The following is an interview with Tammy Grady about her work in the diocese of Dallas. Tammy is from Canada and has been consecrated for 19 years.
Could you tell us a little bit about the apostolate you are doing in Dallas?
I have had the grace to work with young adults and young professionals from the Regnum Christi section in Dallas for the past nine years. It has been a marvelous experience to stay in the same locality for an extended period of time, because it has allowed me to become better acquainted with the reality there, to get to know people, and to get involved in the diocese.
For the past three years I have had the opportunity to collaborate part time in the vocation office of the diocese of Dallas. In my experience, the union between vocational work in the diocese and pastoral work in the Regnum Christi young adult section has been a fruitful “marriage”, because the two things are mutually supportive.
Although my work on a diocesan level is related to the vocational office, it has also allowed me to get to know many young people who may not be discerning a vocation, but are looking for something to help them grow spiritually and are seeking apostolic opportunities. I have been able to point them towards study groups, apostolates, prayer groups, etc., and this has opened the way for me to work pastorally in many other areas as well, not just in vocational discernment.
As a consecrated woman, what specific contribution have you been able to make in this area? How do you feel you are serving the local Church?
Working in the vocation office has allowed me to know and work closely with the bishop, many diocesan priests, religious, consecrated women from other movements, people involved with youth work and campus ministry in colleges and Catholic schools, and men and women who are active in their parishes and in other Catholic groups. Being part of the team of the Center for Diocesan Outreach (parte del equipo de trabajo del Centro de Pastoral Diocesana) has made it easier for me to help spiritually in the life of many young people whom we would never have come into contact with otherwise.
In a particular way, this Year for Consecrated Life has been an occasion to work within the diocesan structure and help the local Church come to understand better our vocation, which is different from the religious vocation, but just as beautiful and surrendered to God. (entregada)
What aspects of the Regnum Christi charism stand out in this mission and in your experience?
I see that the Regnum Christi charism flourishes with the possibility to work in the New Evangelization, with many opportunities to help young people in their spiritual growth through retreats, pilgrimages, spiritual direction, study circles, and (nuevos proyectos apostólicos) new forms of apostolate. Whether from within Regnum Christi or through the formation of other lay people and diocesan participation, our charism helps people become “friends of Christ and apostles of His Kingdom.”
Regnum Christi has a beautiful charism to offer the universal Church, but in North America it is important to be connected with the local Church, and to allow ourselves to be known by those who are not familiar with ecclesial movements.
And how is this work done in relation with other branches of the Movement and other ecclesial realities?
Being so involved in diocesan life allows me to keep my eyes and ears open to work together with the other branches of the Movement, as well as with other groups. This has helped me to live family spirit more deeply within the Movement, cultivating a sense of both appreciation and mutual respect toward other groups and entities within the Church.
I am convinced that Regnum Christi needs to work together with diocesan structures if we want to let the Holy Spirit unleash the charism that we have to offer to so many souls who are thirsting and seeking a renewal of their faith.