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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Time of Renewal
A group of Legionary priests share 2 months of spiritual growth and formation in Mexico

Legionary Renewal Event
Twenty three Legionaries participate in two-month renewal course

Amecameca, Mexico – Twenty-three Legionary priests participated in a “spiritual renewal” this summer.  

The renewal took place from June 6 – August 6, 2012 in Amecameca, Mexico, and is the first that has taken place since 2009. The priests, who stayed in a retreat center in Amecameca, were assisted by a team of coordinators led by Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC. 

These courses are held periodically to help continue the process of maturity and formation of a “priestly personality,” which for Legionary priests, begins in the novitiate or a vocational school. 

In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul reminds us to "rekindle the gift of God that is within you" (2 Tim 1:6). The apostolic exhortation from Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis, cites this passage as a call for the ongoing formation of priests; a call to rekindle the gift they have received “in the sense of welcoming it and living it out without ever losing, or forgetting, that ‘permanent novelty’ which is characteristic of every gift from God, who makes all things new” (#70).  

According to the Legion’s Constitutions, the spiritual renewal is time to pause and “reflect, in the light
 A moment of prayer
A moment of prayer in the chapel
of faith and in view of their religious and priestly experience, in an atmosphere of silence and interior freedom, free from the pressures of apostolic activity on the fundamental truths of Christianity and of life, on the commitments they contracted as souls Consecrated to God, on their fidelity to those commitments and on the effort each Legionary must make so that the Legion will accomplish the mission God entrusted to it at the service of the Church and of humanity” (cf. #176). The Constitutions also say that this is a time for priests to renew their physical and spiritual energy, in order to strengthen their apostolic zeal in God’s service. 

The renewal process began with spiritual exercises preached by Fr. Donal Clancy, LC. One of the priests who participated said that this was a time of “a dialogue of friendship with God, with no rush and without concerns…Together with Him, we have renewed our own prayer life.” 

Just as they did in the novitiate, the priests had plenty of time to spend with Christ through daily Eucharistic adoration, evening prayer, and spiritual reading, along with many visits in prayer to the Virgin Mary. They were also able to devote ample time to studying Christian spirituality, and had daily explanations on themes regarding religious life in terms of their priesthood in the Legion. This generated dialogue and sharing of personal experiences. 

Following schedules similar to those of the novitiate, the priests also had time for work and sports. They
An outing
An outing to the Paso de Cortés mountain pass
participated in community outings on Thursdays, including one to the Paso de Cortés, a mountain pass between the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes. They also supported the parish priest of Amecameca by administering the sacraments. 

All of the priests left renewed in their missions.  One commented that the 2 months were “a return to the habit of fruitful union with God as the soul of all our priesthood and apostolate.”



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