Regnum Christi

February 29, 2020

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE TO REGNUM CHRISTI: A new stage on a journey that must continue

February 29, 2020

 

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE TO REGNUM CHRISTI

A new stage on a journey that must continue

 

  • The members of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi thank Pope Francis for the confidence to continue to walk the path of renewal with determination in order to overcome the legacy of Father Maciel.

 

The Pope’s Message to Regnum Christi (original italian)

The Pope’s Message to Regnum Christi (English, unofficial translation)

 

Rome, February 29, 2020 – This Saturday, February 29, an audience that was scheduled for Pope Francis with the participants in the General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ and the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi did not take place because for the third consecutive day there were cancellations on the Holy Father’s agenda. The Holy See has published the message that the Pope wanted to address to the attendees, and it has been read in the Assemblies and the Chapter this morning.

A change of mentality to overcome self-referentiality

In his message, the Pope recalled that the criminal life of the founder “had to some extent tainted the charism that the Spirit had originally given to the Church,” affecting the norms, the exercise of government and the life “of all of Regnum Christi.” Regnum Christi, hand in hand with the Church, has travelled a path leading to a real “change of mentality” which has been reflected in the new Constitutions and Statutes, which are “truly new,” says the Pope, “because they reflect a new spirit” and a vision “consistent with the Second Vatican Council,” the result of a work in which “all of your communities have been involved.” The Pope says in his message that “this was possible because you have been docile to the help and support that the Church has offered you,” and because you have realized “the real need for a renewal that would bring you out of the self-referentiality in which you had been enclosed.”

“The words of Pope Francis fill us with gratitude and encourage us to follow the path of discernment and renewal with commitment and docility to the Spirit,” said Nancy Nohrden, General Director of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi. “The fact that he has confirmed the steps we have taken in recent years strengthens our desire to address with courage and humility the errors of the past, and to walk in truth in order to make the kingdom of Christ present,” she said.

For his part, Félix Gómez Rueda, General Director of the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi, was grateful “to hear from the Holy Father that the work of these years has allowed us to manifest the charism originally given by the Holy Spirit and truly inserted in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.”

“We are grateful for the message of the Holy Father and the close accompaniment of the Holy See,” said Father John Connor, LC, recently elected General Director of the Legionaries of Christ. “Aware of what we have learned, recognizing and purifying the painful aspects of our past, we look to the future with hope, seeing a new stage in the journey of renewal that must continue,” he said.

For Francisco Gámez, a lay member who attends the General Directive College of Regnum Christi, “the Pope calls us to have a continuous attitude of spiritual renewal. We, the lay members of Regnum Christi, do not want to live a static charism, nor one that is exclusive to a few. We want to put our charism in contact with reality in a constant discernment, with those who do not know God, with the existential peripheries,” he assured.

 

Regnum Christi Federation

On June 12, 2019, the Holy See, through the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA), constituted the Regnum Christi Federation and approved its Statutes. The new Statutes express the consensus reached by the four vocations of the Regnum Christi during the process of renewal regarding their charism and common mission, spirituality, membership, organization and governance. It has been a participative and global process in which, since 2010, all the members of Regnum Christi from the four vocations that make up this ecclesial reality have been involved, some 22,000, including Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Women, Lay Consecrated Men and lay members.

 

Collegial Government

Hand in hand with the Church, the mechanisms that regulate the exercise of government and authority have been reformed as indicated by the Holy See after the apostolic visit in 2010, “united to the truth, to respect conscience and to be exercised in the light of the Gospel as an authentic ecclesial service.” In addition to the changes in the particular constitutions of the three consecrated vocations, Regnum Christi has introduced a collegial mode of government for the Federation. In this way, it seeks to highlight the spirit of communion, co-responsibility and complementarity of the vocations while respecting the autonomy proper to each.

 

Regnum Christi by the Numbers

Worldwide, at the end of 2018, Regnum Christi had 22,652 lay members, 523 Consecrated Women, 59 Lay Consecrated Men and 1,501 Legionaries of Christ.

Regnum Christi’s educational institutions have 185,000 students including 14 civil universities in Mexico, Italy, Spain, Chile and the United States, and 154 schools (31 of which are Mano Amiga schools for children from marginalized areas of Mexico, Chile, Argentina, the Philippines, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil). In addition, Regnum Christi directs the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, the John Paul II Institute for the Family in Mexico, the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae in Rome and the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Seminary in Brazil.

 

Evangelization Missions

Thousands of families and young people put themselves completely at the service of collaborating in evangelization with diocesan parish priests, especially during Holy Week and summer months. There are missionaries from 30 countries: United States, El Salvador, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, Romania, Hungary, Philippines, Canada, Belize, Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, Bosnia, Bahamas, Lebanon, England, Austria, Belgium and Lithuania.

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE TO REGNUM CHRISTI: A new stage on a journey that must continue Read More »

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Regnum Christi Federation: Unofficial Translation from Italian Original

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

to the Regnum Christi Federation

February 29 2020

(Unofficial translation from the Italian original)

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to be able to meet with you as you are concluding a phase of your journey under the maternal guidance of the Church. You, Legionaries of Christ, have just concluded your General Chapter and you, both Consecrated Women and Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi, your General Assemblies. These were a chapter and assemblies which produced your new General Governments, concluding a phase in the journey you have undertaken. This means that the journey continues and is not yet completed.

The criminal behavior of your founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, which emerged in all its gravity, produced a deep crisis in the whole of Regnum Christi, both as an institution and individually. While, on the one hand, it cannot be denied that he was the “historical” founder of the entire reality you represent, on the other hand, he cannot be considered as an example of holiness to be imitated. He made himself the point of reference, through a false image that he created with his double life. Moreover, his long centralized government had, to some extent, tainted the charism that the Holy Spirit had originally given to the Church; and this was reflected in its norms, as well as in the practice of government and obedience, and in its style of life.

Faced with these revelations, the Church did not fail to show her motherly concern and reached out to you in various ways, placing alongside you people of great human and pastoral sensitivity and recognized juridical competence. Among them I wish to recall the late Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate. The new Constitutions and the new Statutes are truly “new,” both because they reflect a new spirit and a new vision of religious life consistent with the Second Vatican Council and the guidelines of the Holy See, and because they are the product of three years’ work, in which all of your communities have been involved and which has led to a change of mentality. It was an event that brought about a real conversion of heart and mind. This was possible because you were docile to the help and support that the Church offered you, having realized the real need for a renewal that would bring you out of the self-referentiality in which you had been enclosed.  You opened yourselves with courage to the action of the Holy Spirit, thus entering the path of true discernment.

Accompanied by the Church, you have carried out with patience and willingness a demanding task to overcome even very strong tensions which sometimes arose. This prompted a further change of mentality, because it required a new vision in the mutual relations between the diverse realities that comprise Regnum Christi. I know well that it has not been easy, because what we are most strongly attached to are our own ideas. We often lack holy indifference, to which we must be open by an act of will, to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. The Spirit leads us to detachment from ourselves in the search for God’s will, because only from God’s will can come the good for the whole Church and for each of us.

This work has led to the establishment of the Federation of Regnum Christi, composed of the Religious Institute of the Legionaries of Christ, the Society of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Society of Apostolic Life of the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi. Numerous lay people, who do not profess the evangelical counsels, join this Federation individually, thus constituting a “Spiritual Family,” a broader reality than the Federation itself. The Federation is a canonically “new,” but also an “old” reality, because this unity and autonomy was already existent, in fact, since 2014. There remains a vast area which must be the subject of continued discernment on your part. Therefore, the journey must continue, looking forward, not backwards. Look back only to find confidence in God’s support, which has never been lacking.

At hand is the question of determining the concrete application of the Statutes of the Federation. This requires the discernment of both the collegial governing bodies, and the general and territorial governments of the three federated realities. The Statutes must always stimulate discernment. However, if discernment is not easy on a personal level, it is much less so on the level of  government. Discernment requires of everyone humility and prayer; the latter, nourished by contemplation of the mysteries of the life of Jesus, leads one to become more like Him and to see through His eyes. In this way, you can progress with objectivity, with a healthy detachment from your own ideas: this does not mean that you should not have your own evaluation of reality and the problems to be confronted, but it means submitting your personal opinion to the common good.

You have elected the new general superiors and their councils. Certainly, the first person responsible for the direction of the Legionaries of Christ or the Consecrated women or the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi are the directors, but the councils have a very important function, even if the counselors are not superiors.  In fact, the councils must be a valid help to the superiors in their government, but at the same time, they also have a responsibility to supervise the work of these superiors. In fact, they are called to govern with respect for persons and in keeping with the common law of the Church and the proper law of the Institute or of each Society. For this reason, canon law provides that when a matter is submitted to the consent of the council, the superior does not vote, precisely in order to leave the councilors with more freedom (cf. can. 627 §2; 127 CIC; Pont. Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law, response of August 1, 1985, in AAS 77 [1985] 771).

I hope that your new governments will be aware that the journey of renewal is not over, because a change of mentality in individuals and in an institution requires a great deal of time for assimilation, and therefore a continuous conversion. It is a change that must continue in all members of the Federation. To return to the past would be dangerous and meaningless. The individual governments of the three federated institutes are called to follow this path with perseverance and patience, both with regard to their own Religious Institute or Society of Apostolic Life and with regard to the Federation and the laity associated to it. This requires that the three governments have a vision consistent with the will that the Church has shown in all these years by her closeness and by all the concrete means she has put at your disposition.

You, members of the new general governments, have received a mandate from the Church to continue the path of renewal, reaping and strengthening the fruits matured in these years. I exhort you to act fortiter et suaviter: energetically in the substance, and gently in the form, knowing how to grasp with courage, and at the same time with prudence, the other paths that must be taken, which have been outlined and approved by the Church. If you humbly place yourselves in the school of the Holy Spirit, you will not be overwhelmed by fear or doubt, which disturb the soul and prevent action. I entrust you to the motherly protection of the Virgin Mary; I accompany you with my affection and a sure place in my prayers, and from my heart I impart to you the Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to the whole Family of Regnum Christi. And please do not forget to pray for me.

 

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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!