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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Something Beautiful Was Happening Here
U. S. A. | NEWS | NEWS
Annemarie Turner on why she joined Regnum Christi in a time of transition.

turner family
The Turner family.

October 9, 2010. Seattle, WA. When Annemarie Turner was considering joining Regnum Christi as a new member last spring, she felt the need to discern carefully.

“Regardless of the fact that I was a teacher at a school with holy Legionary priests, knew Regnum Christi members, and witnessed their faith in action, I worried nonetheless about whether God wanted me to commit to this group in light of the changes it was undergoing,” she said.

She knew about the media’s coverage of the problems and understood that an apostolic visitation meant changes were on the way.

But at the same time, she had seen something special happening at East Lake Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, where she was an art teacher and where her own children were enrolled.

After a long day of teaching, she would call up her husband or her friends in tears. But these weren’t the frustrated tears of a new teacher struggling with her unruly charges. They were tears of gratitude and amazement. Amidst the ordinary challenges of teaching at an independent school, she was witnessing God’s action among the students and faculty

“I would call them up and tell them about the things I had witnessed in the classrooms and on the playground, like the teachers who would get down on a child’s level to lovingly correct a certain behavior… how that same child, with an absolutely contrite heart, would apologize to the child he had wronged… and how the wronged child would say, ‘I forgive you.’”

After her experiences in another school system, she knew that this was not typical playground behavior. It was something they were being taught at the school. The children were learning to be Christian from faculty, priests, consecrated women, and coworkers who were trying to reflect the Gospel with their lives.

“We would meet as a faculty before the children arrived and invoke the Holy Spirit.  We would read and meditate on the Gospel and share with each other what was coming to our minds.  Before the children even walked in the door, we were centered on Christ, and focused on those we hoped we would touch in a meaningful way that day in our teaching vocations,” she said.

Her first Mass with the school community was another shock.

“It was absolutely incredible. The children were singing! They were engaged!  They were there! They understood the sacredness of the Mass!”

She was amazed at the respectful and reverent manners of the children, and at their knowledgeable responses to Father Matthew’s questions during the homily.

“I had never seen this before at a school. They not only knew their faith, but loved their faith.”

She had the same sense of amazement when she saw them line up for confession. The children were actually eager to receive the sacrament.

“I recognized that something very beautiful was happening here.”

Taking it to prayer

It was this sense of wonder at God’s work in the children that first led her to start thinking about joining Regnum Christi.

“I asked Fr Matthew Kaderabek a lot of questions and he gave me a lot of beautiful answers. His responses to my questions about the Movement were like those of a family member speaking about loved ones,” she said. “I told him that I wondered if God was gently nudging me in the direction of a deeper prayer life and a deeper commitment to Christ and Our Blessed Mother through Regnum Christi.”

Fr Matthew suggested that she take it to prayer, so she did.

In front of the Blessed Sacrament, she asked for answers. “What, Lord, will you have me do?”

One clear answer came back to her heart again and again.

Solidarity. Stand together.

“I remember that it suddenly became very clear to me. It was also so very simple. I felt like God was saying to me, ‘You see that something very beautiful is happening here?  You are thankful for what you have witnessed?  Go, be a part of it.’”

“So that was how a gentle nudge became something much more,” she added.

In the end, what brought her to the Regnum Christi Movement was thankfulness.

“I was profoundly impacted by the uniqueness of this little school. I felt that God had given our family a very special gift,” she said. 

This past summer, she and her family relocated to Seattle, where they now attend Emerald Heights Academy, another independent school that uses the Legion’s method of integral formation.

“I have brought my commitment to Regnum Christi with me here to Seattle and I know most certainly that it has helped in our transition to another state.  My commitment to Regnum Christi has strengthened me. It has sustained me.”

“I am tremendously thankful to God for leading me to Regnum Christi and though I am only a new member, I feel it transforming me daily and I love it more and more each day. I recognize, very certainly, that something very beautiful is happening here!”



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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