Prayer request from a Legionary of Christ about Visitation

This came from a priest, from a priest of the Legionaries of Christ:

On Tuesday, July 15, the Apostolic Visitation of the Legion of Christ is due to begin (the official statement of the Legion is on the “news” page of the website

In your charity and kindness, and for the good of the Church and of all the people who are affected by the scandal, please pray for the effectiveness and fruit of the Visitation – that it may bring about whatever is best for all involved, according to God’s plan.

If you think it appropriate, please ask your many readers to effectively help “spike our prayer stats” before God.  Prayers to St. Joseph, St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, and St Michael the Archangel, would be particularly apropos, as they are the patrons and protectors of the Congregation. [NB…]  (We don’t want to be “protected” from the Visitation, but rather from any internal or external obstacles to the work of the Holy Father’s representatives in helping us live and serve the Church in truth and charity). The Legion is also dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Mother of Sorrows, so prayers using those devotions would also be appreciated.

If you chose to make this petition public, please keep it anonymous. [As I will always do for priests if they wish.]

Thank you for your charity and prudence in your coverage of this and other priestly scandals – and for a great blog overall!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tantumergo says:

    I realize there is much suffering within the ranks of the Legion, and many are hoping for its demise. HOWEVER, I have never seen priests who have celebrated Holy Mass more reverently. They don’t shy away from hot topics like mortal sin, and at the Consecration, they seem to genuflect deeper and hold the Host aloft higher and longer. They have SO MUCH to give in the countering of the “progressive” culture which has bulldozed the sacred! May Our Blessed Mother of Sorrows, Saint Michael the Archangel, and Saint Joseph watch over and guide each and every one of you.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Add my prayers for the cause!

  3. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    I have known and loved the Legion. But, I can’t help but feel that the following scripture applies:

    “[E]very good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire,” (Matt 7:17-19).

    Even a rotten tree can sprout some blooms. Yet, at root it remains rotten and should be cut down.

    The Catholic Church will go on quite well–thank you–without the Legionaries of Christ.

  4. A Random Friar says:

    I will certainly pray for them. A minor correction: it would be Wednesday, not Tuesday, for those offering Masses and prayers on the day the visitation begins.

  5. Woody Jones says:

    Thank you, Father Z, for printing this very touching request from a Legionary. As a simple (and not very well integrated) member of Regnum Christi, I can nonetheless vouch for the sentiments of all in the Movement whom I know, and the LCs that I know as well, that they exactly correspond with those expressed by your anonymous LC corespondent. I would also invite your prayers for Archbishop Chaput, one of the Visitators, who is to undergo spinal surgery. He is, of course, one of the really brightest lights in the Church here in the US, and his efforts in the Visitation will no doubt be particularly fruitful, so we must all petition the Good Lord for a successful surgery and recovery for him.

  6. What beautiful humility from this priest. From their suffering in such humility I pray much grace will shower down upon them. Would that our Sisters would all maintain such an attitude regarding their own Apostolic Visitation.

  7. Hidden One says:

    Let us remember that the branches in the parable were people, not organizations.

    I will pray.

  8. ex novice says:

    I left the Legion in 08 after two years as a Novice. I was one of the last co-founders and I always
    sensed in my heart the scandal to be true but we were lied to over and over again being told he was a living saint and even to pray to him the day he died. However now that they are about to be reformed I wished I stayed alittle long to disern. I still belive God is calling me to the priesthood. Please pray for my call that I know how to answer it after all this.

  9. Agnes says:

    I went through and “co-animated” a 4 year Familia group in my first few years as a Catholic, though never wanted to join RC. It, along with the good people at my parish, was instrumental in furthering my conversion. They gave me a thirst for study, liturgy and prayer in the midst of a busy family life. I was saddened by the scandal, but it seems to me the group does bear good fruit, in spite of the bumblings and stumblings of its founder. I think some care needs to be taken when groups focus very heavily on their founders – be careful that, like Mary, they always lead us to Christ and never, ever to themselves.

    I will definitely pray over the visitation!

  10. EJ says:

    As someone who has also suffered to some degree at the hands of some of the Church’s servants – my heart goes out to ex novice’s comments above… don’t be sorry you left, be glad you were able to get the HECK out of there before your own Faith suffered permanently from it, that happens to countless seminarians and novices who suffer one form of abuse or another – may the Lord’s will be done with the Legion – but the suffering is so great, and so many were wronged and villified and shamed as they were being wronged. Do any of you remember the “official” reactions of the Legion’s leadership first when Fr. Maciel was under serious suspicion of wrongdoing and then when he was finally disciplined? I do and it was pretty damning. I just don’t know if there is any redemption from filth like that. So much for the so-called secret promise that they would FORCE members to take, to never criticize the Legion or the monster that was Fr. Maciel.

  11. California Girl says:

    I don’t have an opinion on whether the LC itself should continue or not–I leave that to the will of God and the discernment of the Visitation.

    But I do know many good people who are/were Regnum Christi, and one family who has a son in formation to be an LC priest. Because of all the secrecy within the order, I’m sure that many good, holy people had no idea of what was going on. They found spiritual growth and nourishment through LC/RC. How betrayed and confused they must feel now.

    Mary, bless your sorrowful children. Keep them close to your Son, who Himself was betrayed and crucified. May they join their sufferings to His Passion, and find comfort and strength in Holy Mother Church. Amen.

  12. Tom Lanter says:

    Fr. Z.

    A link of interest.

    The Legionaries’ Last Stand. An Exclusive Interview with Fr. Thomas Berg

    Tom Lanter

  13. Maureen says:

    I think we should concentrate on praying for all the Legion and ex-Legion folks, whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent. It can’t do any harm, it might do plenty of good.

    We can all agree on this — that there are always going to be both tares and good wheat in every Christian group until the end of the world. The tares spoil a lot of good things. But the Lord can always bring good out of evil, and there are a lot of people in this particular field who aren’t tares. Will they be transplanted, or allowed to grow where they are? Who knows? But either way, they can still do plenty of good.

  14. irishgirl says:

    I had been a supporter of the Legion for many years-can’t do much right now because I’m not working. I had also gone to the Profession Mass in Cheshire, CT twice. I even had a Legionary priest and seminary brother visit me in my home-they were real gentlemen! Many years ago I made a ‘tentative’ inquiry into Regnum Christi; when I found out that I would have to ‘go on mission’ and leave my home, I said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’. I’m not ‘smart enough’ to be in something like that.

    But my heart ached when I read earlier this year about Fr. Maciel’s ‘double life’.

    My hope-and my daily prayer-is that the Legion will be open and honest with the Visitators. As Maureen said, ‘The Lord can always bring good out of evil’.

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for posting this!

    I’ve been offering my daily Rosary for the members of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi.

  15. Eric says:

    The Legion seems to be taking a different view of their visitation than most of the nuns I have heard about are viewing theirs.

  16. Tom A. says:

    While I am not LC or RC, I have attended many of thier Evenings of Reflections and even a retreat. Their priests are some of the best formed priests I have ever seen. Very reverent, very doctrinaire. I pray they have a prominent future in the Church in whatever manner the Holy Spirit wills. The RC program ConQuest for the formation of boys is also a model that all parishes should use. Forget those wimpy youth groups and ministries.

  17. Fr LC says:

    Thank you, Fr Z, for posting my request, and thanks to all those who have answered with prayers and/or kind comments. Please keep those prayers coming as the Visitation goes forward! I will pray for you all as well, that God bless you for your Christian charity. I’ll also pray particularly for “ex novice” (who commented above), that God may help him to discern his vocation and follow it with generosity.

  18. GAgirl says:

    It must be hard for the RC members to digest such a shocking truth but my deepest sympathies are for the Legionaries and consecrated members who must be devastated. I have faith in the visitation and that the Holy Father will be able to spare the good and eliminate the flaws from the Legion. They will emerge stronger and be even more effective than ever and continue to do great good for the Church.

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