PIVOT: Adapting During the Pandemic

By Tim Busch

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to rethink our daily lives. From the personal to the professional to the spiritual, the habits and rituals that we have come to rely on have been upended. It’s been difficult, to say the least. But it’s also a good time for us to ask: How can we creatively and courageously adapt to the difficult reality that we’re living in? More to the point: How can we use a bad situation to advance the good?

This is something we’ve been thinking a lot about at the Napa Institute.


Tenth Anniversary conference pivot

This July was supposed to be our 10th anniversary conference. For a decade, our organization has brought together hundreds of Catholic lay and religious leaders – including cardinals, archbishops, and prominent members of many orders – for a time of spiritual deepening. This year’s conference was going to be particularly special. Our plan was to celebrate our growth and spiritual impact over the last decade, while preparing for another 10 years of helping faithful Catholics chart a course in an ever-more hostile culture.

Fortunately, our conference will still fulfill its goals, because we’re taking steps to adapt.

Instead of letting the pandemic shut us down, we’re finding new ways to shape lives, change minds, and win hearts. As Catholics, we can’t let any barrier block us from fulfilling our mission.

From the early days of the pandemic, the Napa Institute pivoted to a digital platform. In March, we began live-streaming Masses from the chapel in our office. We introduced a series of webinars on pertinent spiritual, business and health matters which have been viewed by almost 10,000 persons weekly.

These efforts helped prepare the way for a completely digital 10th anniversary conference.

While originally we intended to host 700-plus Catholic leaders from across the world at in-person event, now we plan on reaching thousands more through a virtual platform. The format has changed, but our commitment to provide liturgy, faith formation, and fraternity remain unchanged. As we’ve come to see, the digital conference is a blessing, not a curse – we can now reach more people than we could before. Truly, God is good.

In fact, I hope you’ll join this expanded and improved conference.


“Finding Hope in a New America”

The 10th annual Napa Institute conference will be celebrated online from August 13 – 15, 2020. Its theme is “Finding Hope in a New America” – a timely topic given the challenges facing the country right now, both with the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing tensions about equal justice.

The conference will feature many inspiring and amazing speakers, including Cardinal George Pell, former #2 of the Vatican charged with its financial reform, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Massachusetts, Pastor Rick Warren, an incredible Evangelical preacher of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life, Professor Robert George of Princeton University, and George Weigel, the author of many books on St. John Paul II .

These are only a few of the speakers at this year’s conference.


Personal invitation

I invite you to register to attend today. I’d personally love to have you join our 10th anniversary celebrations.

We’ve also preemptively moved our fall Principled Entrepreneurship conference to a digital format. Its theme will be “Woke Capitalism,” and it’ll be held from October 12-14, 2020.

This conference is especially timely given the growing demands for businesses to take political and social stands.

Now is the time for Catholics in the corporate world to put their faith into action – not in a radical or extreme way that will hurt the economy, corrupt businesses, and destroy opportunity and innovation for millions, but in a way that enables all people to lead better, more fulfilling lives.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Principled Entrepreneurship conference, or learning more about how you can attend it virtually, please visit our website, napa-institute.org.


Unexpected crisis leads to blessing

When the year started, we didn’t know we’d move these big events online. And honestly, it was a tough decision to make. But once we made it, we quickly came to see just how much of a blessing it was. By building our digital platforms and virtual capabilities, the Napa Institute is now prepared to serve millions of faithful Catholics in the years ahead. God is working even – or maybe especially – amid a global pandemic. And so we rejoice.

I believe these experiences hold lessons for all Catholics.

This is the time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. It is the time to remember what we have and not what we have lost. It is the time to witness that as Catholics our faith is our compass. When the world is shaken by this pandemic, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, does not falter.

In this challenging time, I’ve found myself thinking about the sacraments more often than normal. Some are tougher to get to, of course. If you cannot get to Mass, there are always daily Mass livestreams. Confession is also still available at most parishes. You can also use the papal penitentiary which allows you to have your sins forgiven without a priest during this time of pandemic. ADD VATICAN LINK

And of course, now is a time to pray.

Pray for our country and our world. Pray for our schoolchildren for their return to their formal education. And pray for our fellow Catholics and Christians, that all of us might find new ways to do good works and spread the Good News during this time of crisis. If we ask God for guidance, I am confident He will answer.

May God continue to bless you and all that you do.

If you’re interested in participating in the Napa Institutes 10th annual Summer Conference (August 13-15) or the Principled Entrepreneurship Conference (October 12-14), please visit napa-institute.org.


Timothy R. Busch is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Napa Institute and Pacific Hospitality Group Ventures, Inc.

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