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Question: Do you think it would be beneficial to leave a comment on the Legion's websit? I have no affiliation with them at all anymore, but I feel a bit nervous about giving them my e-mail address to make a comment. I would like to say, stop the fundraising and recruitment people, until we get some direction from the Vatican....Any thoughts from anywone?

Before I joined RC, I had been working as a DRE in a Catholic parish for 16 years and was studying for a doctorate in adult education. I had a very undisciplined spiritual life, somewhat liberal theological leanings and only a Sunday sacramental life. But I was fascinated by the exponential growth of large evangelical churches near my parish and perplexed at how anti-evangelical Catholics were in their own orientation. I was hungry to find some group of Catholics that cared about bringing people to Christ.

The men who helped start RC in our area were the first Catholics I had ever met who cared about sharing the Gospel in ways similar to the evangelical protestants I had known.

Since our RC group was started independent of the LCs and RC main office, I think my own experience w/ LC/RC was an anomoly (believe it or not, our area leaders had been impressed by an earlier mtg w/ an LC on a retreat and decided to start the local section w/ info they had pulled off the internet. The LCs caught up to us a few months later.)

For the first 5-6 years, I think our Men's section outnumbered the ladies. Our annual SPEX and semi-monthly visits by the LCs gave us an almost casual exposure to the "methodology". Some hostile diocesan priests (including my former pastor) forced us into subterfuge early on: getting involved in parish life to show our "goodness". Of course, as a parish employee, I had my ears in both worlds--I knew our RC strategy and I also knew the anxieties and concerns of parish/diocesan staff.

I quit RC after 7 years and shortly after I finished 22 years of church employment (had time issues while starting a new business.) I tried to maintain many of my daily and weekly commitments, but was never obsessed w/ them. I had served as both our Section's Recruitment and Economy formator.

Independent of the LCs, we developed our own clever ways to recruit men (with our "no strings attached" invitations to attend events where we were extra sure that men would fall in love with us.)

I returned to RC this past February w/ one foot in, one foot out. I need an austere, demanding call to holiness in my own life just to keep me halfway on track. On the other hand, at the age of 54, I try not to drink too much koolaid for any organization.

I'm amazed that our group is still recruiting men in the same ways we used to do it back when I was running Recruitment. Scary.

But I also get to share ideas/news from this blog with men in the group--particularly close friends who deliberately avoid the internet info. I respect the integrity of the men who've remained on teams, so try to walk a delicate line with them. On the other hand, I'm amazed we still have Teams that even meet given the magnitude of the scandal.

Our Diocesan clergy have taken a strange tack in this (we changed Bishops 2 years ago, and our current Bishop has been supportive of the LC/RC groups in our area.) Priests who were once adamantly opposed to LC/RC have allowed groups to meet in their parishes and have voiced words of support and condolence through these "trying times." Strange, no?

And since I have several friends who work fulltime for LC/RC apostolates, I get to ask them what's going on with all of this. I'm amazed that several of them are now FORMER kool-aid drinkers, trying to figure out where all of this is headed (and this would include people who've had their words on behalf of MM or LC/RC quoted verbatum on this blog.)

I would guess that some of them will be able to help a lot of RCs/LCs "get out" as events continue to proceed apace.

Irony: while many of the former enemies amongst Diocesan clergy are now providing shelter and comfort to LC/RC, some of the former staunch apologists are beginning to help others navigate their ways closer to the door.

Strange, no?

Very, very interesting, Steve. Thanks. And, to burt's query above. You can go to yahoo or google gmail and set up a free e-mail account, using any name you want, and then post comments to the site using only that address, rather than your normal personal one.

And if you are really worried about being traced to an isp, you can only post from public computers (local university or library). That will insure your anonymity.

Posting a portion of my last comment from the topic "Be Careful What You Wish For" (as some of the issues overlap):

" My family size relative to others' in my parish made it very difficult for me to participate in much UNTIL I got to RC.

Why would it be MORE possible for me to do MORE as an RC member than prior? Because, at least in my section, the network was established to support the moms with lots of kids. We always had childcare arranged (and it would be beautiful to see because it wasn't just plunking kids down in front of the TV but rather getting them engaged in an art project centered on the liturgical season, etc.). Always very organized but always very educational and formative for my young children, who still talk about those days now - they remember them so well.

The sad reality was that those who volunteered in our parish were either older women like Mouse's experience, or women my age with 1 or 2 kids typically a few years apart (I'm probably exaggerating a bit but recall vividly thinking this at the time). So no support network to help those young moms, like myself,who felt called to volunteer.

I'm not saying RC in practice doesn't go completely overboard on the "doing" front - it certainly does. The key is balance, and I did not see effective evidence of that in my parish, whereas the formation materials I read in RC (The Intro. Course, etc.) DID stress that balance and, despite failure innumerable times, I do think that the movement in my section and across the territory has been striving to help members achieve that balance, particularly after the last General Chapter in early 2004.

I think the main point here is that freedom needs to be respected in all cases. Those who need to focus entirely on their families but feel called to participate in RC need to be respected, encouraged and supported by their RC directors and guides in their personal discernment. Likewise, those who have discerned that they are able to serve beyond their immediate families for the time being need to be respected and supported by the members of the Church, even by those who cannot share a similar commitment. There is no one PARTICULAR CORRECT WAY to serve the Lord properly as a Catholic and even as a Catholic spouse and parent. The Church makes room for and accommodates this sort of diversity. "

Posted by: Still RC - For Now, Anyway | September 20, 2009 at 01:42 PM

Giselle, I'm happy to share what went missing, at least in my case. Please note this is what my thinking was at the time, as a mom of several little kids. I look at this now and think WOW, thank goodness for time, experience, and perspective! But here are the primary "missing links":

1) RC stressed a personal relationship with Christ. This was encouraged and promoted by Gospel reflections and meditations in which we focused on Christ Himself - what was he like, what was happening in the Gospel story, how did folks react, etc. It was/is an absolutely amazing story. So in sum, through RC the Gospel, in fact the entire story of our salvation through the accounts in the Bible, came alive for me for the first time.

2) I was searching for a way to serve the Church and connect to other moms of like mind (see my post above). RC was the only vehicle I could find that filled this "void". So in sum: It provided support/connection with, AND an opportunity to serve, the Catholic Church.

3) It provided an opportunity for me to instruct my children in the faith properly. There were means out there but they (at the time) were scattered and hard to find out about. I needed something I could access easily - "at my fingertips" so to speak - being that I was already busy with several young children. So in sum - cradle to grave formation! (What could be more attractive to a busy mom with limited time?)

4) Unapologetic desire for the traditional practices of Catholic piety - adoration, rosary - no more contemporaries saying "We don't need Mary" or "Take and eat, don't sit and look". You have no idea how tired I was with hearing that from most of my acquaintances in the parishes I was frequenting. So in sum, RC offered readily available practices of piety with other Catholics in my current state of living. (NB our diocese has come a long way since those days and these things are now actively encouraged and promoted in the parishes)

5) RC families attended Mass frequently and actually enjoyed it! They listened during the homily (not feeding their kids cheerios or reading them a story disturbing everyone else around them). They didn't choose to socialize in the vestibule during the consecration. They actually took it seriously. It was as if - lo! - they believed in the Real Presence. Eye opener for me - in my experience no "Catholic" my age actually believed in that.

6) No issues of desecrating the Eucharist either. I won't go further with that one but there have been instances in at least two parishes I attended . . .

7) Young ECYD/RC teens actually acted like responsible young people with a purpose in life and their parents were proud of them. Contrast to the excuses and eye rolling from others I knew (including other Catholics in my parish) as to why their son was delinquent again, or what medication he/she needed this time, or why he/she was failing out of school, etc. To a mom with very young kids the prospect of a disturbed, unfocused teen who would need my constant intervention and medication just to keep him/her out of trouble - as if that is a given scenario - is quite scary. It certainly scared me.

8) ECYD/RC teens actually looked adults in the eye and courteously responded when asked a question. Compare to my personal experience of young people in general NOT doing this (probably, I would think, because they were flunking out of school and/or on medication . . ). In sum, RC parents seemed to know how to rear their children to be responsible, respectful kids. They knew something - I wanted to know what they knew.

9) Look at what RC was doing for the Catholic Church - schools, mom/dad groups, youth groups, etc. What I saw was that this organization wanted Catholics to know their faith. That's where the Protestants had us licked but this group was helping Catholics to catch up. What Catholic trying to take their faith seriously wouldn't hop on board? (I thought)

10) The clincher (and the raison d'etre to my impressions 1-9): I was reared without a real knowledge of my Catholic Faith, Christ was remote and hidden away in the Tabernacle, no one in my college years or beyond knew or cared much about Christianity AND I became confirmed as an adult and began "The Search" shortly thereafter.

My experience is that RC is NOT evangelical, except to itself among Catholics. And even among Catholics, the evangelism was not to the faith, but to the group. It was discouraged to even mention "problematic" things like contraception when doing Familia, for instance.

Interesting Mary Ann. In my area the year one study course for FAMILIA's MOYC was known for losing participants precisely because the subject of contraception and the Church teaching on such came up. Of course, that was when the Year One study materials included JPII's FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO. Things might have "loosened up a bit" once the LC got hold of FAMILIA. Is your experience with such from the last few years or prior to that?

You do understand that the Sellors had to fight tooth and nail to get that in Year One. I think after they left, the Legion slipped it out and moved it to Year Two. The Legion didn't want to lose the possible recruits for being too "hard line."

"sure, I'm loving my "self-imposed exile on churchy things," but I resent the implications that my life has deteriorated in any way."

Funny pic, Giselle. Now I have a serious question for you - it would appear from your testimony that you have been busy before, during and AFTER RC - if I remember correctly from your current and past posts in this blog you:

1) Have 9 or more kids;
2) Have done a combination of schools (Catholic, public, LC, homeschooling) ALL requiring research and time to discern what is best for each child (you can't fool me - I know your personality type :) )
3) Have apparantly had an engrossing outside apostolate which has changed form over the years (what apostolate hasn't) but is still part of your life;
4) And let's not forget this very blog which can be considered as another apostolate;
5) Continue to attend conferences (how many per year exactly?)
6) Continue to associate with a given spirituality - Oblates of St. Benedict (though I'm assuming this is just for your prayer life and not "work" or gatherings per se. Is that correct?)

Despite your emphatic "exile from churchy things" it would appear you have imposed no such thing on yourself. So I'm curious as to what exactly you have exiled yourself from - certainly not from conferences and apostolate. Sounds to me like you have substituted one outlet for your energies and desires to participate in and serve the Church for another. In either case that can certainly take away from family time. Even an extensive prayer life (including the Divine office if kept to a rigid schedule) can inappropriately take away from attention to family - I've seen this very criticism leveled at the RC approach to prayer life. Certainly conferences and outside apostolate can as well.

Not that there aren't real, potentialy mortally serious, problems with the specific organization of Regnum Christi - there are. You maintain it's a cult (not dissimilar to the Branch Davidians, if I'm reading your previous comments correctly). You have the expertise on this issue - I don't. But if really true, then of course that alone is reason enough to leave.

But so many comments have criticized the "busyness" of RC and how it compromises the family that I can't help noticing a discrepancy here in terms of your personal use of time since RC. Can you please clarify?

(And do forgive me if you've discussed this prior and don't hesitate to refer me to that discussion so I can read it and understand better).

You're a sharp cookie, Still RC. All of the things you note are true, but I love Chesterton's quote: "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

What is different about me now is: a/prayers on my terms (I'm a very shabby pray-er); b/working individually (I'm a horrible team player); c/complete flexibility (there's not a single weekly meeting on my calendar, not even lunch duty); d/my family is my priority (even older children take enormous amounts of time and energy, esp. being available for serious talks and the occasional meltdowns).

I'm not so much busy as I am intellectually distracted. I neglected my kids for books far before there was an RC in my life, and a leopard finds it difficult to change its spots. I suppose I could neglect them for shopping trips or book clubs but that's not my style. I've always been undisciplined and scattered and perhaps always will be, but now I can be that way without a group of women listening to me struggle through a weekly checklist to prove it.

I think the people who had a strong faith before they joined will have less trouble returning to their "pre-RC" practices. It is the people whose faith is tied to the Legion that worry me. I remember the hair standing up on the back of my neck at a formator's convention several years ago in Atlanta. A woman on the afire team for the Atlanta section at that time gave a talk on recruitment to a large number of women and she instructed us to not try to recruit women who had already had conversions. She said to recruit women who had not experienced a conversion so that they would be converted as a result of their affiliation with the LC. This way we would have their heart forever. I was greatly disturbed by this because it did not make sense to me that if someone had a vocation why would it matter how their conversion took place?

I understand clearly now that the Legion MO is to become the gatekeeper between the soul and God because of the dependence theory. Red flags anyone? So, how do you reconcile the fact that people have had conversions as a result of their affiliation with RC/LC? I see it like this: There have been some amazing conversions at condemned apparitions. Whatever is good, true and beautiful will touch people's souls. But if the instrument that brought about the conversion (hijacked the grace) is not from God he will only allow us to have peace with it for a season and then he will move us onto other shores.

"I'm not so much busy as I am intellectually distracted. I neglected my kids for books far before there was an RC in my life, and a leopard finds it difficult to change its spots. I suppose I could neglect them for shopping trips or book clubs but that's not my style. I've always been undisciplined and scattered and perhaps always will be, but now I can be that way without a group of women listening to me struggle through a weekly checklist to prove it. "

I totally relate to this!

Thanks for the honest response.

Interesting, anonymous @ 4:32pm. I got the same feeling during my association with RC apostolate. I already had two college degrees and was working on a third. My full conversion to Catholicism was well-advanced by the time I met anyone from RC. Overtures for me to officially join were not high pressure and were generally dropped after a while. The RC people I knew seemed content (to me) to be aided in the ways I could aid them and the whole "is he in or is he out" thing did not become an issue until very late.

Of course, by the time I left, the apostalate had grown from having an annual budget of 12K a year to just under 400K a year--and its outreach had succeeded in attracting a larger number of non-RC Catholics than RC Catholics--and then, the RC (and I suppose the LC) began to take note of a general failure of the apostolate to actually recruit new members to RC.

In the time I was involved, the apostoalate (a school) grew tremendously (from 48 children when I got involved to 120+ in 3 1/2 years or so), but the number of RC kids/women/men remained essentially the same.

Hmmmm. No wonder they decided I was a liability . . .

In any event, what I noticed was that both LC priests and RC lay members were very "shy" around other Catholics who had any kind of a). education and b). Catholic education.

(Oh, and I'll add--I've been what most would call "Orthodox" forever. I never even went through a flirtation with liberal heterodoxy within the Church--you know, liberation theology, etc.--but that's probably because during my real conversion I happened upon a copy of Chesterton's 'Orthodoxy' and, having read it, decided experimenting was a waste of my time).

So--let's all pray for the beatification of G.K. Chesterton!!

"A woman on the afire team for the Atlanta section at that time gave a talk on recruitment to a large number of women and she instructed us to not try to recruit women who had already had conversions. She said to recruit women who had not experienced a conversion so that they would be converted as a result of their affiliation with the LC."

Yep Anonymous I was at the same conference and heard the same words. At the time I thought it was brilliant. And yes, the thoughts were included in some form in any recruitment or leadership talk I happened to give.

It IS brilliant but no one ever said the devil is dumb. I was truly amazed how repulsed I was by the "lines of dependence" once the Communique had come out and I had time to discern, with the help of the Holy Spirit, what it truly meant.

RC has been with my husband since the first year of our marriage so when we look back it's to a time before children - a totally different life! But even back then we had a great prayer life today doing the Divine Office together in the mornings. We enjoyed relaxed time together on the evenings and weekends - something we are struggling to relearn how to do. We weren't burdened with an ever present sense of obligation and residual guilt that we weren't doing enough. We could dictate how involved we were in things. We had ownership of what we did and weren't pressured to work in an apostolate that we had strong concerns about.

Now we feel a sense of great freedom and are joyfully rediscovering all the joys of way back. We have confidence knowing we lived our Catholic faith authentically before RC and we can continue to now we have left.

Hey Still RC,
What are 'lines of dependence?'

Still RC, I think the difference is that Giselle controls the business now. She can step away for any one of a number of reasons.

I'm sorta in the same boat. I was quite active with the issue from February to April, then stepped away from May to July. During that time I missed many new developments, such as Fr. Berg's departure from the LC and his subsequent interview. There's a good possibility I'll be stepping away again, starting sometime this week, until Christmas.

So while the busyness still pops up outside of RC, one has more control over it.

Ah Bigtex, the lines of dependence are where your director tells you what to do, because that's God's will for you. So they are your "lines to God" (that part was my spin).

It's truly funny how seriously some of the higher-up RC formators take this "lines of dependence" thing - even using a casual conversation with Fr. Whoever LC to supersede what they have resolved directly in prayer with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I should emphasize these are laity, by the way (typically with spouses, children, etc.), NOT the LC (not even the RC consecrated who, though laity, live lives more closely resembling Religious of the Church).

Giselle, Can you give an example of how you used the "methodology" on your own kids? I have just left RC, and feel like the scales are just now falling off my eyes. I don't know if I could even tell if I was using the methodology to control my kids or not. I feel a sense of loss since leaving the Movement, but also a sense of relief. I always felt that RC helped me to what I was trying to do on my own- draw close to Christ and draw others closer to Him. However I couldn't stay in the Movement when I don't trust Fr. Alvaro, and the National Leadership.

"It's truly funny how seriously some of the higher-up RC formators take this "lines of dependence" thing - even using a casual conversation with Fr. Whoever LC to supersede what they have resolved directly in prayer with the guidance of the Holy Spirit"

Great point! I have a friend who was on triduum of renewal in Atlanta. All of the "lights" that she received from the Holy Spirit were about her working in the parish. Of course she went to Fr. Whoever, LC and shared her "lights" with him. To her surprise he told her that she should follow those lights. Ironically though, within a short time after her triduum, she was asked to become a new team leader. I don't think that she has made the connection but in this case his "yes did not mean yes" (Matt 5:37 "Let your 'yes' mean 'yes'and your 'no' mean 'no.' Anything more is from the evil one."). It seems to me that he has taken it upon himself to intercept the direction of Holy Spirit for her life. Oh yeah, and all for the sake of the movement....

Regarding anonymous,@4.32pm

I KNOW exactly why the woman gave this talk !!!
Because I know SEVERAL of us that had had our Conversions LONG before R/C.We were well on our way and we got into R/C and we just could NOT swallow the THINGS we were hearing.I realised that I was in my Encounter with people that knew NOTHING before R/C.They just BELIEVED everything.I was reading the Doctors of the Church.I had many friends in Legion Of Mary.
It was not easy for the HIGHER up people.
They knew that WE knew this seemed VERY SLANTED.
Also because we were in TOUCH with many Priests OUTSIDE the L/C in Alabama EWTN and would go there and ask questions.
They knew they had a problem when contact with the outside Catholic world was in progress.
I truly believe that we caused a lot of HEADACHES for R/C.
Spiritual Direction I was already getting before R/C so I immediately KNEW this was NOT REAL S/D it was for the L/C profit and propoganda.Also it was NOT confidential.I was shocked when a L/C Priest told me my CONCERNS about R/C in Confession!!!!!!!!

Finally it came DOWN to you need to stop reading XXX and NOT go on EWTN Retreat.
Then I heard that" We MUST only get people who KNOW nothing" (but have MONEY)of course.
And in the SAME sentence "it is much easier for them than for those who have had conversions.This way we have a CLEAN CANVAS to work with".I almost fell over I knew EXACTLY what they meant and that was the my departure.Yes if you know your FAITH at all you can see through this EVIL brain washing.
The word they hated MOST was DETACHMENT from materialism.

Just out of RC,
You said: "I have just left RC, and feel like the scales are just now falling off my eyes."

Isn't it beautiful how the Liturgy guides us. I am so amazed at Divine Providence. Last year during our 54 day rosary novena, because it was the year dedicated to St. Paul, we prayed for many St. Paul-like conversions from within the ranks of RC/LC. Interestingly, the scandal broke the week that we celebrated his conversion in the liturgy, January 25. So I think it is definitely by God's grace that you are feeling like the scales are falling from your eyes. To me it is so exciting because of the amazing things that St. Paul accomplished for the Church once he was on the right track. I have no doubt that God has plans to use your gifts in a purer way. Now is the time to let the Lord draw you closer to him in the Eucharist without RC as the gatekeeper. It will be exciting to see what the former members of RC accomplish for the Church once they are truly free from the grip of MM/LC/RC. It might just be that the "New Jersalem begins to drop down out of heaven..."(Rev ?) I am patiently waiting and praying for this!

After I was in R/C a year or 2 I realised that alL these women were ex CAREER . R/C was just another 80 hr week as they stepped out of the work place.They just swapped 1 thing for another.
I found they pawned off their kids to anyone to WORK for the Kingdom.A few had Nannies and BIG families and hated being home.R/C provided a way to be at home but not have to raise their children as they were always gone.As for breast feeding
no onen R/C would.It would tie them down too much and the Nanny could give them a bottle!!!!!
The older kids were awful just badly behaved and missed a normal family life.Most had 1 baby after the other to KEEP UP WITH THE JONES.It was a competition.But no one really looked after their kids.These Mothers neglected their families to work for the Kingdom.They were always out.As for their husbands well they traveled all the time and were career men and came home at weekend tired.Absentee parents.
I realised that Motherhood was not their true Vocation.I stood my ground and refused to be bullied into leaving my kids to become an unpaid slave .
I said "I gave up my job and my salary to fulfil my role as a Mother."

"Still RC, I think the difference is that Giselle controls the business now. She can step away for any one of a number of reasons."

Granted, Pete. But then the "busyness" within RC isn't as much the issue as some here have made it out to be. It's fundamentally a matter of personal choice, whether someone who feels called to fill their lives this way does so using the structure and opportunities within RC or outside of the movement.

In other words, the movement's "busyness" isn't really a problem, unless it violates freedom or discourages proper discernment. I know in my section in some cases there have been abuses and in other cases these things have been considered. I also know what the formation materials say.

I'm just wondering whether some of the issues of abuse, for instance the mom who needed bed-rest but decided to organize the Fashion Show for Father LC, aren't the result of improper discernment rather than the movement manipulating individual consciences. No one I know with a health problem of that sort would ever compromise the life of her child for a Fashion Show. There must be differences among the sections and, of course, human beings are certainly capable of making the wrong decisions about these things (I've done so myself in another life while pregnant with my first child - opting to work when I should have been resting. I can't blame that on the movement - I wasn't even in the movement! - I can only blame that one on myself.)

giselle's pink floods and mile high tube socks really crack me up. Just chillin' baby, just chillin'.

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