Regnum Christi North American Territorial Strategy Highlights 2021-2024
With the launch of the Regnum Christi Federation in 2019 and the completion of the 2016 – 2020 strategic plan, the Territorial Directive College launched in April 2020 a process to develop a new strategy for the territory. Twelve months later, after a comprehensive and inclusive effort of listening, learning and reflecting, the Territorial Directive College approved a strategy that would guide and prioritize the allocation of Legionary and consecrated personnel to the Regnum Christi Federation and define priorities of the Mission Support Team so as to most effectively stimulate the full living out of the Regnum Christi identity and furthering our mission in the North American Territory. This document sets out the approved strategy and its implementation plan.
The Territorial Directive College made setting the apostolic strategy for the territory one of its priorities for 2020. The envisioned strategic planning process was modified to take into consideration the change of territorial leadership announced at the end of the Legionaries’ General Chapter and the Consecrated Women’s General Assembly in March. Briefly, the process followed the following steps:
- In June 2020, Charlie Bradley and Cathie Zentner facilitated a virtual 3-day meeting of the Plenary Council for the purposes of strategic planning. It was agreed that additional time was needed to help all participants better understand the reality of the new Federation.
- The Territorial Directive College launched a strategic planning commission with membership from the Territorial Directive College (Glory Darbellay, Charlie Bradley), Plenary Council (Fr. John Bartunek, Horacio Gomez) and the Mission Support Team (Cathie Zentner, Maria Knuth) to drive the planning process forward.
- In August 2020, the Strategic Planning Commission facilitated a second virtual 3-day strategic planning session with the Plenary Council and the Mission Support Team. The outcome of this session was agreement on the basic elements of the strategy (Purpose, Mission, Dream, Strategy, Priorities) that would serve as a ‘strawman’ for testing with various audiences.
- The strawman strategy was shared with various audiences (RC local directors, LC superiors and CRC directors, LC and CRC leadership team, and various LC and CRC communities). The Territorial Directive College and the Strategic Planning Commission dedicated time at each of their respective monthly meetings to review and further reflect upon the input from the many audiences, adding to and making adjustments to the strategy, including adding the element of “Beliefs” as a foundation to the strategy.
- The Mission Support Team dedicated time to reflecting on the strategy and priorities and developed a preliminary three-year plan aimed at supporting the strategy through 16 concrete initiatives.
- The Strategic Planning Commission worked with the Mission Support Team to develop the remaining elements of the strategic plan, including measures by which the progress and success of the strategy could be effectively measured and a communication and roll-out plan.
- In March, the Territorial Directive College received the strategic plan of the General Directive College (Appendix A). This plan set out the initiatives of the general government to achieve its vision of having all Regnum Members know, understand, accept and live the Regnum Christi charism.
- The Territorial Directive College and the Plenary Council reviewed the final apostolic strategy through a series of meetings held in February and March. The final version was approved at its meeting on March 2021.
The development of the Territorial Strategic Plan was launched at a particularly significant time in the history of Regnum Christi: the formal renewal phase of Regnum Christi had just been completed, the new Regnum Christi Federation had just been launched and the leadership of the territory was completely changed – new structure, new people, new time.
The strategy reflects a deepening in understanding of the Regnum Christi charism, including some of the following significant elements:
- With the closing of renewal chapter in our history, there is now a great opportunity and responsibility to make known the depth and beauty of the charism that was revealed during this time. The prime focus of the general directive college is to work toward having every member know, understand, accept and live the charism, and to accept the new Federation structure. Our strategy should look to facilitating this effort, providing the support needed to make the fruit of this renewal available to all members in the territory.
- There is tremendous richness that can be pulled directly from the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation and the Rule of Life for the Lay Associated with the Regnum Christi Federation. There is no need to reinvent core elements of our strategy and there is value in intentionally tying our strategy to the wording presented in these documents.
- There is a deeper understanding of the power and possibility of the charism living within each person. The new strategy would need to nurture the full living out of this charism at a grassroots level and avoid top-down imposition of structure and process where possible. The strategy would need to be open to new expressions of the charism, encouraging the work of the Holy Spirit in each person.
- There is also a deeper appreciation of how the federated institutions and those lay members who associated individually with the Federation have freely chosen to work together in the mission. There is an implicit understanding that while the charism exists within each of us, it is fully and powerfully expressed when we choose to freely collaborate together in mission. The strategy would need to help foster collaboration across and within localities.
- We understand a locality as a community of apostles, but even more as a community of communities of apostles. We see the importance of fostering the health and vibrancy of each RC community (teams, sections, religious communities, apostolate teams, etc.).
- It was also made clear that the strategy needs to encourage a healthy understanding and living of collaboration. Collaboration does not mean that everyone works together on the same project, nor does it mean that there must be a Legionary, consecrated woman and lay person on each team. Our understanding of collaboration is that everyone is contributing their gifts and working toward the same end – our common mission. Healthy collaboration implies good communication between those involved and, when done well, encourages members to respond with boldness to the evangelizing inspirations of Holy Spirit.
- The strategy would need to address both the directive responsibility of the Federation (governance of sections and apostolates) and its collaboration-building responsibility. The strategy would need to help foster the healthy autonomy of the federated institutions while also promoting communion and preserving unity within the Regnum Christi family.
- The strategy would have to support a more purified understanding of how we exercise authority in Regnum Christi. Our methods of holding ourselves accountable, measuring our performance and our success, and our decision making processes need to be consistent with our belief that each member has the charism within them and has a unique contribution to make to the common mission. We need to find ways of exercising authority that respects and encourages the work of individuals, teams, communities and localities while at the same time protects and faithfully promotes the identity of Regnum Christi.
- There is openness and eagerness of the part of the locality leadership to assume local ownership and responsibility for the mission with the support of the Territory. The strategy would need to provide the support most needed by localities to help them fully live out and grow their mission.
Looking then at this particular time in history (the close of the Renewal and early stages of the roll-out of the Federation and Rule of Life), the Holy Spirit has shone light on some specific beliefs and desires to guide us these next years. Through an exercise of group discernment, these beliefs and desires were articulated, helping to shape a vision for the territory where each individual member recognizes and values the power of the charism within themselves and others, and is responding boldly to the evangelizing needs of their locality.
Finally, with confidence in our growing understanding of the charism and building upon the previous strategy, a concrete strategy and priorities for 2021 to 2024 were developed. The 2021-2024 strategy is to build and sustain localities as vibrant communities of apostles. This strategy moves deeper into the 2016-2020 strategy of building vibrant localities, understanding that to ignite the heart of the individual apostle, we must invite him into a vibrant community of apostles. A vibrant locality is a community of vibrant communities, each healthy in its own right and each collaborating to further the common mission.
The 2021-2024 priorities identify four areas where the territory can best focus its attention in providing support to the localities in fully living out their purpose and mission, including: 1) Forming the formators – an intentional and ongoing effort to provide training and support to locality leadership in their roles; 2) Promoting healthy collaboration and communication, horizontally and vertically – modeling and facilitating collaboration within localities, between localities and with the territory; 3) Securing the present and preparing for the future – astutely addressing our human resources (leadership and vocations) and financial needs so as to sustain our mission and permit growth; and 4) Support the evangelization of men and young adults – providing concrete means to support the evangelization of two key audiences who are currently under-served.
The Regnum Christi Federation’s Territory Strategy is lived out both at the locality level and at the territorial level. The strategy serves as a beacon to enlighten and unite the direction that localities, federated institutions, and territorial offices choose to follow in our shared mission. Specifically:
- Territorial Directive College – The Territorial Directive College will set its annual priorities according to the strategy, give direction to the Mission Support Team for its annual plan, ensure that the resources required to the fulfill the plan are made available, and hold the Mission Support Team Director accountable for execution of the Mission Support Team plan. Members of the Territorial Directive College will make themselves available to the localities to promote the common mission and the strategy.
- Mission Support Team – The Mission Support Team, as the work team of the Territorial Directive College, will execute the strategy according to the approved Mission Support Team plan. Each of the five Mission Support Team departments will develop and execute their respective department’s annual plans in support of the overall Mission Support Team plan. The Mission Support Team will monitor the results of its work and make recommendations to the Territorial Directive College for any changes or adjustments to the Mission Support Team plan.
- LC and CRC Councils and Leadership Teams – The two councils and their respective leadership teams will consider the RC Federation strategy when developing their branch plans and in making their respective personnel assignment decisions. They will work to transmit understanding of the plan through their work in the branches, and in particular during canonical visits.
- Localities – Each locality will continue to develop its own locality plan, taking into consideration the mission of Regnum Christi, the needs of the local Church, and the specific circumstances of Regnum Christi within the locality. The locality’s plan serves as a unifying vision for Regnum Christi in the locality. It will both drive individual section and local apostolate plans, and encourage collaboration with the school, LC and CRC communities and other Regnum Christi institutions present in the locality. The territory’s strategy serves localities as input to the planning process to the extent that the locality will understand where the resources of the territory will be allocated, and thus, what support they can expect from the territory.
The Territorial Directive College will review and approve locality plans with an eye to monitoring the development of the mission and confirming the effective allocation of territory resources. The Mission Support Team will provide coaching and support to help facilitate and monitor this process.
- RC Education – RC Education and the Regnum Christi schools operate outside of the Regnum Christi Federation but are, nevertheless, an integral part of the locality and share its common mission. RC Education leadership will communicate regularly with the Mission Support Team to identify opportunities where collaboration and communication can better serve the common mission.
- Commissions – Each territorial commission will be made aware of the strategy and asked to consider it when developing and updating their annual charter.
- Marketing & Communication – The territorial marketing & communication team will consider the Regnum Christi Federation Strategy in developing its territorial plan and its plan for Federation support.