Megan Houbeck, director of the community of Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi in formation
During the summer months of 2020, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi around the world will make their temporary or final vows. We spoke with Megan Houbeck, director of the community of Consecrated Women in formation in Spain, to learn more about the stage of temporary vows. It’s about “following Christ in the consecrated life, hoping to receive confirmation from him and his Church that she’s on the path that God desires,” she explains.
Temporary vows, embarking on a journey to follow Christ
Megan, the director of the community of Consecrated Women in formation, explains how the temporary vows support the journey of configuration to Christ through consecrated life. She explained that “with one’s consecration through temporary vows, a young woman offers her life to the Lord in view of perpetuity, responding to what she perceives as the Lord’s call”. At that moment, the young woman “sets out to follow Christ in the consecrated life, hoping to receive confirmation from him and from his Church that she is on the path he wants for her”.
The young woman who has made temporary vows “experiences the life of Jesus Christ chaste, poor and obedient”, but she does not do it alone: “She is accompanied by a director and a community that help in this process of formation and vocational confirmation”, with the objective that “she can grow in love and freedom to listen to the Lord and respond to him in whatever he asks of her”.
“After this journey,” Megan concludes, “it is hoped that by the time she takes her final vows, both the Consecrated Woman and the Society of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi will be able to say, with sufficient moral certainty, that this person is receiving the grace of God that will allow her to live this life until death.
The importance of formation
The Constitutions of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi indicate that “the objective of this stage is the consolidation of the vocation and the preparation to make final vows”, and that “it has two stages: it begins with academic formation, integrating it with spiritual, apostolic and community life, and then it introduces the candidate into the life of the apostolate, through accompaniment, before making final vows” (CCRC #68). The academic studies of this stage, in particular, “must respond to the charism and mission of Regnum Christi”, which entails “university studies, ecclesiastical or civil, in philosophy, theology, and sciences related to the mission” (CCRC #69).
The Communiqué of the 2020 Ordinary General Assembly of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi addresses how the formation is currently going, the steps taken and the challenges faced: “In recent years we have taken institutional steps towards a solid formation for the mission. The bachelor’s degree in theology at the San Dámaso Ecclesiastical University (Madrid, Spain) was chosen as the basis for the period of study for Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi in temporary vows”. This option was made because, as the Communiqué recalls, “it gives a philosophical-theological foundation for responding to the challenge of evangelization in today’s world” (# 80).
The Communiqué also emphasizes that during the period of temporary vows, it is important that Consecrated Women complement this theological formation “with courses, seminars or other means, in subjects which will prepare us for apostolic activity (i.e. theology of the body and affectivity, accompaniment, developmental psychology, pedagogy, current issues, marriage and family, etc.)”. (#82).