At a recent seminar at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Prof. Andrew Abela made an astonishing statement about the family and business. Held on September 24-26, the event raised many questions not only about the role but also the vocation of today’s businessman. Co-sponsored by Catholic University of America and the Napa Institute, the conference had as its theme, “Liberty and Solidarity: Living the Vocation to Business.”
Dr. Abela, dean of the newly-founded school of business and economics, affirmed that the role of the family is so important to the proper functioning of business that he has made it a requirement that those at the business school take a course on the theology of marriage. He claims there is a definite connection between marriage and good business. One of the conference participants, himself a businessman, responded to the statement by saying that he does not do business with clients going through a divorce. The traumatic experience is enough to cause such clients to lose focus and make bad judgments.
The best way to assure good business practice is by a vibrant family life. It is fitting to recall that the family is not just a social unit; it is also an economic unit that contributes greatly to the economy. In addition to the family, Dr. Abela mentioned the importance of grace and prayer to business. Such themes are not often found in modern business schools but perhaps they should start being addressed.
The conference was honored with the presence of Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican.