Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Gina Chavez, New General Secretary for the Regnum Christi Federation

Gina Chávez is originally from Mexico City, and she has been a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi for 21 years. On July 13, 2022, she was appointed by the Regnum Christi General Directive College to be the General Secretary of the Regnum Christi Federation for the next  three years.

But who is Gina Chávez? To get to know her a little more, we asked her to share with us something about her life with us, her experiences, and her expectations of this new assignment in Regnum Christi.

 

  1. Gina, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, where you’re from.

I’m from Mexico City, the oldest of 6 siblings: 3 boys and 3 girls. I come from a very close-knit, fun, loving family where I have known and experienced God, walked with our Lady, and also practiced and shared the faith with my extended family of many uncles and cousins. In a particular way, in my first communion and as an ECYD member I discovered the gift of friendship with Jesus Christ that captivated and made me fall in love with him ever since.

I went to Oxford College in Mexico City. I have always loved being active, playing ball, shot put, javelin, and discus throw, but mainly volleyball and basketball. I love and enjoy nature and music very much. In all of this I have met people whom I admire and thank for their closeness, perseverance, and everything they have taught me “on and off the court,” these are friendships that I still have today.

  1. How did you meet Regnum Christi? And what has been your path within Regnum Christi?

I entered Oxford College and studied there until I finished high school. In 6th grade I met ECYD and made my promise of friendship to Christ. The experience of friendship with the girls, the team leader, and the consecrated women, especially their relationship with Christ and the joy they lived caught my attention; through them and the Eucharist, I knew and experienced Christ as a friend and his great love for me. His words, “there is no greater love than for one to give up  his life for friends,” touched my life deeply and I could say that it was what invited me to give my life as well.

I was an ECYD team leader, an ECYD Missionary, and I participated in Holy Week Missions. I joined Regnum Christi in high school and on August 22, 2001, I consecrated my life to the Lord in Regnum Christi.

  1. God called and at some point you felt the desire to consecrate yourself. How many years have you been consecrated and where have you been?

I was 21 years old. I did my initial training in Rhode Island, in the United States. I lived there for five more years working with ECYD and its apostolates at the national level: supporting the sections, offering training to lay formators, directors, and future ECYD missionaries; beautiful work during which I came to know many of the cities where there was ECYD in the United States, those with a community of Consecrated Women, or with lay people who were very committed and dedicated to working with adolescents.

In 2010, I came to Washington, D.C. to work in ECYD locally; there were many clubs in parishes in Maryland and Virginia that were run by Regnum Christi members. I also participated in parish life as an extraordinary eucharistic minister, catechist, and softball coach for the parish school’s 2nd grade team. Thanks to the close relationship and trust of the Legionaries, I collaborated in the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, today Divine Mercy University, managing several projects.

In 2013, I returned to the Formation Center in Rhode Island, Mater Ecclesiae College, as part of the institutional development team and regularly visited Philadephia. In 2015, I worked on the closure of the Formation Center and the communication that all this entailed, as well as the move of Overbrook Academy  to those facilities.

I arrived in Mexico in the summer of 2015 to collaborate in the national direction of the Mano Amiga Schools. From 2018 onwards,  I was entrusted with the direction of the institutional communication of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi in Mexico, for a while I did both this and my work with Mano Amiga, and then switched to full-time since January 2019, as well as other work supporting some projects of the Territorial Directorate, and recently with our General Directorate.

 

  1. You mentioned your years working in Mano Amiga, what has those years of work in Mano Amiga meant to you? What message does Mano Amiga have for Regnum Christi, from your experience?

As I mentioned before, I came to Mano Amiga in 2015 with the aim of publicizing the precious and noble work of Mano Amiga does for children and young people with fewer opportunities both in Regnum Christi sections and schools, as well to as foundations, corporations, and people who are convinced that education has a profound impact on people’s lives, families, and the country.

I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with extraordinary people in organizations such as Junior Achievement Mexico, the Las Vegas Raiders and Jack del Rio Foundation, the Anahuac Querétaro and Cancun Universities, the CECVAC, the Torreón Summits, the Mexico Summits , the sections of Regnum Christi in León and Monterrey, among others, and  to encourage innovation and social commitment benefitting those who have fewer opportunities. I can say that this experience and contact with so many people with a strong desire to do good continues to have a transformative impact on my life.

  1. You have been asked to work on something new for you: to be General Secretary of Regnum Christi. How do you understand this mission and how do you see your role in this new part of your life?

The mission of Regnum Christi is vast and exciting. I am excited to discover the work and opportunities that will arise in helping the General Directive College to carry out this mission, as well as helping the areas and commissions that make up the General Directorate serve effectively so that Christ reigns in and through Regnum Christi.

  1. In these past three years since the Regnum Christi Federation was established, what do you think are the most valuable lessons? What would you like to contribute to the general government of Regnum Christi?

We have lived through difficult years in many ways, as well as living all the implications of being a true spiritual family. It seems to me that these years as a Federation manifest the deep desire we have to follow Christ in the charism that he has given us, and they reveal to us the gift that each vocation offers to Regnum Christi’s mission, more than the sum of the parts, each truly complementary.

A few quick questions…

  • Are you familiar with Italy? I have had the opportunity to work in Italy on several occasions in the last 15 months, along with a little bit of tourism; I also visited in 2004 and in 2012 for the priestly ordinations of the Legionaries of Christ.
  • What is your favorite food? I like everything, especially when sharing it with friends and good company.
  • Last book you read? The Big Five for Life by John Strelecky.  A very good book that combines the life’s meaning and motivations with organizational culture and the impact that someone can have.
  • You have a day off…where would you like to go? I really like to play team sports, spend time in nature, discover new places, and chat.  In this sense, I’m really excited about Rome.
  • Favorite saint? John the Evangelist.
  • Favorite Gospel passage to ponder? It is difficult to choose just one: “God loved the world so much that he gave up his only Son…”  (John 3:16), and the episode in Bethany (John 11).

Gina Chavez

  • From preschool through high school she attended The Oxford Mexico School, where she met the Consecrated Women. She joined ECYD in sixth grade, was an ECYD Missionary and joined RC. She consecrated her life to the Lord in Regnum Christi on August 22, 2001.
  • She has a degree in Education and Development from the Universidad Anáhuac México (north campus) and a master’s degree in Strategic Human Capital Management from the same university (south campus).
  • She has diplomas in managerial skills from the Anahuac Online University, leadership in social innovation from the Philanthropy Institute and in Catechetics from the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization, among others.
  • She has carried out her work in the United States and Mexico. In the United States she had experience in the formation of young people and adults, working in ECYD and its different programs and apostolates at the national level, as well as in directing ECYD in Washington, DC, as well as working in the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (today Divine Mercy University). In Mexico she worked in the national office of Mano Amiga, promoting the schools in Regnum Christi, as well in as alliances with foundations and corporations.
  • Currently, she is Director of Institutional Communication for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi in Mexico; she is a member of the National Coordination Team of Together for Mexico, and collaborates in strategic projects for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi.
  • Among her favorite recreational activities are sports, music, exploring nature, and good friendships.

 

*In the cover photo, Gina is the third, from left to right.

 

translated from the original Spanish

 

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