There are very real and practical reasons to join together as Catholic business people – to grow in knowing our faith, in living out our faith as servant leaders, and in assisting each other in expanding our businesses and circles of influence.
It’s good for our relationships with our:
- Spouses and children
- Friends and families
- Supervisors, subordinates, and peers
- Clients, customers and vendors
- Each other
Bottom line: Everyone and everything is better when we are better.
It is in Our Collective Best Interest
Matthew Kelly, in his book The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, reports that only about 7 percent of Catholics are “engaged,” which he defines as that small percentage of Catholics who as parishioners contribute 80 percent of the volunteer hours in the parish, and 80 percent of the financial support of the parish.
In The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus, author Owen Phelps, Ph.D., points out that:
“In the last half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has seen itself transformed from a church of the urban working poor to a church whose members are leaders in all sectors of society. Catholics make up about 24 percent of the nation’s population. But it’s estimated that Catholics make up as much as 40 percent of the nation’s white collar population. The Catholic challenge today has changed from how to fit into society to how to lead it.”
He goes on to say:
“Our Church hasn’t helped the laity much with their leadership challenge either. Catholic parishes are often well-equipped to gather their members for worship, dispense the sacraments, help those at the margins of society, and provide social outlets for members who were once shut out of society’s mainstream. But helping members learn how to integrate their Christian faith with their lives as leaders at home, at work, and in their communities is a new challenge.”
It is our contention that, even those who actively participate in the life of the parish by attending mass regularly, engaging in Bible studies must and can be more intentional in living and leading their faith in their environments during the week, between mass attendance. What is missing is not just increasing participation “at church” – but converting that participation into living and leading our faith “beyond church.”
To Unite Servant Leaders Called to Transform Our World
“As lay people actively engaged in this temporal order, you are called by Christ to sanctify the world and to transform it. This is true of all work, however exalted or humble, but it is especially urgent for those whom circumstances and special talent have placed in positions of leadership or influence — men and women in public service, education, business, science, social communications, and the arts.” — St. Pope John Paul II in America
“The laity must take up the renewal of the temporal order as their own special obligation. Led by the light of the Gospel and the mind of the Church and motivated by Christian charity, they must act directly and in a definite way in the temporal sphere.” — Apostolicam Actuositatem #7
“The laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer.” —Lumen Gentium #31
“You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
— Matthew 5:14-16