Top Catholic business leaders meet for Mass in Phoenix

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted celebrates the opening liturgy Feb. 7 at St. Thomas the Apostle for members worldwide who gathered for the annual Legatus Summit. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted celebrates the opening liturgy Feb. 7 at St. Thomas the Apostle for members worldwide who gathered for the annual Legatus Summit. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

It was a weekday Mass that drew a top-ranking business-minded crowd the size of a Sunday liturgy, at least 25 priests plus a handful of bishops and archbishops.

For all the hats and titles they bore, they gathered for one purpose: to share in the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist. The Feb. 7 Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle marked the first of three daily Masses that members of Legatus across the globe had the opportunity to attend during its annual summit which was held at the Phoenician in Scottsdale Feb. 7-9.

Legatus members and their spouses are committed to allowing the Eucharist and Catholic teaching guide their personal, family and business affairs. Every member in the 25-year-old organization is a top-ranking Catholic business leader or the spouse of such a leader.

Legatus members pray the rosary before Mass. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Legatus members pray the rosary before Mass. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Each one clearly makes faith a priority though. Many brought their rosaries and steadily moved their fingers from bead to bead before Mass as Maureen and Phil Adams from the Phoenix chapter led them in prayer. A steady stream of members availed themselves to the sacrament of reconciliation as well.

“God cannot and will not fail to correct an injustice,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said in his homily. “We need justice, but we need something more.”

The faithful need to draw near to the blood of Jesus “poured out for the love of the Father,” the bishop said.

The Gospel reading of the day spoke even more directly to Legatus members. Mark’s gospel recounted Jesus commissioning the Twelve. It points to them being ambassadors for Christ, the bishop said.

Legatus, in Latin, means ambassador, “one sent on a mission.” He affirmed for members of Legatus’ more than 70 chapters that when they go forth, that there is nothing to fear as the Hebrews did in the first reading. Catholics, as part of the Body of Christ, are always joined with one another and strengthened through the Eucharist.

Keith Tigue, with the Phoenix chapter, said he was inspired by having so many business leaders, who also happened to be Catholic, reverently praying together.

“It’s like the walls were echoing,” Tigue said.

Local members of the Knights and Dames of Malta and the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre joined Legatus members for Mass.