The average person could only guess at the daily activities of a missionary priest, like Fr. Stephen Dyas of the Legionaries of Christ, until this past Wednesday.
Fr. Stephen did a ‘takeover’ of the Regnum Christi English Instagram page, @regnumchristien, and chronicled his day through pictures and videos from first thing in the morning until the end of the evening. Hashtagged #adayinthelifeofrc and #iamrc , the takeover was the first time a Regnum Christi member, in this case a priest, chronicled how they live their mission.
Takeovers by other Regnum Christi members, legionaries, consecrated and lay members, are planned for the future, with the hope of giving people an opportunity to see what the call to Regnum Christi means in daily life.
Thousands of people, some familiar and some curious, tuned in all day long to get glimpses into the life of this priest, who lives in Suburban New York City and carries out his ministry in Manhattan.
Beginning and ending the day in prayer with his viewers, Fr. Stephen chronicled various ‘Regnum Christi moments’ from the sacraments and spiritual direction, to reaching out to people where they are and extending Christ’s love to them, and enjoying the fellowship of a Regnum Christi family over dinner.
Beginning the day: It’s no surprise that Fr. Stephen began his takeover with a 7:00 AM post from the Chapel in his home in Rye, NY, where he shared his first moment with viewers, saying ” Good morning and here I am before Jesus in the Eucharist… His presence right here in the Eucharist is everything. This Regnum Christi moment is most importantly a moment of prayer, a moment of union with God. Our whole day will depend on this- on how much intimacy, how much quality time we spend with the Lord.”
Breakfast in community: Fr. Stephen then invited viewers in to his kitchen to join his Legionary community at breakfast. “This is something we do every single morning, spending time in family, quality time with one and other. We have our superior, Fr. Steven [Reilly] who makes our oatmeal every morning. It’s a community favorite!”
The next step was celebrating daily Mass at Resurrection Parish in Rye, New York. “An encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist in the Mass, and its also an encounter with the local Church.”
Vocations…: After Mass, Fr. Stephen shot a video of himself on the platform, waiting for the train into New York City. With snowy train tracks in the background, he related how between Mass and his upcoming ride into Manhattan, he met with a young man who is discerning a possible call to the priesthood over coffee.
Following a lunch meeting with a man he is accompanying spiritually, Fr Stephen told viewers about this encounter, explaining that the one-on-one encounter with people is part of the Regnum Christi mission.
Modern day missionaries: On the streets of Manhattan, outside of Trump Tower, Fr Stephen posted again, “We are called to be modern day missionaries. The missionaries of old were sent to Africa, and South America, and Asia, and all over the world. Being a missionary today means to go up into these skyscrapers and into Central Park, go meet people where they are at. A lot of people here in these buildings need God.”
Next stop, ducking into St. Patrick’s Basilica to share another ‘Regnum Christi moment’ of prayer with his viewers in the beautiful ‘Lady Chapel’ behind the main alter. Dinner was a fun get-together with a Regnum Christi family, before starting his evening commute back to his community in Rye.
A moment with someone in need: Rounding out his day of ministry in Manhattan, Fr. Stephen brought us to Grand Central Station, to take his train to go home.
Before doing so, he told us about something he does everyday, stopping to meet some one in need, usually one of the homeless individuals who are present there, and sharing a moment of prayer, communion and joy with them.
It is finished: Finally, Fr. Stephen ended his day with the viewers where it had begun, in the chapel in his home. Praying with everyone who accompanied him through Instagram, he shared his final ‘Regnum Christi moment’ of the day in front of the Blessed Sacrament by “putting everything in to Our Lord’s hands in our night prayers…. letting everything go, and allowing our Lord to make it grow… and bear fruit as he wishes.”