JUPITER  |  What inspires businessmen and women to consider their need for God? How can a follower of Christ battle daily temptations in the workplace – morally, ethically and legally?

Without the support of like-minded colleagues who are grounded in the Word of God, practice their faith and allow the spirit to spill out into the world, life can be a desert. Legatus is a professional association that hopes to support members of Legatus to become better Catholic Christians. Its mission statement is to increase members’ positive impact on the world.

According to its website, Legatus is a charitable membership organization for “Catholic business leaders and spouses, exists to help members become ambassadors for Christ nurturing four key aspects of their lives - faith, family, community, and business.” Through Legatus, those in corporate realms of power who often face with challenges to their values maintain fellowship among peers of like-minded Catholic businesspeople. The criteria for membership is tiered, based on positions in the fields of manufacturing, sales and service markets along with the number of personnel and net assets/valuation of their respective company.

To help members “boldly live their Catholic identity,” Legatus affords “opportunities for a deeper walk with God through annual summits, men and women enclaves and international pilgrimages.” It was founded 34 years ago by Tom Monaghan, CEO of Domino’s Pizza magnate and founder of Ave Maria University, as an alternative to secular networking groups. Offering this quote on its website, Monahan said, “As corporate executives, most of us know what we have to do, and economic conditions may leave us no choice. The question then becomes how to do it in the best way, and the moral guidance Legatus offers helps make the tough calls a little easier.”

Frank Maurno, an investment advisor and certified financial planner and his wife, Suzanne, joined a Legatus chapter in 2013. They worked to invigorate a fledgling group that had been established in 2008. A decade later, the Jupiter/Palm Beach area formed a charter in 2018, with 22 founding members, each personally welcomed by Monaghan. The chartering celebration was followed by a “fireside chat” interview conducted by founding president Maurno.

Earlier this spring, the group sponsored Scott Hahn, Catholic apologetist, who delineated a Christian’s job description as living the Gospel in all we do. Hahn, a Protestant convert to the Catholic faith, addressed an audience during a Lenten visit to the Diocese of Palm Beach that was co-labored with the Cathedral parish and the Jupiter/Palm Beach chapter of Legatus. Hahn’s call to “go ye, and make disciples” comes at a critical time in our country when cultures are clashing with traditional values.

Since its inception, Legatus has grown to more than 100 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Increasing its outreach, more chapters are slated this year. More than 5,000 members have found Legatus to be the link to merge faith with principled, best business practices. Legatus spouses are welcomed members; they often work in tandem to promote membership and support the mission.

The local chapter meets third Thursdays at a restaurant venue. Socials are occasionally held at members’ homes. Meetings begin at 5:30 PM with praying the rosary followed by reconciliation (confession) and Mass before dinner, followed by a keynote Catholic speaker or a local parish priest. A reception, dinner and keynote speaker follows Mass. The purpose of the talks is “to challenge and inspire” members of Legatus in their faith journeys.

The next meeting of the Jupiter/Palm Beach chapter of Legatus is Thursday, October 21, with special guest speaker Father Gerald Murray whose talk will be on “Fidelity to Christ in the Church.” He was assigned to various parishes in the Bronx and Manhattan before attending the Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in canon law. Father Murray has appeared as a commentator on religious topics on television and radio outlets, including EWTN and the Voice of America. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Chaplain Corps from 1994 to 2005.

For information about the Jupiter/Palm Beach Chapter, contact Kathryn Matrunola, chapter administrator, at 561-420-1047 or email her at jupiterpb@legatus.org.

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