Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Time and prayers. Lots of prayers

It is a fact that the Legion of Christ is in the process of revision or reform. Whether it will be a reform or a revision is yet to be seen. The Congregation Apostolic Delegate, Cardinal Velasio de Paulis, has convoked an extraordinary General Chapter to begin in January 2014. 

While many have blogged their ideas about the reform, and others have blogged their experiences of life in the Legion of Christ or the Regnum Christi Movement, it is also a fact that little is known about what has been done to reform the Legion in the last three years. 

Now it is time to wait and see what comes of this revision/reform. It is a matter of time, and prayers: lots of prayers, because of no real reform takes place, there will be another wave of priests and religious who will leave. Many are just waiting to see what happens. Pray for them. Leaving is not easy.

An update to this post 11/7/2013
The news of Fr Deomar de Guedes departure from the Congregation is all the more reason to pray for those who are still in the Legion and possibly contemplating their exit. I sincerely ask you to pray for them. Pray that their faith in the Lord may not fail, and they will be warmly accepted in the dioceses they choose.  The decompression process is painful and at time confusing. They need our support and prayers. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

So happy I'm out

The period of "reform" of the Legionaries of Christ is coming to an end, and little has been done to make substantial changes to the problems that afflict the congregation. At least, that is the general consensus of those of us on the outside trying to figure out what is going on in the Legion. Will there be substantial changes come January when the congregation celebrates its Extraordinary General Chapter. Time will tell. 

For my part, I am so happy I am out. Many legionaries who have had legitimate reasons to leave have stuck it out hoping for real change. Some have expressed their disillusionment but have stayed all the same. Others left and have suffered withdrawal symptoms. Those who did leave were seen as weak by those who stayed, even by the Apostolic Delegate. All in all, I'm out and I'm happy. 

It has been over three years since I departed on my own two feet. It is almost three years since I was named Pastor of the Nativity of Mary Parish in Brasilia, Brazil. I would be dishonest if I were to say I haven't had issues due to my time in the Legion. There are scars that only time can heal. Others that only a sincere apology can reconcile. I don't expect any of this from the Legion or Legionaries. It is easy to make a general apology to all those hurt by the Founder's actions. It is more difficult to say "I was part of the system and caused you harm".

Little by little I have been stripping myself of the programmed way of doing things I learned in the Legion, and have become more a pastor of souls. I am also aware of some who were accepted in to diocesan parishes and were not able to adapt, and have left their ministry. I don't judge or condemn them, but support their decision. It is the right thing to do. Legionaries are not formed to be parish priests, and don't receive the support they need for this demanding ministry. I am grateful for the support of my Bishop and fellow priests who have known how to help me transition into a completely new life. 

I, like many, am following the progress of the legionary "reform". Whatever the outcome, I'm out and I'm happy.