CV NEWS FEED // A major Catholic professionals organization recently had its 2024 annual national Summit where it honored and awarded five exemplary Catholic leaders and priests for their evangelization and strong witness to the Faith, among other virtues.
Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and Ave Maria University, founded Legatus International in 1987 to help Catholics grow professionally and spiritually.
“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 in a statement.
Legatus has over 5,000 members and 90 chapters across the United States and abroad. From January 25 to January 27, Legatus hosted its annual Summit in Dana Point, California where it presented five prestigious awards.
Christian News Wire (CNW) published detailed information about each award recipient on February 6.
President of SperryCGA/Property Investment Counselors Robert Pliska received the 2023 National President of the Year Award. Pliska is the “6th-term president of Legatus’ Detroit Chapter and a member of Legatus’ international Board of Governors,” according to the article on CNW:
Pliska has been recognized as the chapter president who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and service – evidenced in the health and vibrancy of his chapter, its growth, and strong retention.
Attorney Paul Jonna received the 2023 National Ambassador of the Year. Jonna is the president of the San Diego Chapter of Legatus recognized “[for] his outstanding Christian witness professionally and to the broader society,” as well as for his pro-life advocacy.
Legatus praised Jonna “for his tremendous work as a key attorney defending and winning many high-profile religious liberty cases nationwide. Jonna is a partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, in the San Diego metro.”
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. received the 2023 Defender of the Faith Award, “[for] his strong defense of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, upholding longstanding Catholic teaching, and witness to the sanctity of life and marriage despite today’s societal opposition,” CNW stated:
As president of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith (Garden Grove, CA), president of the Spitzer Center (Greenwood Village, CO), and president of the Napa Institute.… He [also] hosts a weekly show on EWTN TV, and has made guest appearances on The Larry King Show, The History Channel, The Today Show, and a PBS series.
A prolific Catholic apologist, Spitzer gave a talk at the 2024 Summit titled “The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: From New Testament Scholarship to Scientifically Investigated Miracles,” drawing on points from his book The Moral Wisdom of the Catholic Church: A Defense of Her Controversial Moral Teachings. Spitzer is the author of 18 books.
Legatus presented another priest, Fr. James Bramlage, with the 2023 National Chaplain of the Year award. Bramlage has been the chaplain of the Cincinnati Legatus chapter for 27 years. “This award recognizes a chaplain who serves his chapter faithfully and heroically – yet goes beyond specified duties to singular apostolic witness,” according to CWN:
“He demonstrates the humility and quiet witness one would expect of a priest, but when he speaks so articulately, people listen” – according to one who nominated him.
Legatus also honored CEO and co-founder of the Hallow prayer app Alex Jones with the 2023 Bowie Kuhn Award, “for his extraordinary efforts to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ among peers – and to the world at large,” CNW reported. “Hallow has recently become the #1 mobile prayer app worldwide. In 2023, Jones joined the DuPage County Chapter in metro Chicago.”