Tim Busch, CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group and namesake of The Busch School of Business and Economics, shares about the impact business can have upon people’s lives, and the responsibilities business leaders have in the decisions they make that impact people’s lives.
Business is a very enticing and “noble vocation” because it provides one of the greatest opportunities to change society, to transform a community, to accumulate capital at the same time and to use that capital to benefit others by means of responsible stewardship. As Arthur Brooks asks, “If business is not there to better society, then what’s business for?” As Michael Novak says, “Business is truly a noble vocation.”
Our experience taught us just how important education, based on Judeo Christian principles, is in the face of a secular culture that is moving further away from the values on which our country was founded.
It is my hope that the Busch School of Business and Economics School will take business as a noble vocation to the next step. I encourage the school administration and professors to build a chapel, offer daily Mass and hold frequent Adoration, to provide spiritual direction and retreats, to make room for areas for collaboration with classes in theology and philosophy, as well as other liberal arts disciplines to understand more holistically the true value of the person and offer classes in social teaching, emphasizing our responsibility to make society better.
Perhaps that may sound like building a seminary and, to some extent, that is what I envision: a business seminary. Its graduates may not be members of the clergy celebrating Mass for the Church, but they must be true Christian lay witnesses who lead by example.
At every business event or meal, I try to begin with a blessing. In corporate functions, I offer a prayer, apologizing if anyone is offended. I have been doing this for decades, and I have yet to have one person verbally or in writing chastise me for invoking the Lord’s name. I believe that faith overcomes the Evil One and our faith needs courage to bear public witness. God created this world and has called us to be co-creators with Him in building a better world by working in collaboration with one another.
If we want our graduates of Business and Economics School to understand the responsibility they have in sharing their gifts and talents with the community, then we need to educate them not only academically but spiritually as well. We need very sound, spiritual individuals who understand who God is and why God made them. We need those individuals to understand how to pray, how to pray for guidance, to pray for their team members, how to pray for a team member’s family, how to bring team members together for prayer, how to provide an environment inside of business that encourages prayer.
Only 22% of Catholics are going to Mass on Sunday, so where are the other 78%? Most of them are working, so why not reach out to them where they are at? I have had a chapel in my office for over 15 years. Through the grace of God, the blessing of the Bishop, and the Providence of a priest supply, I have been able to offer a mid-day, daily Mass for the past eight years. Between 40 to 50 people come to Mass every day, not just from my building, but from neighboring buildings. Some are workers, others are not. The chapel is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed. Anyone can come in and pray no matter what their faith. I have had many employees and partners come to me during the darkest parts of their lives—going through divorce, experiencing medical challenges, suffering the death of a family member—to thank me for having that chapel. They say “it allowed me to get through a very dark time.” But this was not just my doing. It is God’s inspiration to me so that other people can see His testimony and, in time, incorporate their faith in their business. It doesn’t have to be the Catholic faith or even a Christian faith. The Bible tells us that there is a natural law inscribed in the heart of every human being. This natural law is inviolable, trumping even civil law.
Human Dignity Comes from Co-Creation
God planned for all of us to work and co-create. He does not impose His will on us, nor does He impose any faith. He hopes that everyone will come to understand His revelation in the teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ, but even if they do not, He still loves them and extends His mercy to them. To the extent that one has never had the opportunity to be exposed to the faith, He takes that into consideration as well. God respects the free will He has given each of us.
The natural law, in principle, assures us that we are co-creators with God. Interestingly enough, co-creation is the theme of our Trinitas Winery. Of course, Trinitas is Latin for Trinity. We put together the three elements of our co-creation – the Sun, the Soil and Humanity – as it relates to our vineyards. The Sun, of course, originates from God. The soil is affected by the sun and the climate. Humanity is the human labor of man working to toil the fields of Soil. It is, therefore, a co-creation: God and humanity as winemakers, farming together. God gave each of us intelligence, ambition, zeal, purpose, and meaning. These gifts are given, not earned. But they can lead us to understand God’s revelation and His will for us.
Through Principled Entrepreneurship, we come to understand that the gifts that God has given—and we all have different gifts—are to be used for the benefit of others. In so doing, we co-create with God goodness for others, our families, our clients, and our communities. Principled Entrepreneurship is not just doing what the law tells us to do, but doing what our conscience tells us to do after they have been properly formed through family and faith, through spiritual direction at the university, and through life’s experiences.
The above are excerpts from a speech Tim Busch gave at The Catholic University of America in 2016.