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Profit For The Common Good

By Amy Swenson
10/19/2017 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (

The Catholic University of America, together with the Napa Institute, hosted the Good Profit Conference this past week, October 4-6, 2017. This conference brought together approximately 500 top scholars and executives from around the world to discuss the intersection of business, profit, economic advancement, and faith.

The Catholic University of America, together with the Napa Institute, hosted the Good Profit Conference.

The Catholic University of America, together with the Napa Institute, hosted the Good Profit Conference.


Following an opening Mass, William Bowman, Dean of the Busch School of Business and Economics at Catholic University, made opening remarks and invited guests to think critically about the function of business in the global community. This set the stage for serious discussion about the proper role of profit in the life of a Christian, or any member of society. A theme that seemed to flow organically throughout several lectures was that of "the inherent goodness of human work."

Andreas Widmer, PhD, gave the first presentation of the conference, which was entitled "Is Good Profit the Goal of a Company?" During his talk, Dr. Widmer discussed the foundation of all profit: human action and human work. This work can point us toward the Creator, since God Himself worked to bring forth our universe. "When we work well we don't simply make more, we actually become more" he said. "Since work is a participation in God's action...when we work we imitate God. What happens when you imitate someone a lot? You become like Him."

Dr. Widmer's practical application for businesses was threefold: 1) Businesses ought to create goods that are truly good and services that truly serve 2) They should support human flourishing by pursuing human excellence and 3) they must reward participants of the business (workers, consumers, community) in meaningful ways - physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Other presentations included "Can Your Faith Guide You to Good Profit?" by Cardinal Peter Turkson, "Does Good Leadership Create Good Profit?" by Claire Huang, "What is Good Profit?" with Charles Koch and "How Do You Turn Good Profit into Action?" by Catherine Pakaluk. During these talks, as well as during two panel discussions, the experts seemed to consistently point to human work as a beneficial part of the created world. Yet they also exhorted businesses leaders to look at their own intention while planning new business endeavors, rather than idolizing work for its own sake. The speakers, all with different backgrounds and perspectives, seemed to be unified in the idea that business efforts should acknowledge the dignity of the human person in order to be fruitful or profitable.


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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption.
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.


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