Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Lay Members Participating in the General Directive College and the General Plenary Council of the Regnum Christi Federation

The Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation that were approved last June by the Holy See  and went into effect on Sunday, September 15th, 2019, indicate that Regnum Christi is governed collegially between the Legionaries of Christ, the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi, with the consultative vote of lay members, who are individually associated with the Federation.

Among the first decisions taken by the General Directive College was the appointment of the lay members who will participate in the college and in the General Plenary Council with a consultative vote, in accordance with article 2 (The General Directive College) of the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation, and article 2 (Election and collaboration of the lay members with the general and territorial directive colleges) of the Rule of Life of the Lay Faithful Associated to the Regnum Christi Federation.

The two lay members who join the General Directive College are Francisco Gámez , a Venezuelan currently living in Canada, who has been participating in the general government during the process of the development and approval of the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation, and Álvaro Abellán-García from Spain.

Four more lay members participate in the General Plenary Council of Regnum Christi, in addition to the two lay members serving on the General Directive College.  They are: Carmen Fernández (Spain), Kerrie Rivard (Canadian living in the United States), and José Antonio Lebrija and David Zárate from Mexico.

Below you can consult the profiles of these lay people of Regnum Christi, and their answers to some questions we have asked them about the current moment for the whole Regnum Christi and, specifically, for the laity.

Francisco Gámez Venezuela/Canada

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi Federation, and specifically, for the lay members?

We have concluded a stage. With the accompaniment of the Church we travelled a path of discernment and renewal. The result is that we have not only reached a canonical configuration for the Movement, or new constitutions for the Legion, or canonical configurations for the consecrated women and lay consecrated men. It has been much more than that. We have walked hand in hand with the Holy Spirit along a shared path in a way that has made us know ourselves better, and know what unites us better, our charism and mission.

But it has been only one stage. We still have to continue walking that path of discernment and renewal. It is a vital task that will take our entire lives, unravelling God’s will for Regnum Christi. I believe that in this historic time we have all been called to collaborate in this task. In the particular case of those who participate in the College and the Plenary Council, I believe that the lay members will be the voice of all Regnum Christi, as agents of communion, promoters of unity, co-protagonists in the mission. It is very important that all the lay members be aware of our co-responsibility in the life of Regnum Christi, that we do our best to shine our charism through the prism of our own state of life. The life of Regnum Christi depends on that attitude. The steps we will take in this regard, together with what we the steps we have already taken in recent years, will be a very important base for the generations to come and for the development of our spirituality and mission.

Álvaro Abellán-García Spain

What do you feel called to contribute?

I feel called to share the views of lay members in the meetings of the General Directive College in a direct, frequent and relevant way, enriching the discernment that we must make together on the issues of Regnum Christi that affect us all. We must also achieve a greater understanding and awareness of the particular charismatic, institutional and missionary responsibility of the lay members in Regnum Christi.

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi Federation, and specifically, for the lay members?

I think we should remember: we thought we were strong, but we were dead; and we have been saved by Christ and the mediation of his Church. So we must learn to live as people who are resurrected, joyful and grateful to the Lord, who has been so good to us. From this awareness of having been brought back to life, it is time for a new missionary impulse, which has to be creative and adapt to different times, places, and people, not forgetting the path of reconciliation with the people we have hurt and offended throughout our history. In addition, the configuration of the Regnum Christi Federation expresses and protects the charismatic and missionary unity of Regnum Christi, and that has been the desire and objective of the lay members in the whole process, more than anything else.

Carmen Fernández Spain

What do you feel called to contribute?

I feel called to contribute what I am: I am a Catholic laywoman with the charism of Regnum Christi. And I want to be enthusiastic and renewed. I am sure that the new framework of the Federation will allow the lay members to become aware of their role and co-responsibility in our family. There is a lot of work to do and I am, by the grace of God, very hardworking. So I will contribute what I receive from the Lord: my time and my work.

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi Federation, and specifically, for the laity?

The moment is of great importance. We have reached the current configuration of the Regnum Christi Federation and now we must live it and experience it in all its principles and values. The theoretical knowledge is not enough. Each of us has the strength and duty to embody this result. As a laywoman, I believe that there are endless possibilities for growth in our knowledge about the role, responsibility and commitment that we as lay members have in terms of living in our Regnum Christi family and in the Church. The moment is crucial and it is a gift to live it closely with other, and for others. I give thanks to God.

Kerrie Rivard Canada/United States

What do you feel called to contribute?

I hope to contribute the rich experience of listening and learning – listening to God, to lay members around the world, to members of the other vocations in Regnum Christi, to the Church, and to the needs of the world around us. Learning the good and true realities of what Regnum Christi is, and the things that needed to be changed and redeemed. I believe this is the foundation to continue the work ahead of us in purifying, maturing and strengthening the identity and mission of the Regnum Christi family, and the lay vocation within it.  That is renewal. I am confident that ‘He who began in us this good work will bring it to fulfillment’ (Phil 1:6). I am looking forward to seeing how God will continue to lead us to grow in holiness, communion and mission.

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi Federation, and specifically, for the laity?

The lay members of Regnum Christi, and all lay people in the Church, have a vocation, identity and mission that is being revealed and lived in new and deeper ways in the last several decades. The Holy Spirit has been maturing the lay vocation within the Church at a time when our specific witness to the Gospel through our state in life is crucial.  This is true in Regnum Christi as well.  It’s an incredible gift to see the work the Holy Spirit began inspiring in 2013 become the reality we are living today.  Regnum Christi members have come to know more deeply the vocation and charism that they have, and how they are called by God to live it as mature lay Catholics. Living the RC charism and giving your life to Christ and others 24/7 as a lay person in the secular world is something vital to Regnum Christi, something that enriches our communion and sends us out in the mission of sharing Christ’s love concretely every day. At this moment, by continuing to mature and living our lay vocation more deeply, we help the Regnum Christi Federation become a true spiritual family, a true communion, that goes out to share the joy of Christ’s tremendous love and mercy.

José Antonio Lebrija Mexico

What do you feel called to contribute?

The experience of being parents, spouses, children, members of a section, our professional experiences and parents of our schools. Our ability to understand the reality of families and people in our environment, which will be complemented by the contributions of the other branches. To be spokespersons for what the lay members of our territories look for and expect regarding the life and direction of Regnum Christi. The laity must take care of the other vocations in the Regnum Christi and watch over the unity of the Regnum Christi as a whole.

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi and specifically, for the laity?

The security that we are standing, renewed, and looking forward to reaching many people and families. That through our testimony they know Jesus Christ and realize that traveling through life with Him is worthwhile, gives peace, fulfillment and meaning to their lives, in a complicated time, with much turmoil and confusion in the world.

David Zárate Mexico

What does the current moment mean for the entire Regnum Christi Federation and specifically, for the laity?

The current moment for Regnum Christi is a great opportunity to be able to keep up with the universal and synodal Church; this synodality that is expressed in a participatory and co-responsible Church where everyone participates according to their vocation.

That is why I believe that we are called to be a reflection of the Church as the body of Christ, serving her with our charism of communion among all the vocations of Regnum Christi and withthe gifts that the Holy Spirit He has given each vocation that is part of it.

The communion of vocations and this “synodal participation” expressed today with the inclusion of the voice of the laity in decision making will help us continue our path of renewal. It is true that Regnum Christi can only be renewed when all vocations walk together. It seems crucial to me that for this renewal to remain authentic, we let the Holy Spirit act freely and let ourselves be surprised.

For us, the lay members, it is a very important and historic moment, since we are called to live co-responsibility for the charism, in the apostolates and sections as before, but now also serving with our voice and expereince in the different levels of the government of Regnum Christi. It is also a logical consequence of the consciousness we have of the call to live in communion, working together for a common mission.

As lay members of Regnum Christi, we must contribute to and complement the apostolic action of the other vocations, and thus we can make the Regnum Christi Federation an expression of an evangelizing Church that seeks for Christ to reign in people’s hearts and alleviate the needs of the world today.