How can the Church speak to business leaders?

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The next Attollo session will be held Dec. 11 at Janiczek & Company, Ltd., 8400 E. Crescent Parkway, Ste. 160 in Greenwood Village. The agenda will include designing 2015 business goals that align to help a business owner’s lifetime goals. For more info, email paul@attollousa.com or call 720-508-4154.

Catholic business leaders who integrate Catholic social teaching into their work life can help better themselves and society, says one Colorado business consultant.

“Well-formed Catholic business leaders can take the discussion of higher purpose to a deeper, richer and more meaningful level with other business leaders. It’s a great way to gently evangelize,” said Paul Winkler, the founder of Attollo, a new peer advisory organization for Catholic business leaders.

“Catholic business leaders face dual challenges of developing and growing a healthy organization and a healthy relationship with Christ,” Winkler told EWTN News. “When you love and trust in God, it affects absolutely everything else in your life. Integrating faith and work life starts by learning to live an authentic, integrated life.”

Each Attollo advisory group includes 12-15 business owners, CEOs, and presidents who aim to grow their business with the guidance of Catholic social teaching.

“We tackle issues like lifetime goal planning and execution, and personal and professional development all while learning and understanding principles of Catholic social teaching and its direct application and implication in their business,” Winkler said.

“We all hunger for God,” he continued. “Attollo provides an opportunity to work closely with others who desire to be drawn close to Him while working on developing a strong business to satisfy their needs and (the needs) of their employees while creating a worthwhile product or service that serves the common good.”

The Attollo program takes its name from the Latin word meaning “I lift.” It features monthly, day-long meetings Winkler compared to a “working retreat.” These meetings aim to help members focus on their faith, their family and their business. The meetings begin and end with prayers and attendees celebrate noon Mass together.

Each member sets faith goals such as going to confession and attending Mass more than weekly, as well as personal goals like spending more time with one’s family.

“We should always keep God in the center of our lives, our marriages and our work,” Winkler said.

He said that a stable and growing business is “vital” to creating a receptive environment for Catholic social teaching. At the same time, business leaders face the challenge of “developing a deeper relationship with Christ so that Catholic social teaching makes sense to them.”

Each member also sets business goals and receives advice from other members as well as one-on-one coaching sessions. Winkler said the Attollo program aims to provide tools, techniques, and “an outside set of eyes” necessary to create “breakthrough moments” that have been restricting an organization’s growth.

Winkler said an Attollo group “offers a time and a place, a disciplined approach and accountability that is needed for achieving big goals.”

Winkler himself runs a business consultancy called The 5Q.

He said he was inspired to start Attollo after reading the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s 2012 document on the vocation of the business leader. At the same time, he thought the document did not provide business men and women with direction in applying Catholic principles to their business.

“They needed help moving from principles or theory to actual practice,” he said.

Winkler cited Pope Francis’ words in his 2013 apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium.” The Pope said that business is a “noble vocation” provided businessmen “see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life” and “serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.”

Winkler said he hopes that Attollo participants will become well-known and attractive to future employees and business prospects by showing “Christ-centered, principled, virtuous leadership.”

The first Attollo pilot program took place in Denver from August to October. Now that the pilot program is complete, Winkler will charge a fee for participants based roughly on gross revenue of their company.

“Large or small, I don’t want to exclude anybody,” he said.

Winkler is also developing content that ties Catholic social teaching principles with principles of business so that the program can be adopted by others.

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.


Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash