Regnum Christi

Chile

A Bookstore Becomes an Evangelization and Formation Hub 

In Chile, Regnum Christi members have turned a bookstore into a place of formation, spiritual transformation and evangelization.

The Red Stone Bookstore is a center of personal formation and meeting of many souls that arrive at the Regnum Christi mission center of Las Condes. Ximena Undurraga and Vivian Dowding run the store: along with making themselves available to those who seek some spiritual reading or a sacred image for their home, the two try to meet others where they are. The bookstore has been transformed into a space that often gives support to souls that need a word of encouragement. What began 9 years ago as a small recreation area has become a nerve center of the life of the movement where books often take a back seat.

“When the Lord gives us a gift, it is not to save it, but to share it.” Fr. Donald O ‘Keefe, LC, said to motivate Ximena to transform the recreation area into a bookstore with a lending library of books and spiritual items like rosaries. Although Ximena was not very sure of taking on this task, she began to tackle her new challenge the very next day.

Today, the Red Stone Bookstore has about a thousand books on its shelves and is a space where Regnum Christi members can go to acquire texts and works that help them learn, reflect and meditate on a variety of current and spiritual issues. Ximena told us, “People come to seek information, they ask with clarity and without shame, about several issues that are relevant in the national discussion today. And above all they ask about issues related to the family that is the basis of life and of the Church.”

Evangelizing and making God known is one of the main objectives of this space, but there is another one that is even more relevant. Vivian Dowding added, “Many people open their hearts in the bookstore, we are a link with priests, because we take these people to speak with a priest so that with his words, he can guide them in their day. That’s the way to shelter the people we have here.”

And what does it mean for these two women, who are members of Regnum Christi for 19 years, to work in the RC Red Stone Bookstore? Ximena explains, “Besides evangelizing through books, it is working in my second home where I feel good, understood and listened to and where people feel accompanied. It is an apostolate where I return to the Lord all that he has given me in life.” While Vivian states, “Apart from evangelizing, it is sharing my way of being and my joy with the members of the RC family. It is to serve the clients well, in a close and affectionate way.”

Read the original on the Regnum Christi Chile site.

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Urban Missions on Pentecost

Regnum Christi members in Puente Alto, a suburb of Santiago, Chile, went out to the streets to talk to others about the Holy Spirit just before Pentecost.

During Holy Week, several missionaries formed a bond with the community of the parish of the Nativity of the Lord. Afterwards, the idea of “Urban Missions” was born. So on May 19, Regnum Christi members went out into the neighborhood of Ciudad del Este in Puente Alto. Their goal was to listen, converse, evangelize and stoke the fire of the Holy Spirit in the people of the area with a view to the celebration of Pentecost the day after.

The main group of missionaries came from the section of Las Condes (a richer suburb). With a Consecrated Woman, they visited houses in the neighborhood of Ciudad del Este to give continuity in with the Holy Week missions.

In these so-called, “Urban Missions,” the missionaries worked together with the parish priest, Fr. Gonzalo Guzmán. They conveyed the hope that the fire of the celebration of Pentecost burns, purifies and enlivens the faith in people and helps them reach the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Rosario Miranda, a Consecrated Woman, said, “The fruit of these missions was sharing a moment where we accompanied a community of parishioners who see a Catholicism that feels ashamed, hurt and with a great weight. We went with the parish priest, Fr. Gonzalo Guzmán, to ask their forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church because we are also part of it. In our meetings we proposed in turn that we unite, show our faces and work together to renew our faith in God and our love for Christ. “

Rosario Icaza from the Las Condes section, explained, “After the Holy Week missions in Puente Alto we were fascinated by the experience. That is why we offered Father Gonzalo to come back once a month to help him visit families from house to house. We chose the dates thinking about the liturgical celebrations and the first one was Pentecost. We had to go the previous Saturday and so take advantage of inviting people to Sunday Masses. For all that has happened lately in the Church, I thought it was not the most appropriate day, but we had committed ourselves to the priest and we weren’t going to let down the Lord. We were quite scared with what we were going to find there, but after a meeting with the priest, we were a little calmer. I have no words to describe the love with which they welcomed us, they made us go home and, although they spoke with the father about the latest Catholic Church issues that came out in the news, they did it with great respect and without judging or attacking anyone. Others received us suspiciously, but when they saw who we were and where we came from, they changed their attitude. I think that today there is a lot of loneliness in people and every day we are more locked in ourselves, there is distrust and insecurity but there is something that unites us that is stronger: speaking of God makes us change our attitude. This has made me reflect on the mission that we have as lay Catholics especially in the difficult moments that our church is living. We must leave our comfort and bring the simple word of God to our brothers. There is no need to know much or be a scholar only to feel that God loves them and that we go on his behalf to visit them. The change of life of many people depends on us and the truth is that you receive much more than you give in instances like these.”

Read the original and get contact info to get involved on the Regnum Christi Chile site.

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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!