While the Pope was visiting America, 10,000 Regnum Christi members convened in Monterrey, Mexico, at a Youth and Family Encounter in the massive Cintermex convention center.
Eduardo Verástegui is known in the United States for starring in the pro-life movie Bella. But he has been called the “Brad Pitt” of Mexico, and his fans were in full force.
He described his conversion experience to the convention.
“I understood that I was poisoning our society with the movie projects that I was choosing, with the interviews I was giving, with what I was saying,” he said. “I realized I was hurting a lot of people, but what broke my heart was when I realized that I was offending God.”
The April 18-20 event marked the 35th anniversary of the Regnum Christi movement’s presence in Monterrey, a center of business in Mexico. Verástegui called the city’s apostolic programs a good antidote for what he faced as a boy in Mexico.
“I was Catholic all my life, ever since I was baptized,” he said, “but I wasn’t practicing my faith because I didn’t know it, I was unaware of a lot of things.”
The city has two Regnum Christi schools and three Mano Amiga (Helping Hands) schools for underprivileged children. It’s home to premier apostolates, like the Assisted Living Villages, School of the Faith, the Logos center for parish priests, Full-Time Evangelizers, K4J, Challenge, Conquest and Mission Youth.
Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, presided over the celebration of the Eucharist at the conclusion of the event.
Last year, Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, had addressed the Youth and Family Encounter in Atlanta, Ga., and told Regnum Christi to grow.
“Your charism is a true gift that the Holy Spirit has given to each one of you personally so that you can serve the Church,” he said. “Don’t be ashamed of the gift God has given you. Rather, you should feel indebted to God and responsible for its growth.
“You know very well that Regnum Christi is only one part of God’s great plan to transform the world at the beginning of this third millennium of Christianity. Just one part, true, but it’s the part that God has put in your hands, and the part for which you are personally responsible.”
A year later, at the Monterrey Encounter, Father Álvaro Corcuera, general director of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, met with the children, youth and families for a session of open questions and answers. He reported on the progress that had been made since Cardinal Rode’s challenge, and added that in a private audience on March 15 “the Holy Father asked me to pass on his special blessing to all the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi members.”