Little things count

I received the following commentary from Melicia Antonio, who will be joining the contributors to Regnum Christi Live. Melicia is a consecrated member of Regnum Christi who lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. She is a native of San Diego, California.

When I got the news that Fr. Luis Garza was appointed Territorial Director of the re-united United States territory, I whooped for joy in the miniscule cubicle that functions as my office, and startled two professors working in adjoining sardine cans.

Now, I don’t think I can really claim to know Fr. Luis is: I’ve never worked with him, I don’t tap his blackberry, and I’ve obviously never lived in his same center.  But he has been my Vicar General for the past 14 years and you can come to know a few things about a person even if you see him or write to him just a few times a year. (Few times x 14 = a little over 42 encounters, right?) And of all the characteristics that I’ve come to admire about him, there is one that bowls me over.

He answers my emails in less than 12 hours. In fact, he usually answers in about 10 minutes. I say 12 hours because that’s the longest it ever took for me to receive a reply from him.

Sometimes I write the kind of letter that that needs no answering back. He writes back anyway. Sometimes I write two lines to say” I’m praying for you”. He writes back and says “thanks, I need it”.  One time, I wrote and said “Hey, I have a question”, and he said, “Hang on for a few days, I have 50 bazillion things to do and want to take the time to give you a good answer.”  Five days later, I received a two page letter.

It bowls me over, because I’m not a director of a center, nor the head of an apostolate, nor one of the “first” consecrated members, nor a founding member of whatever-it-is foundation. I’m not even in charge of the laundry room. I’m just a rank and file soldier. And Fr. Luis acts like a rank and file general.

Others I know get the same VIP treatment. Like the group of high school girls who decided to ask Fr. Luis what “purity of heart” meant. (As if the definition didn’t exist in any Catholic catechism…) A few days later, they receive a thorough and easy-to-grasp explanation of the virtue.

So, that’s just one of the things I admire about him. I don’t think you will find any major executive of a multi-million dollar company who answers emails from employees faster than they can shut off their computers. Which goes to show that the Movement is not a “multi-million dollar company”, nor are the major directors the “executives”, nor are we” employees”.

Poor Fr. Luis! He hasn’t even started in his new territory and I’ve already increased his work load.


About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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3 Responses to Little things count

  1. lphelan says:

    Hi Jim,

    I’m surprised you haven’t posted anything about Fr. Garza’s recent appointment on RC live. Yes we got the Mission e-letter but it would be great to have a forum for welcoming or responding to this news. Or how about letting the membership know about his recent interview at the Register? It allows everyone to read for themselves Fr. Garza’s response to certain controversial topics.

    Just a suggestion.

    God bless!

  2. lphelan says:

    Whoops – sorry I submitted this before reading Melicia’s post. Please allow me to amend. That’s a nice personal testimony, but in reality Fr. Garza’s appt. actually transcends the personal stuff. He has a lot of work to do here and it would be great to get a forum going on that topic. Also the controversial questions brought up in the Register. How, for instance, does Fr. Garza reconcile promoting obedience to the Holy Father with his own apparent lack thereof upon the May 2006 Vatican Communique? (by his own admission, he opted to do his own investigation into the founder rather than rely on the findings of the Holy Father). Also, what were the details of this investigation and why did it take so long if he learned about the mistress and daughter as soon as June 2006? Finally, if Fr. Garza knows that Maciel told his closest aides not to share what’s going on with him (again from the interview) then why doesn’t Fr. Garza work to bring those men to justice? He obviously knows who they are or else he would not have made that statement. Somebody told him that.

    These are just some of the questions that members might have. That interview did bring up quite a few additional questions about Fr. Garza’s potential involvement (even if slight) in some of the despicable behavior of Maciel. And now Fr. Garza is supposed to be directing our territory. I’m sure he wants to clear the air with everyone here from the get-go. Trust is a huge issue and he professes a desire to re-establish it. Meetings with the various sections or at least some sort of territory-wide conference the way Fr. Connor used to would be very helpful.

    Thanks and God bless.

  3. Jim Fair says:

    Regnum Christi Live is designed primarily for comment and clarification. That means that important news, interviews and videos usually will be posted on the main Regnum Christi and Legion of Christi website. There are a number of articles about Fr Luis and the new territory on those site. And we now have a couple blog posting about our new territorial director.

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