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Turn to Jesus (Article)

News from the Candidacy Program
Director Michelle Reiff provides an update on the program for those women discerning a consecrated vocation in Regnum Christi

The RC consecrated women candidates
(L to R) Katie Hancock, Alycia Frech, Charlene Alexander, and Jennifer Hettrick in “Theology of the Body” class at the DM house in Dallas.

Following is a letter from the director of the Regnum Christi consecrated women’s candidacy program, Michelle Reiff, with an update on their recent activities and improvements to the program.

By Michelle Reiff

I wanted to give everyone a little update on this summer’s candidacy program and ask for your prayers.  I am directing the candidacy for the first time and have a great team to help me.

The program began on July 8 and runs through August 17, 2013.  We have three women who are here discerning – one is Jennifer Hettrick who was a precandidate for two years, another is Katie Hancock, a former RC missionary and long-time RC member who has been working at MEC in the financial aid office for the past year, and Alycia Frech, a sophomore from Texas A&M who visited last summer’s candidacy and has been in active discernment for the last year.

In the past, the candidacy often was the person’s first experience of serious vocational discernment.  With the change in our formation process, there is a longer time of pre-discernment before the person comes to the candidacy and the weeks of the candidacy serve to verify the call and to determine if this is the right time for the person to begin the initial stage of formation.

Another big change is that the program is being held at the Domus Mariae (House of Mary) center for the consecrated women in Dallas, Texas this summer.   The general council sent us guidelines for the candidacy program and one of those reads: “Se trata de involucrar a las candidatas en nuestra vida de equipo, no de crear un ambiente artificial.” (We seek to involve the candidates in our team life, not creating an artificial environment.)  So, rather than try to “build” a team for the candidacy program, we decided to incorporate the candidates into an existing team.  It gives them a broader picture of what consecrated life in Regnum Christi involves: from apostolic work to community life, from living in an apostolate team to preparing their own meals.

The small number of candidates plus the busyness of the summer activities and the team’s vacation allow for enough room in the house for everyone (at least for now!)  The members of the team take turns being responsible for teaching the classes and organizing the apostolic experiences for them, as well as sharing their personal testimony of consecrated life.  The candidates join in the community prayer life of the team and live as “one more” with the consecrated.

The candidates also have a time of apostolate each week – not focused so much on training in Regnum Christi apostolates, but rather to have an experience of giving themselves for the good of others.  They have worked at a food distribution center for low income families, helped out in preparations for the upcoming school year at The Highlands, and will be running a Bible camp for children in a trailer park.  They have also been able to meet some local Regnum Christi members and hear their experiences in the Movement.

We watched the encounter of Pope Francis with the seminarians and novices in Rome and have been reflecting on his words.  (Following is a favorite quote.)

“And joy also diffuses itself. Don’t be afraid to show the joy of having answered the Lord’s call, of the choice to love and witness His Gospel in the service of the Church. And joy, real joy, is contagious; it infects … it makes us go forward. Instead, when one comes across a seminarian who is too serious, too sad, or a similar novice, one thinks: but something is wrong! The joy of the Lord is lacking…”

What a beautiful testimony of a vocation and what practical advice he gave all of us!  Thank you for your prayers for the candidates. I am sure that God hears them and is sending many graces because of them.



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