North American lay members of the Legion of Christ’s apostolic movement Regnum Christi met Oct. 10-12 for their national convention in Atlanta, where they prepared to revise their laws and organizing structures. “The goal of this journey you are about to undertake is to express more clearly the lifestyle you are called to live,” Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new director of the Legion of Christ, told Regnum Christi lay members in an Oct. 2 letter anticipating the meeting. He said the process will enable them “to delve deeper into your life, spirituality and mission.” “I pray that this journey might be an occasion for you to better understand, love and live your vocation to Regnum Christi; that it might ‘stir into flame the gift of God’ and that you might experience more deeply the great trust God shows you by making you stewards of this gift.” In 2006, Benedict XVI removed from ministry Legion of Christ founder Fr. Marcel Maciel and called him to a life of penitence and prayer following revelations that he had led a secret life of grave immorality. Cardinal Velasio De Paolis was appointed governor of the Legion by Benedict in 2010, after an apostolic visitation determined the order needed “profound re-evaluation” and reform. The Legion of Christ’s general chapter met in January and February 2014, electing new leaders and presenting new constitutions to the Holy See for approval. Regnum Christi’s consecrated men and women held their general assemblies in late 2013, after which Cardinal de Paolis approved their new statutes. Fr. Gil’s letter outlined how Regnum Christi lay members may participate in the renewal process. He said members were to discuss Regnum Christi’s canonical configuration in order to “foster communion” among Regnum Christi members, Legionaries of Christ, and consecrated laity. The discussions will consider changes to the Regnum Christi statutes approved in 2004. The final draft of the revisions will be written during Regnum Christi’s Pentecost 2016 international convention and be submitted to the Vatican for approval. Until April 2015, local bodies of Regnum Christi will help familiarize lay members with Catholic teaching on the role of the laity in the Church. Members will be able to access study materials from the commission in charge of the statute revision. From May to November 2015, Regnum Christi members will be able to participate in discernment groups about the identity, mission and spirituality of their association. Incorporated first and second degree members of Regnum Christi will elect delegates to participate in a territorial convention that will elect delegates and make recommendations to the international convention. “May this process of revision be an occasion for each of us to strengthen our personal encounter with Christ and to hear once again the invitation to be his apostles,” Fr. Robles Gil said, asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary so that Regnum Christi members “might respond to the Lord’s gifts with joy.” There are about 30,000 lay Regnum Christi members worldwide. There are about 1,800 members of the Legion of Christ, including four bishops, 954 priests and 836 religious in formation. The congregation has about 630 consecrated women and 72 consecrated men.
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