Katie and Christopher Baker are a Regnum Christi couple who live in Annapolis, Maryland. Christopher works for the Archdiocese of Washington while Katie stays home with their kids: Liam, 5;, Colin, 4; Nora; 18 months; and a fourth child expected in February. Katie and Chris spoke to us about their vocation to marriage and Regnum Christi.
Where did you find Regnum Christi? Was it before or after you were married?
Katie: After we were married in 2009, we were having some family-of-origin issues and we reached out to someone who mentored us during our engagement. We didn’t know it at the time, but she was a member of Regnum Christi and suggested we see her for spiritual direction at the Springhill Center. She soon recommended that we speak with Fr. John Hopkins. And so, back in 2010 we started seeing Fr. John for spiritual direction, both individually and together. He invited us to go on a three-day Spiritual Exercises retreat; we both went on retreat and started seeing him on a regular basis for spiritual direction. I think that was the start of our vocation to Regnum Christi.
Nonetheless, it took us a while to be incorporated. For a long time, we had the gift of the formation: we went on annual spiritual exercises and regularly to monthly half-day retreats, and we had monthly spiritual direction.
Chris: We had never heard of Regnum Christi, but kept seeing “RC” and just assumed it stood for Roman Catholic; we didn’t actually know what Regnum Christi was for quite some time.
Katie: Fr. John never explicitly mentioned Regnum Christi to us, but instead he inspired us both and guided us to listen to how God was calling us, and he really let it happen in God’s time. Fr. John helped us a lot in our personal growth, laying out that foundation of growing in a relationship with God, which was really not very solid beforehand. So, it was really a long journey of coming to know who we are and being inspired to go deeper, and also recognizing God’s love. The more we experienced God’s love, the more we grew to trust Him and encounter Him in our lives, in our marriage, and in the people He was putting in our lives. We kind of both came to a point where we thought, “We want to give back, we want to give back what we’ve received,” and that was the moment where suddenly we realized we wanted to become a part of Regnum Christi.
Chris: Once we understood what Regnum Christi was, it didn’t take long to discern our calling. We had been discerning how God wanted to use us, so when we saw there was a formal commitment to join, we quickly felt at peace. It already seemed like home and family where God was asking us to use our gifts and talents to serve. It is really interesting how it all came to be. At that point, Fr. John started inviting us to events specifically for RC members, and eventually we asked him, “What is Regnum Christi?” And his response was, “You’re already living it.” It was really a special moment where we felt called. It was a great time in our life.
Katie: We also realized Regnum Christi is a way of life. We felt inspired by the Legionaries, consecrated women and lay members of Regnum Christi, and we saw that this was a way of life for them, a way of holiness for them. It was a joyful moment where we felt, “This is where God wants us.” It felt very natural. We started serving in the marriage prep program at Our Lady of Bethesda. That was a way that we felt called to help couples prepare for marriage, to understand both the hard work and the joy of marriage. We try to pass on what we have received.
Could you give us a little background on how you met each and how you got married?
Chris: So, I was working as the coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at St Mary’s in Annapolis. Katie had been a volunteer in that program before I got there and continued volunteering when I was there. I met her as part of the core team helping with high school youth ministry. At the time, I had been discerning what vocation I should follow and living with the Redemptorists. Since I was already working at the parish, they invited me to live in the rectory to discern. I lived as a part of their community for eight months. During that period, I saw Katie as a friend and knew that she was discerning studying in Ireland to finish her degree. After my time living with the Redemptorist community and having discerned marriage, I saw Katie in a new way. It was like a veil was lifted and I remember wanting to get to know her better, so we started spending more time together.
Katie: After a lot of prayer, I decided not to move to Dublin but to stay local to finish school. I had always wanted – from a young age I felt God placing it on my heart – to get married and have children. So, I was praying for my husband but not in any rush to get married, knowing it would happen eventually. Chris and I had been friends and had a mutual respect for each other, and we both supported each other in that time when we were discerning. After realizing how much we loved each other and that God was calling us to be married, we got engaged and several months later we were married on St. Valentine’s Day, 2009.
You can find out about joining Regnum Christi here.