Regnum Christi

September 22, 2022

Living the Regnum Christi Charism Through Sacred Art

“My art is an extension of my faith, but it wasn’t always that way.”

Artist Nancy Jatcko first met Regnum Christi in 1994, when her husband, Jim, accepted a position with the Atlanta Olympic Committee, two years before the city would host the Olympic Games. At the time, because there were very few Catholic schools in the area, the couple’s pastor, Father Reynolds, directed them to nearby Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Cumming, Georgia, which at the time was being run out of an old elementary school building and only in its second year. But it was here at Pinecrest that the Jatckos were invited to join other parents for RC Days of Reflection and Spiritual Exercises, and through encounters like these, Nancy says, the couples’ lives were changed forever. Through these experiences, their faith grew into one that was fully integrated into every aspect of their lives, and would later give them the strength they needed to endure the many challenges that they would face in their marriage and family, including job losses and changes, multiple miscarriages, a child on the autism spectrum, and a critically ill new-born.

This faith renewal also had an enormous impact on Nancy’s work as an artist. Although she had attended the Chicago Art Institute on scholarship and had been painting on and off ever since, her artistic talent was something that Nancy feels she had often taken for granted. But after she attended her first Spiritual Exercises, led by Fr. John Hopkins, LC, Nancy gradually began to connect her artistic gifts to her newly renewed Catholic faith.

However, it wasn’t until her present pastor, Fr. Jeffrey Goekner, commissioned Nancy to create a series of paintings for the parish that she finally began to realize the profoundly impactful and evangelizing potential of the union of art and faith.

In 2018, Fr. Jeffrey, pastor of St. Boniface Church in Edwardsville, Illinois, had seen a portrait that Nancy had created of St. Katharine Drexel, and had commissioned her to paint a series of four paintings of the church’s patron and namesake to celebrate the parish’s jubilee the following year. These four paintings were dedicated and blessed for veneration on the Feast of St. Boniface on June 5th. Beside the four paintings of St. Boniface, Fr. Jeff also commissioned five more individual paintings of several other saints important to the parish, including St. Clare, St. Cecilia, Pope St. John Paul II, Venerable Father Augustine Tolton, and Blessed Father Michael McGivney, all of which were dedicated and blessed for veneration by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki.


The opportunity to create these nine portraits opened up in Nancy a new relationship between her faith and her creative gifts, and as an artist, incorporating her artwork and other visual elements into her meditation has had a great influence on her prayer and spiritual life:

“When I first heard Fr. John Hopkins talk about ‘composition of place’ during prayer, visually placing yourself in the scene of the Gospel, this was a natural concept for me to grasp. My meditation on scripture has always been a form of Visio Divina in a sense – when I pray, my mind is presented with images. I’ve learned to trust those images as God’s voice over the years.”

Nancy’s artwork recently appeared in the July edition of Catholic Times, a magazine published out of the diocese of Springfield, Illinois. The magazine, in a feature titled “For the Love of God & Art,” presented four local artists whose artwork in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and stained glass, has found a permanent home in their parishes. Three of Nancy’s portraits that now hang in her parish of St. Boniface appear in the article, including her portrait of St. Clare, which graces the cover.

Nancy is currently a Regnum Christi member at St. Boniface in Edwardsville, where, with the encouragement of her pastor, Fr. Jeff, and support from Legionary priest, Fr. Peter Krezalek, LC, she has started an Encounter with Christ group that meets in the parish center. She is also a member of the Diocesan Women’s Ministry Team and, with her husband, serves on her parish’s marriage mentoring team. She has also chaired her local Catholic high school building campaign, a role which was inspired by her Regnum Christi experience in Atlanta when she served on Pinecrest Academy Parents’ Association. “My Regnum Christi formation has allowed me to not only grow in faith, but also to pass it on to those around me in whatever way God asks, whether it’s raising funds for Catholic education, accompanying couples preparing for marriage, sharing the transformative experience of Regnum Christi with other women, or creating sacred art.”

To view more of Nancy’s artwork, you can find her at Paintings by Nancy Jatcko on Facebook. You can also read more about her portrait of Venerable Father Augustine Tolton in the February 2022 edition of February 2022 edition of Catholic Times.


Bringing College Students Closer to Christ in the Heart of Atlanta

The ministry of chaplaincy keeps Fr. John Klein, LC, busy; as the chaplain for the Regnum Christi young men’s section in Atlanta, he helps to facilitate monthly retreats and open yearly Spiritual Exercises for young adults and college students, and organizes monthly street missions through Mercy Missions Atlanta, an initiative that invites high school students and young adults to minister to those they meet on the streets of Atlanta.

Fr. John also serves part-time at the Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, one of the top ranked universities in the United States, assisting the chaplain, Fr. Branson Hipp of the diocese of Atlanta. Fr. John is a  spiritual director for the Catholic Center there, as well as an auxiliary chaplain. In this role, he helps with on-campus Masses a few times a week, attends campus retreats, and supports the Catholic student leaders especially the FOCUS Missionaries, full time young adult missionaries who strive to share the hope and joy of the Gospel on their campuses and with the world.

And for Fr. John, this invitation to mission to spread the Gospel, whether it be on campus, or on the streets of Atlanta, is key to his ministry as chaplain, and key to engaging students in their faith:

“Young people love a challenge, and a deeper purpose to their lives. The more we invite them into the great adventure of knowing and experiencing Christ in prayer, the more they will hunger for him. The more we help them uncover the richness, depth, and beauty of the faith by teaching it in a real and dynamic way, the more they will fall in love with it and desire to live it. And the more we challenge them to rise up and put their gifts and talents at the service of evangelizing, the more they will respond and come up with better and more creative apostolates than we could even imagine.”

Offering monthly street evangelization missions allows students to pray together, meet other college students, and learn to overcome their fear in sharing the faith. For Fr. John, the experiences that the students have during street evangelizations and homeless missions are always profound moments of grace.

One of the greatest needs that Fr. John witnesses of the students on campus whom he serves is a need for life-giving community, where they can be themselves, share life, and make unique memories. While most post-secondary schools offer a variety of communities, from sports teams to fraternities and sororities to special interest clubs, it is those communities that have faith as their foundation that Fr. John feels create the deepest and most fulfilling form of friendship and fellowship. “Everyone is looking for a place to belong and be fully alive,” says Fr. John. “Our campus communities should be vibrant, welcoming, and fun, and at the same time deep, challenging, Eucharistic, and real. The more a Catholic community embodies these characteristics, the more it will attract, nourish, and evangelize.”

And of course, students need to develop and nurture a deep and personal experience of Jesus Christ, particularly through the Scriptures, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in communal prayer, and in silence. “Without this real experience of Christ, the students see the Catholic faith as just a bunch of rules and norms that burden them and drain their life,” says Fr. John. “Once Christ is experienced personally, the faith becomes real, adventurous, fresh, and full of life!”

One of the events that Fr. John has observed to have had the most profound and positive impact on students is also the one that they are often the most hesitant to attend; silent Spiritual Exercises are offered once a year, and provides the college students with a unique and privileged way to encounter Christ and learn to pray. And although most students yearn for more silence in their lives, the idea of a silent weekend retreat can be intimidating, and even downright scary. Fr. John has seen that those students who do have the courage to attend and experience that silence with Christ, as few as they may be, always grow tremendously in their faith. “The Lord multiplies their effort and impact!”

Accompanying his students one-on-one, either during spiritual direction or just casual conversation, is one of Fr. John’s favorite parts of the role of chaplaincy; getting to hear and experience up close the struggles and victories in their faith is deeply meaningful and fulfilling. And for him, this love that accompanies is the most important virtue to possess in order to respond well to the ministry of chaplaincy. “If we love the students, we will pray for them, we will spend time with them, we will worry and rejoice with them, we will preach to them from the heart, and we will know when to be patient and merciful, and when to challenge and demand more of them.”

And Fr. John knows that he can’t doesn’t possess this virtue all on his own: such love requires a deep Eucharistic life, where he can absorb the love of Christ and then be an instrument of it to his students.

In addition to serving in his role as chaplain to the RC young men in Atlanta and the students at Georgia Tech, Fr. John is also a member of the core team of RC Music Collective, a group made up of Legionary priests, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and lay Regnum Christi members who come together to write and produce music designed to lead its listeners to an encounter of God’ love and mission. The collective recently collaborated with Shawn Williams of The Vigil Project, meeting in Nashville in June of this year to record seven new songs. You can check out the fruits of those recording sessions at Regnum Christi Music Collective – YouTube, or connect with them on Spotify. Find out more about the ministries and mission of Regnum Christi in Atlanta at

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Alex Kucera


Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!