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Turn to Jesus (Article)

The Legionaries of Christ arrived to Colombia in 1992, establishing a novitiate in the city of Medellin on March 10th.
YTM missions in Medellin, Columbia, 2004.
YTM missions in Medellin, Columbia, 2004.
Within its first two years, the Legion began developing and expanding, establishing the first groups of Regnum Christi members and founding its first academic institution, "Instituto Cumbres" (The Highlands Institute) in Medellin. Year after year, the Legion has been establishing and advancing apostolates in various cities in Colombia.  There has also been a steady increase in the number of young men from Columbia who wish to become priests in the ranks of the congregation.

The foundation of the Legion of Christ in Colombia began in the capital city of Medellin.

Father Luis Garza Medina, LC, the current vicar general of the congregation, arrived in Medellín on January 8th, 1992, sent to speak with Archbishop Héctor Rueda Fernández and ask about the necessary permissions to establish a Legionary novitiate in the city as well as a family and university ministry center in the city. Archbishop Rueda reviewed the proposal from the Legion with a great deal of interest and with the hope that their apostolic charism would enrich the life of the archdiocese.

A few days later, on January 14th, the canonical licenses for the establishment of the center were granted. The first Legionaries arrived to Medellin on February 15th, and the Legion´s first center in Colombia was inaugurated on March 20th.

Soon thereafter, the first Regnum Christi teams were formed. Two years later, in response to the need for a Catholic school that provided the kind of integral education characteristic of Legionary schools, there was an initiative to found a bilingual school with a strong Catholic identity: the Colegio Cumbres (Highlands School). In February of 1995, the school opened its doors with 134 students in a temporary location under the direction of Miss Fidelma Grealy, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi. Two years later, the school moved to its definitive campus and currently enrolls just over one thousand students.

In February 1997, the Mano Amiga (Helping Hand) school was founded for underprivileged children in the town of Bello. Today it has more than 700 students in grades one through eight.

At the same time that these educational institutions and charities were being founded, the Legion of Christ opened a novitiate and an apostolic school (minor seminary) in the city of Rionegro for young men who wanted to discern a vocation in a supportive and appropriate environment. Thanks to the rich spirituality and religious tradition of the region, this undertaking has continued to thrive, enriching the Legion of Christ with the talent and fervor of vocations from Columbia.

With the objective of forming adults in the faith, the School of the Faith, a catechetical institution, was established. Other apostolic works were also founded, such as ANSPAC, which offers integral formation for working women; Youth and Family Missions, which assists parish priests in the arduous task of evangelization; Hombre Nuevo, which evangelizes through mass media, Angel for a Day, an apostolate that promotes solidarity between youth and those who are less fortunate; "United Family", which spreads the Christian values of marriage and the family; and "Youth Clubs", an apostolate geared toward the integral formation of young people.

The expansion to other cities began with Bogota, the capital, where the first Regnum Christi teams were formed, followed by the founding of the Cumbres (Highlands School) of Bogota. The school currently enrolls almost 200 students from the first to fourth grade. In Bogota, several apostolates for adults, youth, and children are also flourishing. The wave of expansion has taken the Movement to Barranquilla, Cali, Bucaramanga, Manizales, Pereira, and beyond. By God´s grace, the future of the Legion and Regnum Christi in Columbia is extremely hopeful in its support of the Church.

There is still much to do. Contact us and enjoy the experience of taking Christ to others.

Legionarios de Cristo (Legionaries of Christ)
Calle 9AA Sur n 37 - 20
Loma de los Balsos
El Poblado, Medellín

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