Regnum Christi

100 College Students take a Weekend to Seek God

January 26–28, Benedictine College in Kansas hosted a spiritual exercises retreat organized by Regnum Christi. The 100 who attended the retreat included 80 current Benedictine students, a handful of recent graduates, and students from nearby Iowa State University and Wichita State University. 38 young men and 62 young women took part in the spiritual exercises.

Letting God Take the Wheel

Marc Dery, one the participants, said, “I went to the retreat with a spirit of openness and tranquility, trying to see what God wanted to teach me at this retreat.”

During the retreat, Marc said, “Many of the meditations helped me let God take the wheel and not be directing the prayer . . . I had some pretty cool experiences of Christ in my prayer, in ways that he was asking me to grow.”

Asked about the fruit of the retreat, Marc cited, “being able to accept love from others and love from Christ. I tend to be that person who wants to be in control — I want to do everything on my own. I think God was telling me that I need to let go and let him take the wheel in my life and direct me.”

The very first meditation was the most powerful for Marc, where he intensely experienced the love of the Father. He felt God’s love in an intense way, telling him that He’s present at all moments. Marc said a secondary fruit was understanding that God knows what’s best for his life, leading him to relinquish control.

Marisol Alicea, a senior studying theology and psychology who organized the event, described how the spiritual atmosphere of Benedictine College contributed to the retreat: “It’s a real need at Benedictine: there’s a lot of people who need a long time to pray. I think that just putting the word out — people didn’t need to be convinced — got people to come.”

Marisol also talked about what she gained from those on retreat, “It was a really beautiful experience to watch so many of my friends, so many people who are leaders on campus, really pray and have an encounter with God. Some of them, you can tell it was the first time they’d given God that time and silence, yet they were really ready for it, and the Lord was able to work.”

She also noted, “A lot of people talked about how the depth of the formation in the talks was very helpful.”

Marisol was able to keep the cost of the retreat very low – just $20 per participant – by having students sleep in their own rooms or swap with others, to assure that students in the same dorm were all in silence. The Regnum Christi women from the Kansas City area prepared the meals, another cost-saving feature.

Regnum Christi at Benedictine University

The retreat was held in the abbey crypt, where the monks minister alongside campus ministry. This cooperation encouraged many from different groups on campus to attend, not just those involved with Regnum Christi.

Fr. Ryan Richardson, LC, and Katelyn Moroney led the exercises, with Katelyn also providing spiritual direction to many students during the retreat. Both Fr. Ryan and Katelyn are also members of the college’s campus ministry staff, offering spiritual direction four to five days per month.

Fr. Ryan remarked on the spiritual freedom that characterized the event. “Just to see 100 young people sign up for a weekend, put down their phones, and focus on the Lord was really edifying,” he said. “For me, it was probably the most powerful experience that I’ve had as a priest thus far.”

He said it reminded him of the value of the spiritual exercises — they really work. Although he worried about having to offer general confession, as there weren’t any other priests, he wound up getting help from three benedictine priests on campus, who volunteered when they saw how many students were taking part. One of the priests told Fr. Ryan later, “Those are some of the most beautiful confessions I’ve ever heard in my life. Many tears were shed and many graces were given.”

“The Charism is Alive”

Fr. Ryan was really moved by the students’ response. He thinks depth of formation is a special benefit that Regnum Christi provides. He noted the strong Regnum Christi presence on campus: not only in numbers, but also in how on-fire the students are, and in how much the university appreciates the movement.

Marisol noted that most of those from outside the college had been part of Regnum Christi Mission Corps with students at Benedictine, who then brought all their friends.

Fr. Ryan Richardson, LC, concluded with a reflection on this in the wider scope of Regnum Christi: “For me, it was a sign that the renewal is at work and the charism is alive.”

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Alex Kucera


Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!