Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Father Aaron Smith, LC, Named as New Delegate of the Territorial Directive College of Regnum Christi

The Territorial Directive College of Regnum Christi (TDC), in the North American Territory, announced today that Fr. Aaron Smith, LC, has been named as the new TDC Delegate, effective June 1, 2024. Following a comprehensive global search to find a replacement for Cathie Zentner, the current TDC delegate who will be retiring from this role in the summer of 2024, the College offered Fr. Aaron the role, and with the consent of his superiors, he has accepted. In searching for the new delegate, the College was looking for someone of any of the four Regnum Christi vocations with the skills and qualities needed to provide continuity to the teamwork that is in progress, facilitate and engender collaboration across vocations and levels, and provide direction and support to the Regnum Christi leaders in the territory.

In sharing their decision, the College stated, “In this process, it became abundantly clear that Fr. Aaron was the strongest candidate for this important role. He is on fire for the shared mission, has relevant breadth and depth of experience, has maintained healthy relationships with many key stakeholders, knows his strengths and where he might need support, and is completely aligned with the importance of the three ‘pivot’ capabilities mentioned above. The members of the TDC are united in our conviction that Fr. Aaron is the right person for this role at this time in our history.”

The role of the TDC delegate is one of significant impact on the growth and development of the Regnum Christi mission in the North American Territory, as outlined in #4.3 of the Regulations for the North American Territory of the Regnum Christi Federation. The TDC and the Mission Support Team expressed deep gratitude to Cathie Zentner for her groundbreaking work in this position, and her 25 years of service in an executive capacity in Regnum Christi. Over the past five years, Cathie has worked with the Mission Support Team to put in place the structure and processes appropriate for the roll-out of the Federation. With that foundation in place, Regnum Christi members across this territory “are now looking outward, beyond internal structures, and are poised and eager to extend Christ’s kingdom,” assured Cathie. In his new role as TDC Delegate, Fr. Aaron will be instrumental in leading this growth of the shared mission through his work with locality leaders, actively motivating them and instilling a shared sense of accountability for the gift of the Regnum Christi charism.

This is a homecoming for Fr. Aaron, who is currently serving as Regnum Christi International Communications Director in Rome. He was born in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and has a brother who is also a Legionary priest, Fr. Jason Smith. He attended the apostolic school of the Legionaries of Christ in 1995, entered the novitiate in 1996, and was ordained a priest in Rome on December 24, 2010. After serving in youth work in Florence, Italy, and Santiago, Chile, he was named Regnum Christi Director in Detroit in 2014, as well as head of the board of Everest Collegiate in Clarkston, MI, until he was asked to take on the role of International Communications Director in 2017. For the past six years he has also worked with Regnum Christi in London, England, and is currently the Regnum Christi Director for that locality. While working in the United States and during his time serving in Rome and London, Fr. Aaron has been deeply engaged in the renewal of Regnum Christi and the development of ECYD, Mission Youth, and Regnum Christi young adult work. He has also been instrumental in building collaboration and communion among the vocations of Regnum Christi, both in his work in the locality and internationally.

As he prepares to move to Atlanta, Georgia to take on this new role, Fr. Aaron reflects, “I’m really humbled by the opportunity to serve in this capacity. To collaborate with my brothers and sisters in Regnum Christi to make Christ, the Kingdom in person, present in the here and now of this world is a true gift.”

Replacing Fr. Aaron in Rome as the new Regnum Christi International Communications Director will be Raúl Rodríguez of Monterrey, Mexico. Raúl holds a degree in Marketing from the IEST – Anáhuac University. His professional career has spanned more than 15 years in educational marketing, institutional communication, and public relations. He has worked with the UNID system, in the network of Semper Altius Schools, and since 2020 he has been the Director of Communication for Regnum Christi in the territory of Northern Mexico. Raúl is a husband, a father, and a lay member of Regnum Christi. He and his wife work together apostolically in the Newlyweds program of Familia Unida, as well as in Juventud y Familia Misionera.