"All that work, all that blood,
sweat and tears, waking up in the middle of the night...I
changed that one life, and if that´s all I did,
it was completely worth it."
These are the words of a young man who gave
one year of his life in the service to others,
and that year ended up giving him back more than
he ever hoped. He was among the young
men and women who join the Regnum Christi Mission Corps
and many others are in the introductory video on
the new RCMC website. In that video
you will hear the following phrase repeated again and again:
“It changed my life. It
changed my life. It changed my life…”
Mission Corps members are Catholic missionaries, age 18
years and older, who serve in cities throughout the US
and abroad. Working with local parishes, these young
people are trained to lead service projects, spiritual retreats, mission
trips, and to serve in Regnum Christi apostolates.
RCMC alumni and parents confirm the benefits
of donating a year in the lives of young people
before entering college and the work force. “This program truly
helps you find yourself, and you leave prepared for whatever
your next step in life is,” said one alumnus in
the RCMC video. Scott Hurd, a parent of three former
RCMC missionaries, said words “cannot describe the impact that Christ,
through RCMC, has made on our 3 sons.
Plain and simple, don’t send your kids to college without
Major Program Changes
to Helen Yalbir, a National Formation Director of RCMC, the
program has gone through major changes in the last few
years (particularly this year.) Previously, young men and women participated
in separately governed, gender-specific RCMC programs. Now there
is one national program, with one operating team which includes
a new national coordinator, overseen by a board of directors.
The promotion, application and fundraising aspects of the two separate
programs have been streamlined and combined.
Missionaries still live in single-gender teams and commit to
being “single for a season,” but some program aspects now
involve a co-ed experience including the summer training of missionaries.
Another major change is a much-anticipated end-of-year mission trip to
Jerusalem, which starting this year will be also be a
“And the program
in cities such as Chicago and Atlanta, includes additional co-ed
aspects, with young men and women missionaries planning their Mission
work, hosting activities, attending monthly dinners at RC host family
homes and receiving some of their ongoing formation together,” said
“Our goal is to
eventually have all assignment cities include all aspects of the
co-ed experience,” said Fr. Martin Connor LC, a national formation
director of the program. “There is a great need to
help the young people today mature in many ways --
in their faith, self-worth and sense of responsibility -- before
sending them out into the world, as well in learning
how to develop healthy male/female relationships, something this program is
now better able to provide.”
The RCMC planning team is also working to
expand the program to include more assignment cities. “We are
hoping to eventually offer a missionary experience in every city
where Legionaries or consecrated members live,” said Helen.
The assignment cities for
the 2013-2014 year include:
Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Washington, DC; Oxford, Michigan; and
Warwick, Rhode Island.
Boys: Atlanta, Georgia;
Chicago, Illinois; and New York, New York.
RCMC is one
of the only missionary experiences which give participants the ability
to live and work within communities of priests and religious.
Many RCMC missionaries say they particularly benefit from this unique
exposure. Erin McCrory, the national coordinator of RCMC was also
a former missionary. She explains “As a female living with
the consecrated women or for the male missionaries living with
the priest and brothers you see all aspects of their
life, you see their continuous charity not just during work
hours but even after and you get to see first
hand how their commitment to prayer is what fuels it.
Pope John Paul 2 said the world is desperately in
need of authentic examples of Christ, and that is exactly
what this program provides in a very unique way.”
Erin said, that statistically more and
more Catholic youth are opting to take a “gap year”
of service and that the church as a whole is
responding by providing more unique opportunities to do so. This
year RCMC led a collaboration with other national volunteer programs
such as NET, FOCUS, Mission Youth, Generation Life etc., to
highlight these opportunities and produced a promotional DVD for the
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) “that displayed the
many wonderful, opportunities available out there for youth to serve
the church” she said.
to efforts by the RCMC management team, alumni from the
program are now reuniting to remember their experiences.
“We are working to develop communications modes to make this
possible,” said Helen. “Our Atlanta alumni have already organized one
reunion in May 2012 that was very successful.
We hope to hold many more the future.”
Past missionaries can check out the RCMC
Facebook page to see if their service year has
formed an alumni group. Information is also on
the RCMC website.
The current cost of
the program is $7,900, which according to operating team’s research
is one-third the price of similar programs.
“The RCMC year actually costs twice what missionaries
pay to participate,” said Erin. “But thanks to donors who
subsidize the cost, RCMC can offer it for a reduced
price, and we also provide assistance to missionaries with fundraising
for the portion they do have to pay.”
“We are making this a priority so
no young person, as much as possible, is turned away
from this experience because of financial difficulty,” said Fr Martin.
“Without our donors we just couldn’t run this program.”
be made via the RCMC website, at http://rcmissioncorps.org/donate/. Click here for a summary of RCMC costs
and application process. For further information, please contact our National
Office at (248)860-4369 or send an email to Erin@rcmissioncorps.org