Monday, August 16, 2010

Going home or leaving home

I was going to title this “Going home”, but I was afraid I might offend my family. On Friday, August 20, I will be heading back to Brazil. Yes Brazil. I know I have been trying to keep a lot details of my personal life reserved, but it doesn't really matter much if you know where I am going.

You already know I am an American priest who entered the legion. Now you know I am an American priest that will be working in Brazil. Why Brazil? Because I love it. Eight years have taken care of the language problem, and have helped me to understand the culture, and evangelize it.

August 20 will be a travel day. Actually, I will arrive the morning of August 21. Given that sleep is not an option in economy, I will probably spend that arrival day lounging. Then comes Sunday, and I'm sure I will be able to get into the thick of things.

What will the next month be like? Well, I will have await word from my bishop, but I will also have a chance to meet with him. I will also be in a position to do some pastoral work. Above all, as I said in a previous blog, I will have time to pray and plot my spiritual life for the future. My spirituality in the past has been based on the writings of a man who proved not to be what he promised.


  1. My birthday is August 22 Father. I will remember to pray for you in Brazil that day...

    An ex-RC mother of 6 being faithful to her vocation as you are being to yours!

  2. Hello Father,

    I wish you the best in whatever you decide. I am a loyal Regnum Christi Member to the end. Only the Pope himself can ever have me leave this awesome movement that has inspired me to die for my faith, my parish and my brothers and sisters in the faith. During this whole ordeal the person whom I have found so much mercy has been an atheist friend of mine. He can careless about what the LC or the church is going through but he has been extremely supportive. He He asked me if I feel like leaving the Catholic church. My response has been a heck no. I won't leave the Catholic Church over Judas, I won't leave Regnum Christi over Fr. Maciel.

    If there is but one quote that makes me deal with all of this is this one

    ‎"I have been all things unholy; if God can work through me, He can work through anyone." - Saint Francis of Assisi

    I have met some amazing Fathers and Brothers from the Legion. I have also met some who would made me turn into an Atheist. I can only imagine those 12 apostles how different they all were. I am saddened by the sins of Fr. Maciel but none of it will make me leave Regnum Christi. Even if evertone eventually left I would remain one and it will say it on my tombstone. But I can say that I hope you find the happiness that you could not have in the Legion. No order is better than the other. We just try to find where we can serve God best. I am sure I probably have met you. After all I cook for many Legionaries. And if we never meet I know someday we will. One time when I dropped of a brother at an airport and I knew I probably wouldn't see him again he left by saying "I will see you in Heaven" Fr. I pray you will find that joy you had when you were first ordained in any diocese or country you go to. I will see you in Heaven if not here first.

    Sincerely a Semper Fidelis Catholic.

  3. Dear Semper Fidelis Catholic,
    Thank you for your comment and for your fidelity, after all, at the end of our lives, that is what will matter - if we are faithful to Christ. I certainly have never wavered in my love and fidelity to Christ. I too loved the legion and did my best to give it all to Christ in the legion. Unfortunately, my generosity in the legion was not appreciated and I found myself constantly excluded and under suspicion. Why? I may never find out. After a while you get tired of the frustration and seek to follow Christ elsewhere. Does God cease to bless me and those under my care? Just in the past weeks visiting home, I have seen many people touched by my pastoral care. I will never stop seeking to be an instrument of God's Grace for souls. I am sure He will bless me with his Grace.
    Again, thank you for your sincerity.

  4. I've been following your blog Father and I wish you the very best. "Time, the contemplative knows, is given not for the sake of perfection but for the sake of discovery. There is a great deal to be discovered in life before we are finally able to break ourselves open to the God within and around us out of whom all life flows. What we learn in the course of a lifetime, is life-changing."

    One phrase of yours saddens me: "My spirituality in the past has been based on the writings of a man who proved not to be what he promised." I too am a former LC priest but at no time was my spirituality based on the writings of MM. For what it's worth, in person he always insisted we base our "spirituality" on the Gospel in a personal relationship with Jesus. His dysfunctionality spoiled so much and hurt many. Don't think for a minute that I am defending him. I'm not. "Time is the gift of realization, not the death of all our dreams. Whatever is happening, whatever stage in which we find ourselves, is the stuff of God." I suspect you will do very well - you are making a big change: just give yourself time. There's no hurry. It will be an exciting process. May the road rise to meet you and the sun be always at your back!

  5. "I too am a former LC priest but at no time was my spirituality based on the writings of MM."

    The Monk, try as you might to distance the Legion from MM, you know in your heart of hearts that the Legion came from the very heart of MM, and that the spirituality of the movement came from him. Every member of the movement, and the Legionaries, spent a period of each day to read his letters and to "absorb the spirituality of the movement." To say now that the spirituality of the priests, consecrated and other members of the movement was not based on the letters of MM is blatantly disingenuous. Also, the spirituality of a movement, order, congregation, association of lay faithful, etc., is SUPPOSED to come from the founder. That has always been the role of the founder of any organization in the Church. To say that the spirituality of RC/LC comes DIRECTLY from Christ with no intermediary goes against the Tradition of the Church in this regard.

  6. Dear Exiting Father,
    I wish you all the best in this new stage of your life, a period of continued discernment. Some of the posters seems to know the answers but only God does...
    You are in my prayers and in my intentions and in my heart with an empathy that only those who have walked that lonely path can know. The real path to God in truth and justice is a lonely one, and we must go it alone, without Maciel, without Legion and Regnum Christi as our crutches. Alone, face to face with God. "It is terrible to fall into the hands of the Living God" but it is also wonderfully freeing. And He is Love.
    J. Paul Lennon

  7. Father Jack, I'm sorry that you believe your home is somewhere outside of where your family is. LC has taken that away from you, too. They drove a wedge between you and your family, convincing you that LC was your true family. What was it that your sister said? She'd only seen you a handful of times in 25 years?

    I pray that these last few weeks have driven home for you the fact that you will never be loved more deeply, appreciated for being who you really are more fully and accepted more sincerely than you will be at Home. (How often does a 75-year-old Mother do cartwheels when she hears her son is coming home for a visit?)

    Where you serve will always bring you monumental blessings and wonderful memories, but it can never replace Home.

    At least that's how it should be.

    ATL Granny


  9. anonymous at 5:56 AM,
    "I won't leave the Catholic Church over Judas, I won't leave Regnum Christi over Fr. Maciel."

    This is a frightening statement; it sounds like you are equating being a member of a club, with being Catholic. Regnum Christi is absolutely, positively not necessary for you to get to Heaven, and might very well be a hindrance if you give it too much importance in your life. The group itself is very problematic, and you probably mis-learned some aspects of Catholicism. I strongly urge you to investigate Catholic teaching on things like spiritual direction, humility, Consecrated Virginity, and vocation. (hint: if your vocation is to be a wife and mother, then "belonging to a discredited Movement" should not be your vocation.) The LC/RC has misinformed and therefore misformed many Catholics on these subjects.

  10. Anonymous @ 5:46 AM,
    "I won't leave the Catholic Church over Judas, I won't leave Regnum Christi over Fr. Maciel."

    This is a disturbing comment; it sounds like Regnum Christi is as important to you as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. It's just this group, ya know? And it's becoming increasingly clear that the Legion misinforms and therefore misforms Catholics. I strongly urge you to learn Catholic teaching on 1) Consecrated Virgins (re Canon 604) and how they differ from 3gfs (they are not consecrated in the Catholic Church; the Church benignly views their "vows" as informal promises) 2) spiritual direction, 3) humility vs pride 4) vocation 5) discernment. LC/RC has some very un-Catholic aspects in these areas

  11. Sorry about the double post, it looked like the first post was eaten.

  12. Dear Jeanette,

    I never joined RC because of M.M. and he won't be the reason why I leave. If the Holy Father and the Bishops have not asked us to leave, then that reason is good enough for me. The very same reasons you say why we should leave RC because of M.M. is no different than my protestant friends asking me to leave the True Church because of other priest who have done the same horrible crimes from different orders or even my Atheist friends saying I should leave Christianity because of all bad things done by priest or ministers of other faiths.

    In the end what ever the Holy father decides is what I follow and obey. Is the movement discredited by his decree or is that merely opinion of others? I honor, respect and think highly of any LC or RC member that leaves because they deserve to serve God where they feel God calls them to be. In the end I only want happiness for every brother and sister of our faith especially those who have left or will leave. But I also think that those of us who choose to remain should be given that same respect especially from those from our faith.

    I also never ever stated that being a member of RC was a requirement to get into heaven. If I have done so please point this out. If I am blind in my thinking then I ask God to guide me where he wants me.

    In the end the only opinion that matters about the Legion and of the Regnum Christi Movement is that of our Holy Father. For us to believe our opinions are above his we tread close to the line of those who call themselves protestants.

    1 more thing Fr. The LC priest who brought me in left the Legion. I was not saddened but rather I rejoiced with him because I know he found peace and happiness in his decision. Fr, I also share in the good news that you will or have made in yours. I ask you to pray for me because it would mean a lot coming from you.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

  13. Dear Anon-

    The pope will never tell you to leave RC, any more than he'd tell you to leave Call to Action. Or your local bowling club.

    You are a lay person. RC is a lay 'club'. The pope has NO AUTHORITY over your decision. On the other hand, if your local BISHOP banned RC, you would be morally obligated to leave, or would be sinning.

    In lieu of your bishop's action, you must only obey your well-formed conscience and your prudential judgement.

    Which obviously see no problem in participating in a group founded by and a spirituality developed by a child molesting, sacrament-abusing fraud with no religious sentiment or scruples. (Vatican's assessment, not mine)

    Why is this? Why are you clinging to this one group, which is problematic and uneccessary to your salvation?

    Maybe you have good reasons, but you might want to do some soul-searching and make sure you haven't made it into a golden calf.

  14. "Which obviously see no problem in participating in a group founded by and a spirituality developed by a child molesting, sacrament-abusing fraud with no religious sentiment or scruples. (Vatican's assessment, not mine)"

    That is a very partial reading of what the Vatican (and the Church) have said. Why the blinkers, Deirdre? You don't like what they DID say?

    The Pope said that you and the Legion have to be reconciled. Them to you, you to them.

    Reread the May 5th communique.

    Also, I would recommend an examination of conscience to see if you have not made your hatred into your golden calf. As long as you are turned in its direction, you will have your back to the direction Benedict is pointing.

    Fr., best of luck in your new assignment. It is healthy to move away from an organization where one's talents are unappreciated, and "office politcs" thwarts the contribution be could make. Changing places frequently allows one to soar! So best of luck, and blessings to you.

  15. Dear All,

    I would like to repeat the "Thank you" that I gave to Semper Fidelis Catholic in a previous comment, but I extend it to all who have commented on this blog.

    It is obvious that not everyone is going to agree with my posts. Nor will everyone agree with comments.

    I understand those who have been hurt by the legion or the movement. I also understand those who are in the movement, are comfortable, and feel they are doing what God wants. Who am I to judge someone's conscience, much less past or present experience. Only God can do that.

    I am glad to see so many have come to know and love Jesus Christ in the lc and rc. After all, it is He who works in our souls and all others are instruments. What's more, all of us are imperfect and unworthy instruments. But as a priest, seeing how God works through me, I can understand those have been touched by sincere rc or lc. Who am I to say that God cannot work through them.

    You know my reasons for leaving. Everyone I have met and told my story, layperson, priest and bishop, have said I have made the right choice. I am sure I am following what God wants of me. I don't look back with remorse. I look forward now with hope.

  16. anon, I didn't ask you to leave. I asked you to learn Church teaching. The Legion has mistaught certain aspects of Catholicism to many Catholics and I think it would be a good idea for you to find out what they are. Do or don't.
    I don't know why you're still talking about MM; the Vatican dealt with him in 2006, the way they always deal with elderly molesters. The topic now is the formation problems, as the May 1 communique and Bishop Urquidi's press statement noted. Are you wanting Deirdre to look at the part where it says that the Legion needs to begin to deal sincerely with us? Umm, go ahead?

  17. I don't understand this non-use of common sense and reason; why would you need a personal invitation from the pope to leave? He just doesn't - and won't - do that.

    I'll take it a step further: sometimes popes are wrong. JPII said MM was an "efficacious guide to youth". Please have the common sense to see that He. Was. Wrong.

    Don't wait for the pope to tell you what to do about some organization you belong to. He'll think better of you if you use your God-given sense of reason to come to that conclusion on your own.

  18. Father,

    I need advice, I grew up in a very loving family. I loved my dad because he taught that fidelity is what defined you as a man. He also never complained about suffering or being esteemed. This is something he said came from the men in or family before us. My wife is never supportive of me and not very affectionate, it is hard to feel appriecated.I have recently become aware that my grandfather may not have been the man my father wanted me to become. Should I consider leaving my familiy and find for a lady who I thnk will appriecate me more.

  19. Dear comment at 10:56 AM
    I am sorry, but this is not the proper forum for you question.


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