The Legion´s first foundation in Germany began on the feast
of Pentecost in 1988, when Fr Eamon Kelly, LC, Irish by
birth, found a warm welcome in the diocese of Eichstätt
with Bishop Dr. Karl Braun, who would afterwards be named
archbishop of Bamberg. Fr. Kelly got a small apartment in
Ingolstadt, where he established the first relationships with bishops, priests,
and interested lay people. He soon became known as the
“gypsy of God.”
On the 50th anniversary of
the foundation of the congregation, January 3, 1991, Fr Kelly
and the first five German-speaking novices (who had started their
novitiate in the United States) carried out the foundation of
the novitiate of Germany, which had its provisional headquarters in
Rome. Thanks to the generous support of the bishop of
Aachen, Bishop Klaus Hemmerle, in August of that same year
they were able to move the novitiate to German soil,
setting up in what had been a house of "Caritas
Essen" in Roetgen, in the region of the Eifel. Because
of the constant increase in the number of novices during
the next few years, the house would soon become very
small for the needs of the community. Thanks to the
help of the archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Cardinal Meisner, the
novitiate was able to move in 1995 to Bad Münstereifel,
where they found ample space in a building that until
the 1990s had been a girls’ boarding school run by
the Ursuline sisters.
On January 1st of the
year 2000, the first Legionary of Christ from Germany, Fr
Albert Gutberlet, was ordained a priest. Since then, the number
of priests from Germany has increased to ten, as well
as some novices and religious who are in their period
It is not only the religious
congregation that was established in Germany during those years. Regnum Christi was also established at the same time. In
the year 2002, the Movement held its first Youth and
Family Encounter in Ingolstadt with His Excellency Walter Mixa and
around 1000 participants. The next Youth and Family Encounters were
held in Düsseldorf (2003), Salzburg (2004), Stuttgart (2005) and Würzburg
Along with the retreats, spiritual exercises, conventions, and
summer camps offered through the Movement, the first Regnum Christi
apostolates were also developed. In the year 2001, the first
ECYD clubs were founded. Two years later, the apostolate
FAMILIA began, along with the Project NET, at the
service of the Church and of the new evangelization.
In the year 2004, the first Regnum Christi center for
apostolate was opened in Düsseldorf. Two years later the Everest kindergarten opened its doors as the first Regnum Christi
school in Germany.
The constant growth of the Legionaries
of Christ and of Regnum Christi in central Europe led
to the creation of a new territory in February of
2007. In addition to Germany, this new territory encompasses Poland,
Hungary, Austria, Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands. Fr Sylvester Heereman, LC,
was named the first Territorial Director with his headquarters in
The history at a glance
Eamon Kelly, L.C. comes to Germany for the first time
and finds a warm welcome in Ingolstadt from the bishop
of Eichstätt, Karl Braun.
The novitiate was founded in
Germany in Roetgen, near Aachen, upon the invitation of Bishop
The novitiate is moved to Bad Münstereifel
(diocese of Cologne) because of the need for more spacious
installations, thanks to the support of Bishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner.
Fr. Albert Gutberlet, the first German Legionary of Christ,
Foundation of the first ECYD clubs.
First Youth and Family Encounter in Ingolstadt.
of the FAMILIA apostolate and of the project for children,
Foundation of a center for apostolate of the
Legionaries of Christ in Düsseldorf.
The “Everest” Kindergarten is
inaugurated in Düsseldorf.
Foundation of the territory of central
Europe with headquarters in Düsseldorf.
Noviziat der Legionäre Christi
53902 Bad Münstereifel
Kieshecker Weg 240
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