Category Archives: Schools & Universities

Legion Run Gateway Academy Closing at End of School Year

Gateway Academy, one of the Legion run schools in Chesterfield (about 25 miles west of St Louis, Missouri) that had hoped to remain open despite financial issues, will be closing at the end of the current school year.

Click Here For Gateway story

An informed source advised ReGAIN that the Legion had asked the Benedictines to sit on their board and say Mass primarily so they could retain their Catholic status. One of Gateway Academy founders jumped the gun and sent a notice to the parents (to encourage enrollment) stating that the Benedictines had agreed to help the school. This translated to the Benedictines taking over the school in the minds of the wishful parents and teachers but the Benedictines apparently were not considering managing the school.

Gateway Academy’s demise was for the most part due to financial issues (driven by the LC) but the power of the press was also involved in this case. Apparently it attached enough “creepy” stigma to have a significant impact on new enrollments.

As a result of the loss of this school, the Legion will lose influence in the area.

 

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Mexican LC Run Schools in Financial Crisis

By Milenio: Javier Sepúlveda

 

Unofficial translation of recent article in Milenio:

 

Unofficial translation of recent article in Milenio:

Monterrey, Mexico – Schools run by the Legionaries of Christ in cities such as Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City are in a state of economic crisis due to a lack of students according to Fernando Gonzalez, a researcher and religious affairs expert.

Adding to the student enrolment crisis, these institutions have been freed from centralized control, leaving it up to each school to try to survive by its own means.

I have heard here and there that in some areas of the country the schools have begun to suffer financially, and they have even begun to talk of establishing a policy in which each legionary school would have to be self-supporting.

The researcher and psychologist reports that previously all the schools operated under a centralized administration, but that now this system has been abandoned in a attempt to allow each educational institution to control its own finances in an effort to survive.

The crisis stems from parents? fears about the wager that legionary schools presented in the past – that if you bring me your children, I will give them a formation which would place them among the country?s economic and political elite. Suspicions quickly began to arise that this was not true, according the the researcher from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

When expectations of having prestigious social connections as a result of being in a legionary school were shattered, says the author of the book Marcial Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ; Unpublished Documents and Testimonies, the order?s schools began to experience a crisis.

Fernando Gonzalez claims that, despite the credibilty problem the Legionaries of Christ are experiencing as a result of the scandals involving pedophilia and children secretly conceived by the order’s founder, the late Marcial Maciel, there is still a affluent segment of the population that continues sending its children to these schools as if nothing had happened.

He adds that the removal from power of the so-called legionary leadership continues apace after the decision by Pope Benedict XVI last January naming a commissioner to be in charge of the congregation?s finances.

Fernando Gonzalez, who was in Monterrey giving a seminar on research and psychoanalysis in the department of psychology at UANL, adds that the Legionaries of Christ have embarked on a sort of re-founding which will be reflected in a reduction of personnel in the top leadership.

He indicates that, after the forceful measures taken by the pope to reorganize the congregation, prominent Mexicans such as Lorenzo Servitje and Ricardo Salinas Pliego have radically changed their attitude in regards to the level of respect they previously lavished on the order?s founder.

The fact that Servitje would acknowledge that one of his daughters drafted a letter offering apologies for her initial stance of unconditional support for Maciel will have repercussions in the business community because it deals with one of Mexican Catholicism?s most emblematic figures from the private sector, says the academic.

This stance, he adds, indicates a search for a politically correct position after the decisions taken by Pope Benedict XVI to reinstate discipline in the order, and to remove from power the top leadership inherited from Marcial Maciel.

Javier Sepalveda

To see the article in Spanish
Click Here

 

TORCH Hijacked and Controlled by the RC/LC

Editor’s note: Since the publication of this article, it has come to our attention that NACHE is not now, nor has it ever been controlled by the Regnum Christi and the Legion of Christ. It is a totally independent operation.
For this reason, the title of the article has been altered.

 

Dear Friends:
I can tell you from our own sad personal experience that – at least in our case in [name of State] our homeschooling group was hijacked by people from TORCH. These are the same people who participate in Regnum Christi and who I believe have taken control nationally of NACHE (this is apparently why Seton Home School has a separate conference in the DC area each summer). see editor’s note above

We were led to believe this group was independent and a good support organization for home schoolers. However, the tactics used to get mothers to vote their way were certainly not Christian nor in the true spirit of Catholic fellowship. We found our group torn in two – and have since gone our separate ways. Unfortunately, deception was employed to drive a wedge between some mothers who were unaware of the unspoken agenda of the TORCH network – namely control of ideas, control of worship and control of money. Dues were instituted where none existed before. Previously the loose leadership group of 3 mothers and a dozen advisors, those who attended monthly mother’s meetings, employed free will offerings. We had no “Titled” leaders – only ad hoc volunteers. They wanted to formalize the organization – President, Treasurer, Secretary, etc. We wanted to avoid cumbersome paperwork that would sap valuable time away from mothers who need to be teaching and nurturing their children – not wasting their time on administration – which no one saw a need for.

We were very saddened that many who trusted our leaders – one of these is my wife – were duped and lost a bit of trust in the organization. We apologized for the failure to foresee the events that unfolded. We now know – from others around the country that this same scenario was played out before our coup and afterwards as well. The same tactics are employed – “we need to get organized, we need to charge dues to support our activities, we need to connect with a national network, we need a newsletter, we need to be directed by others, go to retreats and prayer groups led by TORCH leaders who are trained “(by Regnum Christi/Legionaries) and so on.

I suggest anyone facing this kind of proposal look at the TORCH website, understand their connections with other apostolic movements and comprehend the ramifications of changing or forming this kind of Home schooling support group before joining. The stated caveat for those considering membership in such a group is – “if you don’t pay the dues, you can’t come to the meetings, vote on issues, receive the newsletter, etc. “- we never excluded anyone who did not contribute to our free will offering collections either for paucity of income or other reasons. We also welcome non-Catholics and those families who were sending their children to private, public or diocesan schools who wish to learn more about the faith – this seemed to be a stumbling block for the TORCH group.

We are still feeling the hurt from almost 2 years ago when this division struck our peaceful statewide group of home schooling families – about 300 strong. Finally, I’ll say that many in the TORCH organization may not be in league with the leadership and have no ill will regarding their non-TORCH friends. However, the leaders are surely trained to achieve their objective seemingly by any means available – the end justifies their means!! We do not doubt their Faith nor their Orthodoxy, but we do object to their tactics and controlling methods. Similarly, we see the same signs and similar tactics among those in Regnum Christi prayer groups and among the Legion brothers who are actively recruiting our boys at a young age. Those of us who recognize these signs stay clear and generally keep quiet in charity and also fear – that we will be singled out and ridiculed or bad-mouthed for our lack of enthusiasm in their Movement. Again, if we are barriers to their ultimate objectives – we are to be “managed” out of the way. We love all our friends – no matter what group they join. We hold no grudge against anyone, however, we were deceived and will be extremely careful not to let these “leaders of the TORCH movement” lead us astray again!

If anyone has doubts either before or after joining a TORCH group – I suggest getting out and forming or joining a non-TORCH affiliated group that is Catholic or at the very least is a good Christian group that is not anti-Catholic. Non-denominational groups can also be helpful on teaching issues and sometimes can help with non-faith based curricular matters like math and english.

I hope this information is helpful.

National Consultants for Education (NCE) Another L.C. Sham

By Marie Consulaire, a teacher

 

Someone remarked recently that the Legion of Christ is nothing but a massive propaganda machine. Impressive websites and multiplicity of Legionary “front organizations� are contradicted by the reality beyond the well-polished image. This is as true of the National Consultants for Education (NCE) as any of the other Legionary “front organizations� (see the updated list published elsewhere on the Regain website).

In a recent letter from NCE to an inquirer seeking information about the Legionary/Regnum Christi schools, the NCE writes: You can find National Consultants for Education at http://nceducation.org. If you go to the link labeled schools you will see the location of each of our schools throughout the country.

Clicking on the site, I was definitely impressed! What a very sophisticated, upbeat, and inviting site (and, of course, linked directly to the Legion of Christ website). The NCE site claims that there are nineteen schools in various locations. I’d heard that another person who contacted the NCE director, Eduardo Grandio, was told that there were 20 LC schools in North America, where, in their own words: NCE is working with a growing number of schools to implement our educational method.

The visitor to the site is invited either to click on each city to contact the school directly, or to contact the central office of NCE at http://www.nceducation.org. I moved the mouse to open the school site in St. Louis, but it would not connect, nor open. I clicked on the schools in Chicago, then down south in San Antonio and Naples; no entrance there, either. Then the school in Calgary, Canada, but no go. Baltimore? No, nay, never. I tried them all and found that of the 18 sites (yes, 18, not 19 or 20), there were only five schools that could be accessed: Dallas (The Highlands School), Atlanta (Pine Crest Academy), Detroit (Everest Academy), Edgerton (Wisconsin), and Warwick (Rhode Island). The number went down to three schools if the schools at Edgerton and Warwick were removed, for these are not open to the neighborhood Catholic public, but are boarding schools for wealthy Mexican boys (Edgerton) and for girls (Warwick) who were being groomed to enter consecratedlife (n.b., According a Church canon lawyer, the consecrated ladies? of the Regnum Christi have no canonical protection, unlike women in other, authentic religious orders within the Catholic Church).

Regain has heard from those who have been employed at these three Legionary schools (Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas), or had children attending there, that each school has a consistent pattern of very serious, unaddressed problems — and of administrative denial and cover-up of these problems.

For instance at The Highlands, which was intended to be the Legion’s pilot school? in the USA. But from its beginning in 1986 as a tiny homeschool outgrowth, and especially for the past twelve years, it has had a shameful and tumultuous record. There has been a pattern of initial enrollment build-up, then subsequent loss of half of these families; this pattern of building up, then massive loss, seems to repeat itself every two or three years. Further, there is a very high attrition of teachers every year (90% of the faculty was lost four years ago). Each time this happens, the Legionary administrators claim to a new crop of parents and young teachers that: This time we’re over our growing pains and won’t make the same mistakes, again. Yet each time the same mistakes are repeated, despite the promises. There is high turn over of enrolled families, and each new crop of young Catholic teachers are, in their turn, bitterly disappointed with the lack of discipline and faculty backup, with the preferential treatment of the wealthy (especially wealthy Mexicans), with the overall lack of consistency of curriculum. These disappointments make the sacrifice they as teachers have made for their very low salaries to be not worth it.

This year (2003-2004), with enrollment up again for the opening of school, The Highlands School has lost a large percentage of their best families at the end of the first semester because of several cumulative events topped by at least one very serious incident. A gang of older Highlands boys began to do regular group masturbating in the locker room; they attacked/taunted those boys who did not participate, especially the younger boys. This same gang is reported to have attacked a third grade brother of one of their class who reported the perverse activity to school authorities. The third-grader was stabbed by a sharp pencil which penetrated so deeply into his back that its point had to be removed by surgery. When confronted by angry parents the school authorities down-played the stabbing (only a pencil!) and denied that the masturbatory incidents were happening or had ever taken place. There was no disciplinary action taken at all, for either matter.

A few years earlier, an equally bad gang of high school boys at The Highlands regularly took off their uniform pants, stripping down to their briefs, when their shy, young female teacher entered the afternoon classroom. Again, there was total denial and no disciplinary action taken against the boys, who claimed that they were only changing into soccer shorts.Nothing was done to stop this on-going harassment until some of the male teachers came to her defense; they took turns teaching their colleague’s class class. She — and the other teachers — have since left Highlands; the bad boys graduated. This website promised a very different kind of moral life and culture.

Not only The Highlands School in Dallas, but also the schools in Atlanta and Detroit are very impressive on the website, too, but have also been rocked with serious incidents and similar administrative cover-up. Incidentally, these three schools are the only true Legionary schools in existence. A Legionary school has a Legionary priest in residence. Simply that. All the other schools which the Legion may claim are Regnum Christi schools, that is, they are run under the Legion of Christ “directivesâ€� — and the tri-fold pay, pray, and obey? is joined by one more never, ever cross-talk (gossip) about what happens at the school. Why are these other fourteen or fifteen schools not to be reached by the NCE website? Are they either so tiny as have no regular buildings? Or is it that the schools are a P. R. nightmare — so troubled by internal crisis that cannot be covered up that NCE does not want anyone contacting the schools directly? Yet, the NCE claims that it is creating a unified curriculum for all of the schools, both Legionary and Regnum Christi.

The question is: why does the Legion want to run these schools, anyway? Those who have been formerly connected with the Legion and the running of the schools, whether Legionary schools or Regnum Christi schools, have an explanation. They claim that these schools are the main “birdfeeders� for the apostolic school or the seminary. However, even with a growing number of schools, the numbers of Legionary seminarians has dropped drastically over the past few years. (A misleading recent fund-raising letter from the Legion, claims 400 North American seminarians who need heat for the Winter; this 400 must surely include ALL Legionary seminarians, at all levels of formation, as the number of American novices entering the Legion this year could be counted on both hands! Just who is being included in the 400 that the fund raising letter numbers among their men? Does anyone know for sure?)

There may be a more pressing reason for promoting these schools, however: image laundering.

Perhaps, more accurately, the effort is not so much image laundering as pre-event damage control. What event? The publication of the upcoming book by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, The Vows of Silence, that tells the truth about the Legion of Christ and its founder — the abuse of power in and by the Legion and the sexual scandal cover-up.

The propaganda of the National Consultants for Education is as impressive as their name. But behind the name? is the disappointing reality. And the last thing any of us needs in this day and age is any more disappointment, especially by the Church or even by those who masquerade as the (false) hope of the Church.

Pity, then, the families that entrust their children to these LC/RC schools of dubious good-effect, especially those families who were the founders of the little schools before the Legion moved in to help. And pity the young teachers who go starry-eyed with the mission of Catholic education, and then are so disappointed with the betrayal of their own hopes and of the authentically Catholic families who are too poor to pay the sky-high tuition (surprise!).

And we should save some pity, too, even for those hard-working and sincere young people at the NCE, who trust the Legion and their claim that they are transforming society through education. It is all so sad and bizarre. But as many of us have come to realize, the Legion’s big picture is created and driven by one of the most effective propaganda efforts imaginable.

Why Is The Legion Closing Their Schools in the United States and Elsewhere?

By ReGAIN Staff

 

The Sacramento Bee in their Religion News
>Click here for Article
reported that the Legion is ending their role in the Sacramento area following their decision in 2011 to close their only U.S Legion run university and their Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, a high school seminary in Colfax, California. The university formerly offered master’s programs in theology and catechesis.According to the Sacramento Bee: “Local officials say the local withdrawal is a product of the order shrinking and re-evaluating where to focus its priests�. The article also mentions some of the troubles that the Legion has had in recent years, specifically with “controversy and scandal in the past decade involving some of their best-known leaders�.

ReGAIN Comment:

ReGAIN would like to focus attention on the true purpose for the Legionary presence in Sacramento and in fact their true purpose for being anywhere and offer an opinion why they are closing schools in the US.

Why does the Legion have educational facilities? Were the schools in Sacramento and elsewhere established for a spiritual purpose to provide Catholic education? Or is it more likely that these institutions existed as a means to some end?

Let us suggest an answer by posing another question. Did the Legionary founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado show that he had a genuine burning desire to spread the gospel message through education? Was Catholic education the charism of the Legion and Regnum, Christi? Based on the Vatican May 10 communique it seems extremely unlikely that Father Maciel established his schools with a spiritual purpose in mind, because according to the May 1, 2010 Vatican communique: “incontrovertible evidence has confirmed, sometimes resulted in actual crimes, and manifests a life devoid of scruple and of genuine religious sentiment�.

What are Legionary schools like for the students who attend? A new blog entitled “49 Weeks a Year� Click Here provides actual testimonies of some of those who formerly attended the Immaculate Conception Academy in Rhode Island that prepares girls of high school age for a possible “vocation� to consider a “consecrated life� in Regnum Christi.

According to several of these testimonies, many of the former students suffered real mental, emotional and spiritual damage in their years at Immaculate Conception Academy. The home page of the blog states that the former students wish to share their stories “to warn parents of the very real dangers of handing your daughters over to this flawed institution�.

The testimonies are heart wrenching. Some suffered depression while others felt overly constricted by all the rules. Some felt isolated. The relationships between the teenage girls and their parents, other family members and former friends obviously deteriorated in some cases during the time they were in the school. Imagine attending a high school where you are not allowed to have particular friends and where your opportunities to have normal conversations with the other students is severely restricted and there is no privacy. What would it be like to be part of a group of young people who are never allowed to entertain negative thoughts or doubts or uncharitable feelings? One of the young ladies mentions how she was made to feel fearful of “losing all possibility of fulfilment and happiness (you can never be truly happy or fulfilled if you chose something else than God’s plan!), you face the life-long guilt of denying other soulsâ€� (being able to see God)â€�.

The conditions referred to in the 49 weeks blogspot match up well with those included in the ReGAIN article Click Here that compared the Regnum Christi consecrated women’s way of life to life for typical cult group members that are exposed to mind control.

So why were the schools really there?

Cult groups exist primarily to recruit and to fund raise to gain power and money for the supreme leaders. Could that be the primary reason for Father Maciel developing the Legionary schools? Those who consider enrolling their children in such a school have to decide for themselves. It seems obvious from the testimonies referred to above that there was excessive pressure being exerted (mind control) on these young people to mold them to become obedient to their spiritual advisers (the ones who the girls said were reading their mail). One result of mind control is to seriously impair a person’s critical thinking ability. This is certainly not a good objective for any educational system.

A key question that begs asking at this stage is why the Legion is shutting down their schools?

If providing Catholic education were an important part of the Legion and Regnum Christi’s primary reason for being, (as in charism) one would think they would do everything in their power to keep their schools going. If the Legion run schools were providing an excellent quality of education and spiritual formation then we would expect that the students and their parents would step forward to offer as much support as possible to keep them going. That does not seem to be happening. In fact, it is obvious that enrolments in areas such as Sacramento have dropped to the point where it is no longer profitable to keep the schools in operation.

So if you look at the situation from a perspective of following the money the logical explanation for the Legion pulling out of an area is because they choose to remain in those areas where the profits are the greatest.

This raises other questions. Is the Legion primarily a religious order or a business? Is it wise for a parent to choose a school system if the system is based on maximum profitability for itself rather than for maximum benefit for its students?