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Evangelizing through Encounter and Accompaniment

The break-out sessions at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in July were forums for discussing responses to different needs in the church today. In each session, one question inevitably came up “What programs have you found to help you evangelize in this area?” People shared numerous creative catechetical and formative programs they had found to help them along the way, but also candidly shared that in their experience, programs were not the whole answer. “Encounter” was what changed lives. For a parish or community to reach out to others and evangelize, relationships are the key.

People are starving for communion, and while a formative program or faith based small group maybe a very helpful tool and a launch-pad for relationships, it is the lasting encounter with others who will walk the journey of faith with them that truly changes lives. The transformation of hearts is not programmable. It requires being a church of missionary disciples who will reach out, encounter and accompany people on their individual journey of faith. Programs and events may be important road maps or stops along that path, but it is the company people walk in who help them find God.

Ruben Hernandez (RC Dallas) in a break out session at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders

Being a Christian is countercultural. In our busy, programmed, efficient world, missionary disciples need to take up the challenge to be relationship focused instead of activity focused. This means the magnanimous gift of being present for another person and accompanying them as God reveals His plan for them through their unique life, encouraging them to draw near to Christ who loves them as an individual, not as part of something systematically designed to produce a certain result or product. This can be formal in a relationship of spiritual direction, or informal, in true friendships.

While programs may map out the road to Emmaus, missionary disciples who accompany each other (and others) are friends who build last relationships and grow deeper in faith on that road. They journey together, hashing out the events of their lives together with Christ, breaking bread together and finding their hearts burning within them. In her column for the Catholic News Agency Alice Von Hildebrand, wife of the acclaimed theologian Dietrich Von Hildebrand puts it this way “Friends share the same loves and as St. Augustine puts it, in their common love of God, they warm their soul at each other’s flame. This is why any true friendship will inevitably bring us closer to God – the source of Love.”(Dec.27, 2015)

Regnum Christi holds ‘personal attention’ as one of the hallmarks of its evangelizing mission. The formation of Regnum Christi members helps them seek, encounter and accompany others in their parishes, schools and communities, leading them closer to Christ. Programs, retreats and missions run by the movement are there to form and assist people as they grow, always accompanied by others in relationships meant to last a lifetime.

Divine Mercy University is taking up the charge of forming missionary disciples who can accompany others in this deep and transformative way. Their unique in person and online degree and certificate programs are one way to develop the skills to accompany others to Christ whether through a career in counselling or through volunteer mentoring and spiritual direction. They are offering Regnum Christi members incentives to acquire this formation including:

Up to 25% Tuition Reduction for any of the DMU online degrees and certificate programs for:

  • Full-time employees of Regnum Christi schools, localities, apostolates, administrative agents of Regnum Christi and Legionaries of Christ, Regnum Christi territorial Committee (RCTC); and immediate family members (children or spouse) of the aforementioned groups, located within the North American territory
  • RC lay members, of the North American territory, in good standing, who have been with the Movement as an incorporated Regnum Christi member for at least three years and have a signed letter of recommendation from the Local Director
  • DMU will match up to an additional 10% of scholarship to the extent that the applicant’s employer would provide tuition assistance. In this way, the applicant could receive up to 45% off on tuition.

Up to 50% Tuition Reduction for any of the DMU online degrees and certificate programs for:

  • Professed religious of the Legion of Christ and Consecrated Members of Regnum Christi, globally

Up to 33% Tuition Reduction for any of the DMU online degrees and certificate programs for

  • Former religious members of the Legion of Christ and Consecrated Members of Regnum Christi, globally, who spent at least 5 years in consecrated life

For more information about the programs offered at Divine Mercy University, please visit DivineMercy.edu.