Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

3 years of the Regnum Christi Federation: God’s Plan for a Shared Spirituality and Mission

On May 31, 2022,  the day on which the Church commemorates the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin St. Elizabeth, the Regnum Christi Federation celebrates the third anniversary of its official recognition and the approval of its Statutes by the Holy See.

With this act on May 31, 2019, the Church affirmed the existence of Regnum Christi as a pontifically recognized spiritual family with a common charism and mission that is lived among the different vocations that compose it.  In its letter of September 17, 2019, the first General Directive College commented that, “We cannot separate the charismatic reality of Regnum Christi from its organizational or legal dimension. This Federation, which is being born juridically, is the form that all of us, with the approval of the Holy See, assume to help us to better live our identity as a spiritual family and apostolic body.”

With the pontifical approval of May 31, 2019, the Church recognized Regnum Christi as a path in her heart for people to meet God. In the same act, the Church endowed it with a juridical structure in the form of a “federation”, as a secure way to both preserve the charism and to allow it to grow spiritually, apostolically, and in communion. That is why Bishop José Rodríguez Carballo said that the Regnum Christi Federation is, above all, a “structure of communion” (Letter of May 31, 2019) that gives juridical expression, and therefore a concrete and tangible reality, to “the unity and fraternal communion of the components of the spiritual family” (Decree of canonical approval,  May 31, 2019). In this way, pontifical approval strengthened the moral unity, shared spirituality, and communion in mission that already existed, but which lacked adequate legal support.

Regnum Christi finds in its Statutes, approved on the same day, the written expression that gives its members the necessary guidance to be able to correspond to the personal vocation they have received from God, whether as a lay person, Consecrated Woman, Lay Consecrated Man, or Legionary of Christ. It is a guide for all that illuminates this walk we embark on together as a spiritual family. The prayerful reading of the statutes is a constant reminder of the need to continue deepening and living the charism of Regnum Christi, which naturally bears fruit in works of evangelization that give witness to the beauty of the apostolic dimension of the Christian life, the joy of the call to be apostles, and the continuation of the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ on this earth.

Pope Francis reminded the members of Regnum Christi of all vocations that: “the path must continue, looking forward, not backward. You can only look back to find confidence in God’s support, which you have never lacked” (address of February 29, 2020). Through the Regnum Christi Federation, the entire spiritual family – all priests and brothers, consecrated women, lay consecrated men and laity – has the ability to look forward together and build the path that God asks of them.

Below, the General Directive College offers its perspective on what this third anniversary means for each of them:

Félix Gómez Rueda

Member of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi — General Director of the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi

On May 31, 2019, the Regnum Christi Federation received Pontifical approval, which confirms us as a gift from God to the Church and the world. To what extent does this illuminate your vocation as a lay consecrated man in Regnum Christi?


Lay Consecrated Men can only conceive of ourselves within Regnum Christi. In our Regulations (RLCRC 2) we wanted to make it clear that our identity has an inalienable dimension of being within Regnum Christi, seeking to reflect our belonging to it in everything we do.  This day represented an opportunity to take up the decree of approval, and to rediscover in it the profound motivations of the creation of the federation as a common canonical entity: “in view of caring for, deepening, and promoting the common charism; of encouraging collaboration in the apostolate; and of having a common canonical structure that expresses the unity and fraternal communion of the components of the spiritual family.”

What value have you discovered in the collegial exercise of authority during this time?

The synodal journey the whole Church is reflecting on right now confirms us in the purpose of collaborating and coordinating among ourselves to govern together what belongs to all of us. Regnum Christi is a reality that embraces us all. We recognize it as God’s will that we live in communion, union, and charity among ourselves (EFRC 6). Governing together implies dialogue, it asks us to understand each other and to yield. It requires purifying one’s vision and seeking together what God wants and what is best for all. It can be a tiring path sometimes, but no less demanding than pretending to advance in solitude. God blesses us and he himself guides us.

Why celebrate the pontifical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation?

Because it reflects who we are. Because the “federation” is not a mere juridical structure but an expression of the unity and communion between us.

Fr. John Connor, LC

Member of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi — General Director of the Legionaries of Christ

On May 31, 2019, the Regnum Christi Federation received Pontifical approval, which confirms us as a gift from God to the Church and the world. To what extent does this illuminate your vocation as a Legionary of Christ in Regnum Christi?

The extension of the Kingdom of Christ is the purpose of my Legionary priesthood. Through this approval God confirms me in this purpose and this mission. I believe God wants us to share this gift to help the Church evangelize this world today and help many people encounter Christ on the path of holiness.

What value have you discovered in the collegial exercise of authority during this time?

The value I have found in collegial government is the importance of mutual trust. When there is trust and respect for everyone at the table, there are no issues that cannot be addressed and we can govern effectively for the good of the mission and the spiritual family.

Why celebrate the pontifical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation?

Celebrating the approval of the Regnum Christi Federation is like celebrating a birthday. It is a healthy tradition that helps us remember and thank God for the gift of Regnum Christi in our lives. It also reminds us of our responsibility to share this gift with others who also long for a profound encounter with Jesus Christ.

Nancy Nohrden

Member of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi — General Director of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi

On May 31, 2019, the Regnum Christi Federation received Pontifical approval, which confirms us as a gift from God to the Church and the world. To what extent does this illuminate your vocation as a Consecrated Woman in Regnum Christi?

With canonical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation , God says “yes” to Regnum Christi through our Holy Mother Church, a “yes” that affirms our divine origin and also our way of existing: as a spiritual family and an apostolic body—several different vocations united in a common mission. Our particular contribution as Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi is complemented when we join forces with the other vocations to form and launch apostles in today’s world.

What value have you discovered in the collegial exercise of authority during this time?

Collegial government offers us many opportunities to grow in deep listening to one another and to discover in this listening the voice of the Holy Spirit working among all, and uniting us in our service to the Kingdom. I believe that this way of working reflects a path of synodality that the Church is inviting us to assimilate and live in the first person.

Why celebrate the pontifical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation?

The anniversary of canonical approval not only reminds us of the particular day the approval was granted, but also of everything we experienced in the years prior to the approval. Years of searching for the Lord and his will, for a purer expression of the charism, for rediscovering the beauty of the mission that we share. All of this is to be celebrated!

Francisco Gámez-Arcaya

Lay Member of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi

On May 31, 2019, the Regnum Christi Federation received Pontifical approval, which confirms us as a gift from God to the Church and the world. To what extent does this fact illuminate your vocation as a lay person in Regnum Christi?

Having the confirmation of the Church, which has acted as a true mother in this whole process of renewal that we have lived, confirms to me that through the experience of our common charism, in my case as a lay person, it is possible to achieve holiness. In addition, with this approval we close a cycle of common discernment that has enriched us all, especially the lay members of Regnum Christi, because it has allowed us to discover the immense value of our vocation, making us much more co-responsible in the mission and life of Regnum Christi. Finally, the approval of the Federation gives us all the canonical atmosphere that expresses the charismatic fullness of Regnum Christi, where the four vocations, in communion and in listening to the Spirit, live the common charism to make Christ present in the world.

What value have you discovered in the collegial exercise of authority during this time?

The collegial exercise of authority demands communion and co-responsibility. While a single, personal authority may be simpler and more efficient, collegiality shows the beauty of everyone’s common love for Regnum Christi and for the mission God has charged us to carry out in communion.

Why celebrate the pontifical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation?

To celebrate the approval of the Federation is to celebrate the gift that Regnum Christi is to us. The Federation is not a mere legal bond or one minor reality within the whole. The Federation is the full expression of Regnum Christi that is united by the grace of God around a common charism that has been given to us. The common spiritual patrimony, synthesized in the Statutes, is the foundation of the spirituality of the Kingdom and shows us the call, and the way to which we must respond to this call, to make Christ present in the hearts of all people and thus fulfill the mission that God asks of us.

Álvaro Abellán-García

Lay Member of the General Directive College of Regnum Christi

On May 31, 2019, the Regnum Christi Federation received Pontifical approval, which confirms us as a gift from God to the Church and the world. To what extent does this fact illuminate your vocation as a lay person in Regnum Christi?

The Church, during Regnum Christi’s journey of renewal, exhorted the laity to discern their relationship with the charism of Regnum Christi. This reflection culminated in the canonical approval of the Federation, the first juridical recognition of the participation and co-responsibility of all the vocations of Regnum Christi in a common charism, spirituality, and mission.

What value have you discovered in the collegial exercise of authority during this time?

Collegiality expresses a unique way of living communion, in which we force ourselves to listen to different voices and points of view as well as to all of the diferent vocations. This allows us to deeply appreciate the gift that each vocation and each person brings to the discernment of reality. Sometimes it may take time to achieve this understanding, but it allows for mature and prudent decisions. It is an opportunity to treat each other as co-responsible brothers in the common charism and mission.

Why celebrate the pontifical approval of the Regnum Christi Federation?

It is worth remembering that we were dead, and we were resurrected. Regnum Christi was about to disappear because of the scandals of the founder and how all of that affected the government and the structures of our institutions. From the hand of the Church, which accompanied us on a very deep and very participatory path of discernment and purification, we received the pontifical approval of Regnum Christi as a spiritual family and an apostolic body and, with it, new life according to new “rules of the game.” So as I think of the Federation’s approval, the psalm comes to mind: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Ps 126).

 

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