I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around – Carole King
If you were blessed to attend the Regnum Christi Atlanta Gala on October 22, 2017, you heard the testimony of Roberto and Maria Ines Sanchez Mejorada, the event’s host couple and long-time Regnum Christi members.
It was a moving testimony that filled a key role in the successful event. But there is more to the story than there was time to include that night…some of it earth shaking.
Robert says he was honored to be chair of the event (with Maria Ines). Despite his many achievements, he describes himself simply: “I’m Roberto Sanchez Mejorada – son of the Church, Regnum Christi member for 35 years, and husband to Maria Ines, the partner of my life. Father of three courageous young men and three beautiful girls: Nicolas, Mariana, Ana Paula, Patricio, Bosco, and Larissa. They are the manifestation of God in our lives.”
Maria Ines contends she is married to “to the best husband in the world” – and that she has learned much in their 30 years as husband and wife. She says there are many beautiful lessons, not always fun and easy. And first and foremost is that no matter what challenges life presented, “the international family that is Regnum Christi walked with me. And that started when I was in college.”
(Roberto interjects: “That is where we met, fell in love and decided to spend our life together.”)
“I attended, the #1 medical school in my Country, the Anahuac University in Mexico City, A Regnum Christi University,” Maria Ines says. “Anahuac is where I grew academically, got involved in student government and met another involved student, my future husband, Roberto. He was in the college of communications, involved in social activities and political discussions.”
It might have been a peaceful college romance, but the young couple found themselves in the middle of a tragedy of epic proportions. Robert tells that part of the story:
“Yes, 32 years ago a great earthquake changed my life forever. The destruction, the people trapped, the pain, but above all the hope to realize what we could do together, the students and teachers, in community to serve the needy.
“Our university community, Anahuac played a key role. American organizations distributed their help through youth and institutions such as ours. There I discovered the mission of Regnum Christi is to live an adventure of love…the adventure of being a missionary every day…the adventure to believe that love changes the world, the love that changes each one of us.”
Roberto’s involvement in Regnum Christi began when a friend invited him to spiritual exercises. He was busy – studying and working.
“My friend, Jonas Soto, insisted that he could see that I was trapped in a labyrinth where I could not find the exit. The truth is that I was suffering a lot. I lived with anguish. I went to many things but I was not at peace. I had few good friends. I had adventuresome companions but I had no true friends – and those exercises were what I needed to bring peace to his life.”
“And Roberto’s involvement in Regnum Christi led to my involvement,” Maria Ines says. “Roberto and a friend, Isabel Ruiloba introduced me to Regnum Christi. I was impressed by the apostolic endeavors, silent retreats – time to reflect, young adults like myself, wanting to change the world.
“They were engaged in taking the gospel and transforming the lives of others. They were spending their free time doing missions, helping the poor materially and spiritually. They were living the call to be the Salt of the Earth. I was invited to participate and found myself launched into works I never dreamed off – that transformed other people’s lives.”
This experience of Regnum Christ, of living the mission, also changed the direction of Maria Ines’ professional career. She continues…
“I grew spiritually, and that connected well with my medical training, where one of my professors who was Regnum Christi and an expert on human reproduction taught me the Natural Methods for Family Planning to achieve and postpone pregnancy. I was inspired by her and decided to become a teacher of NFP. I was soon to learn how ironic life can be.”
Maria Ines was traveling all over the world teaching NFP. She and Roberto were married and wanted to start a family, something that should have been simple for a certified expert on how to have a family.
“But it just wasn’t working and we soon learned that I was infertile,” Maria Ines says. “Imagine it. The NFP genius couldn’t become pregnant. Me…of all people not able to have kids.
“I was embarrassed, humiliated, confused, angry. I went through a time of real grieving – and my Regnum Christi family supported me.”
Then, while out on the NFP lecture circuit in Russia, Maria Ines received what she believes was a real message from Holy Spirit: “So, Mrs. NFP – why don’t you adopt a child?”
“Up until then adoption had never crossed my mind, from then on, it seemed completely reasonable to me and brought me a joyful peace,” she says. “To my surprise, when I called Roberto and shared with him this light, he was totally open and enthusiastic, which is when I realized I really did have the best husband in the world.”
As it turns out, the same powerful call came six times and Roberto and Maria Ines adopted, with unconditional love, six amazing children.
“God had a natural family plan for us that was different than we expected – but joyful beyond our dreams,” according to Maria Ines.
Maria Ines says “Like everyone, my roles in life have changed over the years. I have been a doctor, a teacher, a missionary. Today, my role involves being a wife, a mother, a missionary and a friend. I walk with other women like myself and together we support and pray for each other. And for the last few years I’ve been an involved in youth groups. Through my work, I try to be the Salt of the Earth to the future generations.”
“Today I serve as a Chief Mission Officer at Qualfon,” Roberto says. “The company operates in five countries and it’s committed to be a second family for the 13,000 persons who are part of the organization — and finding ways to live our consecration to God. At Qualfon we understand that spirituality is a universal value. It can thrive in the workplace despite the diversity of the faith traditions that each person belongs to. God has an office in our business and we trust in Him to be able be The Salt of the Earth for our employees, their families, our clients and for our communities”
Roberto and Maria Ines thank all who have been the Salt of the Earth in their lives:
“Many of you have been giving us the taste and the flavor of the Gospel. Because of you we can see the face of God, because of you, we are able to keep the flame of the faith in our family. We invite you to continue living the adventure of the mission of Jesus Christ.
“As Pope Francis Prayed this year to our Lady of Guadalupe, may she intercede for us so that we can acquire the holy audacity needed to discover new ways to bring the gift of salvation to every man and woman. With Regnum Christi beside us, Maria Ines and I, have been able to endure together many storms and to sail in calm and beautiful waters. Through God’s mercy we really believe that our family can get to heaven. Please pray for us.”