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Turn to Jesus (Article)

The Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement were established in Brazil in 1985 and have grown at a fast pace since then. They currently have a novitiate, three apostolic schools and a seminary for the formation of diocesan priests.
Since the 1970s, various bishops from Brazil had been asking the Legionaries to found in their country: they offered seminaries, parishes, chaplaincies, and they backed up many of their petitions with recommendations from nuncios such as Archbishops Rocco and Furno, who urged them to consider the future that Brazil would offer to the Church. But the Legion did not yet have the resources to meet those needs. 

In the early 1980s, various Legionary priests began learning Portuguese in preparation for a future foundation in Brazil.

On July 25, 1985, the congregation´s first Brazilian house was founded in Rio de Janeiro. Cardinal D. Eugenio de Araujo Sales welcomed the Legion with open arms. In May of 1986 the Legionaries founded a community in Ponta Grossa, and on March 10 of 1987, they founded their novitiate in Curitiba. Other foundations soon followed. The first was in Porto Alegre, RS.

On August 19, 1991, the recently named Metropolitan Archbishop, Dom Altamira Rossato, CSSR gave his permission for the foundation of a center for apostolate within his Archdiocese. This center was established in early 1992 with Fathers Arturo Díaz, Salvador M. Calderón and Guillermo Ortega LLCC.

In 1993, Fr. Héctor Manuel Gómez Preciado and Br. José Luis Laris (now a parish priest in Brasilia) established a center in the city of Belo Horizonte, working apostolically in the local Catholic university. In 1995, the community of Brasilia was founded. Immediately, arrangements were made to be able to follow through on the initiative of Cardinal José Freire Falcão, who had asked the Legion to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in that city. This shrine was inaugurated on December 12 of 1999 and today also functions as a parish. Since then, Legionary seminaries were established in Curitiba 1997, São Paulo 1998, and Porto Alegre 1999. In the year 2000, at the request of numerous Brazilian bishops, the Legion of Christ founded the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Seminary for the formation of diocesan priests, provisionally located in the novitiate of the congregation in Sao Paulo. In August of 2005 the seminary was moved to its definitive campus. It currently has more than 130 seminarians studying their propedeutic year and their courses of philosophy and theology. In the year 2006, the first 24 seminarians were ordained and a notable increase of students is expected in the next few years.

Since their arrival to Brazil, the Legionaries also established the Regnum Christi apostolic movement in accordance with their charism and with the consent and blessing of the bishops in the various cities. In the past few years it has grown considerably and has extended to other cities of the country: Fortaleza, Recife, Campinas, Junjai, Joinville, Caxias, Bagé, Pelotas, and Ijuí. At present, these cities do not yet have Legionary communities stationed there. In the past few years, the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi apostolic movement have developed their apostolates. There are schools in Río de Janeiro and Curitiba, and the first Mano Amiga school (for the underprivileged) was opened in Sao Paulo in 2006.

The youth apostolates include Gente Nueva, Soñar despierto (Making Dreams Come True), and Gaudium. Apostolates for families include Family Mission and the Pilgrim Virgin. In the area of evangelization, there is Youth for the Third Millennium, School of the Faith, and a catechetical program called Catequese Bom Pastor. In the area of social work with the disadvantaged, the outstanding apostolates are Tertio Millennio and Helping Hands Medical Mission, ANSPAC, and "Estenda sua mão" (Extend Your Hand). In addition, there is a widespread network of NET and CYWN clubs for children and adolescents.

To contact us:
Legionarios de Cristo
Rua Puréus, 912 Jd.
Guedala -Morumbi 05610-001 Sao Paulo - SP - Brazil

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