Last summer the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham celebrated its 50th Anniversary by hosting its first Eucharistic Congress. We were Called, Formed and Sent by Bishop Baker. He sent us to be missionary disciples.
For nearly four years before the Eucharistic Congress a group of Catholics from various parishes and a wide range of businesses and professions had bandied about the idea of forming a network of Catholics that would allow its members to grow both spiritually and professionally.
Now, inspired by the Eucharistic Congress, and in response to the Bishop’s call to be missionary disciples, we have moved forward with the idea. On Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, the Catholic Business and Professional Network (CBPN) will host a kickoff event from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at the Our Lady of Sorrows Family Life Center. Everyone is invited to attend to learn more about the organization while networking and enjoying tastings provided by fellow Catholics - caterers and restaurant owners* - and a cash bar.
The mission of the CBPN is: Educating and forming business and professional men and women in the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church, by encouraging one another, building relationships, and deepening our faith.
The board of directors expects the membership benefits to reflect the desires of its members and will, therefore, change over time, but the initial benefits of membership will include: Being listed in an online membership directory by business category and by parish, attending quarterly luncheons with exceptional speakers at a discounted price, having access to an interactive master calendar of events around the Diocese, religious education opportunities (e.g. Bible studies), professional seminars, networking events, mentoring opportunities, a job bank, and a health benefits plan. Membership in CBPN is annual. Dues will be $100.00 for most members, however, Young Professionals (35 and younger) and Seniors (65 years and older) will pay only $50.00.
The board of directors has bonded closely and seen their faith grow through the process of forming the organization. "This has been an incredible journey working with talented, inspiring people to launch the Catholic Business & Professional Network. We seek to apply the teachings of the Catholic faith in the marketplace and to highlight and promote businesses among the Catholic community through networking opportunities. Our lives are enriched by shared experiences, learning and growing together, " stated Suzanne Monk. Bob Lujano concurs, “As a believer, I will always feel compelled to promote community activity. “ James Watts, director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries sums it up perfectly, “ I was attempting to do things as an individual until I realized I am part of One Catholic Apostolic Church. The CBPN is one way we as Catholics can fellowship, build, grow and flourish as one Body”. Finally, Lisa Christopher observes, “When I meet someone and learn they are Catholic, I feel an instant connection to that person. We’ve experienced the same Sacraments and heard the same readings each Sunday. Building relationships is critical to business success. Being a member of CBPN will be beneficial both personally and professionally.”
For more information contact Vice President/Membership Lisa Christopher at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-862-3445. Coming soon: www.catholicnetwork.net , Facebook & Instagram
*Food donors as of printing: Iz Weddings & Events, Majestic Catering, and Sela’s Imperial Catering
Attached photo: Seated Left to Right: Bob Lujano, Suzanne Monk, Lisa Christopher, Sinclair Monk
Standing Left to Right: Paul DeMarco, Jeff Florio, John Martignoni, James Watts, Zach Chambliss. Not Pictured: Maria Jose Bonilla