National Catholic Register

Opinion

Christian Legacy

BY Father Owen Kearns, LC

Publisher

February 10-16, 2008 Issue | Posted 2/5/08 at 2:06 PM

 

This edition of the Register goes to press as the Legionaries of Christ, the religious congregation to which I belong, spend several days in prayer following the passing of our founder, Father Marcial Maciel.

Actually, we haven’t spent the days in prayer only. We have also been busy in our regular work: giving retreats, counseling couples, forming laypeople to better serve their parishes. As much as possible, we have avoided letting our marking of the death of our founder interrupt the normal course of our ministry.

This is fitting, I think. In an early letter of our founder’s, when he was embarking on his seminary studies as a teenager, he wrote to his mother that he wished only to “transform myself into Christ, and to disappear before men so that he will appear.”

At the end of his life, his achievements answer that prayer. He leaves behind him a vast network of projects committed to teaching others about Christ.

These include universities, schools, missionary institutions, character formation clubs, retreat centers and media apostolates. Christ is better known because Father Maciel lived. And that’s all he ever wanted.