Rome, March 17, 2020
To all Regnum Christi members
Dear Regnum Christi members in Christ,
In this third week of Lent we would like to send you a cordial greeting, together with our prayers for each of you and your loved ones.
Yesterday we met for the first time as the General Directive College of the Regnum Christi Federation. The three new directors among us assume responsibility for the general government of the Regnum Christi Federation by office, out of love for the charism that unites us, and with a desire to serve. The two lay participants were very much looking forward to meeting the new General Directive College to continue our service. We all thank Father Eduardo Robles-Gil, LC, Gloria Rodríguez and Jorge López for their great work in these past years.
Our meeting was virtual; some of us have not left home for several days, as is the case with many who are currently in Europe or have recently traveled there in these days. More than dealing with pending issues, what we did yesterday was to pray together and share how we are living, from the perspective of the mission that God has entrusted to us, the global diffusion of the disease COVID-19, better known as coronavirus.
Each country experiences this situation differently depending on the evolution of the disease and the reactions of their governments. We want to show solidarity with everyone and in a particular way with those who are being most affected; we are praying for the dead, for the sick and their families and loved ones, for so much suffering and uncertainty.
As the General Directive College, we now turn to all of you who live the Regnum Christi charism according to your various vocations, in the place where God has placed you.
Just as we usually do in an Encounter with Christ, we also reflected together on what God wants to say to us through this "case,” the situation we are living. We offer you below the reflections that emerged:
- Often we think that we have everything under control, that our systems and ideas can control and govern the world, and now we clearly see once more that this is not the case.
- The fragility that we experience in circumstances like this can be a moment of special grace and fruitfulness, because it invites us to place ourselves in God’s hands and in his providence; without ceasing to collaborate, doing all that we humanly can, and responsibly following the indications of the competent authorities.
- We are inspired by the example of Pope Francis who went on pilgrimage through the city of Rome last Sunday to intercede before the Virgin Mary, under the invocation of Salus populi romani (Salvation of the Roman people); and to venerate Jesus Christ before the Crucifix of St. Marcellus, which was usually carried in procession through the city when it was threatened by the plague in past centuries. That should be our place, before God, with the Blessed Virgin, trusting and interceding.
- We are in Lent, an extraordinary period of conversion. God calls us to the desert, he wants to purify us, he wants to renew our heart, our life. In this sense, it is a good opportunity for examen and discernment: What does God want and expect from us amidst all this?
- Lay people who cannot attend the celebration of the Eucharist or other sacraments now have the opportunity to live their faith in a particular way as a domestic church. Through the grace of the sacrament of baptism and marriage, they can make Christ present in their own home and create an environment conducive to spiritual participation in the Eucharist and a more intense family prayer life.
In conclusion, we invite you to read and meditate on what number 9 of the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation tells us about apostolic fruitfulness:
- In the past, Lent was also the time to prepare ourselves for the Holy Week missions, which are, for many, the most beautiful sign of our spiritual family, composed of different vocations and ages, who go out to live their faith and to evangelize. Now it is up to us to continue going out; perhaps, in some countries, without even being able to leave our own home, but going out to meet people with our prayer, with the charity with which we live, with phone calls, virtual meetings, accompanying especially the sick and those who are alone. We as Regnum Christi members are a movement that goes out to meet the circumstances and the demands of the moment.
Aware that the Kingdom of Christ is a gift and that we cannot build it by human strength alone, we seek to remain always in communion with Christ and with his Church, like the branch on the vine (see John 15:5). As followers and collaborators of Christ the Apostle, we know that prayer, participation in his cross, generosity in the service of others, trust in the action of his grace, and the witness of an authentically Christian life must precede and accompany all our apostolic action.
We added a link to a video that the international communication office prepared in the last two weeks. It contains the welcome from the two lay members of the General College to the new general directors, as well as each of our thoughts on some of the challenges Regnum Christi faces currently and what we hope to contribute.
We want to reiterate our solidarity and closeness to you all and assure you of a very special remembrance in our prayers. We remain affectionately yours in the Lord and in Regnum Christi,
Father John Connor, LC | Nancy Nohrden | Félix Gómez Rueda
Francisco Gámez-Arcaya | Álvaro Abellán-García
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Gail Gore, Director of Communications
Regnum Christi Federation | North American Territory