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Challenges for Legionaries and Regnum Christi (Part 2 of 2)

Interview With New General Director, Father Álvaro Corcuera

ROME, FEB. 1, 2005 (Zenit) - The new general director of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement says that their mission remains the same: to bring people to a personal encounter with Christ.

Father Álvaro Corcuera, 47, recently succeeded the congregation's founder, Father Marcial Maciel, 84, who declined re-election for reasons of age and because he wants to see the congregation continue to flourish under the direction of a successor.

Father Corcuera, until recently rector of the Legion's Center for Higher Studies, in Rome, granted this interview to us. Part 1 of this interview appeared Sunday here on Catholic Online.

Q: What are the guidelines of the spiritual program and apostolic action of the congregation for the near future?

Father Corcuera: This is precisely what we are formulating in these days, together with our founding father, in the general chapter; but, undoubtedly, our program can be no other than to give continuity in time, with new vigor and passion, to the charism of the congregation and of Regnum Christi, exactly as it has been approved by the Church, according to the spirit of the founder.

Our greatest desire is that the largest possible number of men and women may have a personal encounter, based on faith, with Jesus Christ.

All the apostolic initiatives that we undertake begin and are directed to carrying out the program of the universal Church and of the local Churches, which is to make known the person of the Son of God who out of love assumed a human nature to save us.

This knowledge and love of Christ is the foundation and driving force of the New Evangelization to which John Paul II has called us, with the goal of creating a civilization of Christian justice and love.

We seek the salvation of all souls, without distinction of persons, knowing that Christ came to save us all. That is why we have the motto: "Your kingdom come!"

In this way, we are especially linked to the evangelizing action of this great apostle that is John Paul II, whom we so love. His indications, suggestions and desires are for us a program that we follow as faithful children within our beloved Catholic Church.

Q: In the spirit of starting "from Christ," do the Legionaries concentrate their attention on any specific works of apostolate?

Father Corcuera: We will continue with those apostolic works already initiated, according to our charism, especially through the Regnum Christi movement, whose statutes the Holy Father has just approved. And we will favor all those works directed to spreading the Catholic faith: the Christian formation of children, adolescents, and young people through our educational centers; the spiritual and human help of married couples and Christian families; the integral promotion of the human person, especially of the least fortunate, through missionary and charitable works; the evangelization of culture, etc.

All of this in the closest cooperation with local bishops, parish priests and the various persons in charge of the diocesan clergy, all of us united, according to our specific charism, in the common task of the New Evangelization requested by the Holy Father and so urgent in a society ever more exposed to secularization and the loss of its Christian roots.

The situation is so grave for the faith today, that there is no room for sterile divisions. In fact, we are focusing apostolates such as Youth for the Third Millennium, the schools of faith and programs for family formation in such a way that they can be used and implemented in a natural and spontaneous way within the pastoral program of dioceses and parishes, thus helping the parish priests in their apostolic mission.

In addition, we have the entire realm of pastoral action in the ample mission territory of the prelature of Cancun-Chetumal with the Mayan Indians. The Pope recently named Legionary Bishop Pablo Pedro Elizondo as bishop of this prelature. It is a very dear and important place for us, both in the area of pastoral care as well as in the work of human and Christian promotion in the society.

Q: You have met with the Holy Father John Paul II on numerous occasions since he made his first visit to Mexico in 1979, and during your many years of residence in Rome. What can you tell us about him?

Father Corcuera: Ever since 1979, when I met him for the first time as a lay university student collaborating with Father Maciel to organize that first unforgettable visit of John Paul II to Mexico, I was profoundly impressed by his spirit of prayer and, at the same time, his closeness, his ability to establish contact with people, his great humanity and that profound spirituality which is reflected on his face. We were all ...

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