Regnum Christi

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Everest Academy Nuvali Breaks ground in the Philippines

Ver Peña, a trustee of the board of Everest Academy Manila and a Regnum Christi member shares how the vision of beginning RC Education schools in the Philippines began to take shape. “‘Aiming Higher,’ That’s the slogan we saw when we first visited Legionary or Semper Altiusschools in other countries. My wife and I said,  ‘we need something like this in the Philippines.’ That’s when the dream started.”

Everest Academy Manila came to life in 2007, the first RC Education school in Asia, and the first Catholic international school in the Philippines. It now has 560 students and is one of over 200 Regnum Christi schools in 16 countries around the world.  In 2008, a sister school was born. Mano Amiga Academy, 45 minutes outside of Manila, uses the same RC Education curriculum and pedagogy while providing top quality education to underpriviledged families and breaking cycles of poverty.

Now, a third RC Education school is getting ready to open its doors. An affiliated Everest Academy campus, Everest Academy Laguna,  is coming to life on a 20 hectare mixed-use institutional development in Nuvali, an hour south of Manila.  The development includes three buildings to cater to K-12 students, an Administration/Retail Building, and Mary, Queen of Apostles Church.

The first building to rise on the site is the Lower School, which will house the Preschool, Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 4. This building will be completed by July 2019, just in time to open its doors to its pioneering students on August 2019 for school year 2019-2020.

Everest Academy Laguna currently exists as a preschool which offers a coherent progression of skills, concepts, and knowledge in all areas of child development.

The Everest Academy Laguna Preschool Curriculum was developed by researching and reviewing exemplary early childhood education practices by the International Center for Integral Formation (ICIF).  It provides a solid, coherent foundation of knowledge, concepts, and skills which are aligned with the Regnum Christi Education K-12 curriculum standards. The curriculum addresses the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral development of children and the new Everest Academy Laguna lower school will continue to integrate the curriculum and pedagogy in place.

Students of Everest Academy Laguna receive more than a world-class academic education. They are provided the tools necessary to grow in the attitudes and virtues that characterize intellectually and socially mature persons, such as perseverance and completion of tasks, clear and controlled expression of thoughts and emotions, self-reflection, self-mastery, friendliness, and appropriate manners.

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Linking Liturgy to Life – How a Parish in Houston is going from Maintenance to Mission

St. Simon and Jude parish in the Woodlands TX (North Houston) takes foot washing very seriously.  That’s right. Holy Thursday 2017 the pastor, Fr Pat Garrett, decided he wanted the Holy Thursday foot washing to be more than just symbolic.  He invited the people in the pews to spontaneously wash one another’s feet and to also leave their shoes at the altar as an offering to the poor.  The result?  An extra half-hour of liturgical foot washing and almost 700 pairs of shoes left behind for the poor!

“It was amazing!” said Charlene Alexander, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi on the pastoral staff.  “So many people left their shoes behind and went home barefoot or in the 300 pairs of disposable flip flops that had been donated for this moment. Tears of joy and forgiveness abounded as the foot washing was taking place! Sincere embraces were exchanged after each foot washing…this is what moved me as I observed this most extraordinary moment on that Holy Thursday. I had never seen anything like it.”

It was clearly a Holy Spirit moment. The movement of generosity and desire to live this act was contagious. People of all ages were bringing each other forward and washing one another’s feet and leaving their shoes behind…Did Fr Pat realize beforehand what was going to happen?

He said afterwards: “I wanted the people to have the liturgy tied to a spiritual experience and tied to a missionary outreach.  It was prayer, service and mission all in one! I was surprised at just how needed and heartfelt the moment became.”

One could say that Fr Pat has encouraged a way of Christian life in his parish that is discipleship rather than mere catechesis.  Sharing the truths of the faith is one way to evangelize, but it’s incomplete by itself.  Discipleship is more than just transmitting ideas, it’s sharing a relationship. And this is exactly what happened when liturgy became life. “Attempting to catechize families who have not been evangelized is like planting seeds in concrete. It doesn’t work” added Charlene.

Are they doing it again?  This year they are planning a coat drive with similar dynamics.  Hopefully it won’t be too cold out as many people are sure to leave their coats at the foot of the altar!

 

 

For more information:

How to Set-up a Holy Week Mission

– More info on Mission Youth Missions here.

 

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Workshop for Evangelizing Elementary Students

From September 4-7, NET held its convention in Cancun with the motto: “How much God loves us!” Club NET is a program for 1-5th grade students in Mexico.

100 people participated in the convention, including Legionary priests of Christ, consecrated women of Regnum Christi, teachers, coordinators of Catholic formation, directors of Regnum Christi schools, local directors, coordinating mothers and NET guides. The participants came from Monterrey, Saltillo, Nuevo Laredo , Durango, Colima, Leon, Irapuato, Guaymas, Tijuana, Mexico, Toluca, Morelia, Pachuca, Villahermosa, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Campeche, Chetumal, Cancun, El Salvador, Guatemala and Bogota.

During the convention, attendees reflected and were trained on the skills, strategies and methodologies proposed by NET with its Club NET and COBU (Good Heart) programs for preschool.

In this edition, the participants lived in first person the dynamics and activities that make up the programs in the three areas – school, family and friends (club) – to see it from the kids’ perspective. There were also workshops on positive discipline, FAMILY activities and activities with transversal materials that favor socio-emotional education and favor the competences of the program.

Throughout the workshop, there was the participation and support of Legionary priests including Paul Lara, LC, territorial director of Monterrey, Ricardo Sada, LC, territorial director of Mexico and Central America, John Walsh, LC and Emilio Díaz -Torre, LC, delegate of the Territorial Director of Mexico for the Prelature of Cancún-Chetumal. Fr. Emilio celebrated daily Mass, offered confession and invited the participants, through their talks, to meet true love, the love of God.

Others in directive roles also participated: Miriam de la Garza, territorial counselor for the consecrated women from Monterrey, Luly Clariond, general director of Semper Altius Network schools, Mónica García de Luca, academic director, Patricia Villaseñor, director of the pastoral area, Angelina Álvarez, academic manager of primary , Claudia Sosa, preschool academic manager, Noita D’Escrivan, pastoral counselor, Emma Alejandri, pastoral counselor, and Sofía Martínez, safe environment coordinator of the Semper Altius School Network.

As every year, NET organizes this workshop to integrate and share with all the people who implement the NET and COBU virtues programs, the innovations of these and to enrich with the experiences of all. Among the new, the materials to work in the classroom were highlighted, which include strategies that favor socio-emotional education through a positive discipline, as well as transversality with other subjects. Also the MOODLE NET electronic training platform, in addition to the music and animated videos of the COBU program.

From these encounters very valuable feedback is obtained for the improvement of these programs, which help to experience and share the love of God to children and their families.

Read the original on SomosRC, the Mexican Regnum Christi site.

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A Better Marriage in 25 Hours

It is the biggest decision in the life of the person who makes this decision: marriage.  Who to marry…when to marry…where to marry…and myriad subsequent other questions in a life when two people become a couple.

  • Where are we going to live?
  • How do we handle money?
  • Which parents do we visit on which holidays?
  • What about kids?

In the movies and romance novels, love is enough to get a couple through anything and everything. Real life is a bit more complicated. And the solution to a successful marriage may have much to do with time and attention.

Two of the most common events in the lives of people in western culture are marriage – and divorce, according to the American Psychological Association. More than 90 percent of American marry by age 50. About half of those marriages end in divorce. Second and third marriages have a high failure rate.

Writing in Psychology Today, Scott M. Stanley looked at several studies on why marriages fail.  The reasons are fairly predictable but still tragic:

  • Infidelity
  • Incompatibility
  • Drinking or drug use
  • Growing apart
  • Lack of commitment
  • Too much conflict or arguing
  • Domestic violence

Fr. Martin Connor, LC, doesn’t refute the challenge any of these issues can create. But he suggests the problem is both deeper and simpler (to state not to fix): people simply aren’t intentional about marriage.

Fr. Martin Connor, LC, was born in Baltimore MD, grew up near Annapolis, one of eight children, the last two of which are Legionary priests. He has worked with many married couples over nearly two decades as a priest. For a taste of his views on making marriage work, his seven-minute talk is a good place to start. But the next step for a couple that wants to be happy and successful in marriage might involve 25 hours.

“I realized five years ago – after working with lots of people – that couples weren’t being intentional about their marriages,” Fr. Connor says. “I decided to try a weekend marriage retreat in Atlanta, where I work, but for many people it was tough to make the time.  So we cut it to 24 hours, later expanding to 25 hours to add some content. We start at 3 p.m. on Saturday and wrap up at 4 p.m. on Sunday.”

The fact that few couples were able (or willing) to devote an entire weekend to a marriage retreat may be evidence of the problem. Couples spend time on their jobs. They spend time attending sports and school activities with their kids. They engage in volunteer work. They take exercises classes. They care for aging parents.

What couples don’t do is spend a lot of time on the things that really strengthen marriage and family. They don’t give the marriage time and attention.

“Marriages suffer from the distraction of the primary by the secondary,” Fr. Connor warns. “Today’s frenetic lifestyle is sinking the priorities of marriage and family. Families don’t have dinner together. Married couples don’t have date nights.”

“Marriage requires time.”

This is a concept that marriage experts appear to agree on, although it may not get as much attention as sex and money. In “Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage”, Focus on the Family suggests “the grass is greenest when you water it.” In other words, successful couples put energy into making themselves and their marriages better.

The Atlanta retreats have drawn nearly 200 couples so far, with the next retreat planned for March 30-31, 2019, at the Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, GA.(This is a beautiful location with excellent accommodations and great food – promises Fr. Connor.)

Fr. Connor explains that participation is limited to 25 couples to allow for plenty of attention for each couple. The schedule offers talks by Legionaries of Christ and lay Regnum Christi couples who are part of the “retreat team.”

One of the team couples, Chris and Lucy Daniels, believe that participating has strengthened their own marriage as well as allowing them to help others.

“We are blessed to be a part of the 25 Hr Retreat team with the goal of giving couples time to realign their marriage so that Christ remains in the center,” Lucy explains. “We hope couples can come away with the assurance that yes sin enters marriage, but, there is hope of redemption through the love Christ has for us. Included is couple testimony, time for personal couple discussion, sacraments, renewal of wedding vows and practical tools to help couples be vulnerable with each other and move towards an abundant marriage.”

“We use the ‘creation/fall/redemption’ model in the retreat,” Fr. Connor explains. “Simply put, we talk about the ideals of marriage, the ‘sins’ that bring trouble into the union, and the power of grace to get back on track with God’s plan.

“It is a relaxing the Christ-centered time with some powerful moments. For example, each couple comes before the Blessed Sacrament and embraces the monstrance together. There is a renewal of marriage vows. There is peaceful time for serious reflection.”

Father points out that the retreats draw people who have been married anywhere from six months to 40 years. About a third of the couples are Regnum Christi.

“Sometimes the RC couples are the ones who need the retreat the most,” Fr. Connor admits. “They tend to be the busiest of people and sometimes there is extra strain when one of the spouses is Regnum Christi and the other isn’t.”

Father says couples come on the retreats for many reasons, but it is rare that a couple comes because they are deeply determined to work on their marriage. However, after 25 hours the determination may have emerged, typically showing up in the open comments at the end of the retreat.

“One guy at the end did a complete confession of how lousy a husband he had been, how saintly his wife had been, and he was committed to being the man her deserved,” Fr. Common shares. “Sometimes it is something simple, like a couple committing to attend Sunday Mass together.”

Fr. Connor hopes the 25-hour model will have a meaningful impact on marriages. To make the retreat have a lasting effect, couples are organized in teams geographically and encouraged to get together socially a few weeks after the retreat.

The retreats strongly support the spiritual and formation dimensions of Regnum Christi. Couples are strengthened in their vocation to marriage, making them better able to bring the faith to others.  And the evangelizing power of the 25-hour is likely to increase as it spreads to other parts of the country.

Father Martin.has invited couple from other localities to participate and several other localities are eying similar events. He also stressed that working with married couples is important in strengthening his vocation as a priest.

That might sound counterintuitive; people often ask what a celibate priest can possible know about marriage. Father Connor suggests that after many years working with married couples he know a great deal. But each vocation – marriage and celibate religious life – share the commitments of love and fidelity.

“The marital and celibate vocations support each other,” he says. “Commitment in one vocation is a positive model for commitment in the other.”

 

Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

25 Hr Retreat March 2019 Registration Form (print)

25 Hr Retreat March 2019 Registration Form (online)

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Fr. Eduardo Robles-Gil Letter: Solemnity of Christ the King

Thy Kingdom Come!
November 13, 2018
TO THE MEMBERS OF REGNUM CHRISTI

 

Dear friends in Christ,

As we’re about to celebrate the General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ, the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Women and the Lay Consecrated Men, and the General Assembly of Regnum Christi, I send you warm greetings. On behalf of the participants in these assemblies, I wanted to express my wholehearted gratitude for all of your prayers for the success of our work and for the future of Regnum Christi.

It’s providential that at this important moment we will be celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King. The Church invites us, on this feast, to contemplate Jesus Christ the Lord and his Kingdom. We consider those elements essential to our vocation and mission that shed light on our life and our decisions. I therefore invite all of us to take advantage of this liturgical event to renew our love for the Lord who must reign in our personal lives and grow in the active and ardent desire that his Kingdom come among us.

The expression “Thy Kingdom Come!” springs from the lips of Jesus Christ our Teacher, forming part of the prayer he teaches his disciples. Undoubtedly this is the prayer that is most beloved, most repeated, and most commented upon by Christians in every age. The longing it expresses is proper to and deeply rooted in every Christian heart, namely, the desire that Christ reign and that his Kingdom come among us.

We should consider well and meditate together on what we ask with this prayer and what we commit ourselves to. This petition, which Christ himself taught us, is a program for us as individuals and for Regnum Christi as a whole. As we pray it, personally and as a group, it unites us in a spiritual family and an apostolic body that has been entrusted with a particular mission.

“My kingdom is not of this world”

This year the Gospel of the liturgy for the solemnity (John 18:33-37) presents us with Jesus Christ before Pilate, at a particularly dramatic moment in his earthly life. His death on the cross is approaching relentlessly. He is about to complete the work of redemption. In this context, standing before the man who represents temporal power, Jesus Christ affirms authoritatively that he is King and that his Kingdom is not of this world.

In this way he clearly teaches us that his Kingdom is something hidden, interior. It begins in the deepest part of the soul. It is the very presence of God that needs to be received and kept in the intimacy of our hearts so that, like yeast, it can transform in turn all other realities (see Matthew 13:33). For this reason, meditating on the Kingdom makes us feel once again the call and invitation to interiority and holiness of life, the starting point and guarantee of all Christian witness and apostolate.

At this moment, faced with the work of the Assemblies and the General Chapter, we see once again that this always has to be our first priority, coming before any other activity or expediency.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” The preaching of the Kingdom of Christ is also an announcement of eternity and a reminder of the transience of earthly things. In the first reading, taken from the book of Daniel, it says: “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:14).”

The pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes of the Second Vatican Council also reminds us of this:

For after we have obeyed the Lord, and in his Spirit nurtured on earth the values of human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, and indeed all the good fruits of our nature and enterprise, we will find them again, but freed of stain, burnished and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the Father “a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace” (Preface of the Feast of Christ the King). On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower. (Guadium et Spes, 39)

As members of Regnum Christi I invite you always to keep in mind that following and imitating the Lord, in light of eternity, is the essential priority. Let him reign supreme in your lives and reject everything that is contrary to him and his Kingdom. Always choose whatever implies greater love and virtue so as to be credible and convincing witnesses to Jesus Christ and his teachings.

“Thy Kingdom Come!” means sanctifying our life through prayer, the sacraments, and the fulfillment of his will. “Thy Kingdom Come!” means sanctifying our family, work, and environment by the testimony of an attractive life rooted in the Gospel. “Thy Kingdom Come!” means sanctifying our culture and society, not falling into the consumerist ideology that makes us fix our eyes and heart on earthly things.

His Kingdom must be preached, made present, built up

At the same time the Kingdom of Christ is not merely something internal or for the future. The Kingdom is already present among us (see Luke 17:21). The preaching of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ himself began in this way: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Jesus Christ came among us to preach his Kingdom, to make it present.

The witness that the Lord gives of Himself and that Saint Luke gathered together in his Gospel—“I  must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God” (Luke 4:43)—without doubt has enormous consequences, for it sums up the whole mission of Jesus: “That is what I was sent to do (ibid.).” (Paul VI, Evangelii nuntiandi, 6).

In the Gospel of the solemnity we find the same message: “For this I was born and for this I came to the world, to be a witness of the truth (John 18:37).”

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides (Matthew 6:33).” Jesus’ project is to establish his Father’s Kingdom; he asks his disciples to “make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’”(Matthew 10:7). He knows full well that this proclamation does not come without work and great sacrifice (see Matthew 11:12) but assures us he will provide all that we need.

From this arises that which we call ‘apostolic zeal,’ our joining in the effort of the whole Church to make known that Lord who shows himself in his message, his invitations, his commandments, our desire to fulfill his command to go to the whole world and preach the Gospel (see Matthew 28:19-20), which is Christ himself. Having found Christ engenders a permanent desire to make him known.

Pope Francis affirms this in the exhortation Evangelii gaudium:

Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good. In this regard, several sayings of Saint Paul will not surprise us: “The love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14)”; “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16).” (Evangelii gaudium 9)

For the one who passes on the treasure he has found, the task of preaching the Gospel, of making Christ and his Kingdom known, is beautiful and filled with joy. That is why Pope Francis urges the whole Church:

Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow … And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ” (Paul VI, Evangelii nuntiandi 80). (Evangelii gaudium 10)

On the upcoming Solemnity of Christ the King, I invite you to renew the ardent desire to evangelize, that which characterizes the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi.

I am convinced this is the main reason Jesus Christ has raised up this work of his and entrusted us as a priestly people with a task, a mission. We read in the second reading for the day:

Jesus Christ [is] the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father (Revelation 1:5-6).

The certainty that he himself has called us together will guide us in these days of the Assemblies and the General Chapter. We know we have to aim all our efforts at being better apostles of Jesus Christ, better evangelizers, better witnesses to his Kingdom, that is, better witnesses to goodness, truth, and grace.

I ask you to always be apostles of Jesus Christ. As part of that mission continue praying intensely for those of us in the Chapter and Assemblies who will be finishing up the work of expressing together something of the gift we have received, certain that the Lord is accompanying us. I am grateful for the prayer initiatives at the local, territorial, and international level. I invite everyone to participate in a special Day of Prayer on November 16, the Friday before the beginning of the Chapter and General Assemblies, so the Lord might grant us the grace of doing whatever he envisages for Regnum Christi at this moment. You can find some materials for the Day of Prayer at this link.

I bid you farewell, assuring you of my prayers and asking for theirs.

 

Yours most sincerely in Jesus Christ,

 

Eduardo Robles-Gil, L.C.

Director General

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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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Camp Kodiak: Sons and Dads Find Fun and Faith Together

If you are looking for a summer camp for your kids you likely won’t have to look long or travel far to find something of interest.

Our Kids, an online directory to camps, lists many camps band breaks them into categories such as: sports, education, art, day, overnight, boys, girls, families, religious.

Each category has sub-categories.  For instance, sports camps are available for everything from baseball to cheerleading to sailing to wakeboarding.

There are specialized camps for cancer patients, the disabled, weight loss and the autistic.

There are old-fashioned camps where kids canoe, swim, hike and sing songs around the campfire.

Then there is a camp that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories and probably doesn’t show up on websites alongside the park district soccer camps and weeks in a tent with the scouts.

We’re talking Camp Kodiak Alaska, where Legionaries and lay Regnum Christi men offer boys and their dads two weeks of true adventure and hearty doses of the Catholic faith. This is the place for boys to be boys, men to be men, and both to find the bonds of manhood so often lacking in our culture.

Camp Kodiak began in 1996, when Fr. Kermit Syren, LC, had a dream of combining outdoor adventure with faith formation. Fr. Kermit grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and wanted boys and their dads to experience together what he had enjoyed as a boy: the Catholic faith and the beauty of God’s natural creation.

Fr. Kermit’s dream was aided by the 40 acres he owned near Wasilla (30 miles from Anchorage) before joining religious life – and which he had donated to the Legion. It was the perfect place to base his dream.

That first year there were just six boys involved. Camp Director Ray Arsenault got involved and in 1998, they built a cabin on the property – and later a second cabin on a smaller property near Wrangell/St. Elias National Park in McCarthy.

While other camps offer various programs in everything from computer science to swimming, Camp Kodiak’s “special sauce” is a remarkable blend of faith, family, and fun.

FAITH

Legionary priest and brothers are involved in all phases of the camp. There is daily Mass (even on a rafting trip or during inclement weather), Rosary, opportunities for confession and spiritual counseling and evening gospel reflections. Religious piety is observed.

“It’s the perfect combination of God and his creation,” Father Syren told the National Catholic Register in a recent article.

“I remember growing up in Alaska and being out in nature,” he recalled. “It’s about as primordial as it gets.”

FAMILY

Camp Kodiak isn’t a camp for men, boys or entire families. It is a camp where boys attend with their dads.

“Everything is done together,” camp director Arsenault explained. “We weave faith and fun adventure together – nobody get bored. Boys see their dads praying and that has an impact. Dads see their sons participating in exciting activities and that has an impact.

“We often see men who have been away from the sacraments or weak in their faith come back.”

FUN

Camp Kodiak isn’t about arts & crafts, video games or urban gardening.  This camp’s activities are serious guy stuff: sea kayaking, glacier climbing, rafting, fishing, hiking, archery, exploring, and shooting. Survival and camping and wilderness first aid skills are taught. The exciting fun is carried out with an eye on safety – and the presence of the camp doctor. The camp has a full-time cook and local guides who lend a hand.

“The fishing is remarkable,” Arsenault said. “Imagine boys catching salmon and having their fish for dinner…along a river with the mountains in the background, with their dad.”

And, of course, the physical environment is part of the magic.

Camp Kodiak offers boys a true taste of the Alaskan wilderness. Breathtaking views of glaciers, mountains and wildlife, all in an environment untouched by commercial development, providing the perfect backdrop for approximately a two-week camp session for adventure-hungry boys.

Targeting and attracting boys of high integrity and potential, the camp makes a significant impact on its participants. Rubbing shoulders with world-class leaders, the boys learn powerful tools. And, as Kodiak alumni begin to establish alliances and develop relationships, these tools are reinforced throughout life.

Camp Kodiak’s activities are geared to produce human, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual formation in a setting of adventure.

Fr. Kermit explained that in today’s culture there is a crisis of fatherhood. Dads don’t know how to model manliness and have trouble connecting with their sons. The camp is a beautiful opportunity to alter that equation.

“Sadly, we live in a world where men don’t know how to be men,” Fr. Kermit said. “And as a result, boys don’t see the men in their lives being real men. That isn’t what happens at Camp Kodiak.”

This year’s camp runs from July 7-21, with 40 participants. But even though it is too late for the 2018 edition of the camp, it isn’t too early to be thinking about 2019. Camp Director Ray Arsenault will be happy to talk with you. And you can expect him to be enthusiastic.

Having been part of Camp Kodiak from the start, Ray has seen the benefits of the program in others and in his own family.

His son has participated in the camp four times: Fr. Todd Arsenault, LC.  This year Ray will be taking his grandson to the camp for the fourth time. Ray beings an interesting – perhaps unique – perspective to the camp.

He and his family operate a dairy and saw mill on Prince Edward Island, Canada. That is at the far eastern side of North America.  The camp – near Anchorage – is at the far western side of North America. The campers come from across the continent, so it is an international effort that brings together boys and their dads from an immense area.

Fr. Kermit and the other Legionaries are the glue that hold it all together. Ray explained: “Imagine you celebrate Mass on the shore of an unspoiled river. You raft down the river, stop and catch dinner, then enjoy a meal with the mountains in the distance. You are with other men and boys and you are all sensing the presence of God and his remarkable creation.

“Who doesn’t have faith at a moment like that?”

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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!