Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Legionary of Christ reflects on the indestructable foundation of his vocation

On 1st May 2010 the Holy See issued a communique regarding the apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ. It said:
The Pope renews his encouragement to all the Legionaries of Christ, to their families, and to all the laypeople involved in the Regnum Christi movement, during this difficult time for the congregation and for each of them. He urges them not to lose sight of the fact that their vocation … is … the indestructible foundation upon which each of them can build their own future and that of the Legion.
In this article, Fr Owen Kearns LC recalls the circumstances of his own calling.

Owen Kearns as a candidate in the summer of 1966,
at the Legion's novitiate in Belgard Castle in Dublin, Ireland.
Here's a little excerpt:
Somehow, I realized that Christ wouldn’t ask me to leave great things for something mediocre. If I gave up what I loved and what I was looking forward to, he wouldn’t cheat, wouldn’t defraud, wouldn’t disappoint, wouldn’t let me down. It would be well worth leaving what I had to leave.

It was not that I could accept the risk of abandoning things I treasured because I had figured out that what I would get was better than what I left. No, I could run that risk without even knowing what it was I would get, because I knew I could trust the one who was asking me to leave the treasures.

So I told him, All right. I’ll give it a try.

The weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. I was no longer afraid. I was free! And I was happy. So happy that Fintan noticed it:

“Hey, Owen, what’s got into you?”

“Well, Fintan, I’ve just decided to be a priest.”

“Oh, that’s … terrible.”

I thought to myself: It won’t be terrible. It will be great. I can’t even imagine how it will be great, but it will be. But I didn’t argue with Fintan or try to convince him. How could he understand? I didn’t understand it myself. I knew exactly what he meant: You want to be like one of them? I also knew he was wrong: I won’t be like them.

I certainly was not willing to become like any of the local priests — diocesan or religious. Probably some or even many of them were good, holy and admirable priests. But we didn’t know that. All we knew was that they showed no interest in us; they made no move to engage us in our culture. Our reaction was typical of teenagers: They don’t like us: That’s all right; we don’t like them.

Instinctively, I sensed that if I went to a seminary that had formed them, I would end up like them. And that, I was not willing to do.
Read this realistic and moving story in full at Regnum Christi.


  1. Given your anonymity I am unable to publish/comment on your comment. You may always contact me directly.

  2. I'm afraid it's your anonymity which is preventing me from pursuing the matter further. I did not indicate in my previous comment what I would or would not do, apart from not publish or comment further here. The invitation to contact me directly remains.


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