When Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and former owner of the Detroit Tigers turned 50, he could no longer belong to the Young President’s Organization.
That’s when the Catholic businessman decided to found Legatus, an organization geared toward corporate executives and their spouses. Today, thousands belong to the international Catholic organization. Members meet monthly to pray, share a meal and listen to a speaker.
For 27 years Legatus has provided an environment for its members to become ambassadors for the Catholic Faith they share in common.
The Legatus chapter in the Diocese of Phoenix was founded 10 years ago, and members gathered at the headquarters of the Alliance Defending Freedom to celebrate Oct. 7.
Raymond Arroyo, international best selling author, news director and lead anchor of EWTN News, was the featured speaker at the anniversary event. His talk focused on signs of hope in the midst of mounting challenges around the world.
In an interview with The Catholic Sun, Arroyo said many have lost sight of hope.
“It’s a sin against the Holy Spirit to give up hope,” Arroyo said. “We have to cling to hope, but people have forgotten what it is.”
Arroyo pointed to examples of people with extraordinary challenges who overcame difficulties. Their witness, he said, shows that “you don’t have to be perfect to be hopeful or to be a conveyor of hope.”
Mattie Stepanek, a young man with muscular dystrophy who passed away in 2004 at age 14, was one of the people Arroyo focused on during his presentation to Legatus.
“He was an incredible sign and witness of hope to the very end,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo also lauded the work of Legatus, an organization he said has an important mission.
“Legatus empowers people who are in positions of influence and authority in organizations and the culture at large to go out and revivify the culture,” Arroyo said.
Maureen and Phil Adams have belonged to Legatus since 2006. They said the organization helps like-minded Catholic business leaders to build relationships and grow spiritually.
“Legatus offers some unique opportunities,” Maureen said. “We network, pray and enjoy each other’s company while being spiritually fed and educated. There is no other organization like it.”
Stephen Henley, central region coordinator for Legatus, said the organization helps Catholic business leaders grow their faith. Every Legatus meeting begins with a rosary, confession and Mass.