Day 1 Update on the General Plenary Sessions from Rebecca Teti

movementsEvery year the general government holds plenary meetings with members from all branches present to look deeply at aspects of Regnum Christi that involve the entire movement. This year Rebecca Teti from Washington DC is one of 5 lay members attending the meetings.  She is sharing her informal impressions with all of us from day to day.

Report from day 1

Wondering what a plenary meeting is? I didn’t really know either until I was invited to participate. I’ll include a link with a brief explanation. This is the second plenary meeting. The first was about communion, and was the genesis for Fr. Eduardo’s letter to us about communion. Below you have some pictures so you can understand the scene. Today was very interesting because we “picked the brains” of members of other movements to learn more about the canonical structures available to us and to hear how other movements arrived at their structure. I am going to be completely candid with you: I’m not sure how much I really understood because the presentations were in Italian. There was translation into Spanish, but my Italian, though poor, is just good enough not to be able to tune it out to listen to the translation. So between that and being tired from jet lag, I spent a lot of the day feeling like I was listening to one thing with one ear and another thing with the other and not really getting the gist of either. (Tomorrow will be an all-Spanish day and I will fare better I think!).

Nevertheless, I can share 3 impressions. 1) Once again I was left feeling touched and grateful for the accompaniment and help the Church is giving us. There is the official help represented in the person of the canonist Fr. Ghirlanda, who joined us all day (if I were in his shoes I think I’d be bored to tears by now, but there he is, smiling, adding commentary, asking questions). And then there were these members of other movements, including the superior general of the Pallottines and the president of Verbum Dei. I imagine that heads of other movements have a few things on their plate, but here they were dedicating the day to us –sharing their experiences, patiently answering questions. And they were so humble and candid in the things they said — sharing not only the good, but their institutional weaknesses, changes they’ve made over time, etc. What a blessing to be part of the Church, which really is the body of Christ, and to experience her help and care during the renewal.

2) Institutional maturity. As I say, I was really impressed with the ability of these representatives from other movements to analyze the steps in their own development, the reasons why they made certain decisions rather than others, even sometimes why they changed course and have a different form today than they did, say, ten years ago. And they were also able to tell us in all humility what their challenges are, what isn’t working so well, and things they still need to develop or which haven’t yet found their final form. This mature reflection struck me as almost a miracle. Thirty (almost) years ago when I first joined RC, I don’t think any of the “new movements and ecclesial realities” (as the Vatican styles us) would have been able to auto-reflect in that way — nor would any of us have been so able and willing to admit shortcomings rather than simply broadcasting the good. Humility and mature reflection and patience seem to be the fruits of thirty + years.

3) Perhaps more humorously, some of these movements have org charts and processes that seem strange or highly complex to me. No doubt I would “get” them better if I shared their charism. But what I think we heard today is that the Holy Spirit really is drawing out something new from the movements, and all of them together, with the Church’s help, are seeking proper canonical form — and some of those forms are pretty wild! Or maybe that was just the Spanglitalian talking.…/second-annual-plenary-meeti…/

About Rebecca Teti

Legionaries and consecrated members were instrumental in my conversion to Catholicism during my time as a student in Rome. I was baptized as an adult at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Rome. I was one of the first four American RC Missionaries (co-workers), and since that time have served in a variety of apostolates. I am currently serving as the director of the women’s section in Washington, DC
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