|Cristina Danel |
Cristina Danel was born in Mexico. Her mother was Cuban
and her father was Spanish. She is the oldest of
three children. Her brothers are married. Since she was consecrated,
she has lived with her 95-year-old grandmother, which she believes
is a beautiful “apostolate.” She defines herself as an intense
and passionate person. As a girl, she was restless and
mischievous, the least calm of her siblings. She described herself
as a prankster, and her little brother followed her lead.
She also loves tennis and wanted to be a professional
1. How did you get to know the
Regnum Christi movement?
I was invited to collaborate with Fundación
México Unido, which was about to begin. It was the
door that allowed me to first get to know the
Legionaries, and afterward the whole reality of the movement.
have a great love for Regnum Christi because it was
the means that God used so I would have a
profound conversion. I lived very far from my faith for
many years. During my time at my university, I even
renounced my faith. But God, who is the Good Shepherd,
who always goes in search of the lost sheep, was
searching for me tirelessly. Thanks to the movement’s crossing the
path of my life, I could really experience the love
of God profoundly, and my conversion was radical.
would you describe yourself in a job interview?
do, I do with passion, with my whole heart. I
give myself and commit myself. I like teamwork, I am
responsible and transparent. I like honesty. I know how to
recognize my mistakes. What most moves me in life is
to help and serve others. Life is a mission and
presents us with an infinite number of opportunities to love
one another. It’s only a question of taking advantage of
3. When you were little, what did you dream
I dreamed of being an astronaut. I was always
fascinated with outer space, the cosmos and its vastness. If
I could travel one day to the moon I would
do it to be able to contemplate the greatness of
4. Tell us something that has changed in you
or your vision of our life during this year dedicated
to the revision of the Statutes.
It has been a
difficult time, but at the same time, it has been
a time of blessing and an infinity of graces. Many
things have changed. We have learned a lot of lessons.
One of the principal ones is that it helped us
to know ourselves much more and to seek the identity
that God has intended for us. We have learned to
be more like sisters, merciful and open, to allow ourselves
to be more open to what is essential, to Christ
and the Gospel, and to do this serving others.
It has helped me to understand the suffering of others
-- that life is made up of lights and shadows.
It isn’t linear. It has high and low points, but
in the end, the grace of God is always greater,
and He does not leave the side of mankind for
one instant. It has been a stage of profound maturing,
purification and renewal on all levels.
5. What did you
feel when you were elected? When the cardinal asked you
if you would accept, what did you think about? Explain
to us what will change in your life.
all, I had the absolute certainty that it was God
who was asking this mission of me. He called me
and sent me. It was a surprise, but at the
same time it was clear at that moment my desire
to say like Mary, “Lord, here is your handmaid. Be
it done unto me according to your word.”
implies leaving Juventud y Familia Misionera, and the apostolic projects
we have been developing in the Mexico territory, which had
been an inestimable gift of God for me. But I
know the gift isn’t mine.
It is a personal call
that takes over my heart so that, at every moment,
God can count on me, in spite of my limitations,
to help the government and my sisters in the best
way I can. If I accepted, it was for God.
And I carry each one of my sisters in my
heart and I want to serve them, including those that
I don’t know as much as those that I know.
I have loved them in a real way from the
minute I accepted my mission, which is possible with the
grace of God.
6. What has been your experience working with
the other branches of the movement?
I have spent twenty
years working with all the branches. My experience has been
extraordinary, in that I see that we are a family,
where each one of the parts complements the other. I
see that we all need each other and no one
exists without the other. I also see that in spite
of the difficulties and disagreements, in general and above all,
a spirit of family reigns, without idealizing it. I see
that there are good dispositions and we are in process.
We are trying out a model where work is segmented,
like a work apprenticeship, that will be done in a
unified and coordinated way. It’s necessary to help the localities
to reach harmony in the mission. That is a great
challenge. I also think it’s important to learn to center
ourselves in the essential priorities, and not lose ourselves in
7. Give us four key words to describe
this new page of our history.
8. What would you most like to tell the other
I want to tell each one that I
am here to serve, that I keep everyone in my
prayers and that I place myself at their disposition. I
am very proud of each of the consecrated woman, spread
throughout the world, and I think that each one is
a gift of God. The world needs God and each
consecrated woman is an incredible testimony of the love of
God. We can never be discouraged. We need to keep
on being who we are. The world needs us.
studied chemical engineering at the Universidad Iberoamericana and has worked
apostolically in Mexico City directing VIA, Red Mision and Juventud
y Familia Misionera. Before coming to the Assembly, she was
a territorial councilor for the apostolic area in Mexico. She
is 46 years old and has been consecrated for 12