Bob List
Freelance Photographer
June 27, 2024 // Bishop

Legatus Members Gather in Warsaw for Annual Meeting

Bob List
Freelance Photographer

On Wednesday, June 19, the Legatus chapters from Fort Wayne and South Bend-Elkhart held their annual joint meeting with Mass and Eucharistic adoration at Sacred Heart Parish in Warsaw. Bishop Rhoades celebrated the Mass and was assisted by Father Jonathan Norton, Pastor of Sacred Heart, and Holy Cross Father James Fenstermaker, Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in South Bend.

At Mass, Bishop Rhoades preached on the Old Testament reading of Elijah being taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. Bishop Rhoades emphasized the similarities of Elijah and Elisha to St. John the Baptist and Jesus. Elijah is associated with fiery passion of John the Baptist, while Elisha foreshadowed Jesus with his teaching of mercy and compassion. Elisha had asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and he received it.

Bishop Rhoades offers a blessing as Legatus members meet in Warsaw on Wednesday, June 19.

At Pentecost, the apostles received the Holy Spirit – the third Person of the Trinity, manifested by the love of God the Father and God the Son who is passed on to us in the sacraments. Bishop Rhoades reminded those in attendance that we all share in the same prophetic mission and witness as the apostles, and the Eucharist nourishes and strengthens us on our journey.

This year, the South Bend-Elkhart chapter of Legatus is celebrating its 10th anniversary and was recognized by Bishop Rhoades, who presented the chapter with a blessing from Pope Francis. Tom and Anita Veldman received the gift on behalf of the chapter.

Bishop Rhoades greets the faithful.

Legatus, Latin for “ambassador,” is an international organization of Catholic laymen and laywomen who are CEOs, presidents, managing partners, and business owners, along with their spouses, from business and professional enterprises. Legatus was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1987 by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan to provide business leaders an organization to deepen and live out their faith in the corporate world and beyond. There are now 95 Legatus chapters across the United States and Canada.

“Legatus members are business leaders – men and women with varying interests and diverse talents who all share one overriding goal: to become better Catholics and, in turn, positively impact their business and personal lives,” Monaghan said on the organization’s website (

The Fort Wayne chapter and the South Bend-Elkhart chapter come together once a year for a joint meeting with Bishop Rhoades as the keynote speaker. Each monthly chapter meeting begins with confession, praying the rosary, and Mass, followed by a reception with a guest speaker.

Bishop Rhoades presents Tom and Anita Veldman with a certificate designating a papal blessing on the South Bend-Elkhart chapter of Legatus to mark the group’s 10th anniversary during Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Warsaw on Wednesday, June 19.

In 1988, Pope St. John Paul II addressed the Legatus members and encouraged them, saying, “The world needs genuine witnesses to Christian ethics in the field of business, and the Church asks you to fulfill this role publicly with courage and perseverance.”

After Mass at Sacred Heart, the group gathered at Papa Vino’s Italian Kitchen in Warsaw and enjoyed fellowship and a meal. Melissa Shanks, Fort Wayne Chapter President, offered welcoming remarks, and the meal was followed by a Q&A with Bishop Rhoades, with Dr. Chris Stroud serving as emcee. Questions addressed topics such as the Synod of Bishops on synodality, priestly vocations and priestly assignments in the diocese, and the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress.

Bishop Rhoades also reflected on when he attended the 1976 International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia and the two future saints who spoke at the event and helped him to discern his priestly vocation: Mother Teresa and Bishop Karol Wojtyła (the future Pope John Paul II).

When asked if there was anything that kept him up at night, Bishop Rhoades responded with a smile and told the Legatus members that he does not have difficulty falling asleep. Quoting Pope St. John XXIII, Bishop Rhoades said at night he prays, “Lord, it’s your Church, not mine; I trust in you.”

Shanks, who presided over the meeting, said how joyful it is to gather the two groups together in Warsaw. She and Bishop Rhoades both commented that this meeting in the center of the diocese brings both ends of the diocese together in communion. Bishop Rhoades also joked that the diocese should have a cathedral in Warsaw so he would not have to drive from one end of the diocese to the other so often.

For more about becoming a member of either local Legatus chapter, visit

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