The news about Father Marcial Maciel is particularly poignant for those who knew him. I am saddened and humbled.
I’m saddened first of all for all those hurt by his misdeeds. They need comfort only God can give; they need your prayers.
It’s hard to reconcile all of this with the gratitude I still feel for my founder. The Holy Spirit speaks to my soul through Father Maciel’s words. I owe my priesthood and my way of being a disciple of Jesus to Father Maciel’s guidance and spirituality, and for that I will always be grateful. I entrust his soul to God’s infinite mercy.
How to reconcile such contraries? When our spirit is in turmoil, we need to know where to turn. In prayer, and close to the Heart of Christ, is where we find peace.
As I said to a fellow Legionary, “It’s not what we would have planned, is it?” But it is what God has allowed, and we know that “for those who love God, all things work together for good.” All things, including these things.
At a recent meeting with superiors from various religious communities, I had to introduce myself. I hadn’t planned on saying this, but the words just came tumbling out: “I’m Father Owen Kearns. I’m from the Legionaries of Christ. As you probably know, our founder died in disgrace about a year ago. So, we are not the untouchables. But we are comforted by the encouragement the Holy Father has given our superiors. And Cardinal Rodé [who is in charge of religious life] has told us to do two things. The first is to be faithful to our charism. And the second is to grow. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”
I humbly ask for your support of the Legionaries and Regnum Christi members as we strive to do just that.
But pray first for those who have been hurt and for the Church we all love and serve.
This publisher’s note is set to be printed in the Feb. 15 issue of the National Catholic Register.