Fox Valley Also Establishes Servi Christi Chapter
October 21, 2021
ST. CHARLES—Servi Christi Fox Valley Chapter president Keith Kotche notes that COVID-19 impacted the area’s Legatus chapter.
“We were going fairly strong,” he says, but the pandemic caused the in-person meetings to disappear.  The board “tried to figure out how to keep the energy level going,” he says, but attendance at the Zoom meetings “dwindled rapidly.” The camaraderie of the group just wasn’t the same.
Membership went from 30 couples to 25, and 2021 was looking at a drop into the mid-teens.
One board member was familiar with the Rockford Servi Christi, and the board discussed with those Rockford leaders the possibility of chartering a Servi Christi chapter in the Fox Valley.
Diocesan officials gave the go-ahead, and after talking to all their members, “we started the Fox Valley Chapter,” Kotche says.
St. John Neumann parishioners Mike and Marianne Hale had left Legatus, and Marianne says they were happy to join Servi Christi and see the “good people” they had missed.
When asked for his favorite part of the Servi Christi evenings, Mike started with confession, rosary, Mass and then said he just likes it all. Marianne agrees, saying. “We get a lot. The whole package.”
As in Rockford, that “whole package” echoes the Legatus evenings of confession, rosary, Mass, social time, dinner and a speaker. A short business meeting is quickly covered also.
Servi Christi Fox Valley members soon were asking about admitting mid-level Catholic business leaders such as small business owners, dentists, lawyers and more. 
Kotche says the new chapter began to grow in a “grassroots” way where “people are contacting people they know.”
He adds that “the biggest thing (was that), it wasn’t driven by an individual, it was member-driven, (with) everybody having a say in it. They have all taken up ownership in it.”
He adds that members “are driving it; we’re not pushing it … We were so worried as a board, (wondering) would we fail. We put our trust in the Holy Spirit (and discovered) this is a need that needs to be filled.”
Beginning with the “Rockford blueprint,” Kotche notes that a “give-and-take” of ideas for Servi Christi have been shared between the two chapters. 
The monthly meetings help members feel that even though they are out in the workplace, they know business leaders who are Catholic, who have faith, who overcome challenges, and they can “lean to” this community of fellow believers, he says.
Member Steve Zimmer agrees, saying, “Its nice to talk with other business owners … a nice place to share stories (and realize) I’m not the only Catholic (out in the business world) trying to do good.”
His wife, Jackie notes that at dinner there are “great conversations.”
She is slated to become the next president of the Fox Valley chapter, and her enthusiasm is evident as she shares her plan to build up a new-to-the-chapter aspect: opportunities for service to the community.
The meeting on Oct. 14 featured Father John Cusick of the Archdiocese of Chicago whose topic title was “Never Be Ordinary: Wisdom from my Father.”
All the meetings’ speakers speak of faith, Kotche says, and “it gives people something to contemplate, to experience with their spouse, (and) gives couples a chance to mingle and interact with like-minded couples and strengthen their faith.” 
Single business and community leaders, of course, are welcome, and several were present at the Oct. 14 event, which welcomed a record crowd of 49 people.
Kotche himself has experienced an awakening of faith through Legatus and Servi Christi. “Faith is not usually talked about at work,” he says. “To see how faith can be alive in the workplace … it changed me, changed my outlook.”
He wants, he adds, “to plant that seed that was planted in me … I think a lot of people feel that way.
“I’ve got to tell you:  It’s exciting.”
For more information about the Servi Christi Fox Valley Chapter, contact chapter administrator, Heather Glanville, at or 630-338-7498.


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