Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fr. Neftali Sanchez xLC Celebrates Golden Jubilee of Ordination in Mexico

Fr. Neftali, still handsome after all those years. After leaving the Legion and Maciel in the 60s he turned to his native Michoacan, Mexico, and found a place for himself in the diocese of Morelia. Taken with local bishop Alberto Suarez Inda.

In my memoir I describe meeting Fr. Neftali, the second Legionary priest I ever met. "Fr." Coindreau, my recruiter, although he masquerades as a cleric, could not say Mass. Fr. Neftali, whose command of English was just beginning, was the first Legionary priest who came to Bundoran to minister to us postulants on a regular basis.

I never learned under what circumstances Neftali left the Legion not many years after. But he did leave. Like so many other exiting Legionaries he did not get his documentation straightened out and thus continued as an official  Legion member for decades. It is likely that the Legion did "not want to bother" the Congregation for Clergy by notifying them of this defection....

The good news is that Fr. Neftali got a life after the Legion and became a happy priest outside.

On the other hand, as one of the first ordained Legionary priests, personally recruited by Maciel, who knows what dreams he was fed as a co-founder of the glorious order. Why did he have to forego those dreams of greatness? What made him leave the Father that had recruited him at the age of 12?

Article in Spanish

*** Misa concelebrada y un gran banquete

El Sol de Morelia

24 de junio de 2009

Por Dalia

Morelia, Michoacán.- En medio de una gran emotividad el presbítero Neftalí Sánchez Tinoco dio gracias a Dios por los 50 años de ejercicio sacerdotal que le ha permitido realizar, lo cual tuvo lugar durante una misa oficiada por el Excmo. señor arzobispo de la Diócesis don Alberto Suárez Inda, concelebrada por 15 sacerdotes.

Con la humildad y devoción con la que cinco décadas atrás celebró su ordenación sacerdotal, el padre Neftalí seguirá pensando como en aquel ayer: "El Señor me ha mirado a los ojos y sonriendo ha dicho mi nombre", pues así fue elegido para una misión que ha cumplido satisfactoriamente, con gran entrega y estricta vocación como lo expresaron las palabras conceptuosas y elocuentes que en ese acontecimiento fueron vertidas.

Posteriormente, un extraordinario banquete en la Universidad Vasco de Quiroga reunió a más de 300 personas que manifestaban su cariño, respeto y admiración al sacerdote, pues sus familiares de diversos puntos del mapa se hicieron presentes, además de tantas personas de las que se ha hecho querer, respetar y admirar ampliamente.

El escenario lucía armonioso y bellísimo y las notas del conjunto Ad Libitum, así como la participación de una soprano que brindó estupendas interpretaciones de María Greever y otros autores, dieron realce al evento en el que los platillos de gran gala hablaban de la excelencia propia de un acontecimiento tan trascendental. (I)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fr Yepez & Fr. Neftali, LC Founders in Ireland [Excerpt from early draft]

In my memoir I write about these good Legionaries

I also describe Fr Neftali Sanchez-Tinoco, of the Omar Sharif smile, who left the Legion soon after serving in Ireland, was never officially discharged, and took up teaching in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, still a priest.

[Excerpt from old draft]


After a few weeks we joyfully welcomed three new formators from Rome and were instructed to call them ‘Father’, even when it transpired that they, like our recruiter, were not ordained priests or even deacons, but rather theology students. I enjoyed having these ‘Assistants’ with us in our daily activities, including basketball and soccer, lending a certain ‘gravitas’ to our high jinks. They were: “Frs.” Ramiro Fernandez, huge by Mexican standards, and like a wall on the soccer field, who also seemed almost child-like in his demeanor. Angel Sáez, a dark- haired Spaniard with glasses, was the most intellectual of the three. I got on fine with him except one day he got angry at me: I kept moving the dust pan into which he was sweeping the dirt, and he thought I was toying with him. My honest intention was to accomodate his sweeping, and I was hurt when he angrily chided me.


Our favorite was Francisco Orozco Yepez, ‘Fr. Yepez’, the most Mexican, and 'natural', of the three, who was very funny. He made the most wonderful mistakes learning English idioms, and then laughed at his own mistakes. -‘Brothers, how is my English? Very good, Yes? Sooner and later it will be better! No?’ The story was told of him arriving at Dublin Airport and asking for a taxi to take him to Bundoran [over a hundred miles away]. He meant to ask for a 'very inexpensive' [Sp.'muy barato'] ride but got the words mixed up and told the taxi rank he wanted ‘very expensive’[Sp. muy caro'] taxi. They were surprised that a Catholic priest should be looking for a very expensive taxi but one driver did oblige, and thereupon made a fortune. Maybe this anecdote was embellished by Nuestro Padre to get a kick out of Fr. Yépez's apparent naivete.


Father Neftali, an ordained LC priest -who years later exited the Legion to join the diocesan clergy— also arrived around this time. Being very athletic and skilled at soccer and basketball he was much admired by our group. On one hike he further enhanced his rating by showing how strong he was by lifting a weight Fr. James couldn’t handle. As Fr. Neftalí -- Neftalí Sánchez-Tinoco, one of the Mexican founding children recruited by Fr. Maciel-- was the first Legionary priest available to us, we began to go to confession to him. Up to then we had been traveling to the local community of Franciscan friars for our sacramental needs. Father James also explained that it was customary in the Legion to, in his words, ‘pass to spiritual direction.’ I had never had ‘spiritual direction’ before but he explained that it was just a chat with the Padre. Trying out this new experience was not too bad because Fr. Neftalí was kind and refined, and he looked like the movie star, Omar Sharif. I was not sure what to talk about but I went to see him anyway. After a visit or two he revealed to me that Nuestro Padre had noticed my ‘qualities’ and that he would like me to consider leaving at short notice, in a few weeks time, to start my Holy Novitiate overseas. Although this meant suddenly separating from my family, friends and country it made me feel very special. I would be among the first eight Irish Legionaries to begin Novitiate. I was being chosen from the total of about thirty, including those ‘brothers’ in cassock who had been there before our large group arrived. I would embark on an exciting adventure to a foreign clime and culture. I had only left my country once before with my father, when he took me by ferry to watch a soccer match in murky Liverpool.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bundoran by the Sea.....[Excerpt from early draft]

One evening, as the sun was setting over beautiful Donegal Bay, "Nuestro Padre" Maciel led a session of "Questions"



On the appointed day, July 1, 1961, I –a naïve and sentimental young Catholic-- was picked up at my door, suitcase in hand, by a VW van carrying other students my age for a two-month ‘holiday’. On arriving at the postulancy residence, Bundrowes House, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, half a dozen other young ‘postulants’ in black cassocks, recruited previously during the school term, welcomed us. We, the newcomers, looked up to the older 'brothers’ to give us good example and leadership in preparing to be Legionaries. About thirty 17 and 18-year-olds, mostly from Irish Christian Brothers high schools soon attempted to adjust and bond. Together we formed the first group of ‘postulants’ from our country to join this Mexican order and felt very privileged to be the ‘co-founders.’ I was intrigued by the foreign dimension, since the leaders came from another continent with different language and customs. I made allowances from the start for the fact that they did not speak our language fluently. Thus when anything they said struck me as odd or maybe even clumsy or hurtful, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I found the atmosphere welcoming and supportive. However, the first piece of advice I received from my recruiter—who was now acting as my formator—was not to be ‘familiar’ with the other boys –we were walking alone close by the Atlantic cliffs-- Instead I was to start calling them ‘Brother Joseph’ instead of ‘Joe’ or ‘Michael’, and not slap them on the back or shoulder in comraderie. I was privileged to have a very nice older Irish brother as my ‘angel’ during my postulancy. ‘Bro.’ James Whiston had come to Bundrowes months before the big batch arrived in July. Wearing a black cassock, he and the other ‘older Brothers’ took their postulancy very seriously, almost as if they were ‘novices’. I remember that Pearse Allen, Michael Caheny., Francis Coleman, Declan French, Maurice Oliver Mc Gowan – from just a few farms down the road in County Leitrim—and Sean X belonged to that group.


As I became more comfortable with Bro. Whiston -God Bless him wherever he is- I discovered with some disappointment that he had been the one to write the personal letters from ‘Father James’ which I had received during the preceding months. This also implied that he had read my very personal letters to the Padre. Though surprised and hurt, I did not give this too much thought either, or resent it, since my enthusiasm for the Legion was high. I was thoroughly enjoying the fast pace of daily life, full of hiking, swimming, soccer games, Spanish classes, and chores. ‘Father James” began our days with First Prayers and Morning Meditation and ended them with Examination of Conscience at Last Prayers. I remember who 'funny' it sounded when Fr. James talked about Jesus hanging ‘nak’t’ on the cross.


I also felt very special because the founder of the order, whom we were supposed to call 'Nuestro Padre' [I later learned it was the name of veneration the first Jesuits gave to Saint Ignatius], came to visit us. I vaguely remember the day we met as he came striding along the road to meet us as we were walking back to Bundrowes. He greeted each one of us personally in a very gracious manner, although I could not understand a word he said. I can't remember how many days Fr. Maciel spent with us 'postulants.' He did not stay at the drafty Bundrowes House with 'the community' [as a good relgious should, as i was to learn from the Legion rule]. Presumably he stayed in Bundoran town. His status was so elevated that none of us would allow himself any curiosity -much less comparison- in that regard. One evening on the beach at Mullachmore we 'chilled' with Nuestro Padre. Our directors introduced us to him. Someone mentioned that I liked to sing, and --following an old Irish tradition-- I was asked to sing my party piece. At that time I was a big Johnny Mathis fan and so obliged the assembly with my rendition of 'A Certain Smile'. Such was my naive and sentimental disposition. I never knew what Nuestro Padre's reaction was to Fr. James translation of the lyrics.

One evening in the main room of Bundrowes House, as the sun set over beautiful Donegal Bay, Fr. Maciel granted us a session of ‘Questions,’ with ‘Father James’ as interpreter. He took the opportunity to explain the history of the Legion to us, the need the world had of vocations, and the Holy Father’s plea for priests for Latin America. We were so awed by him that there were not many questions. As a seventeen-year-old eager to become a missionary as soon as possible --I had heard it took fifteen years to be a Jesuit--I was eager to know. My 'fatal attraction' for questions led me to ask how long it would take to be ordained a Legionary. 'About seven years', was the response through the interpreter. This was what I wanted to hear.

TRUTH: LC training usually takes anywhere from 13-20+ years, depending on a variety of unpredictable factors: Novitiate [2], Juniorate [2], Philosophy [3], Apostolic Practices [2-4+], Theology 4.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Priest Sex Abuse in Italy

Priestly Sex Abuse begins to surface in Italy after centuries of Abuse.

I always held that sex abuse was not worse in the USA than in other countries; such an unfounded statement was clearly a defensive blanket to cover a multitude of sins in one's own backgarden. The denial and minimization of Mexican bishops has been clear. The same could be said about the rest of Latin America. That is why it is so important for the Italians to start ferreting out the truth and uncorking this vintage vinegar hidden away in parish, school and bishops cellars for centuries.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

[Excerpt] "Bewitched" from "Our Father Maciel..." previous Draft


Bewitched, Bewildered and Bothered, Irish Cofounder,

by Naive and Sentimental Catholic Boy

Part I - 'Bewitched',

First Contact, Grooming, Postulancy, Sudden Travel & Entering Novitiate in Salamanca, Spain


The first light of day entered the room. The Brahmin saw that Siddhartha’s knees trembled slightly, but there was no trembling in Siddhartha’s face; his eyes looked far away. Then the father realized that Siddhartha could no longer remain at home –that he had already left him.
The father touched Siddhartha’s shoulder.
‘You will go into the forest,’ he said, ‘and become a Samana. If you find bliss in the forest, come back and teach it to me. If you find disillusionment, come back, and we shall again offer sacrifices to the gods together. Now go, kiss your mother and tell her where you are going. For me, however, it is time to go to the river and perform the first ablution.’
He dropped his hand from his son’s shoulder and went out. Siddhartha swayed as he tried to walk. He controlled himself, bowed to his father and went to his mother to do what had been told him.

Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, Picador, 1973, London, page 10

B E W I T C H E D !

I was born in Ireland in 1943 and as a young altar-boy had entertained thoughts of being a missionary. I would realize decades later my Irish Catholic mother, --a forceful woman in her own right— had a fair amount to do with that. When I look back to 1961 I see a very sheltered, very shy, very pious, very naïve and sentimental Catholic boy; a soccer-crazy teen who was stubborn enough to play this ‘foreign’ game despite a ban on it by the Gaelic Athletic Association which was enforced at his Irish Christian Brothers school. My peculiar brand of juvenile piety could be gauged by my daily Mass and Communion and an altar in my room to the deceased Manchester Uniter soccer players killed in the Munich air disaster.

During my ‘Leaving Cert’, or ‘senior’ year, a vocational recruiter with a strange accent calling himself ‘Father James’ spoke to our all boys’ class. He distributed cards and I filled mine out indicating that I had an interest in exploring my vocation with his ‘order’. I already knew that I did not want to be a ‘Brother’, like my physically abusive teachers, or a diocesan priest, i.e. boring, and none of the other ‘Missionary’ orders that spoke to us had satisfied me. The Legion’s glossy brochure, featuring His Holiness Pope John XXIII’s plea for vocations to Latin America, and the ‘Mexican cowboy’s’ pep talk won me over. Once or twice monthly after that we exchanged letters and he encouraged me to consider joining other boys for fun vacations during the summer to begin my training as a missionary.

TRUTH: 'Father' James was a non-ordained Legionary seminarian for several years while he masqueraded as a priest-vocation-recruiter in Ireland.

The day in spring Fr. James came to the school to interview the applicants I was excited for myself and pleasantly surprised when two other boys showed up: my old buddy John Devlin, and another friend of ours, Thomas Moylan. Head Brother ‘Butch’ Feeney went straight to the point: ‘Have you thought about joining an Irish group instead of a foreign outfit like this that nobody knows…’ The three idealists paid no attention to that observation…as we excitedly awaited our first individual interview with Fr. Coindreau in a room we had never been to at St. Vincents. We were under the spell.

UPDATE 09/12/09
John Devlin, with whom I walked to school during my childhood, was ordained in the LC in the 70s and became Fr Maciel's secretary, for years operating out of the office at Quinta Pacelli in Tlalpan, Mexico City. He loved having the power to give and refuse audiences with Nuestro Padre and enforcing his orders, such as sending his old school chum Paul to the Missions for the second time in 1982.
Thomas Moylan was another school buddy of Paul and John, though he belonged to 6B at St Vincent's, Glasnevin, Dublin. The three of us were interviewed by "Fr." Jimmy Coindreau in the spring of 1961. He has always been a party man and spoke up against me during my "Gunfight at the Cotija Corral" with Fr. Maciel. He is still in and has occupied a number of middle level positions.

Jack Lennon was non committal when approached by his son as he hauled his motorbike into the side passage by the semi-detached Corporation house on Fassaugh Ave, Cabra West.
‘Whatever you want, son’. A small, stoic and kind man, Jack probably did not know what to say, because he was not good at articulating feelings or sensitive subjects. And if he did know what to say, he did not say it. As the youngest son of a large, litigious, and tightly knit clan, he was a survivor peacemaker by family, and by marriage. Christina was not very articulate either but she was more outspoken and could be blunt. She had a way of making her wishes known to her husband and children. She was the forceful parent in most things, from running the home to making decisions regarding their lives. They did not want to displease Mammy as they had learned from an early age that this might make her ‘get into a huff’, chide them, emotionally reject them, or even hit them. Or get Daddy to give them a good spanking with his calloused hands when he came home from work as a printer's assistant. Breaking the news to her about possible ‘going away’ [to a seminary] had to be done. ‘Mammy, a Mexican priest came into the school a few weeks ago and when he asked was I interested in being a Missionary, I said yes.’ -‘Oh, that’s nice. You know I always thought you had a vocation. You have always been such a good boy and never done anything to hurt Mammy’s feelings.’ -‘Well, he has been writing to me and he is inviting me to go on holidays to Bundoran during the summer.-'Wont you miss your mother? But anyway, you might as well. Will the priest be coming ‘round to the house?'


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Legion finally Admits It & Founder Screwed Seminarians/Formation

Secret Letter of Legion Superiors to Naive Regnum Christi Members

Thy Kingdom Come!

September 1, 2009

To Regnum Christi Members and Friends
Atlanta and New York Territories

Dear friends in Christ,
In Atlanta, we recently enjoyed a visit from our General Director, Father Alvaro
Corcuera. He celebrated Mass for Regnum Christi members and friends at the Pinecrest
Academy chapel. During his homily he touched on important points in reference to the
difficulties we have all experienced during these past months, shedding light upon them from the Gospel. He invited us to discover God’s mysterious design also within the realities we are living, which we never would have expected to experience. It was an intense moment of prayer and unity, gathered around Christ.
He has also traveled to Cheshire, Connecticut, to preside over the ceremony of the
profession of vows of a group of novices and religious on August 29. With this important step, these brothers continue their path to the priesthood in the Legion of Christ, at the service of the Church, by dedicating themselves to a mission that “is of fundamental importance and is worth devoting oneself to with broadmindedness and an unsullied heart…” (Letter of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to Father Alvaro Corcuera, March 10, 2009).
We are grateful to God for the gift of his leadership, full of Christian prudence and
charity. We are confident that the Lord assists him with his grace in the difficult task he has at this time.
With this letter we would like to share with you some of the thoughts and
recommendations that he has been offering to members of the Legion of Christ and consecrated
members of Regnum Christi through his talks, homilies and letters over these past months. We
are sure they can also be of help to you.
We also hope to remedy some of our shortcomings in communication –for which we are
sorry–, so that together we can continue walking what will surely be a long path of healing and reconciliation with those who have been hurt by the misdeeds of Father Maciel.

As priests, our hearts go out to all those who have been harmed or scandalized by his
actions. To all we extend a special apology on behalf of the Legion and our General Director,
Father Alvaro Corcuera, who has, in fact, begun to reach out personally and in private to those he
knows may have suffered most, offering his heartfelt apology and consolation, and will continue
to do so. As he wrote in his March 29 letter: “We are deeply saddened and sorry, and we
sincerely ask for forgiveness from God and from those who have been hurt through this.” We
also regret that our inability to detect, and thus accept and remedy, Father Maciel’s failings has
caused even more suffering.
In the recent past, after Father Marcial Maciel had retired, we came to know that he had
had a relationship with a woman and fathered a child. Even more recently, there have been
allegations of other relationships and other children. Given the partial nature of the information
available and the impossibility to evaluate immediately and in a definitive manner these complex
allegations, the Legion of Christ cannot, at this time, make a statement regarding them.
All this leads us to value even more the wisdom and pastoral approach of the Holy See
concerning the allegations of past sexual abuse against Father Maciel that had surfaced. As it was
stated in the communiqué published on May 19, 2006, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith investigated these issues and invited him to a reserved life of prayer and penance,
renouncing all public ministry.
As an institution, as a family and as individuals, this unexpected turn of events has been
traumatic. Being weak humans, even if reacting with Christian virtue, many of us have gone
through experiences of shock, anger, disbelief, denial and fear, both humanly and spiritually.
These emotions, the vast tangle of information, supposition, speculation and opinion, the
different cultural sensitivities, and the Christian duty not to publicize the sins of others, have
made it difficult to publish the sort of direct statement that many expected of us.
Added to this, is the fact that we did not know the whole truth, we may not know it yet,
and new information may well continue to come to light. What we do learn, we will address,
respecting the privacy of those who request it of us.
As Legionaries, consecrated members of Regnum Christi and Regnum Christi members of all
walks of life, we too have been experiencing a deep struggle. We are all wounded by this news,
and need the comfort and support of each other. We want to thank all those who have understood
the depth of our suffering, and offered their understanding and kindness. As we have just
mentioned, we wish to be close to anyone who has suffered in any way, and at the same time ask
them to live the Christian virtue of pardon from the depth of their hearts.

1. This brings us to a key point in relation to you, our friends. It is clear that all these facts lead
us to think about the past, the present and the future. Many of you have rightly asked if the
Legion has made or will make changes in its life. Yes…we have, we are and we will. Some

a. One of the questions that come to mind refers to the “safe environment and child
protection” measures in our communities and apostolates. Our Constitutions, other norms
and many elements of our discipline have always helped us to be particularly careful in
the dealing with minors. More recently we are in the process of accreditation by
Praesidium, a risk management organization now helping a great number of religious
institutions in North America. Praesidium is conducting a full review of our internal rules
and policies, as well as our training of all those who deal with minors. They will shortly
be conducting on-site visitation of several of our institutions to verify that what is on
paper is being applied. There are twenty-five accreditation standards to meet, covering
the areas of prevention, response and supervision. Here in the U.S. we have also set up an
external review board so that in the event of allegations of sexual abuse, we have the
advantage of “outside eyes” to weigh the evidence, issues and provide us with
recommendations. Praesidium accreditation is being promoted by the Conference of
Major Superiors of Men, which links all the male religious orders in this country.
We also fully comply with all diocesan standards, which vary from place to place.

b. On the financial side, for a long time now we have had yearly audits done by outside
accounting firms. We could not have acquired the loans we needed to purchase our
seminaries and found the many works of apostolate undertaken during these years
without systems in place of strict accountability and responsible financial management.
In recent years, due to the growth of our operations, we have put in place a still more
professional system of business management through the services of Integer Group.
Staffed by lay professionals, Integer has further improved our operating and management
processes to ensure the integrity of all our operations.

c. A further area of adjustment which has begun and continues in process is the way we
refer to Father Maciel in the Legion and Regnum Christi. While we cannot deny that
Father Maciel was our founder and did much good, neither can we deny the reality of
what has recently come to light and his grave human failings. We have taken progressive
steps to make sure that there is no inappropriate reference to Father Maciel (we have, for
example, removed pictures of him from our center; we have extensively edited our
websites; we are in the process of reviewing new editions of other writings, brochures,
etc.). All this has led us to what is most essential: to center our life, even more, in Jesus
This is an ongoing and difficult process given the need to discern his person from the
solid Catholic doctrine that he transmitted and the legitimate institutional aspects of the
Legion of Christ and Regnum Christ. This discernment is not something that can be done
lightly or overnight. Father Alvaro has and will seek the advice and guidance of learned and prudent men of the Church to enlighten this difficult question seeking not to lose God’s gifts to the Legion and Regnum Christi.

2. We are also receiving enormous help from the Church, especially from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to whom we are truly grateful.
a. You know that he has mandated an Apostolic Visitation of the Legion. Archbishop
Charles Joseph Chaput of Denver has been appointed as Visitor for the Legion in the
United States and Canada. Archbishop Chaput will visit our seminaries and religious
houses, see our life up close and interview whomever he wants. His mandate will be to
question, probe and assess with depth and objectivity. Legionaries are free to speak and write to him with all their comments and questions. He sets his own timetable and the points he wishes to probe, and he will present his findings and recommendations directly to the Holy See.
For the moment, the Legion cannot make any specific statements regarding the content or development of the Visitation, since this would interfere with the work of the Visitors.

b. Questions and comments have also been raised regarding the “private vow of charity”
that was professed in the Legion. The rationale of this vow was to ensure that the
grievances one could have with his superior were brought to those who could resolve
them and thus avoid irresponsible criticism or internal factions that degrade unity. This
vow had been in place since 1957 and was approved by the Church. Pope Benedict XVI,
who has the power to bind and loose, asked the Legion to remove it, which we did two
years ago.
c. In the past two years, also following the indications we received from the Holy Father,
we changed our general practice of superiors being the spiritual directors of their
subjects. This practice was based on one of the century-old monastic traditions that view
the superior as Spiritual Father and Mentor of his community. We are seeing positive
fruits from this change of practice.
d. There also have been changes in the Legion regarding sacramental confession. In the
past, members were free to go to the Ordinary or Extraordinary confessors (assigned by
the General Director for each community). They were also free to go to any other
Catholic priest with faculties for confession. Members often asked to go to confession
with their own superiors.
Following the instructions of the Holy See, today superiors are no longer habitual
confessors for those under their authority.

e. We would finally like to mention that our general director is in frequent contact with our
superiors in the Holy See and also with the Apostolic Visitors to speak about these and
other complex issues.
These are some of the significant steps the Legion of Christ has taken. And as we said, we
expect more will come in time, with judgment and prudence.
Understandably, in the midst of the present circumstances there have been a few of our
members who have felt that they can serve God better by separating themselves from the Legion
and Regnum Christi; others have opted temporarily to step aside to see and evaluate, waiting also
to see the outcome of the Visitation. The vast majority has opted to continue doing as much good
as they can from where they are, knowing that our time here on earth is limited, and trusting that
with the guidance of the Church whatever needs to be corrected in time, and whatever is good
will be confirmed. Each one has made his or her choice before God, moved by their love for him
and their desire to serve him to the best of their ability, and for no other consideration. Let us
have great Christian understanding and respect for all. Each of us must presume the best and
purest intention in the other, pray for each other, and recognize that each one of us suffers and
recovers in different ways and at different times.
As Father Álvaro told us in his homily, in Cheshire, St. John Chrysostom teaches us fives
ways to reach reconciliation: asking for pardon, forgiving others, prayer, almsgiving and
humility (cf. ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Homilies, PG 49, 263-264). Let us ask the Lord to grant us
the grace to walk this path, inasmuch as each one of us needs it, for his greater glory.
Loving, serving, and building together –that has been our life in the Legion and Regnum
Christi. As tragic as the failings of our founder are, they should not cause us to diminish our
efforts to bring souls to Christ, and to serve him and the Church selflessly in all our brothers and
You have worked so hard to create apostolates, build schools, run youth clubs, form people
in the Catholic faith – and those efforts are good and real. Let nothing distract you from loving
and serving God in your neighbor. We enter now into a new chapter of our history which must
be focused on the pursuit of holiness and love for souls.

May we take inspiration from our Blessed Mother who “meditated all these things in her
heart” (cf. Lk 2:51). She will lead us along the path of God’s will and help us to respond as she
did: “May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
May Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians inspire us during these challenging times:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God
of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share
abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

You remain in our prayers, and we depend on yours.
Yours in Christ our Lord,

Fr Scott Reilly, LC
Territorial director
Atlanta Territory

Fr Julio Martí, LC
Territorial director
New York Territory