Chapter of Legatus being chartered in Madison for Catholic business leaders Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 28, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
Among those attending a recent meeting of Legatus in Madison are, from left: Dick Rogers of Fennimore, LeAnna and Brendan Wall of Madison, presenter Dr. Eric Hansen, and Carol Rogers. Legatus is an organization of Catholic business leaders. (Catholic Herald photo/Mary C. Uhler)

MADISON -- LeAnna and Brendan Wall, owners of Hatch Building Supply in Madison, have a special new monthly “date night” as members of Legatus.

This “date night” includes a Mass, followed by food, fellowship, and a presentation on some aspect of their Catholic faith. “We both have enjoyed doing more with our faith, having a date night out, and making business connections,” said Brendan Wall. The Walls are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison.

For Catholic business leaders

They are members of the new chapter of Legatus being chartered in the Diocese of Madison. Legatus is an organization of Catholic business leaders with over 80 chapters around the United States and the world.

Legatus was started by Thomas Monaghan, founder of Ave Maria University and Domino’s Pizza and former owner of the Detroit Tigers. Monaghan has said he is most proud of founding Legatus.

He explains that “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.”

The Legatus mission statement is: “To study, live, and spread the Catholic faith in our business, professional, and personal lives.”

Madison chapter meeting

At a recent Legatus meeting in Madison held at the Blackhawk Country Club, members and prospective members were able to go to Confession prior to praying the Rosary and attending Mass. This was followed by a reception, dinner, and presentation on “Art and the New Evangelization: Praying with Pictures” given by Dr. Eric Hansen.

Traci and Jeff Dalsin, members of St. Bernard Parish in Middleton, were among those attending the event. Both of them are business executives. Traci is president of Sara Investment Real Estate in Madison and Jeff is CEO of Echometrix.

Traci heard about Legatus through Waunakee businessman Ken Ballweg. “It made a lot of sense for us to join,” she said. “It gave us an opportunity to meet people who shared our faith at the executive level.”

Joni and Charlie Crave from Holy Family Parish in Waterloo were also at the meeting. Charlie is involved in the Crave Brothers Farm in Waterloo. The Craves have enjoyed meeting other area business leaders. “Our purpose here is to get to know each other and share our faith,” said Charlie. “And we don’t need to flip pancakes,” he added, referring to his involvement with the Knights of Columbus.

Learning about their faith

Those attending the meeting enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Hansen, a national spokesman and historical consultant for the California chapter of Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He was recently invited to speak about Michelangelo to the United Nations.

Dr. Hansen said that art has an important role to play in evangelization. Works of religious art can reveal the beauty of our faith. “God speaks to you through the image you see,” he said.

He showed slides of a number of great works of art, including the oldest depiction of the crucifixion from the year 432 in England and Rembrandt’s painting of the Return of the Prodigal Son. “I wept in front of this painting,” said Dr. Hansen. “How moving religious art can be.”

One of the goals of Legatus is to provide its members with lifelong learning and access to the “best minds in the Church, business world, and society addressing the most important topics: faith, family, and business.”

Unlike some professional organizations, Legatus invites the spouses of business leaders to join. Husbands and wives are encouraged to share the monthly events as a “date night.”

Besides local events, Legatus members can enjoy pilgrimages to Rome and other sites; an annual three-day inspirational conference; as well as optional forums and retreats.

It is hoped that the Madison chapter will be chartered this fall. For more information about Legatus, go to or contact Nancy Haskell, Great Lakes regional director, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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