|The Turner family.|
October 9, 2010. Seattle, WA. When Annemarie Turner was considering
joining Regnum Christi as a new member last spring, she
felt the need to discern carefully.
“Regardless of the fact that
I was a teacher at a school with holy Legionary
priests, knew Regnum Christi members, and witnessed their faith in
action, I worried nonetheless about whether God wanted me to
commit to this group in light of the changes it
was undergoing,” she said.
She knew about the media’s coverage of
the problems and understood that an apostolic visitation meant changes
were on the way.
But at the same time, she had
seen something special happening at East Lake Academy in Lake
Forest, Illinois, where she was an art teacher and where
her own children were enrolled.
After a long day of teaching,
she would call up her husband or her friends in
tears. But these weren’t the frustrated tears of a new
teacher struggling with her unruly charges. They were tears of
gratitude and amazement. Amidst the ordinary challenges of teaching at
an independent school, she was witnessing God’s action among the
students and faculty
“I would call them up and tell them
about the things I had witnessed in the classrooms and
on the playground, like the teachers who would get down
on a child’s level to lovingly correct a certain behavior…
how that same child, with an absolutely contrite heart, would
apologize to the child he had wronged… and how the
wronged child would say, ‘I forgive you.’”
After her experiences in
another school system, she knew that this was not typical
playground behavior. It was something they were being taught at
the school. The children were learning to be Christian from
faculty, priests, consecrated women, and coworkers who were trying to
reflect the Gospel with their lives.
“We would meet as a
faculty before the children arrived and invoke the Holy Spirit.
We would read and meditate on the Gospel and share
with each other what was coming to our minds. Before
the children even walked in the door, we were centered
on Christ, and focused on those we hoped we would
touch in a meaningful way that day in our teaching
vocations,” she said.
Her first Mass with the school community was
“It was absolutely incredible. The children were singing!
They were engaged! They were there! They understood the sacredness
of the Mass!”
She was amazed at the respectful and
reverent manners of the children, and at their knowledgeable responses
to Father Matthew’s questions during the homily.
“I had never
seen this before at a school. They not only knew
their faith, but loved their faith.”
She had the same sense
of amazement when she saw them line up for confession.
The children were actually eager to receive the sacrament.
that something very beautiful was happening here.”
Taking it to prayer
was this sense of wonder at God’s work in the
children that first led her to start thinking about joining
“I asked Fr Matthew Kaderabek a lot of
questions and he gave me a lot of beautiful answers.
His responses to my questions about the Movement were like
those of a family member speaking about loved ones,” she
said. “I told him that I wondered if God was
gently nudging me in the direction of a deeper prayer
life and a deeper commitment to Christ and Our Blessed
Mother through Regnum Christi.”
Fr Matthew suggested that she take it
to prayer, so she did.
In front of the Blessed Sacrament,
she asked for answers. “What, Lord, will you have me
One clear answer came back to her heart again and
Solidarity. Stand together.
“I remember that it suddenly became very clear
to me. It was also so very simple. I felt
like God was saying to me, ‘You see that something
very beautiful is happening here? You are thankful for what
you have witnessed? Go, be a part of it.’”
was how a gentle nudge became something much more,” she
In the end, what brought her to the Regnum Christi
Movement was thankfulness.
“I was profoundly impacted by the uniqueness
of this little school. I felt that God had given
our family a very special gift,” she said.
summer, she and her family relocated to Seattle, where they
now attend Emerald Heights Academy, another independent school that uses
the Legion’s method of integral formation.
“I have brought my
commitment to Regnum Christi with me here to Seattle and
I know most certainly that it has helped in our
transition to another state. My commitment to Regnum Christi has
strengthened me. It has sustained me.”
“I am tremendously thankful to
God for leading me to Regnum Christi and though I
am only a new member, I feel it transforming me
daily and I love it more and more each day. I
recognize, very certainly, that something very beautiful is happening here!”