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.


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]

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]

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]

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.

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].

Summer, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, for vacations.

Summer, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, for vacations.

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

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].

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.

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

Summer Spain with 3rd level RC men

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

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.

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

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

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

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

4 thoughts on “Fr. Peter’s Personal History in the Legion of Christ [1]

  1. Tommy O Brien says:

    Read your journey. did you know that Fr Brian Stenson died in Orlando , Florida on the 29th Aug 2017 . Cremated in Orlando and Cremains brought back to Ireland. A memorial Mass will take place in St,Brendan’s Church Coolock. on Sat 16th Sept at 11.30 am Irish time. This can be viewed by googling St. Brendan’s Church ,Coolock and go to LIve web cam.
    Tommy O Brien , Brother in Law to Fr, Brian

    • Da Man from Cabra West says:
      Paul Lennon – Dubliner, Legionary of Christ [1961-84], mental health therapist living in the Washington DC are since 1985, bilingual Spanish, 13 years in Mexico, married to a pretty Guatemalan; I am "amateur writer", translator, co founder of REGAIN, INC,, Legionary of Christ "expert", member of International Cultic Studies Association.

      Thanks, Tommy,
      Fr Brian was very beloved by all of us who met him in the Legión of Christ. He was mentioned a few days ago in the Spanish language blog, Legioleaks, Facebook
      God Bless Fr Brian and his family

      Paul Lennon (LC 1961-84)

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