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After These Days of Discernment…letter from consecrated women

General Chapter Website Launched

Trusting in the Guidance of God and the Church – Mass open General Chapter

Code of Conduct Update



After These Days of Discernment…


Regnum Christi consecrated women write letter to movement members during the course of their General Assembly

The General Assembly Delegates

The Delegates to the General Assembly

During the process of the December 2013 General Assembly, the Regnum Christi consecrated women wrote the following letter to members of the movement:

Thy Kingdom Come!



Rome, December 19, 2013

To the Legionaries of Christ, the lay consecrated men, and all lay members of Regnum Christi

Very dear members of the Regnum Christi family:

After these days of discernment and listening to the Holy Spirit in prayer and in one another, the consecrated women who have participated in our first General Assembly want to share a few words from the heart to the whole family of Regnum Christi.

We do so from a sense that has remained clear and has become stronger as we conclude this stage of the renewal process: the grateful recognition of the beauty of God´s plan. We recognize that Regnum Christi is a gift and, within it, the existence of the vocation to consecrated life for women, whose identity and mission we have rediscovered and humbly value as a gift we have received to put at the service of the Church. We trust that this is a work of God and it is He who has been leading this process and will continue guiding it. So we want to keep living it, remaining constantly attentive to the Holy Spirit.

First, we wish to express our gratitude:

  • We thank the Church, who, as a good mother, has believed in us and has made us see once again the beauty contained in this work of God despite its weaknesses and defects.
  • We thank Cardinal Velasio de Paolis and his council, especially Fr. Agostino Montan, for the unconditional support they have offered us; not only have they helped to give form to this path of renewal, but for many of us, their presence has been a reassurance for embarking on this path with renewed confidence.
  • We thank our consecrated sisters, but also all the members of the Regnum Christi family in their distinct vocations, for having persevered through the trials. We have suffered together and together we have grown in maturity and in love.
  • We wish to highlight our special gratitude to our older sisters, the first generations of consecrated women, who believed in this plan of God and carried it forward with much effort and fidelity.
  • We thank the Legion of Christ, with which we were born and from which we have received so much. We direct our gratitude especially to the Legionaries who have accompanied us closely and with special commitment throughout this journey and have provided for us sacramental attention and formation, with humility and at times great detachment. We appreciate their constant availability for the apostolic mission, their doctrinal solidity and fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, their priestly hearts, and their being men of God. All of this is an invaluable contribution for the entire Regnum Christi family.
  • We thank the consecrated men, our brothers who we have come to know more deeply in these past few years, with whom we have shared both the illuminative phase and the revision and elaboration of the Statutes, and whom we have encountered in carrying out our shared mission. Their closeness, their realism, and their testimony have greatly helped us move forward in this phase. We thank the lay members of the Movement, who have been genuine brothers and sisters, lending support and encouragement along the way. We thank them for allowing us to undertake this process and encouraging us to carry it out, assuming the consequences that it implied. We also thank them because, even in the most difficult moments, they have continued trusting in us.

We recognize that God´s plan has been obscured by mistakes we made and this has caused suffering. We want to take responsibility and ask forgiveness:

  • For our inadvertent errors in: the exercise of authority, vocational discernment, formation processes and carrying out the mission. While these errors can occur in any institution composed of limited and fallible people, this reality does not diminish our sincere sorrow for what has happened.
  • For our faults in these years of the renewal process: for not being sufficiently open to listening and dialogue, for the times that we have caused attitudes of distrust or have unintentionally created confusion in the family.
  • For the times we have failed to sufficiently thank you for all your expressions of support and closeness. And even for when we have had to withdraw from certain cities or countries without giving much explanation.

A particular point of sorrow has been and still is for the sisters who have not continued with us. We wish to include all of them in asking forgiveness as we have expressed, and manifest our deep gratitude and recognition of all the good they have done and all that they have taught us. We trust in God, with the certainty that he weaves stories of personal love for each one, knowing that His ways are not our ways.

We believe that this process of renewal has made this plan of God shine with new intensity and beauty, discovering the meaning of being a charismatic family and valuing in a new way the richness of each of the vocations that comprise it. It has been very beautiful to come to understand that each of the vocations in Regnum Christi has its own identity and, at the same time, cannot be understood without reference to the others; the discovery that in the seed of each vocation, the calling and the communion with the others is already present.

We wish to renew and reinforce our confidence in God and among every one of us, and express our commitment to continue seeking paths of reconciliation, particularly with the Regnum Christi family.

We want to keep advancing in a profound renewal in order to build the future of the Movement, founded on the Gospel:

  • establish processes of formation based on trust and mutual respect, helping each and every one to develop themselves fully;
  • dedicate ourselves to the mission of extending the Kingdom of Christ with attitudes of service, humility, and availability;
  • live and foster the spirit of communion and of family in Regnum Christi, giving testimony to charity in word and indeed, fostering openness and dialogue in interpersonal relations;
  • fight to live the vocation we have been called to with coherence and depth, being women of God and living for others in the mission.

We ask you to continue accompanying us on this path of renewal, for we cannot do it without you. It is a path for the whole Regnum Christi family that we walk together and in a complementary way. We ask for your understanding and support in the coming years, since they will demand a special dedication to the consolidation of the vocation of the consecrated women of Regnum Christi, and because we must accept that we cannot be present in as many places as we would like and as would be ideal.

We would also like to offer you our accompaniment in your own process of renewal, especially now, for the members of first and second degree in the elaboration of your Statutes and as you deepen in your identity and mission, and, all together, as we advance in the configuration of Regnum Christi as a whole.

Fully aware of the primacy of grace, we believe that together we will be able to respond to the exciting challenges that await us in the fulfillment of our vocation and mission. We want to renew our option for holiness on this path at the service of the Church.

We cannot close without telling you how much we love you and how happy we are to know we are part of this great family. We are united in our shared charism and mission of extending the Kingdom of Christ and announcing his Gospel in the world.

With affection and our prayers,

The Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi


Jesus Passing By


Regnum Christi Live – January 6

By Paola Trevino'm starting the new year on a mission trip in Haiti with 51 amazing missionaries from all over: from the south of Chile, to Texas, Iowa, Illinois, and all the way west to California.

As always, Haiti has something special. Today, while at the Home of the Dying (the house of the Missionaries of Charity for over 270 severely ill patients), Jesus passed by. Let me explain.

After two hours of dressing wounds, doing crafts with the ladies, playing soccer with the children, massage and manicure sessions, it was lunch time. Some of the missionaries were asked to help feed the bed-bound ladies in what later we discovered was the "intensive care room". At the very far end, in the last bed in the corner, a young girl in her twenties was laying upside down. One of our missionaries, with the help of a worker, turned her around to eat, and there was a silent moment. The girl was not breathing.

I arrived seconds later. I have never felt so powerless in my life; I'm a fixer by nature (in those personality tests my acronym is "execution saves the job"). Well here I was in front of this young girl, with nothing to be done. I have no medical skills, I'm not a priest to give the last rites; for a moment I was so upset with myself, I kept repeating to myself: do something, do not just stand there, do something.

Everyone was watching - the workers, the missionaries, the other patients (the Sisters had gone out for the day, so in a sense they left us in charge) - then I remembered what Sr. Phillipe Marie had once told us years ago when a baby girl died in the Children's Home:

"No worries. Jesus decided to take a walk around here, He saw her, and decided to take her."

I started praying; I baptized this young girl, Darime, just in case, and then kept on with the mission. The voice of Sr. Phillipe Marie once again came to my mind:

"Pick up your heart and keep on working. Look around, there's plenty to do: more patients to feed, people to tend to, missionaries to console."

When we took our lunch break, I had to say something to the missionaries. They were all in absolute silence, so I decided to tell them what Sister had told me - that Jesus passed by the Home of the Dying and saw Darime and took her, that we should be happy because she was already enjoying heaven! While I was saying this, one missionary said out loud: Paola, when Jesus was passing by, we were there, too. What a privilege!

I had to hold back my tears. Jesus was passing by me once again. I truly believe that Jesus passes by us many times in our daily lives, but we are too busy to even notice Him.

Here in Haiti, Jesus passes by us every day!

The Star to Follow

Today is the Epiphany of The Lord, meaning the manifestation of Christ. The good old Magi followed the star that guided them to Jesus. I ask myself and I ask you: what is the star that we follow? The star of Jesus' meaning, His teachings: faith, hope, love, compassion, justice, peace...or my own star: my sentiments, emotions, feelings, whims...?

One can lead me to Jesus where I am happy, peaceful, joyful, fulfilled...the other leads to solitude, unhappiness, darkness.

Take a moment to find your star that will lead you to Jesus.


Right in front of me...


Regnum Christi Live – January 7, 2014

By Rachel Peach you ever opened your refrigerator or cupboard doors and just not been able to find what you’re looking for?

But a funny feeling tells you that it’s right in front of you…

Just yesterday I was on a hunt for marshmallows. I searched every shelf, every rack of the MEC pantry, but to no avail. My frustration began to mount -- not because I couldn’t find them, but at the fact I knew they were there somewhere.

No, it’s not the pantry; thanks to Jennifer Hettrick, it’s never been so organized. No, the marshmallows weren’t hiding in an obscure corner; I somehow just couldn’t see them.

Even growing up, this happened countless times.

“Mom! I can’t find the ketchup!”

“Are you sure we don’t have any?”

I was absolutely sure. There was no ketchup bottle to be seen.

“You mean this ketchup bottle?”

Every time she’d walk over, it magically appeared. How did she do it? Or…what was my problem?!

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus makes a bold proclamation: “the Kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). For hundreds of years, the Jewish people had awaited the day when God would restore the Kingdom of Israel. Prophets foretold a king who would free them from foreign rule, restore God’s reign, and establish lasting peace and justice.

“The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made…I will raise up for David a just shoot…never shall David lack a successor on the throne…nor shall priests of Levi ever be lacking to offer holocausts before me” (Jeremiah 33:14, 17-18). spoke of “one like a son of man” who would receive “dominion, glory, and kingship” and “nations and peoples of every language” would serve him whose kingship would never be destroyed (7:13, 14).

So Jesus, arriving on the scene and preaching the Kingdom of God, got everyone’s attention. But, it was different kingdom than what they expected.

He emphasized mercy over justice. He told his disciples to forgive their enemies. He reached out to “unclean” Gentiles, Samaritans, and Romans. He came not to be served, but to serve. He insisted on being rich – not in earthly possessions- but in what mattered to God. He gave his life as a ransom for many.

The Pharisees were puzzled. He preformed miracles but wasn’t exactly the Messiah-figure they were looking for. They persistently asked him “when the kingdom of God would come” (Luke 22:20).

But it was right in front of them.

In a nutshell, the Kingdom of God is His presence.

In a word -- THE Word made flesh- it’s Jesus.

So, the kingdom of God WAS among them. And his kingdom is among us, here and now, as well. Faith sheds light on the whole of human existence and gives our lives an eternal perspective.

This is especially for Regnum Christi members to remember in these important times for the Movement. The Kingdom of God is among us, because Christ himself is in our midst. We walk with him towards a more profound conversion and renewal.

As partakers in this charism, more than ever, this is the moment to ask for the grace to contemplate it with new eyes so to incarnate it more fully.

As well, we pray that the Holy Spirit guides the minds and hearts of the consecrated men, consecrated women, and Legionaries of Christ participating in the General Assemblies and Chapter. May his Kingdom come and will be done in our hearts, communities, sections, and every soul we touch.

Kingdom of the Heart of Jesus, reign in our hearts!


General Chapter Website Launched


Legion of Christ begins Extraordinary General Chapter tomorrow, January 8, 2014

The General Chapter website

Rome, Italy -- Culminating a three-year renewal process, the General Chapter for the Legion of Christ begins tomorrow, January 8, 2014.

The opening Mass of the Extraordinary General Chapter will take place at 6:30 p.m., (Roman time) Wednesday, January 8, 2014, in the Center for Higher Studies of the Legionaries of Christ. The concelebrated Mass will be presided over by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, C.S., Pontifical Delegate for the Legion of Christ, who will deliver the homily.

The text of the homily and photos will be available for viewing on the new General Chapter’s website:

Regnum Christi members are asked to go to the special segment on the website to join the Legion in prayer for the success of the General Assembly:

The website will also offer links to the following:

The extraordinary General Chapter is an important milestone in the revision of the order’s constitutions and of the congregation’s life, a journey begun more than 3 years ago under the guidance of Pope Benedict XVI, who entrusted Cardinal Velasio with the task of governing the Legion and the Regnum Christi Movement in his name (appointment letter).

The General Chapter will have its first formal meeting the morning of January 9 at the Legion’s General Directorate. Only the Presidency of the Chapter (the Pontifical Delegate and two of his personal councilors) and the Chapter fathers will participate in the sessions of the Chapter. Representatives of the consecrated men, consecrated women and lay members of Regnum Christi have been also invited to participate.

The participating Legionary priests representing North America include Fr. John Bartunek, LC, Fr. Owen Kearns, LC, Fr. John Connor LC, Fr. David Daly LC, Fr. Kevin Meehan LC and Fr. William Serra, LC. In all, 61 priests will participate, 42 of whom were elected, and 19 of whom will participate ex officio. Go to the following link for a list of all the participating priests:

The first phase of the Chapter, scheduled to last approximately 20 days, will consist mainly in the revision of the new constitutions. After that the election of the new leadership will follow, the results of which will be made public. Then the second phase of the Chapter begins, which will address various issues regarding the life of the congregation.


The Changing Landscape of Catechesis


Regnum Christi Live – January 8

By Kelly Luttinen, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. Matthew 10: 16-19

As a Catholic catechist who tries to stay true to Church teaching, I have always found this passage of Scripture particularly consoling.

Why this passage you ask? If you have ever stood before a class of today’s young people and tried to answer their questions regarding the moral teachings of our Church, you will know why I am referring to a passage that so clearly references persecution.

But I would like to change your perspective a bit, from a focus on the difficulties faced by the teacher, to the difficulties faced by the young people who are trying to navigate their way through today’s confusing moral landscape.

The goal of Catholic catechism has always been to partner with parents in teaching the faith. Catechists like me are well aware we will make little headway in conveying Church teaching to young people who are not learning the faith at home or seeing it practiced by their parents.

Consider these few examples of what a type of the circumstances and attitudes I have encountered in teaching over the last 10 or so years.

• Many of my students report their families have “spotty” church attendance, and some feel a bit helpless when I discuss that at least weekly Mass attendance is the responsibility of a practicing Catholic. During one particular discussion on the opportunities for liturgical celebration during Holy Week (incidentally the holiest time in our Church year) one boy indicated his desire to go to Mass, but that sadly, other vacation activities would be the priority in his family. To such students I always tell them to patiently wait for the time when they will make this decision on their own – for example, when they get a driver’s license – and that in the meantime, their desire to attend Mass is pleasing to God.

• During a one-day workshop I was leading a the Theology of the Body at an area high school, I was discussing how in vitro fertilization was not compatible with Church teaching, and one student came up to me to say, a bit sheepishly, that he was conceived in such a manner. I quickly said that despite how he was conceived, he was wanted by God and obviously, by his parents, and that the actions of his parents are not his responsibility. (That was a tough one…)

• During one class session, a student asked me what the church taught about homosexual “marriage,” which I answered truthfully, much to the disagreement of my entire class. I asked the parish DRE if I could pass on a well-written article by Chair of Life Ethics Janet Smith from Sacred Heart Seminary to the students to share with their parents, and the DRE said he would do this himself if he got any questions from the parents directly. He told me later he did get phone calls, mostly from parents who wanted a clarification of Church teaching. But one mother told him, “I am not upset that she answered the question about what the Church teaches. What upsets me is that she said she agrees with it!”

These are only a few examples of the type of questions I have received from students, and the diversity of their situations. Consider that a high percentage of today’s students are likely living with family situations in total contradiction to Church teaching regarding co-habitation, divorce and remarriage, homosexual relationships, and more.

A recent blog from Jimmy Akin points out these diverse circumstances and the thoughtful way Pope Francis is asking us to address this changing landscape of catechesis.

I try to handle these teaching opportunities with lots of help from above. I try to educate myself on Church teaching to the best of my ability, though it is close to impossible to be prepared for all the questions one might be asked, or the reaction one will receive.

I also try to remember to pray the Regnum Christi prayer to Holy Spirit before I teach:

Holy Spirit,

inspire in me what I should think,

what I should say,

what I leave unsaid,

what I should write,

what I should do and how I should act,

to bring about the good of souls,

the fulfillment of my mission,

and the triumph of the Kingdom of Christ.


Trusting in the Guidance of God and the Church


Cardinal De Paolis celebrates General Chapter opening Mass

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis homily

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis addresses the Legion of Christ during the opening Mass of the General Chapter.

The opening Mass for the Extraordinary General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ was held at 6:30 pm (CET) in the chapel of the Legion’s Center of Higher Studies, located in Rome.
General Chapter formal discussions begin tomorrow, January 9.
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis presided over the Mass and delivered the homily, which can be read in its entirety here.  Sixty of the chapter fathers concelebrated, along with many other Legionary priests.
The Mass was the culminating event to end the novena to the Holy Spirit that all Legionaries participated in, as well as an 8-day silent retreat in which the chapter fathers sought light and guidance from God for this important step in the life of the Legion and Regnum Christi.
Afterwards, the Cardinal invited the Legionaries of Christ to look to the future trusting in the guidance of God and the Church: “The same Lord who has accomplished this work in you is the guarantor who will accompany you even further along the path you are called to follow.  What the Lord has done during this time of preparation is like the memory to which you are called to return, so as to regain confidence, serenity and hope: hope in the Lord who has preserved your vocation; hope in the Legion, which, thanks to you, presents itself to this chapter with new strength and new horizons; and hope in the Church, which has accompanied you, particularly through Pope Benedict XVI—who, in the most tragic moment in your

The General Chapter Mass

history, has had confidence in you and has believed in your capacity for renewal and faithfulness to the Lord—and in the current Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis—who wanted to be present at this important moment in your history.”
The two specific tasks of the General Chapter will be to approve the draft of the Legion’s constitutions and to elect a new government for the Legion.  In his homily, Cardinal De Paolis addressed each of these tasks.
Regarding the approval of the constitutions, he said: “The constitutions that you give yourselves will therefore not be simply a code of laws that unites you only externally in discipline, but the text will be an expression of a common vocation, a common ideal, a common mission, a common path to healing, an impulse to strive in common striving for the fulfillment of God’s plan for the congregation and for each of you, for the glory of God and service to the Church and to the Legion.”  
Regarding the election of the new superiors, the Cardinal said: “The primary task, in fact, of the superiors is to preserve and promote the Institute’s charism; the charism is only guaranteed when authority is exercised as service, in the spirit of the Gospel and in fidelity to the norms of the Church.  It is a point which should always be given special attention, especially for you, who have a history of suffering in this regard. It is important not to forget that.

“And this has been 

Cardinal Velasio DePaolis at the Consecration

a topic about which the new constitutional text has been careful and vigilant.  However, as you know, well-made laws are important, but not enough, if there is not a new spirit.  And it is this new spirit that you are called to foster and cultivate inside of you when you are called upon to give yourselves new superiors.  You really have to have a new heart, both on the part of those electing and those elected.”
To stay up-to-date on the events of the General Chapter, go to the website:
Photos of the Mass are available here:



Prepare for Battle


Regnum Christi Live – January 9

By Fr Michael Sliney LC"The devil never sleeps, neither is the flesh yet dead: therefore thou must not cease to prepare thyself for battle, for on the right and on the left are enemies that never rest." (Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, II, 9 ,8)

How do we win this battle?

1. Sacrament of the Eucharist: "?In the Eucharist, Christ makes us Christ."? (St. Augustine). Christ already won! We need his presence deeply within our soul through daily Mass and our hearts yearn to be inflamed and strengthened by his heart in adoration. "There is ?nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road to holiness.?" (Pope Paul VI, Mystery of Faith, p. 26) He reminds us that the best defense is a strong offense. The Eucharist will inspire you to get out of your ?bunker? and to get out into the field of battle, focusing on loving and serving those around you! We are not here to simply ?avoid sin?, we are here to be ambassadors of Christ?'s love and this is what most irritates and defeats the devil.

2. Sacrament of Confession: Here the battle wounds are completely healed and you leave both renewed and determined to take up the fight again for Christ. This Sacramental grace not only patches the wound but it also has "?a remedial power and helps remove the very roots of sin.?" (Pope John Paul II, Reconciliation and Penance). The weakness of your character, (which the devil knows so well), is strengthened and becomes less of a hindrance in the daily battle. Like a boxer going to the corner for a refresher after a tough round, regular confession of venial sins is essential if you want to survive and win the long boxing match of life.

3. Living in the Presence of Christ: ?"If a soldier fighting under the eyes of his commander is inspired to multiply his feats of valor, should we not be ready to undergo the most strenuous labors, to make the greatest efforts when conscious that not only do the eyes of God watch us in our struggle, but that his victorious arm ever sustains us.?" (A. Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life, n. 447). He is always so close, so real, and so interested in helping us…?we are never alone in this battle! Take time to pause and look into his loving eyes, and cry out to him for help especially when the bombs and attacks are more intense. He is a faithful friend and he will not let you down.

4. Secret Weapon: the Blessed Virgin Mary: ?"If she holds you by the hand, how can you fall! Under her protection, you shall know no fear; under her guidance you shall not falter, under her patronage you shall surely reach the goal.?" (St. Bernard). I am always consoled by the image of the snake?'s head being completely crushed under the feet of the Blessed Mother. She will always protect you, and remember that Christ simply cannot say no to his mom! Pray the rosary, and make frequent and filial and heart-felt visits to the Blessed Mother!

5. Spiritual Direction: ?"And I would like to say that this invitation continues to be valid for all -- priests, consecrated persons and laypeople -- and especially for young people -- to take recourse to the counsels of a good spiritual father, capable of accompanying each one in profound knowledge of oneself, and leading one to union with the Lord, so that one's life is increasingly conformed to the Gospel. We always need a guide, dialogue, to go to the Lord. We cannot do it with our reflections alone.?" (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, General Audience, Rome, September 16, 2009)


Code of Conduct Update

The Legion of Christ has published an updated Code of Conduct under its Child and Youth Protection guidelines

On December 30, 2013, the Legion of Christ published an updated Code of Conduct under its “Child and Youth Protection” guidelines.  The updated Code of Conduct is available on the Legion website under the “Child and Youth Protection” tab on the Home Page.  To access the update directly, click here.

Fr. Steven Reilly LC, the Safe Environments Coordinator for the Legion, said the major change to the Code of Conduct involves adding an appendix that details how to handle reports regarding “sexual misconduct with an adult.”

“It provides a roadmap for how to appropriately handle these types of reports,” he said.

Also, there have been a number of minor changes to several points of policy within the Code itself, he said.

Following is the information to directly contact Fr. Steven Reilly for more information on the new Code of Conduct, or to make any abuse reports:

Phone: (301) 580-0340
New Mailing Address: 815 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580


The “older son” in me


Regnum Christi Live – January 10, 2014

By Amelia Hoover that has been getting under my skin lately is this new pope! Before, getting into why, to settle any apprehension, I love and support our Holy Father. I have some thoughts, though, on why he has caused a bit of a rise in me, just as he has with many others.

I find in the famous interview so many have commented on, quoted to support gay marriage, and written articles about, the reasons this pope has caused a positive tension within me. In this interview Pope Francis calls the Church to reach out to our suffering brothers and sisters, to reach out to those who do not know the treasure of the faith, and to accompany them in their walk of faith. With these calls, Pope Francis challenges me and gets at the “older son” in me.

At one point in his interview Pope Francis talks of the danger for a confessor to be either a rigorist or too lax. He points out neither exemplify the love and mercy of God, for neither takes responsibility for the person. Both seem to wash their hands of the person. One leaves the person with the commandment to condemn or redeem and the other brushes it off saying it wasn’t a big deal. Neither employs a personal commitment. Our Catholic faith is about salvation. Jesus came to seek the lost and heal the sick. Just as Jesus comes and accompanies each person starting with where they are at and leading them to live in a closer relationship with God, I am called to do the same. The Church’s focus should not remain in self-preservation. The Church is missionary, called to prolong the work of Jesus in the world.

This focus challenges my own complacency. It doesn’t allow me to remain satisfied with following all the rules and staying within the lines. It creates a healthy tension to ask me what I am doing to live out this mission Jesus inaugurated – this mission of evangelization. It doesn’t allow me to remain satisfied with merely passing the suffering by, giving them the right answers of how to live a Christian life. I am called to accompany others – prayer, patience, listening, sacrifice. To be so interested in their good that I will make their sufferings and joys my own.

Pope Francis’ focus also calls me to remember God is merciful. God accepts and embraces me with all of my sinfulness. God does and will accept and embrace my fallen brothers and sisters. God’s mercy is a beautiful reality but it can also be challenging. As a Catholic who has always had the grace to uphold and support Church teaching for the most part, I can feel a little bit of the “older son” in me wanting to react when the pope calls for love and openness to people who live in a contrary way. I am reminded of the Father’s response to his older son, “You have been with me always. Everything I have is yours.” I hear an invitation from the Father to share with him all he has – to share the joy of welcoming and embracing all of his children who are being found.

How reassuring it is to have the leader of the Catholic faith speaking about love, mercy, proclaiming the gospel, evangelizing, praying, and caring for others. He is reminding me of the proper context and what should be the motivating force of my Christian life.







Jim Fair

Communications Director

Legion of Christ