Regnum Christi

wellness

Rest and Retreat Mississippi

Rest & Retreat Offers Authentic Rest for Body, Mind, and Soul

Earlier this fall, Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Lorianne MacDonnell, and Regnum Christi member Tara White, collaborated to host Rest and Retreat (R & R), a Christian retreat experience focused on God’s plan of authentic rest. The retreat is designed to provide a personal, peaceful, and playful environment where people can gather together in community to be restored, renewed, repaired, replenished, and revived spiritually, mentally, and physically. It is the goal of the retreat that participants will come away with the knowledge and practices needed to thrive in their daily routine towards a healthy well-being.

 

It was while Lorianne was working in Cincinnati that the idea for the retreat started to take shape. “The Lord placed the word rest on my heart, and it was a word that I just kept praying about.” During Covid, Lorianne gave an online retreat exploring various Gospel passages that shed light on the word ‘rest,’ but even then, she knew this was just the beginning. “I knew there was more to unpack, and the Lord, in his generous and patient timing, started to reveal this little by little.”

 

Tara, who is a Pietra fitness instructor, had also been exploring, for many years, the wholeness that comes from integrally caring for and nourishing the whole self – body, mind, and soul. And for Tara, this care includes rest.

 

“We’re so fixated on modern productivity in our culture that we don’t know how to seek authentic rest, and often we’ve made our lives so saturated in doing more things that we have lost the balance in doing the most important things well. Authentic rest is a spiritual discipline that affects everything we do, from going to Mass and spending time with God in prayer, to moving and fueling our bodies with clean, whole foods. It is not a luxury: it is a spiritual practice. It’s a choice. Rest is a grace we extend to ourselves, and this grace gives us the opportunity to put back into order anything that has shifted out of alignment with God’s plan. It’s the key to how we live and move and have our being (cf. Acts 17:28) – God didn’t just give us a soul, but he also gave us a mind and a body, and authentic rest asks us to consider how we are bringing these all together and caring for all of these gifts.”

 

Initially, Lorianne and Tara had imagined the retreat to be a source of evangelization for those who were still taking first steps along their spiritual journey, or a gentle encouragement for those who had fallen away from their faith to return to the sacraments. For this reason, they had invited twelve women with a variety of spiritual experiences, not just seasoned Mass-goers, but also those who did not go to church at all. What they found was that even those who were already strong in their faith often lacked the balance and well-roundedness that comes from integrating authentic rest into all aspects of life, and that even the long-time Regnum Christi members who attended gained a new and refreshing wholeness from their participation in the retreat.

 

The one-day retreat was held on September 9th in Pass Christian, Mississippi, and hosted 12 women. The day began at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome and opening prayer, followed by a Pietra Fitness movement session, a workout which combines stretching and strengthening with Christian prayer and meditation – this session was led by Tara herself. Retreatants then enjoyed a juice and snack while they learned about the lymphatic system, then participated in a journaling session and a Christian meditation on rest, led by Lorianne. After lunch, the women attended several different sessions on a wide variety of topics on the theme of healthy and creative rest, including general nutrition, mind detox, dance, leisure, painting, and gratitude. The day wrapped up with an examen and round table discussion, closing in a Litany of Self-Love. Mass and confession were also available.

 

While Lorianne and Tara are the co-founders and the retreat directors, they had four other Regnum Christi women give of their time and talents towards making the event a success, by presenting talks, offering hospitality, and designing the print materials and artwork for the retreat. “It was beautiful to watch these RC women bring their gifts and put them at the service of their sisters,” says Lorianne. “I enjoyed seeing that come to life, women building up other women, our own RC sisters using their talents, and opening the door for many more of our members to use and share their gifts.” In the R & R experience, even Lorianne herself was able to put her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Consumer Studies, which she obtained before she became consecrated, to good use. “I love how the Lord uses everything – nothing goes to waste if we’re willing to surrender and make it available to him, to give him access to our heart and use everything the way he wants to use it.”

 

The goal of the retreat was to help the women feel the sense of wholeness that comes when mind, body, and soul come together, and to be urged to continue to seek this wholeness in their daily lives. Their motto of “Rest well and be well” reflects the idea that peace, health, and healing come from the integration of the whole self. In this way, R & R echoes Regnum Christi spirituality, one which is centered on the integral formation of the entire person. “I think that’s why the idea of this retreat resonates with Tara and I so much,” says Lorianne. “With the love we both have for Regnum Christi, the love for our spirituality, it’s been beautiful seeing this integration come to life, and seeing how it can serve women and make them more whole.”

 

With the next retreat booked for March 22-23, 2024, Tara and Lorianne are eager to see where the Lord will take this R & R initiative. “He’s opening the doors and we’re taking steps,” says Tara. “We’re all in, and ready to see how God wants this all to unfold.” Tara and Lorianne hope to offer weekend retreats, in addition to their one-day retreats, and their dream is ultimately to be able to host these retreats in different locations, like the beach and the mountains, where participants can spend time in the beauty of God’s creation.

 

To find out more about the R & R initiative or to inquire about hosting a retreat in your area, email [email protected]. The R & R website, restandretreat.org, will be launching soon; email to be put on their newsletter to receive news and updates on the R & R initiative.

 

You can also read more about Tara’s own journey towards health and hope, and becoming a Pietra Fitness instructor, here.

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“The Word of God is Living and Active”: When Motherhood, Faith, and Fitness Intertwine

For Kristen LeCompte, motherhood and fitness go hand in hand. She’s both a stay-at-home mom and a part-time fitness instructor, and has been working with a fitness program called Fit4mom, a program that supports wellness in women throughout all stages of motherhood, since her oldest daughter was born. But when she signed up to run the Boston Marathon in October of last year, she didn’t know she’d be doing it seven months pregnant!

Kristen’s decision to run the Boston Marathon actually started to take shape back in 2015. She had had high hopes for herself during her first qualifier, but ended up needing to walk most of the race, encouraged along the way by Fr. Edward Hopkins, LC, who ran the half-marathon, and Fr. Michael Sliney, LC, an avid marathoner. This first marathon experience led Kristen to take time to understand and attain the physical and mental fitness she would need to achieve the goal time at the Boston qualification race

In 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut, Kristen made the time and was set to run the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2020. When the COVID pandemic arrived it cancelled, among so many other things, the race for which Kristen had worked so hard to qualify.

When the opportunity finally arrived for Kristen to run the Boston Marathon in October of 2021, she did not hesitate to apply. A week later, she found out she was pregnant with her fourth baby! Kristen knew that this meant that she would be attempting to run the marathon 28 weeks pregnant, just into her third trimester, but this only made her desire to complete the marathon even stronger. “I knew this would take faith and would be more than just running a marathon,” says Kristen. “It would become a pilgrimage of sorts.”

Kristen’s resolve to run the race seven months pregnant didn’t stave off all uncertainty; several months before the race, during one of her longer runs, Kristen had a moment of doubt “I started asking myself ‘why am I doing all of this, what’s the point?’” She was still early in her pregnancy, and she knew that the runs would only get longer and harder as her baby grew and the race drew nearer. But a supernatural motivation urged her on:

“I had this moment of light about doing this for all those expectant mothers struggling with the reality of having a child. Unfortunately, many women today make the heartbreaking decision of abortion, and I wanted to embrace the challenge of the marathon as a sign that we can do really difficult things as moms and expecting mothers. And I wanted to offer up all my pain and sacrifice for all those expecting moms who were struggling with this very decision.”

On the day of the race, Kristen felt physically ready and spiritually supported by her faith and her Regnum Christi family. On the Sunday before race day, the group attended a runners’ Mass with other Catholics who would be participating in the marathon the following day, and received a special blessing. Katie Tuttle, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, and Fr. Daniel Pajerski, LC, who concelebrated the runners’ Mass, also ran in the marathon the next day.

“The day of the race was very beautiful,” recalls Kristen. “Obviously, being seven months pregnant, it was not my fastest marathon, but in a sense, it was the most meaningful.” Kristen was able to run the first half before run-walking the last 12.1 miles. At the half-way mark, Kristen’s husband, Brenner, and their three children surprised her by being there and running a little of the way with her!

However, the most emotional part of the race for Kristen came when she ran past Boston Children’s Hospital. One year prior, her teenage nephew had passed away, and it was at Boston Children’s Hospital that he had undergone open heart surgery as a toddler. “Knowing that he had been there, that many other kids like him are battling there, and that so many parents like my brother and sister-in-law have to be so strong as they go through these truly life changing challenges motivated me to press on.”

After training for seven months and running the Boston Marathon with her unborn baby, Kirsten couldn’t wait to meet her! Seraphina Grace was born on January 8th, 2022, and fits in perfectly with her three siblings, Mariella (9), Brenner (7), and Juliette (4). Seraphina is named after the fiery choir of angels devoted to worshipping God.

Kirsten’s first experience with Regnum Christi was at Loyola University Maryland where she went to college. She participated in the door-to-door missions in Washington, D.C., and the Regnum Christi spirit of an active, moving mission continues to resonate with her. “I think the reason why I have always found my spiritual home in Regnum Christi is because I always like to be on the move, active, pushing forward,” says Kristen, who sees her vocation to Regnum Christi as deeply connected to her joy in running. “One of my favorite Bible verses is Hebrews 4:12, ‘The Word of God is living and active.’ I think often about this verse when running, and it reminds me of who I am called to be as an RC apostle. I consider my RC vocation and my fitness to be intimately intertwined.”

Kirsten lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut and is part of the New York TriState Regnum Christi locality. She and her husband currently help run the Challenge and Conquest clubs that their children attend at their local parish. She is grateful for her Regnum Christi brothers and sisters who were praying for her throughout her pregnancy and training, and for the tremendous example of living an active, moving mission that they have provided her and her family over the years.

 

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Wonder of Eve: A Health-Focused Approach to Promoting a Culture of Life

As a registered nurse and Certified FertilityCare Educator, Diane Daly has been working in reproductive and fertility care for years, but she is particularly excited about the new program coming out of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, called Wonder of Eve.

This fresh, engaging, and health-centered digital presentation for young women of high school age, generally sophomore year and older, can be offered in a school or youth group setting. The focus of the program is to help young women understand not only their inherent beauty as women created by God, but also how their bodies work, and how their health and fertility fits into God’s plan for their lives. This includes introducing them to the concept of tracking their cycles throughout the various stages of their lives; the types of reproductive health issues they might encounter; and the treatments, like NaProTechnology, that are available to them. “Artificial hormonal treatment – birth control pills – are often prescribed for everything from menstrual cramps and unusual bleeding to Premenstrual Tension Syndrome, all of which may affect women of every age, and they do not cure the cause of the symptoms,” says Diane. “We want [young women] to know of an alternative for their consideration and discussion with their doctors that focuses on diagnosing the underlying cause of a woman’s condition and treating it, rather than treating only the symptoms.”

But it was actually Diane’s niece who inspired the NFP team in St. Louis to create a health-focused presentation on female reproductive issues:

One morning, my niece and I met for breakfast. I brought up the subject to her, asking for her perspective, as a young millennial familiar with tracking her cycles, on how to be more effective in reaching young women. She suggested we focus on the topic as a part of women’s health in high school, instead of only presenting NFP in religion classes from a theological perspective. She encouraged us to present in a health class or environment with a focus on health, identifying the different stages of a women’s reproductive life and how a woman can actually track these changes and understand them. She felt this different approach might get their attention more completely and be more interesting to them. So we decided to try it.”

This new, health-focused approach worked. After Diane gathered a team together that included a pediatrician, another nurse besides herself, fertility care providers and a marketer to develop the presentation, the Wonder of Eve program was created, and since then, it has been met with an overwhelming positive response. “Faculty, youth groups, and students appreciate the presentation, and the information and knowledge they now possess that they never had before,” says Diane. Requests for the program have increased, and there are plans underway to copyright the program. In the future there are hopes to translate it into a variety of languages to meet the new demand from other countries. While the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 meant that the program had to be presented in an entirely virtual manner, this new challenge has broadened the scope of the program’s reach beyond the local schools and youth groups; the program is now offered on a national and international level and available to any interested community. “It has grown much bigger than we ever expected, and it is heartwarming to see the result of presenting this information with the hope that it will be life-changing for young women as they make decisions about their reproductive health.”

In her work in Natural Family Planning and fertility care, the response to the information presented by Wonder of Eve that Diane hears again and again is this: “Why didn’t I know this before?” Says Diane, “Women often regret poor choices they have made in the past because they did not understand that there were other options.” The goal of Wonder of Eve is to make certain that today’s young women are made aware of the effective reproductive health options that respect their health, their bodies, and their fertility, and recognize them as gifts.

As a Catholic wife and mother of four, Diane had a personal desire to offer an alternative to the present culture’s contraceptive mentality, and to help build a culture of life for her children, which would include a healthy understanding of their bodies, their sexuality, and her and her husband’s pro-life vision. So when, years ago, she was approached by a physician, inviting her to participate as a member of an NFP research team (which later became identified as Creighton Model FertilityCare Services), she jumped at the chance, beginning a lifelong career in NFP and reproductive care. Her work has taken her all over the United States and around the world; for Diane, the need for programs that help young women grow in respect and knowledge of their bodies and their fertility is universal. Currently, she is a faculty member of the St. Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction Education Programs, Manager of the Department of Fertility Care Services at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, and Director of Natural Family Planning for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. These positions, which are continuously informed and inspired by the teachings of St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, and guided by the Holy Spirit, give Diane the opportunity to reach out to women and couples and to develop new programs to assist with this vision of a culture of life, and to help empower others to do the same.

Diane became a member of Regnum Christi a few years after  her son, Father David Daly, was ordained a Legionary priest in 2001 (Father David is currently serving as Territorial Vicar for the Legionaries of Christ in the North American Territory), and it is her vocation to Regnum Christi and the graces she receives from prayer and team life that helps to sustain her in her professional and apostolic work in NFP and fertility care. “I think the main thing that Regnum Christi has cemented in my mind is the call to bring others to heaven; it is not enough to take care of ourselves and our families, we must reach out to as many as we can influence to become closer to Christ,” says Diane. “And I realize that apostolate without a strong prayer life will be not effective.” And she credits her St. Louis Regnum Christi team for supporting and encouraging her in her work. “I appreciate so much the insights that my team members share during our reflections, and am amazed and humbled at the breadth of service they provide to the Church.” Diane is grateful, too, to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, for its constant support; it was the Annual Catholic Appeal of the diocese that provided the funding that allowed Diane and her team to create Wonder of Eve.

For Diane, the enormous amount of time, patience, and resources that it took to launch the Wonder of Eve program has already paid off, and the fruits only continue to multiply. The archdiocese has already released another program, called Beauty of Eve, which is a companion program to Wonder of Eve directed towards women of college age and beyond, and presents the Church’s teachings on love and life in a direct, informative, and authentic manner. This program, too, has already received positive feedback and borne fruit: “The presentation has resulted in some women wanting to learn more about their cycles and how to live in harmony with their fertility.” In the future, Diane and her team hope to be able to produce a program specifically tailored for young men. “There is a huge need worldwide for programs that help young men and women grow in respect for their bodies and their fertility,” says Diane. “We pray to ask God to work through us.”

For more information about the Wonder of Eve program, check out their trailers here and here, or visit  the Wonder of Eve link on the archdiocese of St. Louis website. For more information, or to inquire about presenting the Wonder of Eve program in your parish or school community, email Diane at [email protected].

 

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Caring for the Unborn and the Underserved in Downtown Wichita

“What are you doing for the poor?”

This was the question that Dr. Jody Elson’s spiritual director asked her one day during spiritual guidance, and it’s the one that ultimately gave focus to Jody’s career as a family physician dedicated to some of the most vulnerable sectors of the population – the unborn, the poor, and the underserved.

Jody grew up with a strong faith foundation; she was raised in a Catholic family and was introduced to Regnum Christi as a young adult. She decided to pursue a medical degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, moving to Wichita, Kansas in order to do her residency in family medicine through the Via Christi Residency Program. It was here, in downtown Wichita, that Jody was introduced to the Guadalupe Clinic, a diocesan-run primary care health clinic founded in 1985 with funding from the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, and which is devoted to serving the area’s poor and uninsured.

As part of the women’s health rotation during her residency, Jody would volunteer at Guadalupe Clinic, where she had the opportunity to encounter a diverse patient population with a wide variety of needs. When the rotation and her residency were over, Jody felt called to continue her volunteer work with the clinic. “I felt obligated to support the mission as a Catholic healthcare provider, and I just wanted to give back to the community in some way,” says Jody, who has been volunteering at the clinic ever since.

Guadalupe Clinic is a non-profit health clinic, funded entirely by grants, fundraisers, and donations, and other than a core set of paid administrative and clinic staff that form the foundation of the clinic, it depends entirely on volunteers. The majority of patient care is provided by volunteer nurses, practitioners, and physicians like Jody, who volunteer their time for those unable to afford consistent health care. Through relationships with the local Catholic healthcare system and providers like Ascension Via Christi, as well as community and state programs, the clinic is able to provide laboratory work, offer imaging services like ultrasounds and MRIs, and coordinate specialist care and access to cervical and breast cancer screening at no cost to their patients. The clinic currently has every speciality covered entirely by volunteers.

One of the greatest issues facing the Guadalupe Clinic is continuity of patient care; the poor, the uninsured, and those living with low income who struggle to afford consistent healthcare not only avoid seeking care due to concerns about the cost, but when they do, it’s rare for them to ever have the opportunity to see the same doctor twice. “Most of the time, I only see patients for one encounter,” says Jody. Because of this, larger medical issues can go undiagnosed. Recently, however, Jody received a new patient who had come into the clinic exhibiting several symptoms that pointed to undiagnosed cancer. The staff at the clinic was able to fast track him to get the CT that he needed to start receiving the proper treatment.

One of the things Jody appreciates most about Guadalupe Clinic is the diversity of its patient population, and this is what makes it an excellent site for residency training for a large number of local schools, hospitals, and other health establishments; students from all over Kansas in a variety of specializations – like pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, and even language interpretation – come to the clinic to volunteer, to train, and to serve patients who come from all over the world, and from all walks of life. “The patient population is very diverse, and we have a high number of immigrants,” says Jody, who has treated patients at the clinic from nearly every continent. “There are also people just trying to get through hard times, whether that be due to the loss of a job or the inability to secure a better job, integrating back into society after serving jail time, battling homelessness, or adjusting to life in a new country. It is rewarding to feel like I’m able to impact someone’s life in a positive way.”

Currently, Jody is working at a new practice called Antioch Med, a direct primary care (DPC) practice that, because it does not contract with insurance companies, can provide care at a much lower cost. She is also trained as a medical consultant in NaProTECHNOLOGY (Natural Procreative Technology), which is an approach to female health and fertility that, in line with the teachings of the Church, cooperates with and aims to restore a woman’s natural procreative and gynecological system. As a doctor trained in NaProTECHNOLOGY, Jody assists women with a variety of reproductive and gynecological concerns without prescribing contraceptive medications. The majority of the NaPro patients that she treats – and ministers to – are women suffering from pregnancy loss or infertility, and it is with these women that Jody feels her faith has an enormous influence on her role as healthcare provider.

Jody shares one such encounter during an appointment with a patient that called her to draw upon her Catholic faith:

“I had one patient that had suffered a miscarriage, and then lost her next baby at nineteen weeks. The couple was a beautiful witness to life – the baby was born alive and lived just seconds, but the father was able to baptize him. I did not have a particular devotion to the saint they named the baby after, but felt a moment of inspiration when she was in the office [for her next pregnancy] and Googled it – the due date of her next pregnancy was the feast day for the saint they named that baby after! I shared it with her, and she started to cry. She went on to have a healthy term baby, and another since then too!”

For Jody, the key to being the compassionate and authentically Catholic healthcare provider that she feels called to be is to constantly turn to the Divine Physician as her motivation and her model. “So much of Jesus’ work in Scripture is related to healing – it helps me to serve others better to try to see Jesus in them,” says Jody. “I pray for my patients every day.”

Jody has been a member of Regnum Christi for fourteen years, and is currently the RC Women’s Section Director in Wichita, Kansas. This July, she was the recipient of the Pay It Forward Award, which honors local volunteers for their contribution to the Wichita community.

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A Twenty-Year Journey Towards Health, Hope, and Redemption

Currently serving as the Section Director for the Northshore locality in Louisiana, Tara White has been a Regnum Christi member for eighteen years, and she brings her robust faith and energetic zeal to everything she does, including her work as a Christ-centered fitness instructor and health and lifestyle coach.

But the real story of Tara’s journey towards becoming a Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach and Pietra Fitness instructor began twenty years ago, in a fertility clinic. It was here that Tara learned that without significant medical intervention, she would not be able to conceive a child, and IVF was her only chance of becoming pregnant. At the time, Tara was far from her Catholic faith, and the news of her infertility only pushed her further away from the Church. “I was so angry with God because I wasn’t getting what I wanted,” says Tara.

In her efforts to get pregnant, Tara turned to a nutritionist who encouraged her to face her infertility with a more integrated approach. “She said ‘You need to learn to calm yourself’,” says Tara, who, as a result, began practicing yoga and drastically changed her eating habits, which, at the time, was overwhelming. “I’ll never forget walking into Whole Foods, and walking right out, because it was so hard to understand.”

It was that feeling of being overwhelmed – and hopeless – in her journey towards health and fertility, that led Tara to the foot of the tabernacle one day. “Where it all changed for me was when I went to adoration,” says Tara. “I just laid everything before God and said, ‘I surrender myself to you, because I can’t do it.’” It was then that Tara decided to learn more about Natural Family Planning to understand her fertility better, and never returned to the fertility institute.

Within three months, Tara was pregnant.

But Tara’s journey towards physical and spiritual health had only just begun. She was introduced to Regnum Christi, joined Familia, an RC apostolate designed to support and strengthen the family, and began receiving regular spiritual direction. “God had a plan, when I thought my life was just hopeless,” says Tara. “Then my whole life changed for the better.”

At that time, Tara was planning to train to become a yoga instructor, until her spiritual director gently urged her to discern this decision in light of the teachings of the Church. Although Tara, who considers herself “kind of bull-headed” was determined to go ahead with her plans to teach yoga, she accepted the challenge of her spiritual director and agreed to look into it, reading encyclicals and taking the issue to prayer. Once again, it was before the tabernacle that she found her answer. “It really came to a head when I went to adoration, and placed it before the Blessed Sacrament,” says Tara. “And I just knew I couldn’t do it.”

It was at this time that Tara learned about a new program being developed called Pietra Fitness, which promised strengthening, stretching, and meditation, all within the Catholic tradition. She got in touch with the program’s founder, Karen Barbieri, and then took the entire matter to patient prayer, in the form of a fifty-four-day novena. This prolonged discernment process, Tara admits, wasn’t easy. “I’m not a very patient person,” says Tara. “I tended to always go with what I wanted to do, so God really taught me a lot of patience through this.” At the end of the novena, Tara had her answer: Karen Barbieri called her up and asked her to be a part of the pilot program for Pietra Fitness. “This was my answer to prayer.”

Being a part of the pilot training had its challenges – particularly because, as one of the first trainers across the country, Tara was training in a brand-new program all on her own – but she now is a certified Pietra Fitness trainer, and earlier this year opened her own studio where she lives in Covington, Louisiana. At present, in light of social-distancing requirements, she conducts her classes over Zoom, leading others in workouts designed for the body, mind and soul; her Pietra Fitness sessions combine exercises to increase strength, stability and flexibility with Christian meditation meant to engage the mind and calm the soul. “It has all the beauties and benefits of exercising and flexibility, but also has that meditation and breathwork that are so important to being whole,” says Tara. “It’s for people looking for something that can truly give them that body, mind, and soul experience that is centered on Christ.”

Each of Tara’s workouts is centered on a new theme – like adoration of Christ, surrender of the heart, or the virtue of humility – and she leads her clients through movements and meditations that she hopes, ultimately, will draw her participants closer to Christ. “I try to teach truth about what meditation is,” says Tara. “We’re here to develop a relationship with Christ, and that’s what this helps to start, to promote.”

Participants in Tara’s online Pietra Fitness classes come from all over the country, and even from a variety of faiths; Tara has a generous and inclusive zeal for souls. And for Tara, and people who attend her classes are more than just clients – she sees each one as a soul that she’s called to accompany on his or her faith journey. One particular woman that Tara has been accompanying through her Pietra Fitness classes has begun asking questions about the Catholic faith, and has started attending book studies hosted by Tara’s Regnum Christi section. “That situation has really blown me away, me witnessing how she’s been so open, and I really feel the Holy Spirit is leading her and deepening her relationship and faith in God,” says Tara. “And that’s what I’m here to do, to capture souls and to bring them to him.”

And Tara’s journey doesn’t end at Pietra Fitness; she also became a Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach. In this role, Tara continues her mission to accompany others on a faith journey that integrates all aspects of the human person – body, mind, and soul. She provides health assessments, one-on-one coaching, resources, and nutritional plans, all with the objective of helping her clients reach their goals – whatever they may be – by taking responsibility for their own health story. And for Tara, being a Health and Lifestyle Coach is not so much an occupation, but her ministry, her deepest passion, and the fulfillment of her Christian vocation. “Coaching accompanies people,” says Tara. “That’s what we’re here to do, to help people become awakened to who they are, and find true freedom in being who God created them to be.”

Tara’s involvement with Pietra Fitness, which presents a Christ-centered alternative to what the world has to offer, and her work as a health and lifestyle coach, has led her to her newest adventure: she’s a part of a Pietra Fitness team working on creating integrated retreat experiences for women that foster health and wellness not just for the body, but also for the mind and soul. The team’s goal is to provide a whole-body wellness retreat that’s more than skin-deep, and that instead integrates physical, mental and spiritual well-being in a cohesive way – promoting wellness, inside and out. “If we’re just working on the outside of who we are, we’re disconnecting the soul from everything it is we’re doing,” says Tara. “It’s not just what you eat. It’s good to exercise and be healthy, but are we using it so we can serve God better?”

“I never thought in a million years that I’d be here, I never thought in my wildest dreams that my story would unfold the way it has,” says Tara. Looking back on the twenty-year journey that brought her to where she is today, her attitude is, above all, one of gratefulness, not just for the blessings she now experiences, but also for the sufferings and uncertainty that ultimately drew her closer to Christ and started her on a journey of physical and spiritual health. “God leads you in your life, a little bit at a time, and prepares you and changes you, if you allow it. If we can just be open and vulnerable, our sufferings and humiliations can be our greatest treasure.”

To find out more about Tara’s health and lifestyle coaching, or simply to receive uplifting messages focussed on body, mind, and soul, follow her at Tara White on Facebook or at tarabehealthy on Instagram. To learn more about Pietra Fitness, visit pietrafitness.com, visit Tara’s Pietra Fitness website, or e-mail her at [email protected].

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Regnum Christi “Crossfit Camp” Builds Spiritual Strength

“If we want to lead someone, we have to first lead ourselves,” Father Georg Rota, LC, said as he began his talk on leadership to the young men present. “To do that, we need to identify our strengths and weaknesses, accept them, and make the most of them. Our society needs real men: men who can find their vocation, live it and inspire others for the good. Men who lead and bring others along through their example. “

A total of 21 young men met at the end of November in the novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ in Neuötting-Alzgern.  The weekend’s program included three sessions of cross fit. Cross fit is a physical training method that combines weight lifting, sprinting, body-weight exercises and gymnastics. The goal is to develop in different fitness disciplines: stamina, strength, agility, speed, skill, balance, coordination and accuracy.

The spiritual fitness program also included prayer together, the Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.  In addition, team workshops motivated the young men to think about their goals in life, and gave valuable formation on how they can be realized in everyday life.

In the breaks and during meals, the participants spent time with the novices. On the Feast of Christ the King, they joined many other Regnum Christi members to participate in the celebration in Bergen, Germany.

Regnum Christi “Crossfit Camp” Builds Spiritual Strength 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!