Official Spanish language article
Though practically unknown in the USA, Rev. Fr. Carlos Mora from Zamora, Mexico recruited more youngsters for the Legion of Christ than anyone else in the world, surpassing in numbers such legendary recruiters as Fr. James Coindreau (Ireland and Mexico) and Fr. Anthony Bannon USA, (recruited by Fr. Coindreau). For over thirty years he recruited boys from all over Mexico for the Legion?s Apostolic School in Tlalpan, Mexico City. One of Fr. Mora?s call to fame was that he was among the very first boys recruited by founder Fr. Marcial Maciel. And one of the few who made it to and beyond priestly ordination.
Official Legion sources announced today that Padre Mora (July 28, 1929
November 4, 2006) had passed to his eternal reward. Father?s DOB reveals that he was nine years and four months younger than Legion Founder, Marcial Maciel. As such, Fr. Carlos was one of the very first Legionaries, a true co-founder. We learn from the Legion note that then Bro. Carlos Mora entered the Legion novitiate on March 25, 1946, which tells us that he was 15 at that time. If we subtract the four years of Apostolic School that preceded that, this puts us very close to the January 3rd, 1941 foundation of the Legion of Christ; he would have been 11 years of age when he was recruited by then twenty-year-old seminarian without a seminary, Marcial Maciel. Fr. Mora was 18 when he took his temporary vows as a religious and 19 when he took his perpetual vows on September 15, 1948. His religious profession came close on the heels of the canonical erection of the Legion of Christ in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. As far was we can gather, Fr. Mora never looked back. He studied in Rome in the 1950s, and experienced the Legion?s growing pains of the Great Blessing that struck the founder from 1956-1958.
He was ordained a priest on January 5, 1959 at the Novitiate of the Legion of Christ in Salamanca, Spain. The location may have had to do with Fr. Maciel?s exile from Rome during that period. Newly ordained he was assigned to the Legion?s new apostolate, the Instituto Cumbres, elementary school in Mexico City. Here he began his successful career as a vocational recruiter. The official Legion article literally states:
He had a special gift for Spiritual Direction and many young men discovered their priestly vocation thanks to his guidance. From the 60?s through the 1980?s Fr. Mora was
the recruiter and his fame spread all through the ranks of the Legion. He was very popular in the cities, towns and villages of his native Michoacan and in neighboring Jalisco State in Mexico, and his good nature and humor helped him gain acceptance among priests and religious. It could be said that he had the knack of being able to painlessly take away boys from their families to serve God in the Legion of Christ.
In the 80s the Legion fanned out from Mexico City into the provinces and Fr. Mora spearheaded that movement in Jalisco State and in that part of Mexico called el Bajo, a traditionally Catholic region whose brave men fought for Mexican Independence in 1810 and kept the faith since then. They generously continued to offer their children and money to the Legion?s cause and supported its apostolic works. Fr. Mora was appointed religious superior to the first Legionary house founded in Guadalajara in 1986. The Legion note goes on to say that from that period on Fr. Mora promoted the Regnum Christi movement in that area.
DYING IN THE LINE OF DUTY
Legionaries have always been taught by Fr. Maciel to keep working until the last moment,
hasta morir en la raya ,
until dying in the line of duty . For Fr. Mora these were not empty words. He worked tirelessly and unselfishly, without special accommodations or considerations for four decades. His health began to break down over the past decade incurring a notable loss of hearing and sight. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had a procedure in the USA in early 2005, convalescing at the Legion center in Thornwood, NY.
Members of the Regnum Christi Movement report that on his return from the USA it seemed that his tumor had been replaced with boundless energy. ReGAIN infers from this discrete commentary that Fr. Mora may have been taken care of during his last years by the Regnum Christi consecrated women who have a large house in Guadalajara, Mexico. In September Fr. Mora had to enter hospital again and was released in October of this year, finally being called to His Father?s House just after 6 pm on Saturday, November 4, 2006.
May Fr. Carlos Mora, LC., Rest in Peace.