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General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ. Legionaries’ New General Director Assures Continuity

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The congregation of the Legionaries of Christ is currently holding its Third Ordinary General Chapter in Rome. The chapter fathers, representing all the Legionaries of Christ, have elected Fr. Álvaro Corcuera Martínez del Río as general director, after Father Marcial Maciel, their founder, declined his reelection, citing his age and his desire to see the congregation flourish during his lifetime under the leadership of his successor. 

The chapter fathers initiated this important event by doing eight days of spiritual exercises, preparing themselves to listen to what God is asking of the Legion of Christ in this important stage of its life. Meanwhile, all the members of the congregation have been offering fervent prayers for the success of the general chapter. 

After the spiritual exercises, the chapter proceeded to the election of the general government of the congregation. In the first vote, the participants had reelected Fr. Maciel by absolute majority. Fr. Maciel, 84 years of age, who has headed the congregation since its foundation in 1941, preferred not to accept the reelection. The chapter fathers expressed their most sincere and filial gratitude to Fr. Maciel for his leadership during these past six decades and pledged their heartfelt loyalty to the mission he continues to fulfill as founder. 

They then elected Fr. Álvaro Corcuera as the most apt person to give continuity to the work of the founder. Upon accepting his new office, Fr. Corcuera affirmed, “I wish to express my desire to remain faithful to the charism of the congregation
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and the person of the founder, and to continue his work at the service of the Church.”

Father Corcuera, 47, is Mexican. Since 1987 he has been rector of the Legionaries’ Center for Higher Studies in Rome, their international major seminary.  He has worked closely with Father Maciel on projects related to the governing of the congregation. He is also a consultant to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.

He was a consecrated member of the Regnum Christi Movement before joining the Legion of Christ. He had previously earned a degree in Education Sciences from Anahuac University in Mexico City. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the Gregorian University and the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. From 1993 until 2000 he was President of Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, the Legion of Christ college in Rome.

The chapter fathers reelected Fr. Luis Garza (Mexico), as vicar general and they also chose Fr. Francisco Mateos (Spain), Fr. Michael Ryan (Ireland) and Fr. Joseph Burtka (United States) as members of the general council.  Fr. Cristóforo Fernández Álvarez (Mexico) was reelected as general procurator and Fr. Eduardo Vigneaux (Chile) was elected as general administrator. 

The Legionaries of Christ and the members of the Movement Regnum Christi share the joy of counting on the continued presence and advice of the founding father as well as the leadership of the new general director. 

Sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi,
founded by Father Marcial Maciel, L.C. at the service of the Church.
Copyright 2004, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.
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Regnum Christi is an apostolic movement at the service of mankind and the Church. Founded by Fr. Marcial Maciel in 1949, the Regnum Christi Movement includes lay men and women, as well as deacons and priests.