Regnum Christi

Dcn. Erik Burkel to be Ordained to the Priesthood May 7, 2022

In the summer of 2009, I flew up to Connecticut to visit the novitiate. I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Alabama, and had resolved to give God three months of my life in order to discern the priesthood. I still remember being picked up from the airport and one of the Legionaries saying, “Welcome to Cheshire, Brother Erik.” I thought to myself: Brother Erik? What am I getting myself into? As a 19-year-old who’d lately spent my time studying calculus and physics (in pursuit of an engineering degree) and attending college football games (in pursuit of personal euphoria), being suddenly called by the religious title “brother” came as quite a shock.

I am from southern Mississippi—Baptist country—so it’s remarkable that I even grew up Catholic. I have my Catholic parents to thank, who moved to Hattiesburg, MS, before I was born. That’s where I grew up with my two brothers and two sisters, homeschooling, playing basketball, and attending boys’ camps with the Legionaries of Christ. I later went to high school, where my basketball coach Mark Bryan and my English teacher Betty Sugg made a big impact on me. They believed in me and challenged me to grow physically, intellectually, and spiritually. I still remember upsetting basketball powerhouse Hillcrest School 43-38 in the district semifinal. Mrs. Sugg was one of our biggest fans!

That summer of 2009 in Connecticut was the start of a great adventure. I remember one night waking up groggy, donning my black cassock, and walking down the dark hallway to the candle-illumined chapel for nocturnal prayers. It was amazing to think how much my life had changed since the bleachers of the Alabama football stadium! Following Christ was not easy, but if there’s one piece of advice that I tried to follow it was this: don’t get lost in the day to day. Heaven is our goal, so always remember that and keep your ideals high. This has enabled me to enjoy the ride amidst the many sacrifices of the life I’ve chosen. Indeed, God has blessed me and made me very happy. I still have a number of hobbies, like tennis, German, and creative writing (in English!). Christ asks us for everything, but he doesn’t necessarily take everything. And he always gives us far more in return. Praise him!

All are warmly invited to pray for Deacon Erik and the other 28 deacons being ordained to the priesthood,  and to join them via YouTube for the live broadcast of the Ordination Mass on Saturday, May 7th, at 10:00am Rome time (4:00am EDT, 1:00am PDT).

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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!