Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

New Priest Father Andrew Torrey with the Legionaries of Christ.

Becoming a Priest

Called To Be A Legionary of Christ Priest. Father Andrew Torrey, LC, a newly ordained priest, shares his vocation story. 

April 27, 2024, ROME, ITALY – Father Andrew Torrey’s priestly ordination was on April 27th, 2024 at Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy along with 19 other Legionaries of Christ. Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila and Pro-prefect of the Section for the first evangelization and the new particular churches of the Dicastery for Evangelization, celebrated the Mass. Concelebrating alongside Cardinal Gokim Tagle were Bishops Robert Fisher, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit (Michigan), and Brian Farrell, LC. More than 180 priests also concelebrated the Eucharist.

During his homily, Cardinal Gokim Tagle reminded the new priests that by their vocation to the priesthood, and now their consecration, that they are men of communion. He said this will reflect in preaching the Gospel, shepherding the flock and in the sacraments. He also stated that they should remain in Christ. By being men of communion and by remaining in Christ they will remain in the friendship of Christ. He said to them that “Jesus calls us friends” but the question is “do we call him friend?” Cardinal Gokim Tagle shared that this should be evident by their life, that people should see both that Jesus calls them friend and that they call Jesus friend. He also reminded them that they should be sources of consolation for all those on the peripheries, the marginalized, and the poor.

After the ordinations the North American Territorial Director of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr. Shawn Aaron, remarked that, “The Mass was just beautiful. Two things that really struck me were, 1) the moment when the new priests were prostrate on the ground, for me, was such a powerful moment. The men face down, the totality of their gift but also the understanding that unless Our Lord gives them the Grace that they, themselves, don’t have the strength, and 2) throughout the series of asking the question ‘are you ready?’ and hearing their enthusiasm when they each said “with the help of God, yes.”

Father John Connor, LC, general director of the Legionaries of Christ, stated that this is “a time to thank God for the new priests,” inviting them to “serve, to accompany, to make the kingdom of Christ present in the world.”

After the ceremony, the newly ordained priests, along with friends and family, returned to the International College of the Legionaries of Christ for a reception.

The day after being ordained a priest, Fr. Andrew Torrey, LC, celebrated his first Mass at the Chapel of the Choir in Saint Peter’s Basilica with friends and family present. Father Andrew shared that Pope St. John Paul II inspired his vocation to the priesthood and so befittingly he and his family will take a trip to Poland following his ordination and Fr. Andrew will have the honor of celebrating Mass in the chapel where Pope St. John Paul II was ordained a priest.

For Father Andrew, it’s been nearly 15 years of studying and preparation to become a priest. He’s learned a lot along the way and had many formative experiences. He shares a glimpse into his journey to the priesthood in his vocation story:

My Family with Two Priests

Two priests and their family.

Fathers Andrew and Nathan Torrey are brothers and both became priests with the Legionaries of Christ.

I was born on Christmas Eve in 1990, and it’s so cool for me that I get to be ordained a priest at 33 years old! Slidell, Louisiana, is my hometown, and I have the best mom and dad in the world, Tom and Claire Torrey. Their love is without end! They are both from Detroit, but after they got married they moved down south for the oil business.

I was preceded in birth by my two older brothers, Nathan and Nick. Nathan is also a priest with the Legionaries of Christ and is serving the novices in Cheshire, Connecticut. He really loves it there, and the priests who have lived with him still call me “Nathan.” What a huge blessing it is for me to have an older brother who is a priest, who can give me advice and show me the way. My other brother Nick also discerned the call to be a priest with the Legionaries of Christ, but then discovered his vocation to marriage. He just got married last year to his lovely wife Leen (from Syria) on! We’re all excited about Nick and Leen’s future together and are not openly pressuring them to have as many kids as soon as possible. Nick got his degree in counseling and is now beginning a very promising career as a licensed counselor in Traverse City, Michigan. I’m so blessed that I have Nick to give me psychological advice in my service as a spiritual guide. And Leen is advancing quite nicely in dentistry, working her way through the American university system and application processes. I love my family so, so much!

My Call To Be A Priest

My vocation to the priesthood and religious life began when Pope John Paul II died in 2005. I still remember watching the scenes on TV, seeing everyone gathered in St. Peter’s Square with candles, rosaries, tears, praying for the Pope. And when he died, I started to cry. I didn’t understand why the Pope was so important to me, I was only 14. Then I started

Before becoming a priest.

Father Andrew Torrey, before becoming a priest, and his father.

to ask myself questions: what did this man do with his life? Why am I sad that he’s gone? What am I going to do with my own life? I didn’t understand what was happening to me at the time, but looking back, now I do: God was calling me.

This call continued as a steady, gentle whisper throughout my junior high and high school years, and was nourished by daily Mass with my dad and by the two Legionaries of Christ who lived and worked here in Louisiana, Fr. Patrick Murphy and Br. Zachary Dominguez. I began to discover that I wanted to dedicate my life, as they were doing, to something that really mattered, something that would last. I didn’t feel satisfied with choosing a normal job – I needed something more, something long-lasting, something that would satisfy my intimate longings to lead a life well lived. The Lord placed in my heart an understanding of time and eternity. With that conviction I was convinced that only by opening myself up to God’s plan for me would I be truly happy, and that happiness is about loving others. It was easy for me to see how attractive the priesthood was, and I concluded early on in high school that I wanted to spend my whole life for Christ – every last drop of energy – helping people get to heaven. In thanksgiving for my vocation, I’m going to celebrate one of my first Masses as a new priest at the altar where Pope St. John Paul II is buried!

My Life in the Legionaries of Christ

After high school, at 18, I joined the Legionaries of Christ’s novitiate in Cheshire, CT, to discern a calling to be a priest. However, instead of beginning my studies in the United States, I was sent to Dublin, Ireland for two years (2009-11). I fell in love with being close to Christ and sharing in the Legionaries of Christ brotherhood. It was hard to be away from my family, but it was important for me to embrace the missionary life. The wet and green hikes in the Irish countryside were a great joy for me, as were the opportunities to bake cookies and cakes. On September 11, 2011, I professed my first religious vows, a day of great joy for me!

After novitiate, I was sent to Salamanca, Spain, for two years of humanities (2011-13). Living in a non-English-speaking world for the first time was a welcomed challenge. I completed humanities and began three years of philosophy studies in Rome, Italy (2013-16), where I was given the best platform for appreciating the universality of the Church, as well as ample opportunities to keep working on my cookie recipe. France was next, where, for one year, I taught English at a boarding school (2016-17). I returned to my home soil a year after, arriving in Washington, D.C., to serve with several youth groups (2017-18). My experiences in France and D.C. helped me to see more deeply that God needs to be at the center of my life, and that only he can change people’s hearts; I am a simple instrument.

I returned to Rome for a master’s degree in philosophy and several stints of carrot-cake-baking (2018-20), after which I professed my perpetual vows on August 20, 2020: per tutta la mia vita, as I promised that day. Then, after so many years of being in the seminary, I finally began to study theology. During my three years of bachelor’s studies (2020-23) I became familiar with Ratzinger’s writings (Pope Benedict XVI) and am excited about going deeper in his theology throughout my life. During this second stint at the seminary in Rome, I began to direct the liturgical music and the choir, a beautiful responsibility that I have carried out for four years. I was additionally blessed to meet Pope Francis four times! Though perhaps more importantly, I also completely perfected my cookie-baking skills.

After I finished theology I was sent to Düsseldorf, Germany, to begin my ministry as a deacon serving the community of believers in the local ApostelHaus, or “Apostle House,” a Regnum Christi spirituality center. In the beginning, I didn’t speak German very well, but I’m learning fast thanks to a talent God has given me. Four months into my assignment in Düsseldorf, I was asked to briefly help out at a boarding school run by the Legionaries of Christ in northwestern Germany, and while I was there I could tell that the community there needed more help, so I volunteered to stay. I never thought that I would begin serving as a priest in this part of the world! The boarding school will be closing in July, and I’ll probably head back to Düsseldorf. I’m excited about living and serving with the local community of Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Women and lay members of Regnum Christi!

Two Powerful Moments Before Becoming a Priest: Crisis and Divine Intervention


Father Andrew Torrey and some children with the Pope St. John Paul II cross.

In the last several years of my seminary formation I experienced two moments that were really tough. I’ll start with the second one. I was in an 8-day silent retreat at the beginning of my last year of theology, and one day I was in a small chapel praying by myself. While I was there, I felt invaded by so much darkness and doubt about my vocation and my future. All these objections came, mainly a lot of discouragement. It felt just terrible! So what did I do? Well, of course I had my Bible with me, so I opened it at random looking for help, and I immediately received it.

Boom! Psalm 56! “Have mercy on me, God, for I am treated harshly; attackers press me all the day. My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers.” Yep, that was definitely me! And then: “When I am afraid, in you I place my trust. I praise the word of God; I trust in God, I do not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?” Yes, absolutely! Lord, I’m going to trust in you! And I praise your Word, your living Word that sought me out right now, in this very moment, to comfort and console me! “My foes turn back when I call on you. This I know: God is on my side. I praise the word of God, I praise the word of the LORD. In God I trust, I do not fear. What can man do to me?” Again, motifs of trusting in God and praising his Word. “I have made vows to you, God; with offerings I will fulfill them” – Yes! Of course, because I already consecrated myself to you, Lord! Why should I doubt now? – “for you have snatched me from death, kept my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” Amen! Now Psalm 56 is forever going to be a reference for me!

Before they were Priests.

Fathers Andrew Torrey and Luke Rawicki on the set of their podcast before becoming priests.

Now for the first crisis, which lasted much longer than a moment of prayer in a chapel. I was in the last several months of pastoral work in Washington, D.C., in 2018, when I felt a darkness enter my heart, a restlessness, perhaps a moment of depression. It was really hard to pray, I felt like I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I couldn’t put my finger on the cause. It lasted on and off for around 6 or 7 months; I was still going through it when I arrived in Rome to start my license in philosophy. I started to see a psychologist every several weeks, for about 5 months or so. I felt a lot of doubts about the future, I wasn’t feeling happy, I felt like an emptiness in my heart; it was sapping away my spiritual energy!

One day, on a Thursday in December, I was going to downtown Rome for a holy hour with some college students, and before I left the house I made a visit to Jesus in the chapel. As soon as I knelt down, I experienced something I will never forget in my entire life. I felt in my heart, in the depths of my soul, in the deepest part of my being, this powerful phrase just ring out: “I AM WITH YOU!” It wasn’t something I heard, but something I felt. I had never experienced anything like that before! And I know that I didn’t produce that phrase in myself! I wasn’t asking for God to speak to me, I was just making a simple little visit to Jesus in the Eucharist. And then BOOM, that phrase! I know it was God, because it came from out of the blue, and because of the effects that it left in me: peace and joy and energy! Exactly what I needed! This isn’t faith; this is knowledge. I know what I experienced, and I know it was divine.

About an hour-and-a-half later, downtown, for holy hour the person who was preaching was reflecting on the Gospel passage of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she’s going to give birth to Jesus. And what was the main point of his talk? “What does God want Mary to know? “I am with you!” As if to hammer the point further, to make sure that I wouldn’t doubt it was Him, that’s what he inspired the preacher to say! Now I’m so excited to carry this experience with me throughout my life, and to encourage people who are going through darkness and doubt and difficulty. God is with us! “I am with you!” 

A Big “Thank You!”


Father Andrew Torrey in Saint Peter’s Basilica, before becoming a priest, with other Legionaries of Christ.

Looking back at my path, my heart is full of love and gratitude for my parents and my brothers. Where would I be without them? And where would I be without the prayers of so many kindhearted, generous folks who have sustained me with their spiritual closeness? I’m also so thankful for the many Legionaries of Christ priests who have encouraged me and taught me so much about what it means to be a priest: a priest is there to serve, not to be served. A priest is there to be a bridge to Jesus, to be the ever-attentive Friend of the Bridegroom, to decrease so that He may increase!

As I Legionary I have formed the deepest friendships I have ever had in life. My heart is spread across the world among a good number of close friends who help me keep my eyes on Jesus. When you follow your vocation, you experience it as the best thing in the world, and that’s exactly what I feel! My life has been such an adventure, I love it! Jesus has both fulfilled my desire to meet new people and learn about new cultures, but also my even deeper desire to love and to be loved. Yet another day while I was in the chapel at our seminary in Rome, I felt him tell me, deep within my soul, “Give me your heart.” And I can tell you with absolute certainty that when I do that, when I give him my heart, when I put him at the center of my life and orient everyone and everything else around the love of Jesus, then he grants me an inner peace and joy that no one or nothing can ever take away! He is EVERYTHING for us!

A Message from Father Andrew Torrey

I felt the call to the priesthood nineteen years ago, and now on this day of my priestly ordination, because God is so good and faithful and patient, here I am today, a priest of Jesus Christ, called from you, the People of God, to be your servant, to bring you Jesus, to help you get to heaven!

My heart is obviously full of gratitude and love for my parents, Tom and Claire, for the indescribable gift that they are to me, and my brothers Nathan and Nick, who have consistently and creatively enriched the life of their youngest brother, Nick’s lovely wife Leen, our newest addition to the family and the key to future generations of Torreys, and my uncle/cousin Bishop Bob who ordained me a deacon last year and anointed my hands yesterday. And my heart is also full of joy and thanksgiving that all of you, my dear friends, have accompanied me in the journey I am now beginning, as I take my baby steps in a life I have only seen from the sidelines. You are all so important to me, a gift to me from the Father, a foretaste of the heavenly communion we will all enjoy together one day!

Why am I happy to be a priest? What is the source of my joy? Because on the day of my priestly ordination, Jesus looked into my eyes and said, “Andrew, my brother, come with me into the Upper Room, where I have ardently desired to eat this Passover meal with you. Come with me, be a part of the circle of my intimate friends. Come with me, get to know me more deeply and intimately, and let me have a deeper friendship with you. Come with me, sit down at my table, be in communion with me, and share my communion with others. Be close to me, remain in me, and through you I will do great things. Come with me, and I promise you, your life will never be the same!”

Please join us in prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Links to more resources from the priestly ordinations:

Photos from Ordinations

Interview with Father Andrew Torrey before his ordination.

Video of Legionaries of Christ Priestly Ordinations