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