Regnum Christi

young adults

The 180 Kindle the Fire of Silent Prayer

The 180 Retreat

Three hours of serenity and guidance to help young adults learn to hear God in silent prayer.  Adoration, contemplative rosary, mental prayer, and examen prayer, with the support of others praying at your side.

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RC Atlanta Convention for Young Adults

Our world is in desperate need of solid Christian leaders ready to step up and give a reason for their hope. Are you ready to take on the challenge? This Regnum Christi Convention is for all those serious about getting equipped to engage our culture.

Come prepared to gain greater clarity on the cultural and ideological underpinnings of our society and to be equipped with tools for adopting a mission mindset and going out to engage a world in need of Christ.

Join with other mission-minded young adults for a weekend of formation, community, and profound encounter with Christ.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Fr. Jorge Obregón, LC

 

REGISTER 

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Confirmation Catechists at Francisco de Vitoria University

Every year, Francisco de Vitoria University, a Regnum Christi University in Madrid, Spain,  prepares members of the university community who want to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Gudelia Guerra, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, explains it to us, noting that “UFV is a place that is open for young people to gather together and help each other grow in their faith.” As a fruit of this pastoral work, on April 15, 2023, 32 students at UFV received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the hands of Cardinal Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid.

Beginning in September, once a week, the young people who want to be confirmed arrive punctually for their appointment with their catechist at Francisco de Vitoria. Gudelia, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi and catechist for ten of these young people, explains that the experience they have of Christ is what is important.

 

What is the mission of a Catholic university as regards the faith of its students?

Our greatest desire is that they encounter Christ, his living person, that they can have a real encounter with the love he has for them. Therefore, the source of the sacraments is at the center of this effort. As a university, we want to create those spaces where students can freely choose to draw near to the faith, to the person of Jesus.

 

These young people have many books in which to read about the life of Christ, but what I seek is to give them some tips for their relationship of friendship with Christ.

 

What does the preparation that UFV offers young people who want to be confirmed consist of?

Each catechist meets with their catechumens once a week. For me, the practical aspect was fundamental. These young people have many books in which to read about the life of Christ, but what I seek is to give them some tips for their relationship of friendship with Christ.

We can all read about Jesus and know things about Jesus, but loving Jesus is something very beautiful. One is directed to the intellect, and the other to the heart. Both are important. But in this time of preparation for Confirmation, I wanted them to learn how to pray, to converse with the Lord, to know how to approach him through the sacraments.

Gudelia, far left, with some of the young people who were confirmed

 

Being confirmed during adolescence tends to be “normal”; what benefit is there to receiving this sacrament when they are older?

I had the great blessing to accompany ten marvelous young people to this very important day of their lives. They all made the decision to be confirmed for different reasons, but they were all aware of the gift that was given to them by being able to choose it for themselves, and by experiencing in first person they learned that God’s timing is perfect.

 

What means does the university offer for these young people’s perseverance and growth in the faith after Confirmation?

UFV is a place that is open for young people to gather and help each other grow in their faith… Like Regnum Christi, we have several opportunities: for example, doing the itinerary of Kyrios, a program for people seeking to get to know God, which meets every other Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., and the Eucharistic Hours in the Great Hall every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. And of course, we also have our Regnum Christi Encounter with Christ groups, in which young people can meet to pray with the Gospel.

 

Translated from the original Spanish publication.

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Spiritual Exercises | Lourdes: “After this week long retreat I can tell you: the heart is so well made that it needs its time to connect”

Lourdes Gómez is a young woman from Valencia, Spain, who is studying her fifth year of medicine. She is a Regnum Christi member and has participated, along with three other young women, a consecrated woman, and four young men, in spiritual exercises preached by Fr. Jaime Rodríguez, LC, during Holy Week. She tells us that she has received many lights and that “one of them has been gaining clarity to choose and desire what best directs me to the purpose for which I have been created, which is to give of myself, because I, and each of us, are a gift!”

Lourdes is from the young women’s section of Valencia. She values the importance of silence as one of the fruits of these weeklong spiritual exercises: “This has helped me greatly, but above all, it taught me much. It is so necessary for everything… but truly fundamental for prayer!” Lourdes also speaks to us about disconnecting from the internet and explains to us that “in the hyper-digitalized world in which we live, where everything goes so fast, sometimes we young people are afraid of missing out by not ‘always being connected,’ but if you don’t order your priorities and your time, life leaves you behind!” Ultimately, “these were days when I have been able to be alone with Jesus and put my life at his feet—all my worries, fears, desires, dreams, everything—and let him work in me!”

Lourdes, with her group of ECYD girls in Valencia

Have you gone on retreat before? What did these weeklong spiritual exercises bring you as opposed to weekend retreats?

Thanks to my high school (Cumbres School Valencia) and Regnum Christi, I have always had the opportunity to do weekend spiritual exercises every year.

Compared to weekend spiritual exercises, I have realized that this time is necessary to enter into harmony and so to reach a true encounter with Jesus, to immerse yourself in his mysteries, and to let that transform our lives. As St. John Paul II told us: “God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” And this requires time to order our lives, desires, choices, and the purpose for which each one of us has been created around this encounter.

They have been a “little school”: now it is time to share and put into practice everything we have learned, like the Apostles, who didn’t stay all twelve together forever.

Did you feel like returning to your daily life, or did you prefer to stay on that Tabor?

I had never experienced a retreat this long, but after this week, I can tell you: the heart is so well made that it needs time to make itself available, to disconnect from so many “noises” that lurk in our daily life, to connect and enter into prayer little by little. I have realized that we just have to offer ourselves, and he does the rest!

I arrived very eager because I felt that I needed these days of intimacy with Jesus, and they have been days of many graces: “It is good to be here!” I thought that was the feeling Peter, James, and John had when Jesus brought them up the mountain. But, as Fr Jaime told us well, these days have been “real life,” not when each one returns to their city and home, because these days are when the soul has had the most clarity and the least noise and distractions. These are days in which we have truly been able to live in the light of the Truth and illumine our lives with that light, and that is totally how it has been!

As Father also told us, these days have been a “little school”: now it is time to share and put into practice everything we have learned, like the Apostles, who didn’t stay all twelve together forever; rather, Jesus sent them into the world with the Holy Spirit. Now it’s our turn!

Sharing their experiences after spiritual exercises

How do you handle silence and living without social media?

The truth is that, in spite of being a little scared of so many days of silence at the beginning, I now seek it in my daily life! Silence has helped me greatly, but above all, it taught me much. It is so necessary for everything… but mainly fundamental for prayer! Sometimes we complain that Jesus doesn’t speak to us, but Jesus ALWAYS speaks. It’s just impossible to listen to him if we don’t seek out that silence. These days revolved around prayer, and now I ask myself every day, “How am I only going to leave the day’s leftover ‘crumbs’ for prayer?” Prayer is an encounter; you can’t improvise it!

Something else they recommended to us was to turn off our phones and social media. I thought, “All or nothing!” The night we arrived, I sent an email to change an internship at the university, and I turned it off for nine whole days. It was amazing! In the hyper-digitalized world in which we live, where everything goes so fast, sometimes we young people are afraid of missing out by not “always being connected,” but if you don’t order your priorities and your time, life loses you!

They recommended us to turn off our phones and social media. I thought, “All or nothing!” It was amazing!

Spiritual exercises are an opportunity to meditate, dialogue with God, consult him, and let him put light, love, forgiveness, and inspiration in your life. How do you live that experience?

These days have been a true gift! These were days when I have been able to be alone with Jesus and put my life at his feet—all my worries, fears, desires, dreams, everything—and let him work in me! Letting him be the one who gives light, clarity in the Truth, and great peace for each one, and asking him, like the Blessed Virgin, that my life be a “let it be done to me” for each of his plans!

Moreover, having lived Holy Week with this recollection has been a true blessing and one more grace. I realized that everything—his Passion, Death, and Resurrection—is for me, for each one of us, to open for us the doors of heaven! My life has no meaning if it is not in light of his cross because I am worth no more than or less than the blood of Christ!

The participants in the exercises were accompanied by the novices during these days.

Could you share with us a light that you had during these exercises? Is it going to change your life in some way?

I have received many lights, but one of them has been gaining clarity to choose and desire what best directs me to the purpose for which I have been created, which is to give of myself because I, and each of us, are a gift! So I desire a dedicated life, a life of service. Where? How? I don’t know! But I’m not worried because it is clear to me that my purpose is to arrive in heaven, and every day I ask for this trust and filial abandonment to my Father, who, as the Gospel says, knows what we need before we ask him and has even counted all the hairs of my head. Then what do I have to be worried about? Just living in the truth each day, letting him be the one to keep guiding me.

 

Original article published in Spanish here.

 

Spiritual Exercises | Lourdes: “After this week long retreat I can tell you: the heart is so well made that it needs its time to connect” Read More »

Ultreia! Twelve Days and 250 Kilometers Toward Santiago and Lisbon with the Lay Consecrated Men

The word “Ultreia” is derived from the Latin word “ultra,” which means “beyond” or “farther.” In the Camino de Santiago context, “Ultreia” is a rallying cry of sorts for the pilgrims travelling along the Way of Saint James, a network of ancient pilgrimage routes leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela .

Ultreia 2023 is a special Camino de Santiago experience designed by the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi for young men. Over twelve days and 250 kilometers, the participants have the opportunity to experience spiritual growth, contact with nature, sports, and friendship. The itinerary follows part of the Northern Way, the Lebaniego Way, and the Original Camino, including places such as Santander, Liébana, Mogrovejo, Lugo, and Santiago de Compostela. After reaching the goal of Santiago, those who wish can continue to Lisbon for World Youth Day.

Ultreia aims to be more than just a physical walk, encouraging spiritual growth and personal encounter with oneself, with other pilgrims, and with God. The Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi are promoting fellowship, contemplation of nature, and prayer along the way. Ultreia offers the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle James and to discover the value of community and friendship on this Way.

More than an adventure, it is a chance to reflect on one’s life, find spiritual answers, and deepen in one’s faith. Participation in World Youth Day also provides a global perspective and the possibility to connect with young Catholic from all over the world.

The Spain of Martyrs, Missionaries and Mystics

The Northern Way, also known as “The Spain of Martyrs,” consists of five stages along the northern coast, offering moments for fellowship, contemplation of nature, and reflection. The Lebaniego Way, “The Spain of Missionaries,” includes two stages through the Picos de Europa, where the pilgrims will venerate the oldest relic of the Holy Cross in existence, which is preserved in Liébana. The Original Camino, “The Spain of Mystics,” comprises four stages, bringing the pilgrims to the tomb of the Apostle James, the end of the pilgrimage.

However, the participants will also have the opportunity to join , sharing experiences with young people from all over the world and strengthening their faith through the organized events and the meeting with Pope Francis.

For more information, prices, and registration for the Ultreia pilgrimage, visit their or email [email protected].

 

Original article published in Spanish here.

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“RC Bible”— A Project Created by A Group of Legionaries to Help Young People Learn to Pray With the Bible

What doubts do today’s young people have about praying? Can you really listen to God through the Bible? These were the questions that a group of Legionary brothers in their theology studies in Rome tried to answer. Since launching six weeks ago, RC Bible “has helped me be more attentive when reading or listening to Bible passages, because during this process I was able to realize how the Holy Spirit makes himself present in the different readings to bring me to understand many things in my life,” says Alejandra Vásquez from Valencia, Spain, one of the young people who participated in the course.
 
It all started with the desire of some Legionary brothers who did their apostolic internship in Spain: to teach others to pray using the Bible. One of them, Br. Daniel Fernández, LC, indicated to these young people that he was certain that “the Word of God is a living Word that wants to respond to you here and now; it is not a dead word. It isn’t a book about history or mathematics; it is a book that wants to answer many questions that young people have in their hearts these days.” Brs Miguel Hernández, Daniel Fernández, Javier Villar, Christopher Daniels, and John Kenny as well as Fr. Rafael Vignaroli, LC, and Br. Jaime Plasencia, LC, created the plan for the program. It seeks to give young people a foundation so that they encounter the Lord through his Word, unlike other apostolates that offer daily Gospel reflections, but that are pre-written reflections that, in the end, do not always achieve true contact with the Word of God or, most importantly, respond in prayer to the question: “What does God want to tell me through this Gospel?”
 
An Entire Course on Prayer
The project began Sunday, April 16, 2023, the Sunday of Divine Mercy, with a video call with 80 young men and women who wanted to participate in the project. Every day for six weeks, throughout the Easter season, they sent out a short two-to-three minute audio recording about the context of the Gospel reading of the day, in which they presented guidelines for orientating their prayer after having read the Gospel themselves. They also presented other quotes from Sacred Scripture each day, such as parallel passages to complement their prayer.
 
Also, Thursdays were “feedback Thursdays,” that is, through WhatsApp, an audio recording, or in person, each participant was invited to tell their spiritual director this program of prayer was going for them: lights received, difficulties encountered, etc. Finally, they reconnected every Sunday to receive a 20-minute formation talk about topics that help them learn like “Children of the Father,” “Examen of prayer and examen of the day,” “Types of prayer,” or “Life in the Spirit…”
 
“The project didn’t aim for them to stay dependent on daily reflections; that’s why it had an end date,” explains Br. Daniel. “It was a boost, and the idea is that now, these young people can start to pray by themselves, they can take the Gospel of the day and meditate on what God wants to tell them and do with them through the Word.” Alejandra Vásquez, from Regnum Christi in Valencia, Spain, tells us her experience of all this.

Alejandra Vásquez, Regnum Christi Member in Valencia, Spain

How has RC Bible helped you in your prayer life?It has helped me to be more attentive when reading or listening to Bible passages, because during this process I was able to realize how the Holy Spirit makes himself present in the different readings to bring me to understand something in particular.
What encouraged you to sign up?
Curiosity for learning more, although I should admit that the deadline for asking to be part of the process had passed, and I started a day late. But it was my spiritual director, Fr. Sebastián Rodríguez, LC, the director of the youth section of Valencia, who mentioned this initiative to me and told me it would be really interesting, and it was. Now I don’t have any doubt that the Holy Spirit was at work from the beginning, both so that Fr. Sebastián would speak to me about it and so that Br. Daniel would let me take part even though I was late.
What have you learned about praying with the Bible through this initiative?
I have learned many things, but one of the most important to me is to include the Holy Spirit in every moment of my life and to be attentive to what he wants to tell to me, not only through the different chapters and verses of the Bible, but also through each moment and event of my daily life, because during this initiative, he has communicated with me in many ways.
Now that this process has “concluded,” it is time to continue applying everything I have learned, since the brothers who have participated in our formation have shared with us different useful tools to apply mainly in our moments of prayer, but also others to apply in our everyday life.

What did you think about the content they sent you, the feedback, and the Sunday talks?
It seemed very well structured to me because I personally felt very involved and part of something. The daily message reminded me of my “task;” perhaps if they had sent me all the readings at the very beginning, or every week, I wouldn’t have finished them. On the other hand, the feedback time with my spiritual director every Thursday reminded me that, as a human, I have doubts and difficulties, but that’s not bad; on the contrary, I can count on someone who helps guide me through these questions and doubts. Finally, I loved the formation talks; I learned a lot because they served as a complement to the readings and, again, applied to my daily life.
I can’t stop sharing about how this has changed my life for the good and that I am very thankful for each one of the people who made this initiative possible. As my favorite phrase goes: “Every story has an end, but in life, every end is a new beginning.” Now I begin one more chapter with the help of the Holy Spirit and everything I have learned.
 
Originally published in Spanish here.

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“Life is a Beautiful Gift”: Mary Peach on Sharing the Gift of her Faith with Joy

When Mary Peach was just 12 years old, her entire life changed. Since then, through the gift of adoption, she has embarked on a beautiful life of healing, thriving, and continually sharing her faith and her love for God in new and creative ways.

 

Born in Ethiopia, Mary and her twin sister were adopted into the Peach family in 2010. The rest of her childhood was spent in Hartville, Ohio, near Akron, surrounded by eight other sisters and brothers, five of whom are also adopted. For Mary, her new life in the Peach family was a fun and wild adventure.

 

Shortly after arriving in the United States, Mary was fully immersed in the life of Regnum Christi. The eldest of Mary’s sisters, Rachel, who is now a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, was studying in Rhode Island, where Mary immediately began attending summer camps and various retreats. “It was a baptism by fire!” says Mary. “Early on, when I had my very first encounter of Christ, I had an overwhelming desire to be his friend – from the very beginning, I just couldn’t wait to go back to summer camp and retreats!” Mary and her sisters fundraised during the year so that they could travel to attend as many ECYD and Challenge camps and retreats as they could.

 

In 2013, when she was 15 years old and finished her freshman year in high school, Mary spent six weeks in Cincinnati on an Regnum Christi Mission Corps summer mission. During that time, Mary experienced a deepening of her relationship with Jesus and an increased desire to serve, but she also fell in love with the city of Cincinnati, where she currently lives.

 

After graduating high school, Mary pursued a Bachelor in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on Family Life Education, receiving her degree in December of 2020. After working right out of college as an instructional aide, Mary now teaches 5th and 6th grade religion at St. Pius X School in Edgewood, Kentucky.

 

Mary’s own faith experience as a child, and as an adoptee, continues to inform her work as a teacher today. “Seeing Jesus as a friend in 6th grade, at such a young age, allowed me to see that I had no reason not to trust him and offer him everything that was on my heart,” says Mary. “As someone who is adopted and has so much history and past traumas, I learned early on that I could give the weight of that to Jesus and he would receive it all. I always saw God as an understanding God, someone who took everything I was carrying and could turn it into something beautiful, even when I felt confused and hurt by my memories and my past.”

 

The older Mary got, the more she realized that her own relationship with Jesus relied on an intentionality in everything that she did: she strived to focus everything in her life – friendships, activities, schoolwork, sports – around God. Growing up in an active Regnum Christi family, alongside siblings who attended Challenge or Conquest and were a part of ECYD, including a sister who went on to become a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, and parents who are both active RC members, Mary made lifelong friendships and developed a strong faith that she is eager to share with all those around her.

 

The best part of Mary’s job as a teacher of religion to 5th and 6th graders is the opportunity she has to share her own faith and help her students build a relationship of trust and confidence with Christ. During her own middle school education, Mary often tired of “just following the rules,” and she desires to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit to inspire her students in their faith and help to share with them what the Catholic faith truly is:

 

“I wish I had learned the faith in a way that was not only exciting, but that helped me to understand why we do what we do, why the sacraments are important. I’m hopefully giving my students what I wish I would have had when I was their age – a sense that the faith is so exciting and beautiful, it’s a faith and traditions they get to be a part of, no matter how young they are! It’s been such a gift to be able to share that, to help strengthen their relationship with Jesus and begin to spark that desire to have a friendship with him. To see their faith flourish, and to witness the ways that they find the Holy Spirit and God in different moments has been such a blessing for me – it’s such a beautiful gift to teach young people about their faith!”

 

Mary is now 25 years old, and her involvement with ECYD and Challenge hasn’t stopped. She helps with the Challenge Club that runs out of her school, and has also been working closely with ECYD nationally and internationally, collaborating with the ECYD national and international directors, as well as local ECYD directors, to help offer retreats and other activities. Throughout the summer, she helps run summer camps and conventions both in Cincinnati and beyond, and helps with training of the Regnum Christi Mission Corps missionaries.

 

And Mary’s connection to Regnum Christi, ECYD, and Challenge in Cincinnati is extra-special: her sister, Rachel, has been a part of the consecrated community there since September of 2020, so the two are able to work together and stay connected in a concrete way serving and living the RC mission.

 

One unique way that Mary has been sharing her faith recently is through social media, and it has quickly become a passion of hers. “A few years back, I realized that so many people looked at social media and technology with this negative perspective, that It’s bad for you, that people – especially young people – waste too much time on it,” says Mary. “Although some of this is true, I realized that I could use social media in a positive way.” Since then, Mary has been creating content that promotes connection by sharing her personal spiritual experiences in a fun and positive light. She recently has been assisting with social media for Regnum Christi Music Collective and with local RC websites, and helps to promote other good Catholic and Christian content on a variety of platforms.

 

Mary is currently pursuing her master’s degree in psychology, with a focus on marriage and family studies, through Divine Mercy University, and continues to be open to how the Lord is calling her to share her faith in every aspect of her life. “Life has been such a beautiful gift, and it’s been a blessing to be a part of the Regnum Christi family and everything that has come along with that!”

 

To find out more about ECYD and Regnum Christi in Cincinnati and the Ohio Valley, visit their website at rcohiovalley.org.

 

You can follow Mary on social media on Facebook and @marypeach98 on Instagram.

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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!