through Legatus, an association of Catholic CEOs. Spend any time around him, and you’ll find he believes that America needs Catholic schools more than ever, and that they can compete with the best. To prove it, he’s helped start up two privately run Catholic schools–St. Anne elementary school and JSerra high school, both in southern California.
Now, there are plenty of upscale Catholic schools with waiting lists–especially those run by religious orders. But here’s a fact that gets little mention: a Catholic education is in danger of becoming a luxury for the middle class. It’s hard to be optimistic about the future of Catholic schools in our inner cities if Catholics cannot make a go of these schools in the suburbs, where most Catholics live.
Do the math. In my area of New Jersey, for example, a Catholic high school whose tuition clocks in at $15,000 a year is deemed a bargain. For a family with three or four kids, the total tuition can top $3,000 a month. Young middle-class families struggling with a new mortgage and high property taxes can find themselves squeezed: not wealthy enough to pay, not poor enough for aid.
In Mr. Busch’s case, he says he got the idea for starting up St. Anne after he and his wife went looking for a Catholic school for their first child–and were depressed by the dilapidated facilities they found at many schools. Ultimately he and his partners settled on a model where parents take responsibility for operating the school, with the diocese ensuring the teachings are authentically Catholic. It’s a division of responsibility much in line with Vatican II, freeing up pastors to be pastors while tapping into the financial, legal, and business abilities of lay people.
In some ways, it’s liberating for both. Schools replace lay boards that merely advised a pastor or bishop with lay boards that raise money, build facilities, and actually run the place. The appeal to a bishop is this: We’ll help you provide an authentic Catholic education to more children—and it won’t cost you a dime.
For those who complain that such schools serve only the rich, Mr. Busch says that financially stable schools have more wherewithal to offer those in need (even without endowments—the next step—St. Anne and JSerra have more than 10% of their students on financial assistance). He further points out that need is by no means limited to money. “Some children have wealth,” he says. “But having wealth does not insulate you from problems like divorce, substance abuse, loneliness, a culture saturated in sex, and so on. These kids need the Catholic message as much as everyone.”
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., agrees. “Catholic education is such a value both for Catholics and for society that we want it to be accessible and affordable for all who see its intrinsic value . . . . We are fortunate that many lay people are committed to this cause—and are helping us ‘think outside the box’ so that Catholic schools will thrive in this new decade and beyond.”
Mr. Busch’s privately run Catholic schools, of course, are not the only new model showing promise. The 24 Jesuit-based Cristo Rey high schools across the country do a terrific job through an innovative work-study program. The bishop and his flock in Wichita, Kan., embraced a stewardship model that calls upon all parishioners to give 8% of their gross income, which allows the diocese to make all its Catholic schools tuition free. And Catholic universities such as Notre Dame and Boston College are reaching out to help run Catholic elementary and high schools.
“We can’t wait for vouchers, and we can’t look to the old model of relying on our pastors and bishops to come up with the money and answers,” says Mr. Busch. “If we want Catholic schools for our children and our society, we have to adopt new models that let us compete.”