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Leadership In The New Millennium

In society today there is an increasing awareness of the profound need for professional men to be inspired by Christian ideals and to apply those ideals to their everyday activities - in a phrase, to live a unity of life. In addition, we have a responsibility to help those around us - at work, at home and in civic life.

The Men's Leadership Forum is a program designed for professional men in the Cleveland area to address these critical issues. Its goal is to offer guidance and encouragement in the application of Christian principles to daily life.

The forum will offer four sessions a year on vital topics. The outstanding group of speakers will provide thought-provoking and challenging material. Considerations will include the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The sessions will also provide the opportunity to deepen professional friendships and enhance spiritual solidarity among one's peers.


"One of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives... The Christian who shirks his temporal duties shirks his duties towards his neighbor, neglects God himself, and endangers his eternal salvation."

Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (no 43), from Vatican II.

Blessed John Paul II's apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici section 59:

59. In discovering and living their proper vocation and mission, the lay faithful must be formed according to the union which exists from their being members of the Church and citizens of human society.

There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called "spiritual" life, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called "secular" life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social relationships, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. The branch, engrafted to the vine which is Christ, bears its fruit in every sphere of existence and activity. In fact, every area of the lay faithful's lives, as different as they are, enters into the plan of God, who desires that these very areas be the "places in time" where the love of Christ is revealed and realized for both the glory of the Father and service of others. Every activity, every situation, every precise responsibility-as, for example, skill and solidarity in work, love and dedication in the family and the education of children, service to society and public life and the promotion of truth in the area of culture-are the occasions ordained by Providence for a "continuous exercise of faith, hope and charity"(211).

The Second Vatican Council has invited all the lay faithful to this unity of life by forcefully decrying the grave consequences in separating faith from life, and the gospel from culture: "The Council exhorts Christians, as citizens of one city and the other, to strive to perform their earthly duties faithfully in response to the spirit of the Gospel. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities; for they are forgetting that by faith itself they are more than ever obliged to measure up to these duties, each according to one's vocation ... This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age"(212).

Therefore, I have maintained that a faith that does not affect a person's culture is a faith "not fully embraced, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived"(213).