Amecameca, Mexico – Twenty-three
Legionary priests participated in a “spiritual renewal” this summer.
took place from June 6 – August 6, 2012 in
Amecameca, Mexico, and is the first that has taken place
since 2009. The priests, who stayed in a retreat center
in Amecameca, were assisted by a team of coordinators led
by Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC.
These courses are held periodically to help
continue the process of maturity and formation of a “priestly
personality,” which for Legionary priests, begins in the novitiate or
a vocational school.
In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul reminds us to
"rekindle the gift of God that is within you" (2
Tim 1:6). The apostolic exhortation from Pope John Paul II,
Pastores Dabo Vobis, cites this passage as a call for
the ongoing formation of priests; a call to rekindle the
gift they have received “in the sense of welcoming it
and living it out without ever losing, or forgetting, that
‘permanent novelty’ which is characteristic of every gift from God,
who makes all things new” (#70).
According to the Legion’s Constitutions, the spiritual
renewal is time to pause and “reflect, in the light
of faith and in view of their religious and priestly
experience, in an atmosphere of silence and interior freedom, free
from the pressures of apostolic activity on the fundamental truths
of Christianity and of life, on the commitments they contracted
as souls Consecrated to God, on their fidelity to those
commitments and on the effort each Legionary must make so
that the Legion will accomplish the mission God entrusted to
it at the service of the Church and of humanity”
(cf. #176). The Constitutions also say that this is a
time for priests to renew their physical and spiritual energy,
in order to strengthen their apostolic zeal in God’s service.
|A moment of prayer in the chapel|
The renewal process
began with spiritual exercises preached by Fr. Donal Clancy, LC.
One of the priests who participated said that this was
a time of “a dialogue of friendship with God, with
no rush and without concerns…Together with Him, we have renewed
our own prayer life.”
Just as they did in the novitiate, the priests
had plenty of time to spend with Christ through daily
Eucharistic adoration, evening prayer, and spiritual reading, along with many
visits in prayer to the Virgin Mary. They were also
able to devote ample time to studying Christian spirituality, and
had daily explanations on themes regarding religious life in terms
of their priesthood in the Legion. This generated dialogue and
sharing of personal experiences.
Following schedules similar to those of the novitiate,
the priests also had time for work and sports. They
participated in community outings on Thursdays, including one to the
Paso de Cortés, a mountain pass between the Popocatépetl and
Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes. They also supported the parish priest of Amecameca
by administering the sacraments.
|An outing to the Paso de Cortés mountain pass|
All of the priests left renewed in their missions. One commented that the 2 months were “a
return to the habit of fruitful union with God as
the soul of all our priesthood and apostolate.”