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Turn to Jesus (Article)

El Salvador
The growth of the Movement in El Salvador began in 1991 with a single married couple who wanted to share a spirituality that had helped them to grow as Christians and as apostles. From that single seed, Regnum Christi has begun to grow in many fields.
In 1991 a Regnum Christi married couple moved to El Salvador for work reasons, and as they got to know the El Salvadorian people, they wanted to share the Movement’s spirituality and apostolic work with them. And so, in 1992, they gathered a group of friends and acquaintances, which in 1993 was joined by the first team of youth. In an almost spontaneous way, the first Regnum Christi women’s team was established in 1994.

In 1994, they also began offering marriage renewal retreats directed by Legionary priests. Some men also began to want to get together in Regnum Christi teams. In 1995, the first major apostolate was founded: Full-time Evangelizers, with the blessing of the bishops of San Salvador and Zacatecoluca. The full-time evangelizers currently serve the Church in half of the country’s dioceses.

In 1996, Regnum Christi participated in the logistical organization of the Pope’s visit to El Salvador. In addition, the School of the Faith was founded that same year to offer Catholic formation faithful to the Church’s magisterium. In Holy Week, the first group of young women traveled to Mexico to participate in an evangelization Megamission. Also in that same year, the first ECYD boys’ club was founded as the “Eagles Club”.

In 1997, with the support of the men’s section, the apostolate JUPES was founded on the inspiration and initiative of Regnum Christi members. Some young people successfully organized a congress which more than 1,000 youth attended.

In 1998, two more apostolates rose up to cover new fields of action: the human formation of women, through ANSPAC and the formation of families through Familia Unida (United Family). A large delegation of youth from El Salvador also went to Mexico to participate in the Megamission.
In May, a group of Regnum Christi members participated in the Meeting of Ecclesial Movements held in Rome with John Paul II, thus giving witness to one of the characteristic traits of our spirituality: love for the Pope. 

The first three co-workers from El Salvador offered a year of their lives to Christ and the Church in the Movement. During the same year, the School of the Faith began to give courses for religious sisters from various orders. These courses have been given every year, with the bishop’s permission.

In 1999 the first local evangelization Holy Week Mission was held with El Salvadorean youth. On this occasion, an enthusiastic group of missionaries came from Mexico to accompany them on the mission. The second JUPES Congress was also held.

A new apostolate was launched to promote values among the youth of El Salvador: Youth Against the Current (JOCCO). It was very successful and has been duplicated and adapted to promote values among younger teens and kids as well.

At the same time, the Movement members acted to respond to the scandalous health needs among the country’s poor. Following the Pope’s guideline, they carried out the first Medical Mission in coordination with Regnum Christi members from the United States. From then on, the Medical Mission has been organized every year. The volunteer doctors attend up to 600 personas each day and carry out 60 surgeries every day.

A delegation from El Salvador represented Central America in the Youth and Family Encounter in Atlanta that same year. Another important achievement from that year was the purchase of the first Movement center: the headquarters of the Eagles Club.

In the year 2000, the expansion and development of the Regnum Christi sections and apostolates continued. In the month of December, pilgrims from El Salvador went to Rome to participate in the Youth and Family Encounter on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Legion of Christ, right at the close of the Jubilee Year.

Also in that year, the third JUPES congress was held, surpassing the number of participants from the previous two years and filling the hall of a major conference center, the International Fair.
In the year 2001, Movement members responded to the damages caused by the earthquakes by carrying out the “Solidarity Saturday” campaigns, distributing food, clothes, and basic necessities with the help of the evangelizers.

From their contact with the most needy, and to institutionalize the help of many of the poorest families of El Salvador, the city development center, CIDECO, was established. CIDECO stands for Integral Center for Community Development.

In the year 2002, a group of 8 married couples decided to organize a mission during Holy Week by adopting a community. Thus, Family Missions were founded in El Salvador. For their part, university students who wanted to help their country through the “Making Dreams Come True" program founded a new apostolate called VIA (Volunteers in Action) which then launched 3 projects to help children, supported by a group of 60 committed volunteers.

2003 was a year of singular importance for the Movement in Central America, since two schools were founded. In CIDECO, the Mano Amiga school began to operate, contributing to the integral formation of many children who could never otherwise have had access to a quality education. On the other hand, the Highlands School was also founded. Today, Regnum Christi has a very promising educational apostolate in the field of education in El Salvador. 

In this year, the first stage of CIDECO was publicly inaugurated in the presence of government and ecclesiastical authorities. With this event, Regnum Christi jumped into the national eye. Some months later, after Father Juan Rivas, LC visited, the Hombre Nuevo (“New Man”) radio program was established in El Salvador.

Another step forward was taken with the foundation of LOGOS, an apostolate that exists to serve diocesan priests. Its first activity in El Salvador consisted in offering scholarships for three priests to attend spiritual exercises in Mexico.

The growth of the Movement in El Salvador began with a single couple who wanted to share a spirituality that had helped them to grow as Christians and as apostles. From that single seed, Regnum Christi has begun to grow in many fields, bringing spiritual and material blessings to a wide range of people, most notably in the apostolates of evangelization, youth work, and education


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