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Preparation of the Statutes for First and Second Degree Members of Regnum Christi in Progress
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A letter from Fr. Sylvester Heereman L.C. outlines the details.

Estatutos Regnum Christi

The 1st and 2nd degree members of the Regnum Christi Movement (not the consecrated lay members) will take part in the process of reflection about their identity and regulations, much like the Legionaries of Christ and the consecrated members have done with the revision of the Constitutions  and the revision and further development of the Statutes and rules. The objective is to elaborate a Statute for this specific vocation in the Regnum Christi Movement and to participate in the process of renewal that will culminate in a General Statute for the whole Regnum Christi Movement.

Fr. Sylvester Heereman, LC, Vicar General of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, has recently sent a letter to all the 1st and 2nd degree members in which he explains more concretely how they will participate in this process of renewal. The main objective is that they revise the current Statutes (approved in 2004) and eventually write new Statutes. “The text is to reflect, in a few pages, their identity, how they understand and live the charism of Regnum Christi, the various forms of membership (degrees and levels), the commitments assumed upon incorporation, how they will work together with the other components of the Movement, etc.”, explains Fr. Sylvester Heereman in the letter.

In his letter, Fr. Sylvester explains three stages that the Pontifical Delegate has underlined:

- The first stage was one  that “first led us to recognize and express the common charism of Regnum Christi,” expressed by the different vocations and ways of life in the Movement: religious priests (legionaries of Christ), diocesan priests, consecrated lay persons, and non-consecrated lay persons (celibate and married).
- The second and current stage is “the reflection of the diverse components on their own identity and regulation.” The legionaries have done this through the revision of the Constitutions. The consecrated members have done this through the elaboration of their own Statutes and regulations. Finally those members that form part of the 1st and 2nd degrees will join this effort and also finish their own Statutes.
- “Once this is done, we will be able to take the final step,” and begin the third stage: the overall juridical configuration of the whole Movement by means of a General Statute that will be submitted to the Holy See for final approval. This General Statute will then regulate the relation between each distinct vocation which, in turn, is based on the common charism of Regnum Christi. This same Statute will define what is common to the whole: charism, spirituality, mission,  the governance of the apostolate, and administration.

How this revision will take place and how to complete the Statutes for 1st and 2nd degree members

In order to complete this process of revision, Fr. Sylvester has called for a meeting in Rome from the 6th to the 8th of June, in which representatives from the 1st and 2nd degrees of each territory will participate. During these meetings:

- a set of suggestions for the Statutes of the 1st and 2nd degree Regnum Christi members will be elaborated using the current Statutes (approved in 2004). These suggestions will be presented to the Pontifical Delegate who at that time will relate the next steps to be taken.
- there will be reflections on the findings that have been made in the territories about the Principles of the Charism of the Regnum Christi Movement. The final approval of a formulation of the charism will be deferred until the General Assembly, in which Legionaries, consecrated members, and 1st and 2nd degree members will participate. The functions of this General Assembly and the election of its members, however, have not yet been defined.
- These meetings will be presided by Fr. Sylvester as acting General Director. The general leadership of the consecrated members will also attend these meetings. There will also be an encounter with the Pontifical Delegate.
- Before concluding these meetings, a permanent commission to represent the 1st and 2nd degrees will be formed. Four participants in these meeting  will be elected as members of this commission. The Pontifical Delegate has asked that this commission be formed, in order to ensure the active participation of representatives from the 1st and 2nd degrees in the elaboration of its own Statutes and the configuration and completion of the General Statute of the Regnum Christi Movement.

How the territorial representatives will be elected

The territorial director of the Legion of Christ and the territorial leadership of the consecrated members will establish the manner in which these representatives from the 1st and 2nd degrees will be elected. It is to be hoped that the final group of participants will include members from all the sections (men, women, and young men and young women), of every degree and level. Each territory will have a number of representatives according to the number of Regnum Christi members in the territory: Mexico and Monterrey (5 each); North America, Spain, Chile-Argentina, Venezuela- Colombia, Central and Western Europe (4 each); Italy and Brazil (3 each).

There will be a total of 36 representatives, preferably able to speak English and Spanish, known for their prudence and moral authority, who demonstrate fidelity to their commitments to God and the Movement, and inspire trust by their ability to relate, dialogue, listen, and work in a team.

An English translation of the letter is available below and in pdf format.

***

Thy Kingdom Come!

April 1, 2013

To the first and second degree members of the Regnum Christi Movement

My warmest greetings on this day in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed and opened for us the gates of heaven. Here in Rome, in an atmosphere of gratitude, we have been able to be present at the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis. I have kept all of you in my prayers during Holy Week, especially those of you who were on spiritual exercises or doing missions.

This letter is to explain the process we will follow to revise the Statutes of the first and second degree members, who are “a beautiful reality of great relevance and significance”  in the Church. First I will mention how this step fits into the overall process we are following, and then I will explain in more detail how we will do it.

1. The context: the process of renewal of the Legion and Regnum Christi.

As we consider the Regnum Christi Movement in this particular moment of its history, we start with two givens: on one hand, we are a charismatic reality approved by the Church; on the other, this same Church has asked us to revise the charism we have received to deepen our understanding of it, and we are also revising our legal structure in order to safeguard and promote the gift we have received in the best manner possible.

In his letter dated October 19, 2012, the Pontifical Delegate published the draft of the Principles of the Regnum Christi Charism and announced that, based on these key elements, the various components of Regnum Christi will each revise their own regulations.

There is therefore a single charism of Regnum Christi which gives rise to a common spirituality and mission, lived out in a variety of vocations according to each one’s state in life.  Before determining the legal configuration of Regnum Christi as a whole, the Pontifical Delegate believes that each component of the Movement must reflect on its own identity and its relation with the whole.

Just as the Legionaries are revising their Constitutions and the consecrated members their Statutes, the first and second degree members also need to revise their own Statute taking the current version as their starting point. The text is to reflect, in a few pages, their identity, how they understand and live the charism of Regnum Christi, the various forms of membership (degrees and levels), the commitments assumed upon incorporation, how they will work together with the other components of the Movement, etc.

Once this is done, we will be able to take the final step of developing, with the participation of representatives from all the components of Regnum Christi, the General Statutes that will define what is common to all: charism, spirituality, mission, governance of the apostolate, and administration.

In summary, we can speak of a three-staged process: the first led us to the recognize and express the common charism of Regnum Christi; the second consists in the reflection of the diverse components on their own identity and regulation; the third will be the overall juridical configuration of the whole by means of a General Statute.

2. Participation of the first and second degree members.

To allow the first and second degree members to participate suitably in the elaboration of their own Statute and the configuration of the whole, the Pontifical Delegate has tasked the General Director of Regnum Christi with forming a stable, four-member commission of representatives of the first and second degree to interact with the Delegate and the general governments during the remainder of the process toward the definitive approval of the definitive General Statutes of Regnum Christi.

After consulting with my council, the general leadership the consecrated members, the Territorial Directors and the territorial leadership of the consecrated members, as well as some first and second degree members from several countries, I have scheduled a meeting of representatives from the first and second degree in Rome, from June 6-8, 2013 (arriving on the 5th and leaving on the 9th), with the following objectives:

  • To share the reflections on the key elements of the charism that have been made in the territories, although the final approval of a formulation of the charism will be deferred to the General Assembly, in which Legionaries, consecrated members, and first and second degree members will participate;
  • To draw up, with the help of all and based on the approved statutes, suggestions regarding the Statute for the first and second degree, to be presented to the Pontifical Delegate, who will determine the next steps.

As acting General Director of the Movement I will preside over these days of meetings. The general leadership of the consecrated members will also attend. The program will include a meeting with the Pontifical Delegate. Before concluding these meetings, the four members of the permanent commission to represent the first and second degree will be named, following a methodology to be defined by the participants themselves.

Taking into consideration the distribution of our members internationally, the territories of Mexico and Monterrey will send five representatives each; North America, Spain, Chile-Argentina, Venezuela-Colombia, and Europe will send four each; Italy and Brazil will each send three. The Territorial Directors of the Legion and the territorial leadership of the consecrated members will determine the naming process of these representatives, so that as far as possible members various cities and countries in the territory can participate. It is to be hoped that the final group of participants will include members from all the sections (men, women, and young men and young women), every degree and level.

As general conditions to attend these meetings, it is advisable that the representatives speak English or Spanish and that they:

  • Stand out for their prudence and moral authority;
  • Demonstrate fidelity to their commitments to God and the Movement;
  • Inspire trust by their ability to relate, dialogue, listen, and work in a team;
  • Can promote and advance the process of Regnum Christi under the guidance of the Pontifical Delegate.

Travel costs are to be covered by the individual, or the city or territory they represent; room and board in one of our centers in Rome will be covered by the General Directorate. An organizational secretariat to coordinate all the practicalities will be established, which will get in touch with the representatives in the first week of May. The representatives in each territory should therefore be named before May 1.

The June meetings will have to be followed by further steps, as yet not clearly defined by the Pontifical Delegate. This is a process that we are taking one step at a time, with a view towards the having the new General Statutes of Regnum Christi, defined and approved by the Church. While it is an unfamiliar path for all and can therefore cause uncertainty, we are moving forward under the guidance and authority of the Pontifical Delegate, trusting in the action of the Holy Spirit, in the living power of the charism we have received, and in the good will of all those who are humbly committed to the effort of bringing this work of God to fulfillment.

As the Pontifical Delegate wrote us, “We are not creating something new. Instead, we are seeking to interpret and renew what already exists in light of the recognition that the Church gave when it approved the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and its Constitutions (1983), and, subsequently, the Regnum Christi Movement and its Statutes (2004)” (July 11, 2012).

I am very grateful for the work that has already been accomplished in the revision of the Key Elements of the charism, and I also thank you in advance for the collaboration that I am sure you will provide for the preparation of the Statute for the first and second degree.

Let us place all the members of the Movement in the hands of the Blessed Virgin, and all their intentions, responsibilities, and missions. May she help us to constantly grow in the authentic esprit de corps expressed in the capacity to work together for the good of our common mission. May she, Mother of the Church and the Movement, also gain for us the grace to live the situations and challenges of life in the Movement with a profound attitude of faith, supernatural realism, prudence and serenity, greatly committed to seeking the good of the whole body.

Your affectionate brother and servant,

Fr. Sylvester Heereman L.C.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2013-04-02


 
 


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