Rome, March 6 2020
To the Legionaries of Christ, Lay Consecrated Men, and Lay Members of Regnum Christi,
Dearest members of Regnum Christi,
We have concluded our ordinary General Assembly with a lot of gratitude to God. We wish to share with you the experiences we lived, the graces we received and the confirmation of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit during these weeks of prayer, reflection and discernment.
We wish to thank all of you, Lay Members of Regnum Christi, Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi and Legionaries of Christ, who have accompanied and supported us with your prayers, especially during this time.
The second ordinary General Assembly of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and the first one since our establishment as a Society of Apostolic Life, was held in Rome from January 18 to March 6, 2020. Forty-five delegates from nine nationalities participated, representing the nine territories, the General Government and its delegations, and included two representatives from the Consecrated Women in temporary vows.
One of the goals of this Assembly was the election of the new General Government. On February 11, the day on which we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we held the election. Nancy Nohrden was elected general director and Elena Bartolomé was elected first councilor and vicar general. In addition, four other general councilors were elected: Eugenia Álvarez, África Pemán, Viviana Limón and Jacinta Curran.
As an Assembly, we wish to express our deep gratitude, first of all, to the Holy Father for watching over Regnum Christi and, specifically, for the message he addressed to the Assembly of Consecrated Women and Lay Consecrated Men, and to the Legion’s chapter. It is a rich message in which the Pope offers us his reflection on the steps taken so far on our journey of renewal, as well as insights and guidelines for the next ones, because our journey continues. We also thank Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, who, at the Pope’s request, has accompanied us in a committed and very valuable way during this period of time.
We are especially grateful to Gloria Rodríguez who, together with her councilors, the general administrator and other members of her team, has so wisely led us during the six-year period which just ended. We would also like to thank Jorge López and Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, L.C. and their councilors, who have also completed their period of service and dedication in the government of their respective branches (federated institutes).
A special characteristic that has marked the experience of the work of the Assembly has been the attitude of discernment. This has allowed us to listen and express ourselves freely, in a climate of trust, commitment and maturity. We addressed the issues planned for this Assembly: to review and approve modifications to the Constitutions and Rule of Life; to deepen the understanding of the mission of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the various themes surrounding it; to discern and define the projection of the Society; to approve the proposal of the patrimony and governance of the apostolic works in relation to the other federated institutes; to discuss and propose a path for our sustainability; to define the next steps to continue discernment about our living of the vow of poverty; to offer principles of discernment in the way we care for our elderly and sick parents within our families.
From the beginning of the Assembly, the desire to understand, live and allow our mission to unfold according to the logic of the Kingdom resonated deeply. We reaffirm that the mission of the Consecrated Women, like that of Regnum Christi, is to make present the mystery of Christ, who goes out to meet people in the concrete realities of their lives, reveals to them the love of his heart, gathers them together and forms them as apostles and Christian leaders. He then sends them out, accompanying them as they collaborate in the evangelization of men and women and of society. We want to commit ourselves actively to the service of the evangelizing mission of Regnum Christi together with all the vocations that make up this spiritual family and apostolic body. In a special way, we feel called to renew our commitment to the lay members: we want to walk together with you and deepen in the richness of the lay vocation.
There was great agreement in recognizing that our identity integrates in an inseparable way our consecration, the lay state and the charism of Regnum Christi. These three elements constitute a style of life and a way of being present in and relating to the world. The letter with which Gloria summoned us to the Assembly resonated with us. She concluded it by quoting some words from the homily of Bishop Rodríguez Carballo at the Mass of the canonical establishment of our Society: “We are asked to be open to the world. We are not consecrated to ourselves, we are consecrated to build the Kingdom of God here and now so that all may have life and life to the full. And all this with a deep sense of belonging”.
Formation, in its various dimensions and stages, is a transversal theme, which in the upcoming years we must give importance to, in order to continue developing our vocation and mission according to the charism. We believe it is important to have a solid philosophical and anthropological foundation that will allow us to have a renewed worldview in our evangelizing mission. At the same time, we see the need to deepen in areas such as the ecclesiology of communion, the theology of baptism and the specific nature of the lay vocation in the Church.
During the Assembly we recognized the need to address additional topics so we set up the following commissions: sexual abuse; the exercise of authority in the Society; giving an institutional pronouncement on the Founder; the institutional culture; and the prospect of reopening the discernment of a possible contemplative branch of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi. Commissions were also formed for our sustainability and for reconciliation with women who have left consecrated life in Regnum Christi.
The Assembly took place in an ecclesial and institutional context in which the theme of abuse of power, of conscience and of sexuality deeply troubled us, moved us profoundly and challenged us to act. In addressing this reality, we are determined to journey on a path of deep conversion and courageous action to prevent, denounce, heal and repair the evil caused. We reiterate our desire and request that together as a charismatic family, we approach our historical and present circumstances, reviewing our institutional culture, and do so with justice, transparency and truth, looking to the future with peace, responsibility and hope in the face of the important mission that the Lord has entrusted to us.
In recent times, we have come to understand the nature and scope of our identity as a Society of Apostolic Life, which entails an autonomy of life, governance and finances. The latter implies, among other things, drawing up a plan of sustainability that allows for our growth and long-term stability, beginning with an understanding of the global situation of the Society. We are optimistic about the implementation of the Federation and the steps that the governing bodies have to take in the following years. We also take ownership for our role in the governance, direction and management of the apostolic works of Regnum Christi.
In continuity with the phrase from Scripture “I will put my spirit in you and you shall live” (Ez 37:14), which has accompanied us throughout our jubilee, Christ’s call has resounded strongly in us “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). We want to live as Consecrated Women who give life, in thriving communities and a Regnum Christi that is fully alive and gives life. We feel called to live with growing maturity and inner freedom in order to serve the Lord and our brothers and sisters. We renew our commitment to developing Regnum Christi’s mission, placing the gifts and talents of each one at its service. We seek to be women who are attentive to the signs of the times in a spirit of discernment. We want to encounter the people of today and respond to their needs, touching the reality of their lives, offering an evangelizing contribution in and from Regnum Christi. We seek communion among all vocations and commit ourselves to the common mission.
We want to respond to this experience like Mary and renew our “Fiat”: “Be it done unto me according to your word” and to proclaim with one voice, “Christ our King, Thy Kingdom come”.
In the name of the delegates of the ordinary General Assembly,
President of the General Assembly