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Fr. Jaime Building Holy Families Podcast

Fr. Jaime Lorenzo Addresses Hard Questions from Catholic Parents in New Podcast

Fr. Jaime Lorenzo, LC, was ordained only three years ago on September 5, 2020, but he has been working with youth and young adults for nearly a decade. Today, he is serving as the Executive Youth and Camp Director for ECYD, and he has recently begun a new video podcast series called Building Holy Families, designed to provide parents with the tools and resources to support them along their spiritual journey and in their mission to build a happy and holy home.

 

It was his years of work with youth that inspired and motivated Fr. Jaime to focus on the spiritual formation of parents and helping them to build a foundation of faith in the family. In organizing and hosting the various youth events, retreats, clubs, activities, and camps that his ministry entailed, and accompanying so many boys and young adults over so many years, Fr. Jaime came to realize that he, as a priest, could only do so much, and that the solution to many of the faith struggles he was witnessing in the youth he was serving could only really be found in the families themselves.


“At one point during a moment of prayer/frustration, I realized that I am only doing half of what these kids need – the other half, or most of the work, is done in the home,” says Fr. Jaime. “And I felt the call to reach out to the families and work with them – personally with those who are close by, but also through videos and social media as a way to reach a wider audience.”


The Building Holy Families podcast provides conversations and suggestions on a diverse variety of topics (like “How to have meaningful conversations with your children,” “Inspiring trust,” and “Should my child get a phone?”) but what they all have in common is that they are short, sharable, and practical. Most of the episodes are approximately 7-10 minutes long, and offer parents ideas, motivations, and challenges to get them thinking about their own spiritual journey and owning the faith for their family. Here, parents can find best practices to guide their children through the world that is full of spiritual obstacles and not always amenable to the faith, while their eyes and hearts are set on heaven. And one of the biggest spiritual obstacles facing Catholic families today, according to Fr. Jaime, is a lack of passion for the faith.


“The faith has become very basic and very easy to live, but the fire, the excitement, and the depth is sometimes lacking,” says Fr. Jaime, who sees many families simply going through the motions – attending Mass and receiving the sacraments, but living a Catholic faith that is dry and monotonous and lacking true life and a real thirst for God. “The world has humanized God, and humanized the faith, to the point where the call to grow isn’t very strong. What’s really lacking is growth in the faith as a family, the call to grow, to go deeper. A lot of families don’t know how to do that, or they’re looking for places or people to help them be formed and guided and keep growing in the faith, and they don’t know where to go.”


Fr. Jaime’s podcast offers a space for these conversations to happen. In one of his episodes, Fr. Jaime talks with Jacquie Lustig, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi and the Assistant Vocations Director for the Consecrated Women, who is currently working with youth ages 10-18 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Together, Fr. Jaime and Jacquie discuss how parents can show active love towards their children in the face of challenges, discouragement, frustration, and exhaustion, and when it even feels like their love is not reciprocated or appreciated. “When kids get home, even if they don’t know it sometimes, those girls or those boys are testing to see ‘how loveable can I all of me be?’,” suggest Jacquie. “No one has a harder job than being a parent, because you’re kind of like the cliff that those waves keep crashing against, but sometimes you just need to stay the course and give yourself permission to say, ‘I’m doing a good job.’ And just keep showing up.”


But in the midst of the all the challenges facing the family today, Fr. Jaime sees an abundance of hope. For him, the Church is a place with a multitude of resources around the globe, particularly within the world of technology, and a space where people can come to be nourished, to be accompanied, and to grow, and Fr. Jaime sees his podcast as just one more resource of personal formation and growth for the family. “It’s a beautiful thing that Regnum Christi, and, in fact, the whole Church, is called to offer that place to have those conversations, to share experiences and stories, successes and failures, and to support and accompany each other through this journey together.”


Fr. Jaime releases a new episode approximately once a week during the school year, and he plans to introduce new topics and new guests in the upcoming months. You can watch Building Holy Families on YouTube or listen to it on any podcast platform. If there are any topics you would like Fr. Jaime to cover, feel free to email him.


 

Besides his work with youth, Fr. Jaime is one of the core team of Regnum Christi Music Collective, a musical group consisting of Legionary priests, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and lay Regnum Christi members, who come together to create and perform. You can hear their music anywhere you stream music, or on their website rcmusiccollective.org, or subscribe to their Regnum Christi Music Collective YouTube channel for updates on new music.

 
 
 

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Little Apostles: A Gospel Meditation Podcast for Children

Guillermo “Memo” Buenabad, a parent at the Cumbres International School in Aguascalientes, MX,  used to listen to a podcast with Gospel reflections with his children on their way to school each morning. This podcast was produced by Legionary priests, and in order to discuss it in children’s terms, he paused it, and each one shared with the family what stood out to them.

 

One day, during Mass at the school, the idea occurred to him to make a podcast for kids that was narrated by the children of Cumbres Aguascalientes. He mentioned it to his spiritual director, who encouraged him to go ahead with it, reminding him that the school has a recording studio available.

 

He approached Carmen Ramírez, the school’s principal, with the proposal, and she received it with great enthusiasm and full support to begin recording as soon as possible, and to start this new apostolate directed by children, for children.

 

Initially, the 3rd and 6th grade students and their parents were invited. Later, children from the whole school were brought on board, which guarantees that they have candidates to record practically 365 days a year.

Happy to transmit the Gospel together

As for the technical part, having a newly inaugurated recording studio has made their task much easier, as does its professional equipment. It has a number of microphones that have allowed them to find the ideal combination so that the children’s voices are heard with total clarity.

 

“Some of the children have such gentle voices that they need to have the microphone super close to capture everything, others have very high-pitched voices and saturated the channel at first, but at the school we have learned how to achieve the highest definition in the recordings.” -Mary, IT director of the school

 

The way in which the children have made progress in the recording studio has been very interesting. Some enter very nervous and begin to relax as the activity goes on, while others arrive very confidently and are able to record the episode on the first take. They are already familiar with the dynamic of the opening prayer, the reading of the Gospel, the reflection, and the prayer of thanksgiving.

Enjoying recording with dad.

In general, everyone has been developing the skills necessary for this apostolate, such as reading, and oral communication skills.

 

Memo’s apostolic spirit also involves the parents, both those with children in his children’s grades, and then those of the other grades.

 

“At the beginning, the parents participated with a bit of fear and hesitation, but Memo has made it very easy by being instructive, helping the parents overcome their fear, which has made the parents more and more willing. Drawing closer to the Gospel and participating in the podcast has created a very positive impulse to share with our children and the whole community.” –Sofi Macías, elementary school principal

 

The parents were open to the idea of reading and reflecting on the Gospel as a parent/child dynamic. They are given a guide with the corresponding verses before recording the episode, which gives them a sample script, but ultimately they decide what to say and follow where the Holy Spirit guides them in the moment.

 

“As a parent/child dynamic it is very enriching, since sometimes we don’t give ourselves the time to speak with our children about the Gospel.” –Memo Buenabad

César and his son Diego, concentrating

The recordings are usually made early in the morning, when the students arrive at school with their parents, or a few minutes after dismissal, when the students are picked up. Every podcast episode lasts between three and four minutes, since it is directed at kids and should hold their attention.

 

“Guillermo’s enthusiasm for this type of evangelization is great and, without a doubt, comes from his desire and interest to see his children evangelized. It spreads from him and helps the school be able to engage all the parents. This way we can make the Gospel available to them, because in the end, it is God who evangelizes; we are just instruments and offer means so that his Word touches our hearts and converts us.” –Carmen Ramírez, Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi and the school’s head principal

Mónica and Emiliano attentively reading the Gospel passage

Their next challenge is to increase its listenership so that not only the parents who come in to record listen to it, and not only on the day on which their child recorded, but that they listen to it daily. Therefore, they are making changes to their means of outreach so that it is more available to everyone.

 

For now, the podcast is on Spotify, and one episode is uploaded every day. The next step is to make it known to all the schools in the Regnum Christi Semper Altius Network of Schools, so that it inspires other institutions to do something similar, and that both kids and parents feel involved in the Gospel reflection, which doesn’t have to be complicated, difficult or demanding in terms of time or method.

Reflecting on the Word of God together

The podcast’s future is promising, with growth that enables all Regnum Christi members in Mexico to know it, share it, and bring it to other countries.

 

In addition to being available on Spotify, they are weighing the possibility of uploading it to other platforms for greater diffusion, and they are evaluating whether to involve middle- and high-school students so that they can edit the episodes.

 

It has been reproduced in Columbia and Argentina, and they have grown their audience to include new people who are not from the school communities. This is precisely the goal.

 

Some families outside the school have expressed their desire to participate in the podcast, and although it is an apostolate of the school, it is a Regnum Christi apostolate, which helps the students value what they have received and launches them from the school out into the world.

 

“We aren’t isolated verses; we are all members of the same poem. Everyone here is united in the same mission, those who make the recordings, edit them, put together the podcast, parents and students.” –Memo Buenabad

 

Congratulations to the whole team at Cumbres International School Aguascalientes. Let’s pray that God may bless them with many fruits for this new apostolate.

 

Translated from the original Spanish publication.

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RC Music Collective Now on Hallow!

The RC Music Collective is a group of Legionary priests, Consecrated Women, and lay members of Regnum Christi who have been writing and recording music together since 2019, and they now appear on a brand-new platform! Listeners can now find RC Music Collective on Hallow, a Catholic prayer app used by millions of people world-wide that offers a wide selection of contemplative prayer resources, meditations, Catholic Bible readings, music, and more.

 

But this new collaboration between RC Music Collective and Hallow did not develop overnight, and required some patient waiting from the members of the group. In August of 2022, at a retreat for Catholic business leaders, the RC Music Collective provided the music for adoration and Mass, and for the entertainment portion of the evening following dinner. It was providential that during that dinner, Emily Roman, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi and one of the four members of the core team of RC Music Collective, ended up seated next to Hallow CEO, Alex Jones, and was able to share with him about some of the work the collective had been doing. Another four more months passed before, in December 2022, Joe Frederickson, the content lead at Hallow, reached out to begin discussions, and finally, in mid-March of this year, RC Music Collective signed a contract with the app.

 

RC Music Collective now has its own playlist on Hallow, with eight songs so far, including Revival featuring Colleen McKenna, from their 2021 album of the same name, and Pray for Us (a song for Mary), from their current compilation of songs, called “Follow.” The Hallow app also features “praylists,” a collection of prayers, music, or meditations directed toward a single theme; three of RC Music Collective’s original songs (Gethesemane, So in Love, and Revival) are featured on the app’s current Easter praylist.

 

Since being featured on the Hallow app, RC Music Collective has seen a dramatic increase in its audience – the number of views on their YouTube channel has risen significantly by several thousand for each video, and the number of monthly listeners on Spotify has doubled! Besides seeing an increase in traffic to their videos, songs, and website, the group has also noticed a rise in the number of comments from listeners sharing the beautiful spiritual experiences to which the music has been leading them. “One young person shared how the song ‘Pray for Us’ had brought her to a very powerful encounter with Mary as her mother,” says Emily. “We have received so many testimonies about how the songs have been deeply touching people who otherwise might not have found our music.”

 

Along with Emily, Legionary priests Fr. John Klein, LC, Fr. Jaime Lorenzo, LC, and fellow Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Jill Swallow, make up the core team of RC Music Collective, who carve out time to spend a week together at least three times a year: for a recording session, a musician’s retreat, and a song-writing week. Jack Dardis and Sarah Carpenter, who frequently collaborate with RC Music Collective, joined the core team this year for the song-writing week, which took place in March in Louisiana. During the week, they were joined by Greg Boudreaux of The Vigil Project, who has been an excellent mentor to the collective throughout its musical journey. As a result of this year’s song-writing week, the group has six to eight songs to discern next steps for – and possibly record – in the upcoming months.

 

In the midst of their week dedicated to writing songs, RC Music Collective also had the opportunity to play their music at a parish in Covington, Louisiana. Archbishop Gregory Aymond had requested during Lent that each parish within the archdiocese of New Orleans host three evenings of adoration and confession, so the collective, in collaboration with the Regnum Christi locality, provided the music, accompanied by reflections, for one of those nights. This beautiful experience of prayer and song was well received, and the members of the collective continue to discern how God is calling them to invest their time and use their gift of music, and the beautiful chemistry that they have together, toward similar events in the future.

 

Most recently, the group gathered to host its third annual musician’s retreat, called Music for Mission, held near the end of April in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal of the weekend retreat is to form musical apostles, Catholic musicians who embrace the gift of music in their lives and strive to find its place in the Church. The retreat incorporates four key elements: much-needed fellowship and community with other Catholic musicians, collaborative workshops that can help dispel some of the fear and intimidation surrounding the song-writing process for young musicians, formative talks on the power of music and its role in worship and the liturgy, and perhaps most importantly, time for silent prayer. “We included an element of silence on the Saturday morning of the retreat, to emphasize for these musicians that silence is actually as important as sound,” says Emily “In fact, alternating between silence and sound is what makes music, and yet our world doesn’t really lend itself towards silence.” The retreat included Mass each day, times of communal and private prayer, adoration, and, of course, a fun evening on the last night featuring a jam session and an open mic.

 

In this month of May, be sure to check out Pray for Us (a song for Mary), the collective’s first song dedicated specifically to the Blessed Mother, and one that is particularly special, not just to Emily, but to all four members of the group: “We all had a sense that Mary wanted a song, and we were all brainstorming, but nothing really clicked. Then Fr. John preached a homily on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on September 15th, and he began to share his own relationship with Mary in such a tender way that after Mass, Jill and I just stayed in the chapel and wrote. In the end, we had these notebooks full of ideas, and hearts full of what we wanted to say to Mary. When we were all together struggling to come up with a song, I brought out my notes and set them on the piano and suddenly the song came together so quickly and so simply, after such a long time of knowing a song was there and just wishing we could see it! The Holy Spirit moved us so much in the writing process, and now we hear so often from people how much the song has touched them and put words to their own prayer, and how it has helped them encounter the Blessed Mother.”

 

You can find out more about the RC Music Collective on their website at rcmusiccollective.org, check them out on Facebook or Instagram, or subscribe to the Regnum Christi Music Collective channel on YouTube. Listen to their music on Hallow or any music streaming service.

 

Emily has been serving in the Atlanta area since 2013, and is currently the Director of Campus Ministry at Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Cumming, Georgia. She graduated from Mater Ecclesiae College in Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious and Pastoral Studies, and this summer she will be beginning her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Notre Dame University.

 

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Catholic Women Now: A Dream Written in the Margins Comes to Life

Catholic Women Now: A Dream Written in the Margins Comes to Life

Julie Nelson is the co-host of Catholic Women Now, a popular Iowa radio show for women, but if she had let failure stop her from pursuing God’s plan for her life, she probably wouldn’t be on the air today.

Julie’s first foray into radio was not a shining portent of the show’s current success. When she was working as the Adult Faith Formation director at her parish in Des Moines, Iowa, the local Catholic radio station invited her on air for a half-hour interview spotlighting her ministry. In Julie’s words, she “completely bombed” the interview, and didn’t even tell anyone that she had been on the air. “Who would want to listen to that drivel?” she thought, walking away from the interview. But the seed of her future calling as a radio personality had been planted.

Her second chance at radio was a turning point in Julie’s life. When she had the opportunity to interview a fellow staff member on air, not only did she discover that she could do it with humor and ease, but she found something else too: a real – and unexpected – passion for radio. Soon after, while Julie was attending a silent retreat, she was prompted by the retreat leader, Father James, to write down the dream that God might be placing on her heart. In tiny letters, in the margin of her journal, Julie timidly wrote: “Lord, I want to be on the radio.” God, with Julie’s passionate participation, took it from there.

Noticing that there was no local programming specifically for Catholic women, Julie approached the station manager at Iowa Catholic Radio with an idea that would become, in 2013, Catholic Women Now, a half-hour show exploring a wide variety of topics relevant to Catholic women today. On their weekly show, Julie and her co-host, Chris Magruder, explore the broad, and sometimes weighty, themes of faith, family, and friendships in an intimate, compassionate, and conversational way.

This conversational quality is what makes Catholic Women Now such a warm-hearted and relatable show. When Julie and Chris began broadcasting their show, their principal goal was to meet the spiritual needs of the Catholic women who would be listening, in a comfortable and relaxed way. Julie wants women, when they’re listening to the show, to feel as though they’re at a coffee shop, chatting with friends. “We’re not interviewers, but conversationalists,” explains Julie, “It is important that the women listening feel part of the conversation. The show is theirs. Everyone listening is a friend.”

And it’s clear that this conversational approach is working – more and more women all over Iowa are tuning in. Julie attributes the success of the radio show to its being local and community-based. “[The show] has helped women to be more connected with each other among the Catholic community and parishes,” says Julie, and this sense of belonging is an important part of the Catholic Women Now ministry. Four times a year, the radio station hosts a free, in-person luncheon, emceed by Julie and Chris. Here, they get to personally meet their listeners and develop an even deeper relationship of community and accompaniment that is so important to the show.

Appealing to women of all interests and life stages, Catholic Women Now covers a vast array of topics, from family life to friendship, all centered around living the Catholic faith. “The show is the what, why, and how to live this in our lives,” says Julie. Women can tune in to hear how to live their faith in an authentic way, and find heart-felt and practical advice on real-life issues, like letting go of insecurities, growing in the spiritual life, strengthening their marriages and relationships with their children, and becoming the women God has called them to be.

Meeting people and hearing their stories is Julie’s favourite part of the job. Interviewing, to Julie, is a form of accompaniment; asking questions and listening to her guests’ life experiences is an act of empathy in itself. “I have always enjoyed meeting people and understanding what has shaped their journey, and what lessons they learned along the way.”

Along with tackling the often-serious subjects of religion, relationships, and the feminine genius, Julie and Chris have a lot of fun too. One of their most popular shows featured an interview with Brother Andrew Corriente, recent winner of The Great American Bake-Off: Holiday Edition. This balance of fun topics and faith formation contributes to the overall tone of Catholic Women Now – one of joy, hope, and above all, authenticity.

And it’s this authenticity, now more than ever, that women are seeking. “The world is broadcasting a message of false empowerment,” says Julie, explaining that the media message that women commonly receive today is that “joy, success, and conquering of self is up to each of us.” But what happens when women find that they can’t achieve all these things on their own, that they can’t do it all? “We wonder what is wrong with us,” Julie says. Women today, in reaction to these false messages, are experiencing a sense of failure, feelings of inadequacy, and sheer loneliness in their struggles as they compare themselves to others. Catholic Women Now responds to these experiences by encouraging women to find their true identity not in the world, but in God. “I think the show is meeting a need of supporting women in their dignity as a daughter of God,” says Julie. “Our show brings to women that the answer is faith and trust in God, who alone suffices.”

For Julie, this means being vulnerable with her listeners. “As a speaker, I have to be open about my own struggles,” she says. Over the seven years that Catholic Women Now has been on the air, Julie has learned to overcome her fear of being misunderstood or making mistakes. “Over time, God has shown me that it is not about me.” Before every show, she prays to be God’s vessel, and that Christ will use her to reach the hearts of her listeners. She also prays that she will not take herself too seriously. “I make mistakes and will make more mistakes,” she says, explaining that the unforgiving nature of live radio has helped her to be more genuine with her listeners, and more attentive to her guests. Since there’s no way to edit, and no time to worry about minor mistakes in delivery, Julie has learned to be fully present to the person she’s speaking to, not only during an interview on the air, but also in person. “It has humbled me,” she says. Every show is closed with a spontaneous, intercessory prayer for women.

It’s clear that the humble, prayerful, and authentic approach of Catholic Women Now is having a real impact on its listeners. Julie frequently hears from listeners not only that they have been touched by something they’ve heard, but also, through the radio show, that they themselves feel heard. “Women want to have a place to feel accepted and acknowledged especially in the daily chores and duties of life,” says Julie.

For one such listener, the radio show had a profound influence on her life: she decided to convert to the Catholic faith! “We recently had a guest on the show whose conversion from Protestant to Catholic was influenced by listening to Iowa Catholic Radio. Catholic Women Now was one show that impacted her journey,” says Julie. “I think hearing the faith from woman made her at ease.”

What new plans does God have in store for Catholic Radio Now, and Julie herself? In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are searching for and tuning in to online content. The radio show will be looking to offer more online discussions and live-streaming events, but most importantly, Julie and Chris will be focusing on providing programming that brings much-needed hope to their listeners.

As well, in response to yet another aspiration God has placed on her heart, Julie is pursuing a ministry as a Catholic speaker. “God had a plan,” Julie says, of her dream, inscribed in her journal so many years ago, to become a radio personality. Julie faithfully and passionately continues to follow God’s plan for her life.

You can tune in to Catholic Women Now on Iowa Catholic Radio every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. (Central).

To contact Julie Nelson for a speaking engagement, visit her website at https://julesforthecrown.com/.

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Pray with Regnum Christi Daily Meditations on your Smart Speaker

Praying with Regnum Christi Daily Meditations just got easier!  Daily meditations on the day’s Gospel, written by priests of the Legionaries of Christ, are available in a written format and in a podcast through a daily email sent directly to your inbox. 

In addition, the podcast version is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other streaming platforms, perfect for praying in the car or at home! The new streaming podcasts, which average about seven minutes long, also make it possible for you to get your meditations simply by asking Siri, Alexa or Google for them.

Regnum Christi Daily Meditations are a great way to begin your day in conversation with Christ, and in communion with the Church as you pray with the Gospel that will be proclaimed in every mass around the world that day.  The meditations have been a long-standing service of the Legionaries of Christ, and are written by a team of priests. Each one includes the Gospel from the day’s mass, an introductory prayer and petition, three points to reflect on, and a resolution to help you go deeper in your relationship with Christ and live out the Gospel’s message in the day ahead.  

Regnum Christi Daily Meditations currently go out to over 16,000 people around the world by email, every day.

How to get your Daily Meditation Podcast

Amazon Alexa: When you tell your Alexa enabled device “Alexa, play Regnum Christi Daily Meditations on Apple Podcasts,” your smart speaker will automatically play the current day’s podcast meditation.

Google Home: “Hey Google, play Regnum Christi Daily Meditations Podcast”

Apple Devices: “Hey Siri, play Regnum Christi Daily Meditation Podcast”

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Guadalupe Radio: A Spiritual Safe Harbor in a Challenging World

Most Americans have warm and sunny thoughts of Southern California. It is a place for family vacations: Disney World, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Universal Studios.

Southern California is the home of surfers and stars, a laid-back culture of beautiful people who set the style trends for the rest of America. It is permissive and passionate in its pursuit of pleasure.

But for many in Southern California, dreams of stardom and the good life are lost to the daily struggle to make ends meet. A large segment of the population has different dreams than a visit to the Magic Kingdom. They are looking for a way to support their children, give them an education, and provide them the opportunity for a better life.

The lion’s share of this “other” population is Hispanic, with a heritage mostly from Mexico and various Central American countries. This Hispanic population makes up roughly half of the nearly 10 million people in Los Angeles County. This makes the county the largest Hispanic population among all American counties – and there isn’t a close second.

As a recent report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation shows,the gap between Hispanics and the rest of the population – from an economic perspective – is substantial. A few key statistics:

  • 4 percent of Hispanics age 25 and older have a high school diploma; for the rest of the population it is 77.3 percent.
  • Hispanic median household income is $46,850; for the rest of the population it is $59,135.
  • 5 percent of Hispanic families in Los Angeles are living in poverty.
  • Unemployment is 7.4 percent for Hispanics and 6.9 percent for others.

However, the wealth of a community is not only in the material. Its greatest treasure lies in the spiritual, which in Southern California’s Hispanic community is grounded in the Catholic Faith. That faith is supported by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its and many parishes and programs.

In fact, the largest segment of the Catholic population in the archdiocese is Hispanic.  There are 228 parishes with an organized Hispanic ministry, and nearly 370,000 attend the 638 weekly Masses in Spanish.

The faith also is strengthened by Guadalupe Radio,a far-reaching apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ. And despite the name, it includes outreach programs, videos, publications, events that inspire people to return to parishes and the archdiocese – in addition to 24-hour-a-day radio programming.

“What we have is a church on wheels,” said Fr. Lorenzo Gomez, LC, who heads institution advancement for Guadalupe Radio.  He explained that the station reaches five-six million listeners (Spanish speaking) a month from Los Angeles to Tijuana, Mexico.

If you visit the Hispanic communities in Southern California, you will hear Guadalupe Radio blaring from car radios. A high percentage of women listen at home or at work where permitted. And don’t be surprised if you hear the rosary coming from the speakers of a delivery truck. For many people who work long hours – and may not read English or Spanish well – it is a true spiritual lifeline.

Fr. Gomez said that everything the apostolate does is designed to evangelize, either bringing people to the faith or helping them return to the faith if they have wandered away. Because some of those reached are new immigrants or in extreme poverty, they are facing issues with drugs, abuse, gangs, and marital infidelity. Although generalizations can be dangerous, he says sees many families where the men are rather savage – and the women brave, depending on their faith to hold the household together.

“We attract them through the radio, then through various programs, then encourage them back into the parishes,” Father explained. “God uses the radio to give people a chance to come to the faith. Some families have faced tragedy, but every family that comes to us becomes a miracle, a miracle of conversion…you see God’s work all the time.”

He explained that Guadalupe Radio provides formation in the faith to people who have had little formal education. Couples that have live together but never married come back to the Church and experience the blessing of a sacramental union.

A remarkable aspect of the apostolate is how it raises money. While there are some significant benefactors, the bulk of the budget comes from the people who are helped.

“It is beautiful to see how generous people are – people who have so little,” Fr. Gomez said. “We just had a fundraising campaign that raised $1.2 million and nearly all of it came in small amounts: $10, $20, maybe $50. People see the change Christ has made in their lives and they want to help.”

Those small donations – coming in the thousands – allow Guadalupe Radio to conduct its wide variety of programs and events. And some of them are nothing short of monumental.

The Women of Faith International Congress– sponsored by Radio Guadalupe – drew 15,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center the first weekend of February, 2019. It is the largest event in the country to address the needs of Spanish-speaking women and featured a combination of inspirational speakers, faith leaders, and entertainers.

Guadalupe Radio sponsors half a dozen events on this scale each year. Fr. Gomez points out, however, that events for men draw a smaller crowd (only about 5,000). That seems to go with the reality that in the Hispanic community in Los Angeles, the women tend to take the lead to responding to evangelization.

Another major event upcoming April 13-14, 2019, is Cristo Vive,a remarkable presentation of Christ’s Passion, presented at the 1600-seat United Artist Theater in Los Angeles.It will be a live stage production with more than 100 actors. There will be six performances, almost certainly to have every seat filled. Last year’s event, at the 2000-seat Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles was a sellout (five performances).

Fr. Gomez insisted that none of these huge events – or the regular programs of the radio station – would happen without the participation of the laity. In fact, lay Catholics are the staff, the management, the technical expertise and the force that gets everything practical done. And by having lay leadership, he and the other Legionaries in Los Angeles are able to concentrate on priestly things.

“Our priests concentrate on preaching, sacraments, and spiritual direction,” Father said. “Having lay people doing the management and production is a real blessing.

“It is mission work, but in a city. Like missions during holy week to remote villages, but instead of going out and knocking on doors we are using the radio.

“To me, the greatest accomplishment is to bring the Catholic Church to so many people – it is evangelization, 24 hours a day. To bring God to this society is so beautiful – and last year we had five young men decide to test a vocation with the Legionaries of Christ.”

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CCC of America Continues its Mission with Lukas Storyteller

In 1983, a group of young Mexican Regnum Christi members, armed with holy audacity and a vision to change culture through mass media, decided that the place where they would have the most impact was Hollywood.  Jose Carredano, Johnny Williams and Jorge Gonzáles recognized how mass media, film production, and entertainment had become a vital part of contemporary culture. After securing financial support for their vision, they went to Los Angeles and created one of the first Regnum Christi apostolates in the United States, Hombre Nuevo.  From 1983-1986 they produced the Hombre Nuevo television show on channel 46 KHIS, a daily 2-hour long show that looked at contemporary issues in the light of human and Christian values. After this project ended due to economic difficulty, Hombre Nuevo created an award-winning feature film, Crystalstone, in 1987.

During the 1990s it became clear to the team at Hombre Nuevothat the Hollywood culture and infrastructure would not support the growth of Catholic entertainment, so they began their own production and distribution company called Creative Communication Center of America (CCC). The dynamic enterprise of CCC of America was founded to produce and distribute high-quality entertainment for the family that was not only enjoyable but also conveyed Christian moral values.  CCC created a series of popular 30-minute animated features called the Saints and Heroesseries.  These videos, which told the stories of 11 saints and heroes through high-quality animation, were completed in 1999 and have been available on DVD ever since. They have been dubbed into more than ten languages and sold in more than 22 countries.

Three years ago, as technology changed and the market for streaming digital media grew (while DVD sales fell) Juan Carlos Carredano was asked to come on board as the new CEO of CCC with two primary objectives, to “take the old materials to new platforms and produce new original content.”

Working towards the objectives that Juan Carlos signed on for, CCC now has its Saints and Heroes series on the Augustine Institute’s Formed.org platform.  They have also created a new series of HD animated content for children called Lukas Storyteller. The first season is made up of 14 episodes which feature Lukas, a fish who met Jesus.  The high-quality HD animated production follows the adventures of Lukas in the lives of different saints, with each episode also highlighting a virtue.  The series is available on DVD,  as well as on the new streaming platform that CCC offers. Next year, they will expand to iTunes, Netflix, and other mainstream platforms.

CCC operates as an independent international corporation with offices in Mexico City and Dallas, and continues to be an apostolate of the Regnum Christi Movement with the same mission that motivated its creation in 1983, the transformation of culture through mass media.

 

 

 

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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!