Our Identity as Legionary Religious

Benjamín Clariond LC 

Perhaps the two words which were more frequently used to define the nature and extent of the Church’s renewal during the Second Vatican Council were aggiornamento and ressourcement. Aggiornamento is the most popular by far, it has been sometimes misunderstood as a compromise with the spirit of the world, but in reality has to do with finding new ways to faithfully transmit and present the Christian faith in order to more effectively evangelize. By ressourcement the Council wanted to encourage the return to the authoritative sources of Christian faith to rediscover their truth and meaning and better meet the challenges of our times.

After the Council, all religious communities made an enormous effort to carry out the renewal mandated by Perfectae Caritatis. As some well-intentioned experiences proved to have a negative impact on the life and mission of consecrated men and women in the Church, Pope Paul VI consistently invited religious to carry out their renewal keeping always their own charismatic identity and mission in mind in order to avoid pitfalls . It seems that, for the Pope, going back to the authentic sources provides a sure path to face the challenges which every age presents to the stewards of every charism.

In our effort to deepen into our Legionary identity as religious, we will first try to set up a framework for our conversation brining to mind some notions of the identity of religious, apostles and priests in general. Then we will briefly discuss the role of memory and identity, and the dynamics involved in the formation a “charismatic personality”. Last, we will try to apply these concepts in a more direct way to our charism as Legionaries of Christ, both on an individual and on a community level.

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