Regnum Christi

sports

Highlights from the ECYD Middle School Boys National Tournament, and the Upcoming ECYD Summer Camps!

“Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

This was the inspiration for the theme of this year’s ECYD Middle School Boys National Tournament – “Run so as to win!” The tournament was held February 17th-20th at Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and over the weekend, ECYD members and teams from around North America participated in ECYD’s national winter games and competed in tournaments to take the gold home to their cities. This year, seven teams of boys in 5th-8th grade from Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, New York, and Florida gathered to play in tournaments that included basketball, football, fubito, floor hockey, handball, and dodgeball. They also participated in a live Clue Action game and a manhunt, and spent an entire day downhill skiing. The tournament weekend concluded with Mass and the ECYD Pledge of Friendship Ceremony, during which the boys renewed their Pledge of Friendship with Christ, and one boy made the pledge for the first time.

The tournament was run by Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin, LC, who is the director of ECYD Life Department, and Brother Joseph Geiger, LC, the Assistant ECYD Director in Atlanta. “I love seeing the boys grow up and arriving to compete with fresh energy and more maturity each year, deepening their friendship with Christ and other boys from around the country,” says Fr. Patrick. “This year Indiana took home the gold – it was fantastic to see their hard work, team work and great sportsmanship throughout!”
You can check out all the fun the boys had at the ECYD Middle School Boys National Tournament in this video posted by Fr. Jaime Lorenzo, LC, who serves as the ECYD Director in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and on the Northshore.

And although this year’s national tournament has come and gone, the ECYD summer camps are fast approaching!

Upcoming Girls ECYD Camps
Girls ECYD Camps are unique experiences for girls from 5th-12th grade to grow in their Catholic faith and make lasting friendships. At camp, girls ages 10-18 will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and will enjoy prayer and spiritual growth through participation in Mass and Confession. Sports, games, workshops, team dynamics, exciting night activities, swimming, and fun in the sun, are typical ECYD camp activities. There are over a dozen ECYD Girls summer camps happening in 11 different states in June and July:
Challenge Camp will be held at Camp Cho-Yeh in Livingston, Texas June 13th-16th. Email Carrie Frain for more information.

Challenge 5th/6th Grade Camp 2 is being held at Camp River Ridge in Oldenburg, Indiana, and will feature bonfires, creeking, and horseback riding.

Washington, DC is hosting two ECYD Girls camps this summer: LTP Girls Day Camp: Daughters of the King is a half-day camp that will run June 19th-23rd and is geared towards girls in 2nd-5th grade, while ECYD Summer Camp  is an overnight camp on June 25th-30th for 5th-9th grade girls and 10th-12th grade leaders.

ECYD Summer Camp Tekakwitha 1.0 takes place June 19th-24th at Bocamb Farms in Convington, Louisiana for girls going into 5th-8th grade. Camp Tekakwitha is a story camp allowing the participants to enter into the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha of the Mohawks, learning about her lifestyle as a Native American in upstate New York in the second half of the 17th Century, her journey of discovery of the faith through the French “Black Robes,” and the development of her friendship with Jesus Christ. This year’s formation theme is Friendship with Christ and Love for the Eucharist.

Visit challengeyouthministry.com for more information about these camps, and about the camps scheduled for July.

Upcoming Boys ECYD Camps
Boys ECYD Camps are for boys in 5th-12th grade and are focused on spiritual development as well as leadership skills. There are over 25 camp locations each summer, providing boys with a unique experience of “Forging them in Virtue” with fun and adventure. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, games, formative activities, spiritual talks, and prayer and the sacraments.

The first ECYD camp of the summer is the Leadership Camp at Camp Bocamb in Convington, which is happening May 30th-June 3rd. Registration for this camp closes on May 28th. Argentus Summer Camp 2023, held at the same location, will run June 5th-11th, and Argentus Day Camp, for boys entering 1st-4th grades, will be held June 27th-30th.

Camp Atlantas will be held in Jasper, Georgia on June 1st-June 10th.  Campers will enter the realm of Atlantas as squires and members of the six Houses of Atlantas, learn skills and powers from the Atlantan Knights themselves, and forge themselves as friends and apostles of Jesus Christ intent on building up and defending his Kingdom right here in the Southeast. This unique camp features medieval-style tournaments and sports, camping, hikes, wildlife skills, and even swordplay!

Dallas is hosting two camps this year: ECYD Summer Camp, Samurai – Honor & Brotherhood on June 4th-9th, and DFW Day Camp 2023 – Brotherhood on June 12th-16th.
Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana will be hosting a day camp called Camp Cristero on June 11th-16th. Contact Fr. Robert DeCesare for more information.
Camp Cincinnatus at Camp River Ridge in Oldenburg, Indiana has several camps running this summer, including a Boys Summer Camp June 11th-16th.

Fr. Andrew Gronotte, LC, will be hosting a Summer Leadership Course at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on June 11th-17th. Contact Fr. Andrew for more information.
For more information about these camps, or the many camps being held in July and August, visit https://conquestyouthministry.com/camps/.

Highlights from the ECYD Middle School Boys National Tournament, and the Upcoming ECYD Summer Camps! Read More »

A Cyclist’s Spirituality – A Book by Fr. John Bullock, LC for Catholics with a Passion for Cycling

 Recently, Fr. John Bullock, LC, published his book A Cyclist’s Spirituality – Spiritual lessons learned from riding a bike. “I have had a strong interest in cycling since I was 14 years old. … I participated in some local races in my teens and I wanted to become a professional cyclist but my knees put an end to that dream…” comments Fr. John in an interview with the Regnum Christi International Communication Office.

 

Who is Fr. John Bullock, LC?

I grew up in Houston, Texas, and I am an only child. My mother is originally from Austria and my father, now deceased, from Texas. They met in Houston and I lived there for most of my childhood.

Since I was 11 years old, I remember thinking about the priesthood, but I didn’t discover the Legionaries of Christ until shortly after college. I entered the Legion in 1992 in Cheshire, CT, but since I can speak German, I did my novitiate in Germany, later I did my humanities studies in Salamanca (Spain), and my apostolic practices in Germany and Poland.

I was ordained in 2002, and have worked in California, Cincinnati, and now in Houston. I have worked with youth, in a university, and in Regnum Christi ministries. I can say that I love my faith, my priestly vocation as a Legionary at the service of the Church, and my entire Regnum Christi family. I like working with people, and I love riding my bike.

Where did the idea of equating spirituality with cycling come from? And why cycling and not athletics, swimming, or some other sport?

I have had a strong interest in cycling since I was 14 years old, initially desiring to tour Europe. However, my interest quickly turned to racing. I participated in some local races in my teens and wanted to become a professional cyclist. Eventually my knees ended that dream, but the passion for cycling continued.

Once I got into the Legion, I thought riding a bike was to be a long-lost love. But 12 years ago, I tried to ride a bike again, and to my delight, I was able to ride a bit. Now I try to ride my bike regularly, around 3 times a week.

Not everyone can cycle, right? Do you think that cycling is a sport that anyone can do? And applying it to spiritual life, how do you associate this aspect of sports discipline, for example, with prayer?

I do believe that anyone who wants to can ride a bicycle; but cycling as a sport is growing primarily in the United States. Many people have been infected with this passion for cycling, be it mountain or road. You don’t have to formally compete to be an avid cyclist. Around here you see people of all ages riding bikes and many do it with passion and dedication.

From my perspective, two millennia ago Saint Paul already saw the connection between sports and the spiritual life, pointing out that our spiritual journey, like a foot race, implies a goal, an effort and the need for discipline (cf. Cor 9, 24-25). I think the comparisons are innumerable. This book shares some spiritual insights gleaned from a cyclist’s point of view, covering topics such as bike fit, drafting (when a rider saves energy by trailing another rider in a low pressure zone), crashes and accidents, and other aspects.

Is the book aimed at a specific audience? Is it for an ordinary Christian, those who only go to Mass on Sundays, or for those who already have a specific journey or a vocation in the Church?

While I’ve heard a number of non-cyclists say they’ve liked my book, the primary audience is avid cyclists. Statistically speaking about 23% of those cyclists in the United States will be Catholic. The hope is to help those people who are passionate about cycling to see the connection with the faith. Most of these people will be lay people, but I have also received a positive response from some of my fellow Legionaries of Christ.

In your pastoral dealings with people, what difficulties do you see in the spiritual life that prevent serious work, discipline, or creating the habits needed to live a spirituality?

I have worked pastorally with people of all ages, and I have noticed that a great obstacle to living the faith is a lack of discipline. There is a lack of consistency in the life of prayer, in a life program and even, sometimes, in the experience of the sacraments. This subgroup, passionate cyclists, will have no problem with willpower. You can’t be a serious cyclist without the willpower to train regularly. Here the underlying issue will be to awaken that same passion for faith as they have for cycling.

What would you say to those who say they simply don’t have time for the spiritual life, or who see it as something outdated?

When someone experiences the love of Jesus Christ through prayer, Eucharistic adoration, or some other spiritual or human experience, then the motivation will come from within the person, from the heart. And you find time to spend with the person you love, without excuses.

The book A Cyclist’s Spirituality – Spiritual lessons learned from riding a bike by Fr. John Bullock, LC is available in paperback and kindle format, and can be purchased here.

A Cyclist’s Spirituality – A Book by Fr. John Bullock, LC for Catholics with a Passion for Cycling Read More »

New National Sports Tournament Brings ECYD Boys Together

As the ECYD Boy’s Section Director in Atlanta, Georgia, Fr. Patrick O’Loughin, LC, has a calendar jam-packed with a variety of events and activities. Along with his ECYD team, he is responsible for all of the resources and tools that ECYD provides to the boys for their spiritual formation, organizes all of the ECYD teams and the Conquest clubs in Atlanta, and coordinates the different spiritual mentors, including Legionary priests and Regnum Christi men and young adults, who provide spiritual accompaniment to the boys about once a month. Fr. Patrick also helps coordinate ECYD apostolic opportunities, serving on Mercy Missions Atlanta that runs monthly missions for high schoolers. In addition, Fr. Patrick runs all the local ECYD boy’s events, like retreats which are typically held several times a year, and a Father and Son Camp that is put on each semester. Just recently, he finished up Camp Atlantas, a week-long camp for boys in fifth to eighth grades, held this June in Jasper, Georgia.

Besides being the ECYD Boy’s Local Director in Atlanta, Fr. Patrick is also on the National ECYD Life Department Team, currently headed up by Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Maria Knuth. As a part of this team, he helps with coordinating national events for the boys, including ECYD Summer Mission  Corps program which gathers and high school boys and girls across the world into teams to serve at ECYD camps, retreats and missions over the summer.

Despite having his hands full coordinating local and national ECYD boy’s activities, there was one event that Fr. Patrick and some of the other ECYD Boys directors felt was still missing. Growing up in ECYD himself, one of Fr. Patrick’s greatest memories of his time as a young member were the national conventions he used to attend. Raised in Syracuse, New York, Fr. Patrick fondly recalls the large ECYD conventions he would travel across the border to attend in Cornwall, Ontario. “Back in the day when I was a boy, it was a big convention, with a lot of boys, and we would play hockey, we would go to a Montreal Canadians NHL game, we would visit St. Joseph’s Oratory, and there would be a huge competition between all the different clubs there all the way through it. I just remember having such a fantastic time.”

These fond memories gave Fr. Patrick the idea to organize a national ECYD sports tournament, working with different ECYD directors and localities all over the United States. The tournament, which was coordinated by an organizing team consisting of Legionary priests and ECYD high school students and RC young men, was hosted at the Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and was held over President’s Day Weekend in February of this year. Middle school boys from ECYD sections from various localities, such as Atlanta, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Houston, joined in the three-day tournament, and the participants from the different localities even showed up in their own unique ECYD team jerseys! Besides competing in a variety of sports, the boys enjoyed activities like scavenger hunts, an ECYD Holy Hour, and even a day of skiing. “It was a great experience to see a lot of the boys who came from the south who had never skied before – they were just super excited to see all the snow and go skiing in Indiana,” says Fr. Patrick. “It was a really great time, and I was so impressed that for a first-time event we had teams from all over the country come and have a blast. Everyone loved it.”

The event was such a success that Fr. Patrick has also saved the date for next year’s tournament – it will be held once at Sacred Heart Apostolic School over President’s Day weekend (February 17th – 20th, 2023), and Fr. Patrick is looking forward to even more boys from even more ECYD sections taking part.

Fr. Patrick was assigned to Atlanta in 2018 as director of the ECYD boys section in the greater Atlanta area, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 4, 2019. Besides his work with ECYD on the local and national level, Fr. Patrick also serves as a part-time campus ministry chaplain at Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi School in Atlanta. And although Fr. Patrick spends much of his time coordinating ECYD events, one of the aspects of his role in ECYD that he enjoys the most is the one-on-one conversations he gets to have with the boys after the events are all over. “I really love the spiritual mentoring part of my role, following up on retreats and camps or the different experiences that the boys have had, and seeing how the Lord is working in them.”

To find out more about ECYD in your area or to stay informed on national events, visit their website at ecyd.org. To find out more about Fr. Patrick’s work with ECYD in the Atlanta area, visit ECYD Boys Atlanta.

New National Sports Tournament Brings ECYD Boys Together Read More »

Bringing Faith to the Football Field: Fr. Ryan Richardson at Benedictine College

""With over 2000 undergraduate students, three daily Masses, and three priests hearing confessions for one hour every day, Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal arts college on the banks of the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas, has a dynamic and thriving campus faith life. And Fr. Ryan Richardson, LC, who serves as the school’s full-time chaplain, believes that he gets to work at the best Catholic college in America.

Fr. Ryan’s chaplaincy role at Benedictine College is a diverse one; besides offering the sacraments to the students, faculty and staff, he also provides a general pastoral presence on campus. Benedictine College also has an active Regnum Christi section that runs as an official college-affiliated club, and was formed over five years ago by a group of former RC Mission Corps members. Over the past year, Fr. Ryan, along with Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Tammy Grady and Mary Schwarz, have accompanied the section throughout their various events and activities, such as weekly Encounters, street missions, spiritual exercises, the Christ the King Mass and Association ceremony, and regular spiritual direction.

But one of Fr. Ryan’s favorite duties as the chaplain of Benedictine College is ministering to the school’s various sports teams. Growing up, sports had always been a big part of Fr. Ryan’s life: he was"" the captain of his high school football team and has always had a love for the game. This past year, Fr. Ryan had the opportunity to give a weekly virtue talk to the entire team on the football field after practice, and provide a blessing before the games. He also celebrated a team Mass before every home game, and led the football team through a Bible study. And this presence that Fr. Ryan has been able to have in team life can have a profound impact on the players’ faith lives:

“These moments with the team have really allowed me to get to know the guys. I stay after practice, and they come up to me and have questions. Some ask me to hear their confession, others have questions about the faith. It allows me to step into their daily lives and bring faith to the field. Their response to this initiative has been super positive!”

This year, Fr. Ryan also attended the national championship game for the women’s lacrosse team, held in Southfield, Michigan. The team won the championship, and the first thing they all did when they got back to the hotel was to celebrate with a Mass of thanksgiving! “It has really been a joy to serve a fantastic group of students!”

""This commitment to spend time with students both on and off the field is, for Fr. Ryan, a pastoral response to one of the greatest needs of young adults today: the need for accompaniment. “Students today are seeking guidance and direction, they are seeking spiritual fathers who can point them in the right direction,” says Fr. Ryan of the diverse and integral role of the campus chaplain, which he has found to involve much more than saying Mass and hearing confessions. “The students are also seeking real relationship – they seek to be listened to, to be loved, and to be known. They not only seek the sacraments from their chaplain, but they also seek his attention and affirmation.” For this reason, Fr. Ryan considers one of the most important skills of the chaplaincy job is to be a good listener; it’s the key to making the students feel known and heard.

One of the unique features of faith life at Benedictine College is that the campus ministry is almost entirely student led. There are approximately 50 student leaders who are part of the campus ministry team, and it’s the students themselves who serve at Mass, lector, and provide music for the liturgies. The students also organize the various faith activities and events on and off campus, such as retreats, mission trips, and service opportunities. While campus staff members, and Fr. Ryan as chaplain, provide the students with guidance and feedback, their main goal is to empower the students to lead themselves and others, and give them the important experiences that will help form them to be leaders of the Church well beyond graduation.

""Benedictine College is an academic community sponsored by the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey and the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery, and offers over 50 academic programs, including architecture, engineering, theology, as well as a wide range of arts, humanities, STEM fields and sciences. Heir to the 1500 years of Benedictine dedication to learning, Benedictine College is ordered to the goal of wisdom lived out in responsible awareness of oneself, God and nature, family, and society. Its mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, residential college is the education of men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

To find out more about Benedictine College, visit their website at www.benedictine.edu. To get more information about the Regnum Christi section at Benedictine College, email [email protected].

 

 

 

Bringing Faith to the Football Field: Fr. Ryan Richardson at Benedictine College Read More »

Our Best to Christ, On and Off the Court

Jonathan Oshinski knows the impact a coach can have on a young person’s life.

Active in sports like soccer and football from a young age, Jonathan went on to play four years of varsity basketball and baseball while he was a student at Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Cumming, Georgia. It was his relationship with his coaches during that time that served an important role, not only in Jonathan’s athletic development, but in his spiritual growth as well. “Through all these experiences, I developed a real connection with my coaches,” says Jonathan. “They were, first and foremost, men of God and carried themselves in a way that demonstrated what it meant to be a virtuous man.”

They were also a major reason Jonathan became a coach himself; the relationships he formed with his coaches while attending Pinecrest Academy inspired him to pursue an education and career in coaching. “My coaches also pushed me to be my best at everything I did, whether in school, at home, on the court or field, or in my faith,” says Jonathan. “When I got to college and reflected back on some of my life experiences, I realized how much of an impact these coaches played in my life and felt that, maybe, God is calling me to do the same.”

Following that call to have an impact through coaching, Jonathan attended the University of Georgia and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. He also recently completed a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching Education from Georgia Southern University in 2017.

And in 2016, Jonathan found himself back at Pinecrest, this time as coach and teacher. After coaching both the middle school boys’ basketball and baseball teams, he is currently serving as the varsity girls’ head basketball coach. In addition to coaching, Jonathan is also the physical education teacher for all middle school students, as well as the assistant summer camps coordinator.

As coach and physical education teacher, Jonathan relishes the opportunity to have an impact on his students in the same way that his own coaches and teachers had an impact on him. “I believe that all of us, no matter what stage we are in life, are in need of mentors and guides who can help us along our journey,” says Jonathan. “For me, many of these people were coaches because of the amount of time that I spent with them on and off the court or field. They helped me to learn what it meant to be a competitor and how to be the best athlete I could be, but also how to be a man of God and use the gifts that He has given me in every aspect of life.”

One of those mentors in Jonathan’s life was his varsity basketball coach at Pinecrest, Andres Montana. It was Coach Montana who not only was one of the people who inspired Jonathan to become a coach himself, but also gave him the motto by which he lives: “Our Best to Christ.” This motto, Jonathan explains, “is a call to give your very best no matter what, because that is how Christ would want us to live.”

Jonathan has taken this motto to heart, and into his role as coach and teacher. “This became a lifestyle for me and has had such a profound impact on my life that I felt it was worth sharing with my athletes,” says Jonathan. “I like to think this has had a profound impact on our teams, because it puts the focus on giving our best to Christ, and not so much on the result. That’s not to say that winning doesn’t matter, but what’s important is whether or not you fulfilled your potential.”

But the O.B.T.C. motto isn’t just a battle cry for his teams about to hit the field or court; for Jonathan, giving “Our Best to Christ” means teaching his athletes and students where their focus should be when they’re off the field as well. “Many of my students and athletes have adopted O.B.T.C. as part of their lives and incorporate it in different aspect of life,” says Jonathan. And this is what Jonathan considers the greatest responsibility he has as a coach: to teach his athletes how to be successful both on and off the playing field.

“Playing sports presents you with numerous opportunities to learn life lessons and prepare you for future success in whatever career God has planned for you. A coach is someone who is in a position to teach those lessons and bring out the best in their athletes. They help push the athlete above and beyond what he or she thinks they are capable of. They teach the athlete what it means to be a humble winner and a gracious loser. They teach the athlete the importance of a team working together towards a common goal. They teach the athlete how to prioritize their life by putting God first, others second, and self last. Coaches have a great duty to fulfill if they want their athletes to achieve true success, knowing that they did their best in order to become the best they are capable of becoming. And that means being their best in every aspect of life.”

Jonathan knows that he can’t fulfill as important a duty as this without prayer: his teams pray before and after every game and practice. On top of that, Jonathan incorporates the teaching of virtue into everything he does with his athletes; he chooses a new virtue every week and discusses with his students different ways they might apply that virtue to their lives. “It isn’t always about what we do on the court, but also how we live our lives off the court as well,” says Jonathan. “By having these conversations, I think it challenges 

my athletes to really be their best in every aspect of life, not just on the playing field.”

What Jonathan loves most about his role as coach, teacher, and mentor is this opportunity to guide his students and athletes to be the best they can be, even once they’ve left the basketball court. Ultimately, Jonathan does this by encouraging and cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus in the hearts of those he coaches. “My role is really to plant seeds and let God take care of the rest,” says Jonathan. “My hope is that they are learning how to be the best they can be and develop a personal relationship with God so that they can go forth and fulfill His mission for them.”

Jonathan’s mission to give his best to Christ, and to inspire his athletes to do the same, continues today, despite the sudden and unexpected end to the 2020 baseball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 really affected my baseball team and it was tough not being able to finish what we started,” says Jonathan. “We had a tough season last year, but were showing a lot of promise at the start of this year. It was really hard not being able to get the result that we were hoping for, but at the end of the day, I felt that we gave it our all in the brief season that we did have.”

There are new challenges ahead for Jonathan, as he learns to adapt his coaching programs and methods to the new safety protocol in place. “The summer will present some challenges because we won’t be able to go to team camp, which has become a major highlight of the summer. Nevertheless, we are going to be creative and keep striving to be our best.” In response to these challenges, he’s been meeting with athletes online and is planning to create online workouts and at-home conditioning programs.

In fact, Jonathan sees the new challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis not as an obstacle to proper coaching, but as an opportunity to create more responsible and accountable athletes. “In a way, I am kind of excited about the challenge at hand, because I think it will force us out of our comfort zone if we want to be our best,” says Jonathan. “Since we cannot all be together, it is going to force each individual to challenge themselves and focus on their personal best if they want to prepare well for the season. It is also going to challenge us to hold each other accountable and see how strong we really are as a team.”

For Jonathan, the adversity caused by the current crisis is a part of life, to which there are two ways to respond: “you can say it’s too hard and give up, or you take it head-on and find a way to overcome it.” Says Jonathan, “Christ certainly didn’t quit when He was met with adversity. If we are striving to follow His example, then we shouldn’t give up either.” He receives the strength and courage to do this by continually turning to his motto, and encouraging his athletes to do likewise: “If we are truly striving to live out O.B.T.C, we will continue to give our best during this time and give all the glory to God while we do it.”

Our Best to Christ, On and Off the Court Read More »

Father Son Ski Camp Inspires in the Upper Midwest 

Fr. Chad Everts, LC, ran a Ski Camp at Oaklawn Academy in Edgerton, Wisconsin over the President’s Day weekend. 19 boys and 6 dads from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois participated 

Andrew was one of the young men who was at the camp. He liked how Legionaries help teens like him and noted, “I really enjoyed being able to be with the Legionaries.” This time, as he was one of the older boys at 14, he was a team leader. He explained that experience, “I got a sense that I had a responsibility to help other guys. I thought it was cool to help others rather than just being helped myself.” 

Andrew’s Dad, Mark, concurred with the experience of being with Legionaries. Mark drove his son, 8 other boys and another dad in a 12-passanger van 5 hours from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to the camp. He feels that Legionaries help young men become better people. He commented, “It’s important to have our boys be able to spend some time with the legionary fathers and brothers. It helps them step it up and be ECYD, be men for Christ.” 

Mark has been involved in Conquest and ECYD for almost 20 years, since his oldest son was in third grade. He used to run a club with John Scherber, the dad of Fr. Jerek Scherber, LC, who was just ordained a priest. You can read Fr. Jerek’s vocation testimony here. 

Mark didn’t just enjoy time with the Legionaries, he also noted how he loved the structure of the camp and the time with his son. He continued, “For me, going on these weekends is an opportunity to spend time with Legionaries and with my son. Both strengthen me. The talks are as valuable for me as they are for the boys. When I share that with my son, it shows him that our faith is important.” 

Fr. Chad Everts, LC was recently relocated back to the United States after 24 years in Europe, 17 of those working with ECYD in France. He explained that in France they have more week-long camps but less weekly activities.  

Mark also noted how having a Legionary with international experience helps, “When Fr. Chad shared his stories from France, it helped the boys see that this is worldwide, that this is bigger than just what we’re doing this weekend. This isn’t only something we’re doing here in Wisconsin this weekend.” 

This retreat February 15-18, 2019 had a schedule of sports, virtue talksprayer and fun for the boys. On Presidents’ Day, the holiday Monday, they went skiing: they had the option to also go Saturday but they decided that more formation time was better. 

Fr. Chad’s theme this time was just “ECYD” as many of them didn’t know much about what ECYD is,  beyond the Conquest clubs that some of the boys are involved with. He said, “I really wanted them to discover ECYD.”  

This is one of the many ECYD camps for young people around the country. Information about most weekend camps are available on your local Regnum Christi or ECYD website, while summer camps for boys (Conquest) and girls (Challenge) are on their websites.  

Father Son Ski Camp Inspires in the Upper Midwest  Read More »

2019 Tour to France for the Regina Apostolorum is Underway

For the second year in a row, Fr. Clemens Gutberlet, LC, is leading the “Tour to France” which aims to spread awareness about the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and raise money for their scholarship fund. 

Last year’s inaugural Tour to France was held in honor of the University’s 25th anniversary. It began in St Peter’s Square and ended six days later in Lourdes, after an 8 stage-ride of 1550 km (963 miles) through three countries.  

Fr Clemens Gutberlet, LC, graduated from the Regina Apostolorum in 2003 after his studies in Theology and Philosophy. Currently he works in the Vatican in the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  He is also an untiring cyclist with a passion for uniting faith and sports. Over the years, Fr Clemens and his bicycle have completed many long and hard trips. In 2009 he participated in and won the Clericus Bike Cup, a race reserved for priests and seminarians from all over the world. The race was held before the conclusive stage of the Giro d’Italia of that year. 

The “Tour to France” was born from Fr Clemens‘ desire to unite the two great passions of his life: cycling and Christian Integral Formation. He explains that, “The path of living the faith and giving testimony of the Love of God is a service. Love, as the way of authentic humanity, always becomes concrete in real works.” 

The mission of Regina Apostolorum is the formation of apostles and Christian leaders. “Every year we welcome thousands of students from all over the worldwe foster dialogue and discussion, we join the knowledge of the tradition of the magisterium with the understanding of transformation in global society to form true leaders capable of acting efficaciously, guaranteeing a formation of excellence, affirms Fr. Thomas Montanaro, LC, Administrative Vice Rector of the Athenaeum, who is also participating in the cycling tour. Thanks to the push from Fr. Clemens, we have made our own the words of Pope Francis, “In Life as well as in Sport, the important thing is to get out there, with the others and with God in the search of the good, in the Church and in society, without fear, with courage and enthusiasm.”  

This year’s tour began in Saint Peter’s Square on July 6th and will end in Paray-le-Monial, France on July 13th. The Tour will cross Italy and France, this year also riding 150 km across the Swiss Alps, for a total of 1275 km! 

Last year the Tour to France raised US $8,450.  As of this date, three days into the event, the 2019 tour has already raised about US $11,160 ( €9,959.00).  

You can follow and support the physical and spiritual endeavor of Fr. Clemens Gutberlet, LC, who is currently working in the Vatican Congregation for Religious Life on Facebook and on the Athenaeum’s website. 

 

[gdlr_video url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwKxyHDnkww” ]

2019 Tour to France for the Regina Apostolorum is Underway Read More »

ECYD Cup Includes Values & Encouragement from Roberto Carlos 

In just over a week (November 1-4), the ECYD Cup will happen in Madrid where teams from ECYD clubs compete in sports. This tournament focuses on virtues and got a some encouragement from Roberto Carlos.

Roberto Carlos’ Video 

Roberto Carlos was a top soccer player, considered the “most offensive-minded left-back in the history of the game.” He played for Real Madrid from 1996-2007 and was on the Brazilian team in three World Cups. He greeted the ECYD Cup with a video.

In the video, he says, “Hello to all. This year the ECYD Cup will happen in Madrid from November 1st through 4th. I wish luck to all the athletes: a big hug to you all. Good bye and good luck!”

The values of the ECYD Cup  

400 Athletes will compete at the Highlands School El Encinar near Madrid in three age categories.

Fr. José Ignacio de la Barreda, LC, director of ECYD at the Highlands school, explains that “each of the categories will have its first, second and third place. In the same way, in soccer there will be a trophy for top scorer and top goalkeeper. In basketball there will be the similar trophies.”

Now, the most important thing about the ECYD Cup goes beyond athletic success. As Fr. José Ignacio explains, the most important thing that these teenagers are going to take home are the values that they live during these days: “Sportsmanship, fair play, companionship… Of course, we must also count on spiritual values, he continues, as the experience of charity or participation in the liturgical life.” Throughout these days, he reminded us, there will be a chapel at the competition on the José Caballero pavilion.

Nine rules in sport 

The ECYD Cup employs nine rules in Sport for competition. They hope that the boys and girls in the competition can follow them to live the Spirit of ECYD at the ECYD Cup.

These are:

  1. Play clean above all.
  2. In sports, there are no enemies, only rivals.
  3. Basketball is not violence, but skill.
  4. If you can make mistakes, so can the referee.
  5. From the stands, everything looks easier.
  6. Insults never increase the score.
  7. If an opponent is hurt, fire the ball out of bounds.
  8. Bad methods result in bad games.
  9. There will always be someone who beats you. Accept it with sportsmanship.

You can read the original on Lo+RC, the Spanish Regnum Christi news site.

 

ECYD Cup Includes Values & Encouragement from Roberto Carlos  Read More »

Gina and the Raiders

Growing up in Mexico, active in ECYD and becoming a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi in 2001, Gina Chavez was never much of a fan of American football.

In the past two years, that has changed – rumor has it she has become a fan of the Oakland Raiders. While that might seem puzzling at first glance, it makes perfect sense.

Gina served in the United States as a consecrated woman from 2005 to 2015 (doing her formation there, as well from 2001 to 2005). She returned to Mexico two years ago (August 2015), where she works with our Mano Amiga schools. And the past two years that has allowed her to be part of a great partnership with the Jack Del Rio Foundation. That accounts for the Raiders connection – Del Rio is their head coach.

For the second consecutive year, an Oakland Raiders contingent traveled to Mexico City to engage in philanthropic endeavors one day prior to the Raiders playing a NFL regular season contest at Estadio Azteca.

Linda and Lauren Del Rio, wife and daughter of Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio, once again led the group in Mexico City to present a donation, as well distribute backpacks stuffed with Jack del Rio Foundation items and school supplies to local underserved children on Saturday, November 18 at NFL Fan Fest at Zocalo Square – Tochito Field.

“We were excited to return to Mexico City and to have another opportunity to fully engage and to provide resources and hope for the many wonderful people who became part of the NFL family last year,” said Linda Del Rio. “Our Jack Del Rio Foundation partnered once again with the Raiders organization and the National Football League to foster the NFL’s goal to leave sustainable elements and resources where we have the privilege to live, work, and play.”

The mission of the Jack Del Rio Foundation is to “motivate our community to meet the needs of underserved youth in our area. We seek to energize, educate and enrich the lives of our youth through the generous investment of financial support, time and devotion.”

And the Foundation has been strong in its praise of Mano Amiga “for your exceptional work in Mexico,” as Linda Del Rio put it.

“Six months ago, I called Gina Chavez of Mano Amiga to discuss the needs of the children,” Linda recalled. “Within minutes of our conversation, the earthquake struck Mexico City, and the severity of the situation was breaking news.

“In that moment, I prayed for the people of Mexico, but the one thing I knew for sure was we would help our friends in Mexico restore, recover and heal their lives…so we went to work to help contribute to the growth and support the needs of Mano Amiga.”

The Raiders are matching the Jack Del Rio Foundation’s $10,000 donation to Mano Amiga, while the NFL Foundation will award an additional $10,000 for a total of $30,000.

“In Mano Amiga, we believe that quality education and an integral formation are the most effective means to break the circle of poverty and transform society,” said Gina Chavez of Mano Amiga. “We thank the Jack Del Rio Foundation, the Raiders and the NFL for joining this mission by promoting human and social values through sports. Your support contributes to the personal and educational enrichment of our students. Thank you!”

Mano Amiga is a non-profit organization that promotes the integral formation of underprivileged children and young people providing them with tools and opportunities to become successful people and active members of their community. Today the network has 21 schools around the country and serves 14,283 students and their families. Mano Amiga’s mission is to “transform people’s lives by creating opportunities through integral education” and its vision is “to be recognized as an engine of positive change for all of our recipients, based on our efficacy at transforming society, through an integral educational model.”

The Del Rios were joined at the event in Mexico City by Raiders Alumni including Pro Football Hall of Famers Fred Biletnikoff and Willie Brown, Raiderettes, Raider Rusher, the team’s youth ambassador, and members of the Raiders Women’s Association, which consists of spouses and significant others of players, coaches and staff as well as front office staff members.

Immediately following the presentation, the Raiders hosted a free youth football clinic for local students in the Mano Amiga organization. Boys and girls will participate in activities that feature the educational and recreational benefits of football presented in a safe and fun environment.

In addition, a select group attended the November 19 Raiders vs. New England Patriots game as special guests of the Jack Del Rio Foundation. (The Patriots prevailed 33-8.)

“Our efforts are focused on supporting, engaging, promoting and assisting the Mano Amiga Organization in its mission to achieving healthy livelihood and we can’t think of a better way to show our commitment and accomplish our joint goals than through the avenue of sport,” said Linda Del Rio.

”We believe in global responsibility where you are, how you are, and exactly as you are. The act of giving creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone and everything it touches bigger than self. Through the great platform of sport, we hope and strive to change lives, and encourage our youth that no circumstance is bigger than rising strong and being seen.”

Last year before the Raiders defeated the Houston Texans in the first-ever Monday Night Football regular season contest played outside the United States, the Raiders group led by the Del Rios presented a donation to Mano Amiga from the Del Rio Foundation and NFL Mexico. They also provided backpacks, school supplies and playground balls to the kids and toiletry kits to the parents of Mano Amiga. In addition, the Jack Del Rio Foundation presented Mano Amiga with $8,000 for the purchase of athletic uniforms.

In October, the Raiders joined the NFL Foundation, Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers in contributing $200,000 to Banorte’s Fundación Banorte to support disaster relief efforts following the September earthquake in Mexico City. Fundación Banorte matched these donations dollar-for-dollar. The funds are being used to help rebuild homes affected by the earthquake in and around Mexico City.

Gina and the Raiders Read More »

Scroll to Top

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!