Raven Unites Catholic Social Teaching and Investing

The Gregorian Fellows Leadership Program at Benedictine College promotes Catholic identity in public life by forming a new generation of leaders who unite faith and reason in their work. On Fellows Fridays, the Gregorian Institute will introduce you to some of these extraordinary students.

What do you get when you cross Catholic Social Teaching with investments? A stronger community.

So says Michael Rziha, a Gregorian Fellow, who graduated in May from Benedictine College and is now a Project Manager at Blackbird Investments in Des Moines, Iowa.

“My company is a unique business focused on promoting Catholic Social Teaching through real estate development that benefits local churches, dioceses, and other faith based organizations,” he said.

He learned about Blackbird Investments during a Gregorian Fellows dinner with Justin Doyle, the company’s founder.

Michael said there are at least five Benedictine College graduates working at the company.

“I work within the finance and development team modeling future projects, adjusting current projects based on new information, and researching the market to find new opportunities and better information for our models,” he said.

“My classes at Benedictine prepared me well to learn the system at Blackbird,” he said, but the Liberal Arts nature of the school and the Gregorian Fellows program were invaluable, he added. “Additionally, at Benedictine I learned how to learn and how to think, which is as important as any information that I learned in my classes.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.