Dear brothers in the Lord:
Rome. July 10, 2010
In the letter of June 16, 2010, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has named me his
Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and has given me the task of governing your Religious Institute during such time as is necessary to complete the journey of renewal and lead it to the Extraordinary General Chapter, which will have as its main goal to complete the revision of the Constitutions. The Holy Father, while highlighting
the necessity and urgency of a the way of profound revision of the charism of the Institute, expresses
his desire to stay close, support and guide this way. For the Pope, the Papal Delegate is his personal delegate. This, in fulfilling its task, must act
as a tangible witness of (his ) presence, so that he acts in his name to the religious family. In this family, or your congregation, the Pope recognizes the presence of a large number of members who demonstrate sincere zeal and fervent religious life. The pope does not give more details on how the delegate will fulfill its task, but refers to the necessary concretions to a later decree, which must establish some additional arrangements for the implementation of this Office. Pending such arrangements, we can already start our journey, sustained by trust and prayer, and the blessing of the Holy Father and so many good souls who esteem you and appreciate your work in the Church.
At this time I am pleased to emphasize that the Church, after having given the necessary and indispensable attention to facts, events and people, who would have radically threatened this congregation even this church, with his love filled with wisdom, inspired not by the criteria of the flesh but of the Spirit, would have omitted intervening - now the Church, moved by that same love, considers the glorious reality that is you, your congregation. The Pope, through me, now wants to accompany you on your journey, so that, without leaving you discouraged by the sad events that remain on your back, you can rejoice at your present, the gift of religious vocations, priestly and missionary that you have received . Such a vocation comes from the Heart of Jesus, from his love. He who has begun his work in the heart of every one of you, who has preserved you from the dangers that have threatened you, wants to bring it to completion. Therefore, it is first of all a matter of giving thanks to the Lord for the work he has accomplished in so many ways. Certainly, the Lord's intervention in you through the ministry of the Church has been decisive and the same Lord wants to continue now through the Church. I invite you therefore to thank the Lord for his goodness, his mercy and faithfulness.
With thanks we went to start the journey of renewal that the Holy Father invites us to. This involves taking a clear view of the situation in which we find ourselves and identifying clearly the causes which have led to internal unrest and the interior suffering of today. The Pope also shows us the way: mainly a re- consideration the charism of the institute, and more specifically the constitutional norms that are its expression and protection. The goal that the Holy Father gives us is holding an extraordinary chapter of the Congregation, in which will be approved the new text of the Constitutions. It will be an individual and communal journey, supported by a posture of humility, of intense spiritual commitment and the strengthening of vocation. We hope that the road results in a renewed commitment of fidelity to the Lord in religious life and priesthood, with an agreement that renews the covenant of love between you and the Lord, so that the Lord, in a way that the eternal fidelity of the Lord's eternal fidelity corresponds in each of you your own fidelity, with a new commitment to Him forever, in the service of his kingdom. I think that you find yourselves among those the Holy Father calls the great number of members full of zeal and fervor.
The road of renewal is not to challenge one's vocation, but to re-consider in depth and renew with a new spirit and a more intense participation's adherence to it
I can understand that some are going through tough times, some have already thought of other ways, and perhaps some are considering them now. The vocation is too serious to be able to take a decision on it in a moment of disorientation. It is necessary to rediscover the serenity of spirit and soul, because the decision is to be taken before God, in faithfulness to Jesus Christ, that you have chosen as king of your life. Let us be patient. With humility and faith we walk the path of renewal, let us consider together again religious consecration in the light of the charism of the congregation; Reread the constitution on which you committed your life. It has to do with freeing your lives from those elemens that can obscure your charism, so that the vocation to the profession of the evangelical counsels fully shine in all its beauty, to reinforce in your life royalty of Christ, which is manifested in fullness in the mystery of his Passover. Following Jesus, who in his way of love offers himself freely to the Father and brothers to create in his resurrected body, the new creation. Your vocation, as your congregation, is in your hands, is entrusted to your responsibility. The Church accompanies you, the Lord is merciful and generous: He gives His Spirit without measure! His grace precedes you, accompanies you and leads you to the finish.
On this journey, let us help each other in prayer, especially before the altar of the Lord, and let us encourage each other to sustain us in fidelity to Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of lords: the whole of our life.
I am pleased to entrust all of you to the heart of the Holy Mother of God and the Church, each of you personally and the entire congregation. She, founded by the Lord custody of his son and the Church, protect you and holds on their love all of you and your congregation. The Lord bless you and make his face shine upon you peace and love.
(Original text in Italian)
+ Velasio De Paolis, C.S.