During the month of May, José Mateos Brito LCRC landed in Chile to take up the position of Vice-rector of Integral Formation at the University Finis Terrae. His link with Chile comes from the beginnings of his life in Regnum Christi when he was an RC missionary in Viña del Mar in 1993 and 1994.
José Mateos is from Mexico. He grew up and went to school in Monterrey, in the north of the country. He met Regnum Christi through a fellow student at college, who invited him to missions while he studied for a career in architecture in 1990. The next year he decided to join Regnum Christi.
Why did you choose the vocation of a Lay Consecrated Man?
When I was a coworker (in Viña del Mar) I understood Regnum Christi as a vocation, I saw clearly that the Holy Spirit was acting through it and that it was a gift from God that answered the needs of that moment in history and changed the lives of people. That was in July of 1994, when I realized that many young people were confused and rejected the faith, with very bad reasons and all because they didn’t have anyone to explain the truth to them. In that moment, I felt the call to consecrate my life to God in Regnum Christi. It was very clear and powerful. I knew I had to consecrate myself to this, and I did not feel called to the priesthood.
How did your family accept your decision to lead a life as a Lay Consecrated Man?
It was a process, since they were in Mexico, and at that time communication was not as simple and immediate as it is now. It was not easy to process this decision together under these circumstances. Nevertheless, little by little my family understood what God was calling me to and they all ended up supporting my vocation. This took some time, but I am very grateful for their support.
How can we evangelize the youth of today?
I think that John Paul II left us a clear example. We need to enter into a new evangelization, which does not mean taking on new initiatives, communication strategies, social media use… it means that the Church needs to ask itself how it is living the faith (when I say ‘the Church’ I don’t mean the hierarchy; I principally mean all the faithful, the laity and priests). Is our manner of living the faith convincing, coherent and attractive? Are we witnessing to the Kingdom of Christ with our manner of life?
I think that we have to know how to present (as Benedict XVI would say) the beauty and rationality of our faith, but I think it’s especially about showing others the beauty of the truth and the faith. I believe that we make a mistake when we think that we are going to move the hearts of others through intellectual arguments. These foundations are necessary, yes, but affections (I don’t mean emotions, but affections), not ideas, are what touch me most deeply in my heart, my deepest existential needs, what move people.
What is living your vocation in Chile like?
I am very excited, Chile is the country where I had the experience of being a coworker, which deeply marked my life. Here is where I discovered my vocation. Furthermore, I admire and value many aspects of this great country and its people. For me, it is also an opportunity for renewal after so many years of living and carrying out my apostolate in Mexico, to begin again, to leave behind my comfort zone and trust much more in the charism, in the promise of God and his call. This helps to renew me deeply. In this first month I have felt very well received by all my brothers and sisters in Regnum Christi – Legionaries, Consecrated Women, Lay Consecrated Men and lay members .
His work at the Finis Terrae University
José Mateos LCRC is an architect of the Technological and Graduate Studies Institute of Monterrey, and studied a degree in Family Sciences at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Studies, both of which are located in Mexico.
For more than eight years he occupied the role of Secretary General of the Anahuac University of Northern Mexico. Before arriving in Chile he served as the Territorial Director of the Lay Consecrated Man of Regnum Christi for Mexico and the United States. In the communiqué of Finis Terrae University which announces his appointment as Vice-Rector of Integral Formation, it explains that the goal of that position “is to promote in the university community, especially among the students, the identity and mission contained in the Mission Statement, ensuring the formation of integral persons who, through their intellectual and professional preparation, human and spiritual formation, and their social consciousness will be agents of social and cultural change, according to Christian values.