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Mass for Commerce Brings Business Leaders Together

Business community inspired to bring Christ into their work and their work to Christ.

by Jack Thornton

Sacred Heart Major Seminary welcomed members of the business community of Southeastern Michigan at the 24th Annual Mass for Commerce on Wednesday, October 18. The Mass for Commerce provides a chance for Catholic businessmen and women to network over breakfast and share in the light and joy of the gospel and the Eucharist.

The Mass was celebrated by the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit, who praised attendees for the integration of their faith into their business practices. During his homily, Archbishop Vigneron recognized that members of the business community had responded to “an inner inspiration and hunger from the Holy Spirit.”

In his reflections on the role of Catholic women and men engaged in commerce, Archbishop Vigneron urged the congregation to give their professional lives to the Church. “Nobody can be a bystander in this work of the New Evangelization,” he said. “There are no benchwarmers. Everybody has to play [a part]. Everyone has to be engaged.” 

by Jack Thornton

Archbishop Vigneron also emphasized the Sacraments’ importance in the lives of business professionals, and encouraged a special participation in the Eucharist. “The world of commerce is a good thing. It’s a part of the world God created in its nature, and you get to come to the Church and offer that back to God,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “You bring parts of that world that will come and be placed on the altar only because you bring them here. Your practices, your business, they belong to God. Your parts of the world are being brought back to God where they belong.”

The Archbishop’s homily was warmly received and provided fodder for enriching discussion at the breakfast after Mass. Tim Turczyn, a local independent consultant, said it is encouraging to be “recognized by the leadership of the Church who we are as business professionals, and to keep doing what we do. It’s enlightening and it gives me the energy to go and continue to do what I do and—as the archbishop said—keep spreading the Gospel.”

Michael Shesterkin, another attendee and business leader, took the encouragement to integrate one’s work with the life of the Church and connected this philosophy to the ethics of economics.

“We live in an age that is very materialistic and where business exists to maximize shareholder value. The truth is the Catholic social perspective presents a completely different view of reality,” he said. “Business is really predicated on the dignity of the human person, not on money, and that ought to be the value that guides our decision-making, not just maximizing capital. When we really look at the purpose of business, it’s about lifting up the common good of all humanity. It’s not about aggregating wealth.”

In its twenty-fourth year, the Mass for Commerce continues to provide an invaluable source for inspiration, grace, and camaraderie in the business community. There is, however, always room for more professionals in the area to attend. Michele Pomante, a member of the Mass for Commerce’s steering committee, encouraged Catholics who haven’t attended to come to this event. “I would still like to see more people here because there are many people who are Catholic and in business and commerce,” she said. “I’d like to see it be an even larger Mass than it is.”

The Mass for Commerce returns to Sacred Heart on October 17, 2018, to welcome even more guests to this community of hope, faith, and fellowship.

Jack Thornton

Jack Thornton is a freelance writer from Chicago, Illinois.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.