Regnum Christi

October 30, 2018

Legionaries Help with Youth Synod

The recent Synod of Bishops met in Rome, October 3–28, to discuss “Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Some Legionaries had the opportunity to assist at this meeting of bishops from all over the world.

The Synod

In preparation for the gathering, in March 2018 there was a pre-Synodal meeting with 300 young people from five continents who came together at the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, a seminary in Rome directed by the Legionaries of Christ, for diocesan seminarians from around the world. Then, in October, there followed the formal meeting of bishops from around the world in Rome, called a synod. Each bishops’ conference sent representative bishops and Pope Francis appointed a few more.

The synod began and ended with large Masses. In the opening Mass homily, Pope Francis said, “Jesus offers his disciples the assurance that will accompany all the missionary work to be entrusted to them: the Holy Spirit will be the first to preserve, to keep alive and relevant, the memory of the Lord in the heart of his disciples. It is the Spirit who ensures that the richness and beauty of the Gospel will be a source of constant joy and freshness.”

On Sunday, October 28, Pope Francis closed the synod. In his homily at the final Mass, he outlined the “three fundamental steps on the journey of faith,” which he summed up as “To listen, to be a neighbour, to bear witness. The journey of faith in today’s Gospel ends in a beautiful and surprising way when Jesus says ‘Go; your faith has made you well’ (v. 52). Yet Bartimaeus had made no profession of faith or done any good work; he had only begged for mercy. To feel oneself in need of salvation is the beginning of faith. It is the direct path to encountering Jesus.”

Legionaries’ Involvement in the Synod

Three Legionaries were helping out with the Synod as assistants to the Synod’s general secretary: Br. Alejandro de la Garza Gossler, LC,  and Fr. Luis Ramírez, LC, from Mexico, and Br.Russell Dean Ward, LC, from the US. These men were responsible for writing summaries and official acts of what different bishops said.

We asked Br. Russell how this participation corresponds to the Charism of Regnum Christi. He said, “The grace of being able to participate in the Youth Synod has been an experience of the Universal Church.” When we asked him about media coverage of the Synod, he said, “I have been able to witness that behind all the chaos present in the media, the vast majority of cardinals, bishops and priests here have a passionate love for the Church and long to spread the faith to the next generation.”

Br. Russell found the small group discussions especially inspiring. “Here I have seen how the Synod Fathers are really seeking the good of the whole Church,”he told us, “especially by an attentive listening to the voices of the young people present.” He though the way they worked through opinions was wonderful. “There may be diverse opinions on how to attain the end,” he said, “but the end is the same for all – to lead the youth to a real experience of Jesus Christ.”

When asked what he learned for the Church from the Youth Synod, Br. Russell mentioned accompaniment, such as mentoring and spiritual direction. He sees the need to form both priests and lay people to be mentors and spiritual guides.

Br. Russell summarized the Synod by comparing it to the disciples who met the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus: “Jesus offers us the key to touching the hearts of the youth today. Jesus meets the two disciples as they walk away from Jerusalem—that is, the wrong way. Jesus actually walks the wrong way with them! He first listens to them, their doubts and disappointments. He then reprimands them and gives them the key to interpret all their experience from his perspective. Then he leads them to the Eucharist, where they recognize that he is alive and in their midst. After this, they go back to Jerusalem on fire with the love of Christ and as apostles of his resurrection.”

For more information on the Youth Synod, you can check out the Synod’s website.

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Captivenia: A Magical Place Where Girls Experience the Calling of Christ, their King

From July 18-28, the land of Captivenia opened its doors for an 8th time, welcoming 95 girls to experience the truth & mystery of being “Chosen” by the King.

Hidden away in the foothills outside Calgary, Alberta, this camp is a protected & well-kept secret. It seeks to be a living experience for girls and young women of the truth of their identity and feminine genius. That sounds very abstract & ambitious, yet for camp director Valerie Doran and her team, it is God-given mission and a key for transforming the world.

As well-said by Fulton J. Sheen,

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

The girls that come to the camp are welcomed, cared for by an incredible team of young women, placed within a community and surrounded by beauty. At the same time, it is a camp that provides the most basic bare necessities, allowing the girls to experience some challenge & discomfort that builds resilience. It removes from the girls all the things girls and women often use to cover up or hide: cell phones, pictures, name brand clothes, make up, friend group. None of those things are bad but since they do not enter into the realm, the girls are left vulnerable and free, to be themselves and discover themselves in a new way.

A day in Captivenia is never dull and never the same. During the week, the girls have wilderness training, go on night adventures through the forest or “missions” as they are called, build forts, practice archery, race at obstacle courses, have scavenger hunts and face scary enemies on various adventures. As well, they have daily prayer times & mass, formation talks, activities, and adoration. Definitely not least important, are the characters of the land & the memorable moments the girls share with them, “the scenes”. Each camp unfolds a different drama in the land as the story-line and individual characters lives are developed. The campers are never mere spectators but are part of the scene and often are called upon to do acts of heroism and service to help the story unfold. This summer, one of the girls role models, the lead Messenger was kidnapped in battle and the girls later had to enter enemy territory to rescue her. As well, the throne of Captivenia was vacant and so they were in expectation for the naming of the new princess. The characters: with their personality, virtues, words, decisions, are living out in front of the girls everything the camp is trying to teach them. They become like living, breathing icons of the spiritual life: the care of a King, the danger of evil, the power of good, the effort of virtue, the importance of prayer etc.

Don’t miss out next years camp for your daughter, relative or friend! As well, check out the brother camp Arcātheos. See the websites for more details! www.captivenia.com and www.arcatheos.com

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Authenticity: Men of Character in a Culture of Personality 

Men have a choice to make, challenges Fr. Brett Taira, LC, either to pursue a personality that is admired by others, or to be authentic, regardless of whether no one is watching them or they are in the spotlight.

Fr. Brett quotes St. James as he gives advice to what he calls  “a double minded man,” one who sees himself in the mirror and forgets what he looks like.  “The person you see in the mirror when you get up in the morning, the man you alone see, that is your man of character. Then you put on your tie, walk out the door and become the man of personality.  And there is a problem if the man you see in the mirror and the man who walks out the door are not the same.”

Listen to the podcast of his talk originally given to the Regnum Christi men of Chicago and learn how you can be authentic and unashamed of being your true self, the man of character, the new man in Christ.

 

 

 

 

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Alex Kucera

Atlanta

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!