Legatus Chapter Rechartered in Diocese
The founding members of the Rockford Chapter of Legatus pose with Bishop David Malloy and Legatus spiritual advisor Father David Peck on June 30, shortly after the chapter was rechartered. (Observer photo by Amanda Hudson)
Officers for the Rockford Chapter of Legatus include four who were commissioned at the June 30 event by Bishop David Malloy. Officers are: John and Fran Morrissey, Tony Hyler, Pat Derry, and, not pictured, Mike Hale and Joe and Sue Castrogiovanni. (Observer photo by Amanda Hudson)
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 13, 2015

ROCKFORD—When members of Legatus stand together with the Church in witnessing the Catholic faith, “we stand with Christ,” said Bishop David Malloy to the founding members of the newly rechartered Rockford chapter.

“We’re going to be asked to be faithful witnesses,” he continued in his homily, noting that the world is in need of the truth given by Christ. “Our task is to be faithful, to be joyful … to keep our eyes on Christ. Our task now is to walk with Him.”

As an international organization for corporate executives and their spouses, Legatus (which is Latin for “ambassador”) provides an environment for its members to become ambassadors for the Catholic faith. Members include presidents, CEOs, owners and executive vice presidents of sizable businesses.

For more information about the Rockford Chapter, contact: Chapter Development Officer, Amy Dillon, 616-717-0060; [email protected]; or Regional Director Nancy Haskell, 949-616-0057; [email protected].

The chartering ceremony and commissioning of officers took place on June 30 at St. Rita Church in Rockford. The evening began with the sacrament of confession and a rosary followed by Mass and the chartering. Festivities then continued at Giovanni’s restaurant where members and guests socialized over dinner. Bishop Malloy spoke at the dinner and later answered members’ questions.

The bishop focused on the need for Catholics, including the laity, “to commit a blatant act of faith” as American society continues to move away from what had been common Judeo-Christian values and worldview.

First of all, he said, is the need “to trust Jesus in a very personal way.” Second is for Catholics “to say what Jesus has told us … the word of truth that will set us free.” He called upon his business leaders audience to make use of opportunities, especially regarding ethics, to witness to their faith.

Bishop Malloy asked them also for their prayers and support for him and for their parishes, saying, “Your willingness to come here (to Legatus) … to be part of this chartering … says that you are saying, ‘I’m willing to live what Christ has told us.’”

Legatus’ Executive Director, John Hunt, spoke briefly.

“All of you are the founders” of the Rockford chapter, he said, calling it a “happy burden.” He noted that their work will determine the impact that Legatus has in the diocese, now and in the future.

Reasons and benefits of Legatus include, he said, the enjoyment of a date-night – a once-a-month get together with one’s spouse; a chance to interact with other senior executives and share the “burdens of leadership;” a means to grow one’s personal faith life; a vehicle for living the new evangelization; and to gain strength even as they and the Catholic Church navigate the various threats to faith.

“There’s work to be done that falls to all of us,” Hunt concluded.

John Morrissey and his wife, Fran, have been the main promoters of the rechartering of the Rockford group, which was initially chartered in 2001. At the dinner, Morrissey called Legatus a support group, and also “an enabling group” to help members “hopefully to become a better businessman.”

Legatus provides “always a positive, upbeat, you-can-do-it” atmosphere, Morrissey said.

“I hope,” he added, “that Legatus is always about … looking for what is right.”