Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

“I Would Go Back in a Heartbeat!”: Living the Charism of Regnum Christi through RC Mission Corps

What better way to learn and live the charism of Regnum Christi than to spend an entire year dedicated to doing just that?

For Lisa Small, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christ, RC Mission Corps provides the perfect opportunity for young people to live, completely undivided, a year for Christ within the Regnum Christi spirituality and charism. She and Father Jaime Lorenzo, LC, serve as the National Formation Directors of the RC Mission Corps, working with a team of other Consecrated Women, Legionary priests, and former RC missionaries, to foster the Regnum Christi identity in the lives of the young people who have been called to give a year of their life to mission. This year, RC Mission Corps consists of 21 young men and women across seven localities, including the Philippines, who will spend the year experiencing team life, in-depth spiritual formation and prayer life, full-time apostolic work, and the support of personal accompaniment.

Ashley Huss is one RC Mission Corps alumna who was first introduced to the idea of spending a year of her life as a missionary when a few ECYD missionaries had come to town while she was in seventh grade. After meeting the missionaries, Ashley distinctly remembers telling her mom, “I want to be a missionary some day!”, and it was a desire she never forgot; throughout high school that call to mission continued to grow and mature as she herself did. Amidst the pressure to apply for college and make long-term plans for her life, future, and career, Ashley continually turned back to her initial call to serve Christ through RC Mission Corps.

“I always went back to my seventh grade self who had encountered those missionaries,” says Ashley. “I used to watch the RC Mission Corps promo video over and over again, trying to picture myself as one of them. I’d ask myself, “Could I do that?”, and the answer the Lord gave me was “Yes,” time and time again.”

Following that call that had been cultivated in her for several years, Ashley joined the RC Mission Corps in Washington, DC, in 2014, immediately after graduating high school. And the experience of being a missionary lived up to all her hopes and expectations; in fact, she enjoyed her first year so much, she decided to stay on for a second year.

“I loved and savored every moment of being a missionary,” says Ashley. “God was so good to me.” Throughout her two years in RC Mission Corps, Ashley grew in her awareness of God’s hand working in her life, established a consistent prayer life, and developed a thirst for a deeper and more integrated spiritual life. By spending time in daily prayer, adoration, and spiritual reading, as well as by experiencing the  accompaniment and friendship of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Ashely developed a zealous faith that she became eager to share. Her participation in the active apostolic life of an RC Missionary led Ashley to discern the call to youth ministry.

Immediately after serving as a missionary in Washington, in 2016 Ashely was hired as a full-time Youth Minister, and has been working in parish life ever since. While working in the parish, Ashley obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and recently became a full-time seventh and eighth grade teacher at a Catholic school in Napa, California, where she teaches theology, pre-algebra, and science. She also continues to coordinate the weekly youth group at her parish. And Ashley’s experience with RC Mission Corps continues to shape and inform her work both as a teacher and as a youth coordinator:

“As a missionary, I loved working with the teens in the youth groups we participated in, and teaching Confirmation. My love for catechesis and leading teens to Christ is continuing to be molded and shaped as I find God’s will for my life. I continue to share stories from my missionary year with my students and friends on a regular basis. I wouldn’t trade the time I spent as a missionary for anything, and I would go back in a heartbeat!”

And for Lisa Small, Ashley’s experience is what she hopes for all the RC missionaries who pass through the RC Mission Corps program, that the seed of faith and mission planted during their mission year continues to grow and bear fruit throughout their lives. Indeed, RC Mission Corps missionaries have gone on to serve their parishes and communities through faith-filled initiatives, like founding campus accompaniment programs and diocesan-wide apostolates, and serving in parish ministries. “My hopes for the program is that the missionaries continue to become the saints that God is calling them to be in their vocation and state of life, to get to know themselves better within their beautiful identity in Christ, and then to be able to live the fullness of the Regnum Christi charism and share that with others,” says Lisa.

If you are interested in bringing a group of missionaries to your locality next year, would like the team to help host an event such as a retreat or mission, or to find out more about the RC Mission Corps program, visit their website at rcmissioncorps.org. To meet the 2021-2022 RC Mission Corps missionaries, visit Meet The Missionaries. And you can read more about Lisa’s own experience with RC Mission Corps at RC Mission Corps: A Year-Long Mission That Lasts a Lifetime.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a missionary next year, check out the application and nomination forms at Apply (rcmissioncorps.org).

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