How do you know if you’re called to consecrated life in Regnum Christi?
How is the lay consecrated life different from religious life?
We are a Society of Apostolic Life within Regnum Christi, and are approved through the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Like the other ecclesial movements that have sprung up in the Church shortly before or after Vatican II, the Holy Spirit inspired this new way of life dedicated to Christ within a particular spiritual family. What we have in common with religious sisters and cloistered nuns are the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, taken for life. Many religious make “public vows”, while the vows that we make are “private”. The essence of the vows is the same, but the canonical form differs in the institute in which they are made. We also live in community and are committed to a life of prayer and union with the Lord. Our lay consecration to God permeates all that we are and all that we do. Impelled by Christ’s personal love for us, we respond with our exclusive and total dedication to him, to help others to experience him as someone real in their lives. We wear a wedding ring to symbolize our union with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Spouse of our souls. The fact that we are both lay and consecrated to God is an expression of our being “in the world but not of the world.”
Do you live in community?
Yes, we do. A big feature of our community life is that it is international, since our spiritual family is too! We constantly discover our unity of life despite differences in language, customs, ages and backgrounds. Community life is a major element of our call that enables us to live charity first at home and then with those we meet outside of our home. Since we are missionaries, we are always open to the possibility of being moved to a new place, learning a new language and evangelizing in a new reality.
What do Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi do?
Our mission is evangelization, bringing people to a personal encounter with the Lord so that they may know and respond to him in their lives. No matter which apostolic activity or ministry we carry out, the mission is the same: to follow Christ’s example, who, throughout his life, personally formed and accompanied his apostles.
This includes prayer, testimony of life, the gift of ourselves to God, and apostolic action. We offer our “feminine genius” in the life of the Church and our secularized society, with a special focus on forming women of all ages, since they become the heart for strong Christian families.
Concretely, we collaborate in:
Do Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi have college degrees?
While many enter consecrated life with college degrees, all of us are required to study at least an undergraduate degree in theology and pastoral ministry during our formation years, in order to be prepared for our mission. We also encourage many of our members to pursue Masters and even occasionally PhD level degrees in order to be current and effective in our apostolic outreach to souls.
What’s your discernment process? How do you discover if you’re called to be consecrated to God in Regnum Christi?
We have an 8-year process of discernment for any young woman who desires to enter consecrated life with us.
This includes a time of discernment in residence at one of our houses, a two year candidacy, followed by temporary vows, study, and apostolic internship with an active community.
In addition to experiencing a personal call to consecrate her life to Christ, a young woman discerning with us would also need to be in dialogue with a good spiritual director and our vocations director to help her see if she is truly called to this vocation.
Part of the discernment process, which would culminate in her making her final vows after 6 years of temporary vows, is to see if the young woman possesses the following characteristics: resonance with Regnum Christi’s apostolic charism and mission; a genuine call from Jesus Christ to belong totally to him as his spouse; capacity for living out the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience out of love for Christ; flexibility and adaptability to change: culture, language, community and apostolic ministry; a balanced psychology and emotional maturity; good health for active ministry; acceptance of God’s mercy and ardent zeal to spread it to all.
What’s your connection to the Legionaries of Christ?
We are all part of the spiritual family of Regnum Christi, and share a charism and mission of striving for holiness and the evangelization of society. We are canonically connected by the Federation of Regnum Christi. In many places, we minister together at schools, parishes, universities, seminaries and retreat houses, along with Regnum Christi members. The Legionaries of Christ are normally the chaplains who provide the sacraments for the communities of Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi.
How can I discern consecrated life within RC?
Come and visit us! We host Vocation Discernment retreats annually at our house in Atlanta, and also various retreats and missions with the Consecrated Women in cities where we have a community. Our North American/English-speaking communities are: Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI, Houston, TX, Greenville, RI, Washington, DC, and Manila, Philippines.
Our National Vocations Director is Adrienne Rolwes. She can be reached at email@example.com.