Regnum Christi

healing

Inner Healing Retreat for Men and Women

What is inner healing? Why do Christians need it? How do we become aware of what holds us down in any way by the hurts of the past? Fr. Jason Brooks, LC along with teams of trained prayer ministers in cooperation with the Holy Spirit will answer those questions and offer their experience, strength and hope regarding the inner healing ministry of Jesus… healing the broken-hearted and setting the captives free.

The weekend will include talks and meditations on inner healing, witnesses on God’s healing power, individual inner healing prayer sessions, praise & worship adoration, Mass and confession.

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Fr. Jason Brooks Encounter Ministries Healing Ministry Detroit

New Regnum Christi Healing Ministry in Detroit

Fr. Jason Brooks LC, has begun a new healing ministry in the Regnum Christi locality of Detroit; but for Fr. Jason, his journey into healing ministry started long ago.

 

Back in 2015, Fr. Jason attended a healing retreat for clergy held at the John Paul II Healing Center in Tallahassee, Florida, where the center’s founder, Dr. Bob Schuchts, spoke on the healing of the whole person through encounter with the powerful love of Christ. For Fr. Jason, this message of inner healing was a personal one. After the scandal of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, he had experienced his own profound need for inner healing and a renewal of his heart and mind. Providentially, upon arriving to Detroit in 2017 to be the chaplain of the adult sections of Regnum Christi, Fr. Jason met the new  women’s section director, Diane Burns, who was also interested in healing and charismatic prayer. Diane introduced Fr. Jason to the documentary film Fearless, which inspired him to learn more about power evangelization and healing ministry. 

 

 

In 2018, Fr. Jason, along with several RC members from the Detroit locality, attended the first annual Encounter Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As he continued to attend  the conferences in 2019 and early 2020, the idea of starting a healing ministry began to take root, and in 2021, Fr. Jason received permission from his Legionary superiors and the local RC leadership in Detroit to begin the ministry. In order to become trained and better prepared to carry out a healing ministry, Fr. Jason and several women from the RC section enrolled in the Encounter School of Ministry, a two-year training program designed to teach, equip, and activate disciples to demonstrate the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Attending courses in-person at the school’s campus in Brighton, Michigan, Fr. Jason studied topics such as Identity and Transformation, Hearing God’s Voice, and Power and Healing.

 

As a priest, Fr. Jason was already well acquainted with inner healing models and practices and had performed many anointings for people who were sick or headed into surgery, but before attending the Encounter School of Ministry, he had never intentionally prayed for physical healing, nor did he have much expectation or faith in on-the-spot healings.

 

 However, as he started to pray in this new way, he eventually started to witness more and more miracles. The turning point in his healing ministry journey occurred in his second year of training. In June before that year had begun, he was to accompany another priest from Encounter Ministries, who was far more experienced in healings, to Louisiana for a 24-Hour School of Healing. As it turned out, the priest he was to assist was suddenly unavailable for the second evening of the event, and Fr. Jason ended up having to lead the healing service himself. That night, he personally witnessed several healings: for instance, a woman who had severe back pain and could barely sit experienced, for the first time in a long time, full relief from pain. “That definitely encouraged me to keep going, and I went into year two with a lot more expectation.”

 

Fr. Jason Brooks Encounter Ministries Healing Ministry Detroit

 

 

At the annual Encounter Conference in 2023, these expectations of healing were met. During a healing event with Damien Stayne, founder of the Cor et Lumen Christi Community, Fr. Jason felt a real desire to receive and share the Holy Spirit with others through the gift of healing. “I just said to myself in prayer, ‘Lord, I want to see more of this in my life.’” Since then, Fr. Jason has completed his two-year training program with Encounter Ministries. Currently, his healing ministry team consists of himself and eight Regnum Christi members, six of whom have already graduated from the Encounter School of Ministry and one who will graduate next year. They are beginning renovations on what is soon to be the ministry’s headquarters – a small historical house on the grounds of Everest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Clarkston, Michigan.

 

But until the headquarters are complete, Fr. Jason takes his healing ministry wherever he goes. He visits Everest Academy every Wednesday night for a weekly Holy Hour, followed by healing prayer for those who would like to stay. Just recently, a man who had a broken shoulder attended, and when he had his x-ray a few days later, his doctor stated that there was perfect alignment of the bones and that there would be no surgery needed.

 

One of the most dramatic healings Fr. Jason has witnessed happened earlier this year while he prayed for his mom’s friend, Donna, over the phone: “Donna is a sarcoma cancer survivor, but she was still in a lot of pain. In fact, she said that on a scale of 1 to 10, her pain level was at a 9. By the time I was done praying for Donna, her pain was completely gone. She could hardly believe it! Moreover, when she went for her cancer checkup a couple months later, there was not a trace of cancer in her body!”

 

And Fr. Jason heard about an even more amazing creative miracle, that has since been corroborated by doctors, that recently occurred during an Encounter Ministry healing service at Anahuac University, a Regnum Christi university in Mexico City: a 10-year-old girl, who was born without a thyroid, miraculously grew a thyroid gland and now has a fully functional thyroid system.

 

Fr. Jason has also recently shared his training and experience in the healing ministry with the Legionary seminarians in Cheshire, Connecticut. In January of 2023, Regnum Christi published a new essay titled Considerations on Charisms, Healing Ministry, and Life in the Spirit, which provides context and guidance to help members understand the gifts of the Spirit and integrate them into their own spiritual life – Fr. Jason was able to visit the seminary while he was travelling through the area, and shared some of his personal experiences with healing in light of the document. “We prayed a corporate prayer over the brothers that they would have a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and then asked if anyone would like to stay and receive individual prayer. They all stayed, so we prayed individually over the brothers for over two hours, praying right through lunch!”

 

Another opportunity Fr. Jason recently had to share this new ministry was during Holy Week in April. Holy Week has traditionally been a time when Regnum Christi members all over the world participate in a variety of missions – including Cross Walks, live Stations of the Cross, adoration evenings, and door-to-door evangelization – to bring the message of Christ’s passion and resurrection to their communities. And for Fr. Jason, the healing ministry brings a new charism to missions like these, and makes his encounters even more impactful. Fr. Jason describes one such encounter in which an entire family was moved by the gift of healing: “On Holy Saturday, I accompanied a young couple to visit a family that had asked them to bring back a priest to speak with their teenage son. After I talked to the son, I asked if anyone was in pain; and the mom raised her hand.  She told me that she suffers from diabetes and, at the end of the day; her feet are always killing her. Therefore, I had her sit down and everyone gathered around her and put a hand on her, including her three-year-old son, and together we prayed for healing from her pain. Even before she stood up, she was crying – she was in no pain! The Vigil Mass was about to begin, so we had to go, but then the whole family showed up at the Vigil Mass in thanksgiving to God for what they had just witnessed, and I don’t think that had been in their original Saturday night plans!”

 

And that was just one of many healings that Fr. Jason witnessed during his missions during Holy Week. One woman who was experiencing from pain and memory loss due to a concussion and injuries she sustained in a car accident experienced complete healing on Holy Thursday, and shared her testimony on Easter Sunday. Another woman, who had suffered from migraines for the past 40 years from the time she was a child, felt sudden relief while she was being prayed over, and has been pain-free ever since.

 

What Fr. Jason has witnessed is that the impact of these healings during Holy Week, and all of those that he has experienced, always goes far beyond the individual who is healed – it evangelizes and awakens the faith of the families, the missionaries, and Fr. Jason himself. “It was great for the missionaries to see the power of God acting through me and through them when I invited them to join me to pray for healing, and it manifests the Kingdom of God right there!” says Fr. Jason. “It’s awesome and it’s so beautiful – I love helping people have these encounters with God!”

 

For more information about Fr. Jason’s healing ministry, you can contact him at [email protected]. Fr. Jason also hosts a podcast, which you can find at Fr. Jason Brooks, LC on Apple Podcasts, where he shares homilies and reflections on a regular basis. He currently resides in Detroit and serves as Chaplain of the Regnum Christi locality.

 

To find out more about Encounter Ministries and their School of Ministry, visit their website at encounterministries.us.

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DMU Graduates Equipped to Bring Healing in a Time of Unprecedented Need

Divine Mercy University (DMU) celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and its 19th Graduation Mass and Commencement Exercises, with a virtual ceremony on June 20th, 2020, with 88 new masters and doctoral graduates from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) and the School of Counseling.

This year, DMU students faced unique circumstances; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the middle of March, all Psy.D classes for the spring and summer semesters transitioned to online instruction, while all on-campus residencies scheduled for May and July were scheduled instead for online format.

Father Charles Sikorsky, LC, President of DMU, opened the virtual ceremony by welcoming this year’s graduating class. “While your graduation and its celebration are taking place in an unplanned and unprecedented format, I think the circumstances that have brought about that only underscore how meaningful and critical your lives and careers are to so many people in need,” said Father Sikorsky. “While mental health, human service, and pastoral workers have always been in short supply – the harvest is great but the workers are few – the coronavirus and its consequences have created an even greater need. Whether it’s helping families grieve the loss of loved ones, helping those who’ve lost employment and hope, those who’ve suffered abuse or trauma, marital and family difficulties, or the many other emotional and mental illnesses that have been exacerbated, your skills and your gifts are truly needed.”

Father Richard Gill, who helped found IPS, and served as its president from 2002-2005, in his address to the students, reflected on the history of the university, from the moment when it was simply a hope and an idea. “It’s so beautiful to see that the vision has stayed the same and yet expanded over the years, that there’s a way to do psychology that serves the human person and helps him flourish, that starts from the vantage point that he’s made in the image and likeness of a good God, that he’s redeemed by the mercy and the sacrifice of Jesus and that he’s destined for eternal happiness in heaven,” said Father Gill. “And this is the noble task that all the graduates have: to help every person and every client that you have to regain the freedom so they can live as a child of God, that they can pursue that vocation to which God has called them all, the purpose God created us for.”

The 2020 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient was Stephen F. Auth, Executive Vice President and a chief investment officer with Federated Global Equities, and author of Missionary of Wall Street. In his commencement speech, Mr. Auth encouraged the graduates to use the unique education and training that they received at DMU – one that acknowledges that “to cure souls, you can’t leave out the role of God in their lives” – to recognize their great duty as healers in an unparalleled time of need:

“This year will always be marked on the calendar as a very special one, perhaps as one of those great turning points in human history – or at least as a big asterisk on history’s timeline. Somehow, within the eye of the storm, you’ve completed your studies here at Divine Mercy University, you’ve earned your degree, and now your job – which you’ve already accepted – is to help make that turning point one that leads to a better future for all of us.”

Sister Mary Patrice Ahearn, RSM, who completed her PsyD at IPS in 2013, was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, and her address to the students was a call to be bold: “Go out, not afraid to be truthful and integral in who you are as a Christian, as a Catholic, and have great courage in doing it, because our world is very hungry,” said Sister Ahearn, “and you have a great education and formation now that has just made you more equipped to serve.”

Although this year’s graduates spent their final weeks at DMU dealing with the logistics and challenges of coping with a pandemic, instead of savoring their final days and celebrating their accomplishments together in person, they are forever grateful for the unique experience provided by DMU.

Rose Bond, who graduated with an MS in Counseling, is currently working as a Direct Support Professional, relying on the counseling experience she gained at DMU to help her better understand her clients, and provide important insight to their care teams. “I hope to help the persons in my area who are most affected by the global pandemic, who cannot fend for themselves. I hope to be a strong advocate for them and assist them to thrive in their world.”

Jennifer Weisbrod currently serves on several committees at the university-based health system and, since receiving her MS in Psychology, including completing a behavioral health coding course while enrolled at DMU, has been rendering services to mental health practitioners who seek better understanding of how to properly bill for their services, particularly as the demand for virtual counseling increases. She is currently investigating certifications through the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology through DMU. “This will better prepare me for serving in any future pandemic or other disasters.

Joni Seith also received her MS in Psychology; as a deacon’s wife, mother of four grown children (including one priest) and grandmother, catechist, and prayer group and ministry leader, she decided to pursue an education at DMU to equip her to better serve others in her various roles. The online MSP degree at DMU was an answer to Joni’s prayer; serious physical challenges due to a genetic connective tissue condition prohibited her from pursuing an on-campus program. Since completing her degree, she has already found a multitude of opportunities to share what she has learned, appearing as a guest speaker on podcasts and online conferences. Recently, she has been inspired to start a blog called Pain of Grace, and plans to complete her manuscript on the challenges of handling chronic pain and infirmity. “The education I received in psychology from DMU gave me the confidence and tools to do this.” Joni hopes to pursue the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program at DMU in the future.

Father Paulinus Okpala, who was born and raised in Eastern Nigeria, was ordained a priest in 2001 in the Diocese of Awka, and currently serves as the Parochial Administrator at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Cordele, Georgia. He intends to use the training he received while pursuing his MS in Psychology at the service of his parishioners: “Just being a priest in the parish already puts one in a helping position for different kinds of people – how much more when one has studied and acquired some helping skills. This was precisely why I wanted to further my education in psychology.”

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Father Longin Buhake is the Civilian Military Chaplain at the U.S. Air Force base in Tyndall, Florida. He graduates with an MS in Psychology and Counseling, and in his current role as Priest Chaplain, Father Longin recognizes his sacred responsibility to help those he serves to strengthen both their spiritual and psychological well-being, many of whom have felt their mental health impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As a 2020 DMU graduate, Father Longin is ready to accept the immense responsibility of caring for the mental health of those he serves during this unprecedented time. “Graduating and entering the field of mental health during the pandemic means confronting a mix of unique obstacles of emotions, even as one celebrates their achievement. The pandemic has driven changes in both mental health care and residency training – it will shape the identities of Helping Professionals who specialize in mental and emotional health. As the pandemic evolves, the population is looking up to mental health care staff for guidance and care. Graduates will bear the opportunity of becoming leaders, developing outstanding empathy for patients.”

The 2020 graduates embark on their unique mission to accompany those who are suffering, to be present to those in need and to share the insights regarding the human person with everyone they encounter.

For more information about the degree programs at Divine Mercy University, contact 703-416-1441 or visit www.divinemercy.edu.

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Be Loved Embraces a Time to Heal

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The past decade has embraced most of the times mentioned in the famous section of Ecclesiastes. We call the time “Renewal.” But at any given moment, it has been a time to break down, build up, weep, laugh, mourn, cast away, speak, love, and – perhaps most of all – heal.

That’s where an apostolate called “Be Loved” comes into play. And we should make it clear right now. It is two words, as in “If you score a touchdown in the big game you will ‘be loved’ by the fans.” (As opposed to players who score touchdowns are “beloved”.)

Melissa Foley, women’s section director in Atlanta, and Regnum Member since 2002 founded Be Loved and is the director. But it isn’t something she consciously planned – at least at the beginning.

In a sense, Be Loved began when Melissa was just five years old. She lived in a family in survival mode, a mode thrust upon her, the only way of living she knew.

Her dad was an alcoholic. Her mom suffered from mental illness. They divorced.

“It was a very broken family,” Melissa recalls. “In my mind, my dad loved a bottle of beer more than me. As a result, I was always trying to prove my worth, trying to be perfect.

“Becoming Catholic helped, but I didn’t have space in my soul to receive all the graces that come with being Catholic. And Our Lord pursued me for a long time.”

Melissa says she suffered in wake of the scandal involving the Legion’s founder because the “perfectionism” of Regnum Christi tended to deny vulnerability. There was, to her, such a disconnect between the ideal presented by the Movement and the failings that had surfaced.

The inner doubts that sprang from the flaws of her family of origin, that drove her efforts to be accepted and praised, brought to the surface the feelings she had buried for so long.

One day in a fit of anger she made a list of all the things she didn’t have growing up from her parents.  But when she prayed, God showed her that he had provided all those things from other people.

She really had never shared the trauma she experienced growing up.  But she slowly started to share with people very close to her.

“So, my best friend and I decided to go on a quest for healing,” Melissa recalls. “We went to Texas, Florida, and all over the country for healing retreats and classes. We were putting ourselves in a place for God to find us. And we realized how important it was for is to have our own identity clear before we could be truly effective Regnum Christi apostles.

“Be Loved is addressed by the first core conviction of Regnum Christi – that God Loves us. But many members aren’t so sure of that; they don’t have their identity clear.”

Be Loved, in simple terms, is a weekend healing retreat. It isn’t a “treatment” program. Neither is it a 12-step recovery program. But it addresses – from the perspective of Regnum Christi spirituality – the healing that so many people seek.

To give this some perspective, the National Institute for Mental Health, reports that more than 16 million Americans suffer a major incident of depression each year. And that number doesn’t include the millions who suffer lesser anxiety or the effects of an imperfect past.

The range of 12-step programs designed to help people overcome the hurts of the past range from Alcoholics Anonymousto Workaholics Anonymous, with most letters of the alphabet in between represented.

“Every person needs healing,” Melissa says. “But they have to get to the point where they will do ANYTHING to get rid of the pain they are in.

“Once grounded in their identity, the mission is clearer. That’s because a person’s mission springs from their being.”

That, says Melissa, is why healing is so important. She contends that a person cannot truly live the fullness of their mission in Regnum Christi until their hurts are addressed. It is a bit like the warning given before an airplane flight, where the attendants advise parents that if the oxygen masks fall they should put on their own masks before helping their children.

Jesus came to set us free- all of us. Including those needed to be restored: Lay  members, consecrated members, and Legionaries. For all members of Regnum Christi, Be Loved is a way to address the need to address human woundedness.

A taste of a testimony from one Be Loved participant (anonymous) gives a flavor of the wounds to be healed:

On the Fourth of July, my mom dressed me up in Red, White & Blue along with my favorite Madame Alexander Doll and my Dolly Coach. I marched in the Parade and won the contest for best dressed, and my picture was in the paper!

It was a great beginning, and then one day, my world changed! I was in the farmhouse kitchen and witnessed my parents fighting. I saw my dad lift my mom off the floor by her upper arms and slam her up against the kitchen wall. That’s all I remember …However, fighting at the home front was intensifying and I remember several key fights.

One was the time that my Mother threw every ceramic dish, plate, and bowel from the kitchen at my father, who was drunk and standing in the hallway. My brother and I were just above them in the upstairs landing watching the event thru the banister railing. It was quite pitiful watching my mom throw the items at my dad while he just stood there as they shattered on him. I don’t remember what words were spoken during this fight, or even after it. My brother and I just went to bed.

Drinking and fighting were always the threat of the day. My brother and I never knew when they were going to occur; we just knew that they would.

Melissa says such experience dwell in the memories of many women and men which cause a host of problems until they are dealt with. But she contends that just as Jesus healed people and drove out demons in the Gospel stories, He continues to heal people today and will continue to do so.

She loves the image Pope Francis draws of the Church as a field hospital for sinners rather than a museum for saints. For many women in Regnum Christi, Be Loved may be the ideal emergency clinic to heal the wounds of the past.

Go here to register for the next session of Be Loved.

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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!