Fr. Peter’s Personal History in the Legion of Christ [1]

My 15 year Journey to the Priesthood

 

By Fr. Peter Cronin

 

Written in 1997 as a preface to his critique of the Legion and sent to members of Network. The following is a verbatim transcription of the hard copy in Regain files; parenthesis added for clarification.

 

1965:
July 10th, Joined the Legion of Christ at 4:00 pm in Dublin, Ireland. Began Postulancy [Candidacy] under the direction of Fr. James Coindreau and Bro. Juan Manuel Correa. This was the beginning of a long journey directed and orchestrated by the Legion.
September 29th Began my Novitiate with 16 others under Fr. Guillermo [William, Spaniard]Izquierdo, [Novice Instructor]

1967:
September 29th, [after two years novitiate], Took first [temporal and simple] Vows, for three years. Two days later was sent with whole group of professed to Salamanca [Ciudad Jardín] to start my Juniorate under Fr. Rafael Arumí [rector, religious superior and novice instructor] and Fr. Javier García [Assistant to Juniors]

1968:
October, [after one year’s Juniorate], was sent with whole group [of graduating Juniors] to Rome under Fr. Juan Manuel Dueas [-Rojas, Rector and Religious Superior].
October 16, began studies in Philosophy at the Gregorian University [S.J. Pontifical U. at Piazza della Pilota, Rome]

1970:
Summer, went to Salamanca from Rome with whole community to do month of Spiritual Exercises under Rev. Don Antonio Oyorzabal [diocesan priest, friend of Fr. Maciel, with experience in Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius]. Spent the whole summer there. At the end of the Exercises, I renewed my vows, for another 2 years.
October, returned to Rome to continue studies in Philosophy.

1971:
April 5th, Sunday evening, summoned to Fr. Dueas’ office: he informed me that the following day I would be leaving for Mexico City to work in the Irish Institute.
1971, April 6th, Left Rome for Ireland en route to Mexico
April 9th, [Good Friday], left Ireland for Mexico.
April 15th Left Mexico City for Monterrey with Fr. Pedro Martin LC [Spaniard]. Worked at Irish Institute for 4 months.
August 15, by train from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon State, to Mexico City. Beginning of 4 years under Fr. Juan Manuel Fernandez-Amenabare [Spaniard],LC and Fr. Thomas Moylan [Irish], LC. Beginning of 4 years at the Irish Institute as Director of Primary [elementary school].

1972:
Summer, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, for vacations.

1973:
Summer, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, for vacations.

1974:
Summer, Ireland and Europe with Mexican students. Returned to Mexico City at end of August.

1975:
July, Ireland with Mexican students; stayed on at the LC house in Leopardstown for another 6 weeks.
October, Rome, began my last year Philosophy [STL degree in Scholastic Philosophy].

1976:
Summer spent in Salamanca, Spain, with Sten [Brian Stenson], Des [Desmond Coates; both Irish LC philosophy students and vocational recruiters; now priests, one in, one out]and Spanish Candidates.
October was made Assistant Superior of Philosophy [students] community [in Rome]. Started studies of Theology.

1977:
October, Demoted from position of Assistant
December 11th Dad died. Was in Ireland from 12th to 19th

1978:
Summer Spain with 3rd level RC men

1979:
January [Sent by Fr. Maciel to] Mexico City, School of Faith [to replace] Paul Lennon LC
[sent] Back to Rome for exams by [provincial, (Spaniard) Carlos Zancajo, LC]
February [sent back to] Monterrey, Mexico, for vocational [recruitment gira] tour.
July 8th From Cuernavaca [Morelos State, Mexico] to Orange, CT: Assistant of Candidates for the summer
September, began my 6 years as Assistant of Novices and Director of Studies of the Novitiate

1980:
August, to Mexico City, (Centro Cultural) [-Interamericano, close to Apostolic School, Tlalpan district] for retreat and
ordination deacon on August 15th
December, to Rome for preparation for ordination to the priesthood.

1981:
January 3rd Ordained to the priesthood
February Returned to Orange via Ireland

1982:
July, [LC] Community moves from Orange to Cheshire
Meeting with Maciel: Our Father Maciel Who Art In BedI am leavingOur Father Maciel Who Art In Bed
December, decide to leave; called to Rome

1983:
Jan-February Rome, meeting with Maciel. Rethink it. Return to Cheshire

1985:
July, leave Cheshire for Ireland
October, return to the US. Boston, Rye NY, Florida [checking out possible dioceses to go to]

November 1st [left Legion], from Florida to BWI airport; [met by] Declan [Murphy] and Kevin [Farrell; at that time both exlc priests in the diocese of Washington, DC].

* * * * *

Editor’s note: Fr. Peter joined the diocese of Washington, DC, later incardinated, and became the succesful pastor of a multi-ethic parish, St. Michael de Archangel, Silver Spring, MD

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