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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Confirmed and Renewed in Faith
An interview with Fr. Deomar de Guedes, LC about the Year of Faith


The Year of the Faith, convoked by Pope Benedict XVI, will begin on October 11. Fr. Deomar de Guedes, LC, a member of the General Council, offers some suggestions regarding how to live this year. 

You recently accepted the role of helping the General Director to oversee Regnum Christi and its apostolates.  What guidelines do Fr. Alvaro and his council plan to offer in order to live the Year of the Faith?

The Year of the Faith responds to a need that all Catholics have of being confirmed and renewed in our faith. In the letter with which he convoked the Year of the Faith, Porta Fidei, the Pope invites us to remember that the love of Christ should fill our hearts. It should be the motor that moves us to evangelize a world that sometimes behaves as if God did not exist. For that reason, this year is an opportunity for all of us Catholics to bear witness to our faith in a credible way. We should do that not just by announcing and spreading the contents of the faith, but as well, by acting in a way that corresponds to the Gospel in which we believe. If all members of Regnum Christi and all Legionaries truly seek to encounter Christ, I think that we will be able to renew our missionary zeal. I truly hope that we will all see this year as
an opportunity to evangelize more enthusiastically, seeking to make Christ’s message reach people’s minds and hearts. 

As well, the Pope has shown a special interest in catechesis. We should ask ourselves how we are forming people in the faith in families, in schools and universities, and in all the apostolic activities we carry out, and act in accordance. It seems to me that two activities that we should give priority during this year are collaborating in the catechesis offered in parishes, and missions. In his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul II said, “Faith is strengthened when it is given to others.” This is as true today as ever

Does Regnum Christi have any activities planned for the Year of the Faith? 

I think that the most important thing is that Legionaries and Regnum Christi members get on board with the different activities that are being organized in their dioceses and parishes, and that they renew their awareness of being teachers of the faith in their ordinary lives. Furthermore, in July 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will meet with young people in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. The General Director and his council would like to see many young people participate in this profound experience of faith and of the Church.

In Rome, the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is organizing an international conference on ecclesial movements and their contribution to the spreading of the faith and faith formation. This congress is in response to a proposal made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its note with pastoral indications. The Athenaeum is committed to theological and pastoral reflection on this topic.  It hopes to bring Regnum Christi members from various countries and with different backgrounds together with theologians, pastoral workers, and members of other ecclesial realities that are committed to the New Evangelization. The congress will take place from May 15 – 18 in order to correspond to the Pope’s meeting with movements in Rome at Pentecost. I feel that this event could be very advantageous for the process of renewal that we are living, since we need to share experiences, delve into theological reflection and pray together. I sincerely hope that the congress will shed light on our identity and mission so that they will be founded on truth and charity, and firmly planted on the rock of Peter, which confirms us in the faith. 

What activities are planned for the congress about movements?

There will be round table discussions and
testimonies in which various themes will be addressed, such as the role of women in the Church, evangelization, apostolates for children and young people, teaching the faith in the family, the role of schools and universities in forming solid Catholics who can confront the challenges of the postmodern world, and other topics that will soon be posted on the Athenaeum’s website. There will also be lectures by a number of cardinals, bishops, members of other movements, as well as some Legionaries, consecrated members, and married couples of Regnum Christi.  The Athenaeum’s chaplaincy will be organizing a missionary night in Trastevere as a powerful moment to teach the faith to young people. Of course, we will also participate in the events with the Holy Father. 

What do you, personally, hope for from this congress?

I think that the topics proposed apply to movements in general, but also have a special meaning for Regnum Christi in particular. We hope to reflect deeply and stimulate dialogue about the identity of Regnum Christi as an ecclesial movement that ardently seeks to extend the Kingdom of Christ in society. It will be an opportunity to reflect on the mission of the consecrated members of Regnum Christi and to share apostolic experiences. It will also help us to find ways of maturing in our integration into local churches. We already do this, but we have room to grow in our spirituality of communion.  Furthermore, it will help us reflect on ways of collaborating with other ecclesial realities, and to continue the process of conversion, formation and apostolic work of lay people. I think that from constructive dialogue and the acts of the congress, we will be able to draw precious material that will help us make decisions and that will push us to take advantage of the talents that the Holy Spirit has placed in our charism to serve the Church.

What other initiatives can families, Legionary communities, and Regnum Christi teams undertake to live the Year of Faith enthusiastically?

I feel that the most important thing is to come to know Christ more deeply, in Sacred Scripture and in the Liturgy, especially in the Eucharist. We should redouble our personal commitment to live out what we profess in faith and charity. After all, faith without works is dead. Let’s love our brothers and sisters and be witnesses of love, forgiveness and mercy. Let’s step up to help people in need. You can also read the Catechism of the Catholic Church or YouCat and the documents of Vatican II. The Regnum Christi website will offer materials for the Year of Faith. You can also visit the site prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization for the Year of Faith. I would also like to invite everyone to get involved with the activities organized by their own dioceses, parishes, territories and localities. The Legionaries and Regnum Christi members who work in our schools can take advantage of religion classes to foster enthusiasm for the faith. Each and every one of us can become one more light that bears witness to the power of love.




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