The Church and our country

December 3, 2012
Filed under Chairman, Columns

Legatus founder Tom Monaghan says Catholic CEOs can make a difference in our culture . . .

Thomas Monaghan

by Thomas Monaghan

The election season is now behind us, and all of the important decisions have been made. We have President Obama for another four years. But even if Mitt Romney had won, the Church in our country would still have a ton of challenges to face.

As CEOs, you are used to dealing with numbers, so here are a few statistics about the Church in the U.S. that I have recently been made aware of:

• There are about 70 million Catholics in the U.S. right now.
• There are 30 million fallen-away Catholics.
• Half of the mega-churches’ members are former Catholics.
• Sunday Mass attendance is at about 30%.
• Those going to Mass every Sunday is about 20%.
• For those between the ages of 20-30, weekly Mass attendance is 15% (scary!).
• 7% of Catholics give 80% of Church donations.
• 75% of college students who leave home stop going to Sunday Mass.
• One parish closes every four days.

Canada is in even worse shape than the U.S. For example, Quebec has 10% Sunday Mass attendance. Western Europe is much worse with about 6-7% of the Catholics there going to Sunday Mass. In France, it’s about 4% and Scandinavia is 1%!

I believe the reason for this sad picture is ignorance of the faith. That’s why I have been involved in Catholic education for the last 30 years and why I started Ave Maria University to be a beacon for Catholic education.

Now that we have another four years of President Obama, there is a lot of work to be done and Legatus can have a huge impact. Each of us needs to reach out to other Catholic CEOs because, as you know, Legates are the best recruiters of Legates.

Catholic CEOs who study, live and spread the faith can and will transform their marriages, their families, their businesses, their communities, this country — and who knows, maybe even the world.

Thomas Monaghan is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Naples Chapter.

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