On November 27, 2018, through the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Holy See handed, to Consecrated Women and Lay Consecrated Men of the Regnum Christi, the papal decrees recognizing them canonically as Societies of Apostolic Life and approving their Constitutions.
With this official recognition, the Church expresses that the Consecrated Women and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi are recognized as a “gift that contributes to the mission of the Church herself, and as a way for men’s encounter with God,” points out the Regnum Christi in a press release.
It is also a “step so that, together with the Legionaries of Christ, they can constitute themselves in a Federation, and thus the Regnum Christi be given a canonical configuration, to which the lay persons of this ecclesial reality will associate themselves individually,” they add.
The opening Mass of the General Assembly of the Regnum Christ was held in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Philip Martyr in Rome, with the participation of the delegates of the General Assembly, as well as some members of the communities of Consecrated Women and Lay Consecrated Men and Legionaries of Christ present in Rome.
During the homily, Monsignor Jose Rodriguez Carballo reminded them: “No one among you will be able to carry out his mission in isolation; no one of you — not the Legionaries, not the Consecrated Women or the lay consecrated men . . . This first step of the erection of two Societies of Apostolic Life will culminate with a subsequent step the day that you associate yourselves legally as a Federation, which is another way of saying, as a family. I will always repeat to you ’unite yourselves!’ because the charism is one, although the forms of carrying it out and of living it are different.”
He also congratulated the members of the branches: “Congratulations and from this moment on may the Regnum Christi continue working, if possible also with greater strength as a family, united in Christ and in the charism itself. Always count on the help of Mother Church, who will certainly give you her hand, as she has up to today, in any moment and circumstance.”
At the end of the Mass, Monsignor Rodriguez Carballo handed both decrees of erection to the General Directors of the Consecrated Women and of the Lay Consecrated Men.
The news of the canonical erection fills us with joy and comes in a Providential moment,” said Gloria Rodriguez, General Directress of the Consecrated Women of the Regnum Christi.
“Next December 8 we will begin the Jubilee Year of preparation for the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the first Consecrated Women of the Regnum Christi — Margarita Estrada, Graciela and Guadalupe Magana –, to whom shortly after were added Patricia Bannon and Fatima Portillo,” she recalled in a letter to all the Consecrated Women.
“We feel ourselves living stones of the Church, which recognizes us as a Society of Apostolic Life that collaborates in the service of the universal mission, which it has received on the part of Christ,” she concluded.
“In the first place, we must feel very grateful to God, with the Church that has accompanied us during these years, and with all the members of the Regnum Christi, whom we consider as our brothers,” affirmed for his part the General Director of the Lay Consecrated Men of the Regnum Christi, Jorge Lopez. “With this step, we want to express once again that we feel fully members of the Regnum Christi, and that we want to continue contributing to the common mission,” he assured in the letter he sent to all the Lay Consecrated Men.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester