Regnum Christi

Discovering the Beauty of Marriage at the MET

Fr. Jason Smith, LC, is convinced that an essential part of being a missionary is communicating the joy of the Gospel outside of a church environment.  He has an eye for art and a passion for evangelization, which he shares with the world through Instagram, where his almost18,000 followers are nourished by his elegant blending of photography and short written meditations.

 

Part of Fr. Jason’s ministry is his involvement with Cana Uncorked, an evangelization project that Regnum Christi operates in collaboration with the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral in SoHo.  The program was started by Regnum Christi members Rob and Kristen Chmiel, and a team of newly-wed graduates of their Three to Get Married marriage prep program, as a way to create a community of newly married couples who could continue to grow in their faith together.

Since he lives in the New York City area, he is always looking for ways to bring Christ and the Catholic faith into the city. He shares that since he has the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in his “backyard” so to speak, it was only natural for him to find a way to introduce people to Christ by bringing them there.

Fr. Jason gives Instagram followers a taste of the “Marriage at the MET” tour

 

One of the Cana Uncorked events is a couples tour of the MET, led by Fr. Jason, which focuses on the good, true and beautiful aspects of marriage that can be found in the art there.   Fr. Jason tells us, “Regarding the tour itself, I used some of my favorite paintings at the MET and make the connection to different aspects of marriage. Parallels are easy to find once I let my imagination run a little.”

 

 

 

 

Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage (public domain)

Giving a couple of examples of how he does this, Fr.  Jason shares,  “For example, with this painting of Joan of Arc, one point I emphasized is the contrast between the solidity and inner strength with which St Joan is painted and the impressionistic style with which the three saints behind her are painted, blending into the trees in the background.

The lesson I see here is that many times faith inspires us to move forward in love but we ourselves are the ones who need to take the steps, God is not going to do it for us, and that takes a lot of inner strength, which I see in this depiction of Joan—even more than if she had been painted in a suit of armor.

I closed this little part of my reflection with a story that a young couple had told me. They had just come home with their first newborn, put the baby in the crib, and were standing there together, looked at each other and at the baby and said to each other, now what do we do? They were having their Joan of Arc moment.”

The Weeders by Jules Breton (public domain)

“Another painting we reflected on, the Weeders, speaks to me of the of the importance of stopping to lift our gaze to what is good, noble, just, and beautiful in our life, something that is remarkably hard to do, as only one of the women in the painting is doing it.

To learn to stop in a city that never sleeps and is always working is essential to a good marriage. When we see a painting like this it hits a chord deep within of a desire to be captivated by delight in what is most important in life.”

 

 

One marriage at a time, Fr. Jason is encouraging New Yorkers, in the words of St. Paul, to see “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– [and] think about such things.” (Phil 4:8)

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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!