Regnum Christi

Mission

Holy Week Mission

Holy Week is the holiest week of the year. It is the week we celebrate and remember that God became man, died and rose from the dead for us. There is no better time to go out as a missionary to share God’s love with others!

As Holy Week missionaries, we seek to accompany Jesus during this Holy Week, celebrating the deep mysteries. We feel moved to support our parishes and Churches, inviting others to celebrate that week with us. We go out to serve those in need in various ways, sharing God’s love.

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Holy Week Family Missions

Our Family Missions program is designed to provide an opportunity for families to come together and serve their community, spreading love, kindness, and compassion in the spirit of Christ’s teachings. Through a variety of volunteer activities, prayer services, and learning sessions, families will have the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need while nurturing their own spiritual growth.

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Advent Mission

Missionaries will be out on the streets around the cathedral, inviting Catholics to come in to pray or go to Confession. Why? To bring others To Christ in preparation for Christmas. Adults 17 and older.

Check back for mission details

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Holy Week Mission

Missionaries will be out on the streets around the cathedral, inviting Catholics to come in to pray or go to Confession. Why? To bring others To Christ in preparation for Easter. Adults 17 and older.

Check back for mission details.

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Living the Dream: Twenty-Five Years of Pastoral and Vocation Work

Tammy Grady has been working in the ministry of vocation awareness and discernment for most of her consecrated life. Ever since becoming a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi twenty-five years ago, she has felt God leading her towards vocation work in one way or another. And her current position as the Associate Vocation Director for Women Vocations for the Diocese of Dallas, Spiritual Director at both Benedictine College and SMU Catholic Campus Ministry and teaching Theology of the Body to young adults after being certified from the Theology of the Body Institute in Pennsylvania are just some of her latest roles in a life dedicated to helping young people discover God’s unique plan for their lives.

What does it take to be a vocation director, and carry out the important task of accompanying young adults as they discern God’s will for their future?  Tammy believes that while it’s important to have proper training and studies in theology, the spiritual life, discernment of spirits and on-going formation in order to be better equipped to help guide others, what is equally important is that, as Vocation Director, she also has a strong prayer life, her own spiritual director and mentors, and a sincere love for the young people whom the Lord entrusts to her. “It’s important to really care for the candidate or directee and to try to see them as Christ sees them,” says Tammy. Her role involves learning how to listen well, being attentive to the discernment of spirits in the heart of the other, and helping the directee to develop her own relationship with the Lord and learn how to detect His voice and the Movements of the Holy Spirit in her heart and in her life. “I also think that experience has a lot to do with it. Your own personal experience of discerning, and the more experience that you gain in helping others to discern prepares you,” says Tammy. “When I look back over my life, I think it’s been my own personal prayer, the experiences that I had and learned through my own spiritual direction, growing more aware of how to detect the discernment of spirits, and accompanying so many others over the years in their walk that have really given me both life and spiritual experiences which have proven to be invaluable for my own mission.”

Tammy’s own discernment to the consecrated life within Regnum Christi deeply influences her current vocation work. For Tammy, her decision to give two years to the Church in volunteer work was the first step of discernment towards the consecrated life. “No matter what vocation we are called to, our baptism calls us to be a self-gift and to serve others,” says Tammy. “My years as a missionary really opened my heart to the beauty of a life dedicated to self-giving. Building upon this experience, a few years later the Lord let me to see the immense beauty and joy that comes with dedicating oneself to God as the Bride of Christ and mother to spiritual children.” The charism of the call to evangelize and to build Christ’s Kingdom on earth, particularly on an international level, led her to Regnum Christi.

But the key to Tammy’s own discernment to the consecrated life, and in her life in general, was focusing first on building a personal relationship with Christ. “For my own discernment, what helped the most, was that I was not so much looking to discern, as I was just looking to grow in relationship with God,” says Tammy. “So as I opened my heart to the Lord, and grew more in a personal relationship with him, I started to fall in love with him, then it was He who led me down the path of discernment and towards Regnum Christi, and it really was him that was moving me and giving me the grace to respond.”

And this is precisely the attitude – one of radical openness to a personal relationship with God – that Tammy encourages in the young people she accompanies through the process of discernment. While her ministry often involves coordinating specific vocation-centered events, such as weekend come-and-sees and Marian dinners, which give university students and young adults the opportunity to meet different religious sisters and consecrated women and experience different forms of the consecrated life, her main objective is to provide a space for a relationship with God to take root and be nourished in the hearts of those she accompanies. “Spiritual exercises, retreats about knowing how to be open to bringing God more into their lives, doing pilgrimages – these help young people take time in silence and reflection to see and listen where God could be leading them in their life,” says Tammy. “Retreats, doing apostolic work, and going on pilgrimages really take people out of their everyday environment, and enable them to give back to others, allow God to work in their life, and allow them to have a spirit of openness and trust.”

Creating these opportunities for young women to experience the consecrated life and nurture a relationship with God is particularly important to Tammy, who saw a gap in the discernment resources for women. “There are a lot of opportunities for those discerning the priesthood, but not as many for women discerning the consecrated life.” For this reason, Tammy finds herself as a point person for many young women, not just within the Diocese of Dallas, but throughout Texas and in other areas of the United States, who are seeking information about particular orders, prayer resources, spiritual direction, and, as she puts it, “anything that could help them to see where the Lord could possibly be leading them.”

For Tammy, this is what vocation work means – not simply guiding someone towards a decision to a specific state of life, but accompanying them on their journey towards a closer relationship with God:

“One of the things that I see about my work in vocations is that I don’t really consider it or label it as vocation work, but rather pastoral work, because really, the human heart is looking for God. The general vocation is really a life of holiness, union with God, and friendship with him. The specific vocation – whether you’re being called to some form of consecrated life or the married life – is more of your own particular path. So with my work, yes, it has to do with specific vocation discernment, but also just helping students and young women and young men to know God more and to trust in His love.”

For Tammy, accompanying young people along their discernment journey is an honor and a gift. “I feel like I’m walking on sacred ground, helping them to see where the Lord has been leading them,” she says. Throughout her twenty-five years of consecrated life, she has journeyed with women on their walk towards their vocation as a Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Consecrated Virgins within a diocese or a religious sister within a variety of different religious orders. “All of them have been a great blessing to me,” says Tammy. “It’s just been encouraging to see that God still calls, and that there are still young women who want to be open to become the Bride of Christ in this world and offer themselves to God, to bring about His Kingdom on earth.”

Tammy has also helped women discern their vocation to Holy Matrimony through Christian marriage.  “I’ve been very impressed by young women who have taken time to discern where God is calling them and in their openness discover that He is not calling them to the consecrated life, but to married life as a wife and mother. Their personal relationship with God leads them towards a commitment in seeking to make a difference in the world as an apostle; either as a Regnum Christi member and/or a strong active member of the local Church coupled with preparing themselves for the beautiful vocation of being a wife and mother in the world.”

While the COVID-19 crisis has created new challenges for Tammy’s vocation work, which she believes is better accomplished through face-to-face meetings and in-person relationships, she has noticed a benefit that has come from this unprecedented time as well: lockdowns, quarantines, and the general slowing down of everyday life necessitated by the pandemic have created more space for contemplation and discernment in the lives of the young people with whom she works. “People have more time for reflecting, and I find more people reaching out for discernment and asking deeper questions about life and the future,” says Tammy. “While it’s not the best platform, technical platforms have been useful in connecting with these young people and even serve as a forum for retreats, small group sharing, prayer moments and Q & A sessions.”

On Sept 1st, 2020 Tammy celebrated her 25th Anniversary of Consecrated life to Christ her Bridegroom and King. Reflecting on many of those years being involved with vocation work, Tammy can say that she has never tired of the ministry of accompanying young people through the journey of discernment; in fact, she considers vocation work her dream mission. “Really, I feel right now that I am kind of living a little bit of the dream in what I do,” says Tammy. “It’s beautiful to be able to help people to discover where the Holy Spirit and Christ are working in their life. There are young people still today who have a great heart in wanting to know where the Lord could be leading them, to put God first in their life, and make a difference in this world. To be able to play a role, no matter how small, in this process is a gift that God has granted me and I am forever grateful.”

 

 

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New Book Shares the Adventures of the Missionary of Wall Street

Sometimes you come across people with stories so compelling you wish you could sit down with them for an afternoon and just listen to them relate their adventures. Steve and Evelyn Auth are good examples.  He is an energetic Wall Street investor with a wry smile, and she is a warm and engaging prayer warrior who speaks softly and in a way that makes people pause to listen. You know there is something unique about this couple just by meeting them.

What am I, a chief investment officer of one of the country’s largest investment managers, doing hailing down strangers at night on the streets of New York City? “Are you Catholic?” my friends and I ask… -from The Missionary of Wall Street

Steve is indeed the Executive Vice President and a chief investment officer with Federated Global Equities. He earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and his graduate degree at Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. As a leading investor and financial analyst,  Steve is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, but in his new book, The Missionary of Wall Street, published by Sophia Institute Press, Steve ventures out of his investment wheelhouse and shares an entirely different side of himself.

You can almost hear Steve’s New York accent and the hint of humor in his voice as he relates not only his story, but stories of some of the estimated 2.5 million New Yorkers that he, Evelyn, and a band of street missionaries have encountered over the last 10 years around Prince & Mott in SoHo.  Of those 2.5 million, over 10,000 people have come to confession during the missions, many for the first time since their first communion.  Many thousands more have been accompanied by street missionaries into a church to pray or light a candle.

The book shares the true and remarkable stories of the miracles that happen on the street when Catholics become missionaries in the city that is the epicenter of secular culture. They base their evangelization outreach at Old St. Patrick’s in SoHo, led by the inspiration of Monsignor Donald Sakano, the pastor.  Their primary goal is to engage fallen away Catholics and accompany them in taking their first steps back into the Church. Stationed on neighborhood street corners, they greet passers-by with a warm smile and the question, “Are you Catholic?”  The answer to that question (or more often the lack of an answer) determines what happens next. Steve estimates that for every person who says yes and stops to speak with a missionary there are about 40 who just ignore them or respond with a quick negative.

The harsh reality is that, for every successful encounter on the streets of SoHo, our missionaries are rejected or ignored or yelled at by a minimum of twenty passers-by, an average of forty, and on some nights eighty or a hundred.

On top of our own natural human reactions to that abuse in the streets, add the role of the devil. Rest assured, the devil is not happy about our new evangelization. Most of the souls we encounter are on some level of his slippery slope—some are near the bottom, convinced they’re lost, or even no longer aware of eternity and their impending lost future….Most are practicing a reasonably sophisticated form of rationalization, convincing themselves that, for some reason or another, their behavior is morally acceptable….

Before we head to the streets, I stop in the church to pray, maybe even do a daily confession. I put myself in the hands of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to carry me through. When I do this sincerely and with deep faith, I always find I have joyful, confident perseverance through the long night of darkness.

Once you have the habit of joyful perseverance, you’ll keep going even when everything seems to be working against you. Even the weather.

Then success will sneak up on you and surprise you.

In today’s world of me first, love—true love—is in short supply. Lost souls hunger for love. And when they sense true love in a missionary’s spirit on the street, inevitably they’re drawn in. -from The Missionary of Wall Street

Sometimes God uses the missionaries to reach people outside of the Catholic faith as well, like Khalid, whose story Steve relates in the book:

Prince and Mott, SoHo.
Tuesday of Holy Week, 2017

It’s a beautiful, joyful evening in SoHo. It appears summer has come two months early. The afternoon sun is shining warmly in our faces, and joy is in the air.

Then Khalid, a Muslim from Morocco, walks by.

“You Christians all want to kill us!” he tells one of our missionaries.

A heated discussion follows. We have lots in common. Abraham, the father of both faiths. God, who inspired Mohammed, is the same God we worship. Jesus is at least a great prophet in a Muslim context.

“But the world is going to hell! Too many of you are trying to get us!” Actually, he uses some much more colorful language, but I’m not going to repeat it.

“Khalid, can you stop using those kinds of words out here on the street? You’re bigger than this. You’re a child of God. Come on!”

Khalid is still hostile; and the language is no less colorful. “Khalid, you’re trying to rile me up, but it’s not going to work. I love you too much. You’re my brother. Love will always conquer hate.”

“No way!”

“Khalid, I want you to go into the church to light a candle before God, and to pray for me. Can you do this for me?”

It takes some talking and a lot of Christian love, but somehow, someway (the Holy Spirit, perhaps?), Khalid finds the strength to head into a church for the first time in his life.”

 

Steve has a compelling story of his own as a cradle Catholic who had a dramatic “re-version” almost 20 years ago. He is a Regnum Christi member, and a national board member of the Lumen Institute. He makes it clear that the cause of the missions’ success, and of each individual conversion he has witnessed, is not him, but Jesus Christ who calls the missionaries out into the streets and lets them actively witness what he is doing in the lives of the passers-by that they engage. The Missionary of Wall Street invites the reader out of the holy huddle and on to the cold and tough street corners of New York.  You get the sense that as he tells these stories, each more improbable and transformative than the last, Steve is just as amazed as the reader is.

 

These inspiring tales of Steve Auth’s faithful band of Catholic missionaries working the street corners of New York City reads like a 21st-century version of the Acts of the Apostles.”

Jim Towey
President – Ave Maria University

 

Woven among the stories is another key component of the book. Pausing from his narrative every now and then, Steve speaks directly to the reader as a would-be missionary, giving tips on how to engage in street evangelization effectively.  In an experienced but accessible way, he shares the key elements of running a street mission, essential strategies, and some do’s and don’ts that he has learned over the years. Having touched millions of passers-by in New York over the last decade as the missionary of Wall Street, Steve may very well touch millions more through those who read this book and are inspired to step out and become missionaries themselves.

The Missionary of Wall Street is available in paperback and e-book from Sophia Institute Press.

For a taste of what you’ll find in the book, watch a recent talk Steve gave at an Atlanta Regnum Christi Convention below.

New Book Shares the Adventures of the Missionary of Wall Street Read More »

A New Orleans Parish Thinks Outside the Box: Holy Week is Mission Week

Some have said that it’s not so much that the Church of Christ has a mission, but that the mission of Jesus Christ has a Church. That was very apparent this past Holy Week at Mater Dolorosa parish in New Orleans.

While some pastors might think of Holy Week as the time of year for adding extra liturgies to the church bulletin and extra flowers for the church sanctuary, some pastors are going back to the roots of holy week. It is a time to get their flock outside the church and spreading the Good News of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.  It is anything but a moment to simply gather the same volunteers to arrange flowers around the altar.  Holy Week is mission week, and this is how Fr. Herb Kiff, the pastor of Mater Dolorosa, thinks.

Together with a team of Regnum Christi members, his church welcomed over 100 young adults from the apostolate Mission Youth.  These kids agreed to stay overnight at the parish from Wednesday to Saturday of Holy Week.  They would spend the holy days on mission, and the work they did in and around the church was amazing!

“It was the best time of year for me as a priest. Because of these missionaries, we heard about eight hours of confessions on Holy Thursday alone!”, so said Fr Zachary Dominguez, a priest of the Legion of Christ who helped in the organization.

On Thursday the kids went to downtown New Orleans and opened wide the doors of St. Louis cathedral.  In the plaza in front of the church, just off infamous Bourbon street, are usually found tarot card and palm readers mingled in with panhandlers and homeless.  But on this night the Eucharist was exposed on the altar of the cathedral, a praise and worship band from Mission Youth set up shop in the plaza and began to elevate their songs of praise.  The rest of the parishioners from Mater Dolorosa filed out into the crowds of people, inviting everyone to come into the church, to light a candle or go to confession or just to offer a prayer.

“The church was full of people coming and going. One couple, tourists from Seattle, said this was the highlight of their trip!  And all of it because the young adults of Mission Youth were going out from the church inviting and engaging every passerby.  They have a lot of faith!” said Fr. Gregory Usselmann, another LC priest inside hearing confessions.

The next day in the same downtown area, the Mission Youth kids brought large crosses into the street intersections. The people passing by were invited to write down a prayer intention and nail the small piece of paper to the cross.  Later, the Regnum Christi people organized a Good Friday Way of the Cross procession through the downtown area.  The local police provided an escort and shut down roads as the more than 1500 people walked from church to church remembering the sufferings of Jesus.

All of this and more, from feeding the homeless to going door to door in the neighborhood around Mater Dolorosa to hand out invitations to the Church and the liturgy schedule.  There was an uptick in attendance this holy week.

“It was great to see a church no longer just a “church of Maintenance” as they say, but a church on mission”, said Fr Gregory. “If the church will make an impact in this post-modern world, we have to listen to Pope Francis and go out into the streets and plazas. We can’t sit back anymore and expect the people to come. That worked in the 50s, but not today.”

Holy week is never going to be the same in this parish. You can see the change and the renewal:  now at Mater Dolorosa, it is a “Mission” that has a church building, rather than a church building in need of “maintenance”.

 

For more information:

How to Set-up a Holy Week Mission

– More info on Mission Youth Missions here.

A New Orleans Parish Thinks Outside the Box: Holy Week is Mission Week Read More »

For Many Churches in North America, Holy Week is Becoming Mission Week

Holy Week is the most sacred time of year for Catholics.  Yet sometimes the holy days can go by as if nothing different was happening.  This apathy and indifference in parish life is a problem that Pope Francis is facing head-on. In his chief pastoral document, Evangelii Gaudium #49 he said:

“My hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mk 6:37).”

This message of Pope Francis is being heard loud and clear, especially by millennials.  They are leading the charge into the periphery: the highways and byways of the world.  They have a knack for leaving behind a church focused on, in Pope Francis’ words, mere “maintenance” and self-interest in favor of a church focused on mission!

Take the Mission Youth apostolate for example. Last Holy Week they helped Msgr. EdwardThein at the downtown Atlanta basilica of the Sacred Heart.  A hundred of these millennials, decked out in mission t-shirts and singing their very own theme song, spent Holy Week doing an astonishing list of mission work!

Here’s what they did:  they went through the streets and parks in the neighborhood and invited every person to mass, providing detailed lists of mass times and “welcome home” type materials.  They went to the local food pantries, homeless shelters, cancer wards and poor homes to cook meals and embrace all the needy with the warmth of the love of Jesus. They organized living stations of the cross through the nearby parks and downtown Atlanta.  They packed lunches for the poor, helped the Salvation Army, ran an Easter Carnival for underprivileged kids and were present helping at every church service of the holy days.

One of the organizers, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi named Emily Roman, said “these kids have a mission-focus, their enthusiastic and full of life! Sharing Jesus with others is something they seem to enjoy doing.  What was amazing is that they themselves organized the mission and were running it. This was teen-led and teen-powered.”

“We’re definitely doing this again next year”, said Fr John Klein, one of their chaplains. He added, “Holy Week will now be Mission Week for us.  That’s what the Church is about, right?  Jesus said to go out into the streets to proclaim the good news.  That is literally what these kids are doing!”

 

For more information:

How to Set-up a Holy Week Mission

– More info on Mission Youth Missions here.

For Many Churches in North America, Holy Week is Becoming Mission Week Read More »

Young Adults Seek Christ in New York City 

Jeannine and BJ Agugliaro of Basking Ridge, NJ, both members of Regnum Christi, have been the leaders of the Holy Week Missions for youth at Old St. Patrick’s Basilica in Soho (Manhattan) for the past 7 years.  In that time, they have seen many young people return, year after year, for the incredible experience of evangelizing on the street corners and inviting people back to the sacraments before Easter.  The spiritual thirst they saw in the young adults who came to be missionaries inspired them to find a way to bring them closer to Christ through a retreat. 

“The idea came up as a result of the college and young adult track we had at the Holy Week Mission in Soho this past March,” said Siobhan O’Connor, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi.  “When the mission ended, Jeannine and I both thought that they needed a retreat on their level in order to be spiritually fed.  They had given so much of themselves as team leaders working with kids in the high school track on the mission.” 

On Friday, August 17, thirteen young adults arrived at Bishop Molloy retreat center in Queens, NY, for a silent spiritual exercises weekend retreat.  Led by Fr. Stephen Dyas, LC and Siobhan O’Connor, CRC, the retreat was facilitated by Jeannine and BJ Agugliaro of Basking Ridge, NJ, both members of Regnum Christi.   

Jeannine personally followed up with all the college students who were leaders at the mission to invite them to come to Spiritual Exercises.  For the majority, this was the first time they had ever done a silent retreat.  On Friday, August 17, thirteen young adults arrived at Bishop Molloy retreat center in Queens, NY, for a silent Ignatian-style weekend retreat.  Led by Fr. Stephen Dyas, LC, and Siobhan O’Connor, CRC, the retreat was facilitated by Jeannine and BJ. 

The weekend followed the plan of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, with meditations on the life of Christ, conferences on prayer, discernment and making a personal spiritual plan, as well as a viewing of The Passion of the Christ to illustrate the meditation on Christ’s Passion and Death.  This was followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday night and a moment to experience the Sacred Heart of Christ in silent prayer. 

Fr. Stephen remarked, “It was great to see these young men and women so hungry for God and willing to give him some of their time. Doing a silent weekend retreat is not easy but everyone was so happy afterwards. Confession and Mass, along with some personal accompaniment, go a long way in a person’s life.” 

After ending the retreat by renewing their baptismal promises, the students had a time to share about their experience during the retreat.  Words such as “joy”, “renewal”, “light” and “peace” came up repeatedly. “We hope that this can become an annual event,” said Jeannine. “It has been a blessing to see these young people grow in their relationship with Our Lord this weekend, and I can’t wait to see the next step for each of them.” 

For more information on the NYC Holy Week Mission 2019 (High School and College tracks), and future retreats for young adults:  www.regnumchristinyctnj.org

Young Adults Seek Christ in New York City  Read More »

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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!