Regnum Christi

November 20, 2023

Rest and Retreat Mississippi

Rest & Retreat Offers Authentic Rest for Body, Mind, and Soul

Earlier this fall, Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Lorianne MacDonnell, and Regnum Christi member Tara White, collaborated to host Rest and Retreat (R & R), a Christian retreat experience focused on God’s plan of authentic rest. The retreat is designed to provide a personal, peaceful, and playful environment where people can gather together in community to be restored, renewed, repaired, replenished, and revived spiritually, mentally, and physically. It is the goal of the retreat that participants will come away with the knowledge and practices needed to thrive in their daily routine towards a healthy well-being.


It was while Lorianne was working in Cincinnati that the idea for the retreat started to take shape. “The Lord placed the word rest on my heart, and it was a word that I just kept praying about.” During Covid, Lorianne gave an online retreat exploring various Gospel passages that shed light on the word ‘rest,’ but even then, she knew this was just the beginning. “I knew there was more to unpack, and the Lord, in his generous and patient timing, started to reveal this little by little.”


Tara, who is a Pietra fitness instructor, had also been exploring, for many years, the wholeness that comes from integrally caring for and nourishing the whole self – body, mind, and soul. And for Tara, this care includes rest.


“We’re so fixated on modern productivity in our culture that we don’t know how to seek authentic rest, and often we’ve made our lives so saturated in doing more things that we have lost the balance in doing the most important things well. Authentic rest is a spiritual discipline that affects everything we do, from going to Mass and spending time with God in prayer, to moving and fueling our bodies with clean, whole foods. It is not a luxury: it is a spiritual practice. It’s a choice. Rest is a grace we extend to ourselves, and this grace gives us the opportunity to put back into order anything that has shifted out of alignment with God’s plan. It’s the key to how we live and move and have our being (cf. Acts 17:28) – God didn’t just give us a soul, but he also gave us a mind and a body, and authentic rest asks us to consider how we are bringing these all together and caring for all of these gifts.”


Initially, Lorianne and Tara had imagined the retreat to be a source of evangelization for those who were still taking first steps along their spiritual journey, or a gentle encouragement for those who had fallen away from their faith to return to the sacraments. For this reason, they had invited twelve women with a variety of spiritual experiences, not just seasoned Mass-goers, but also those who did not go to church at all. What they found was that even those who were already strong in their faith often lacked the balance and well-roundedness that comes from integrating authentic rest into all aspects of life, and that even the long-time Regnum Christi members who attended gained a new and refreshing wholeness from their participation in the retreat.


The one-day retreat was held on September 9th in Pass Christian, Mississippi, and hosted 12 women. The day began at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome and opening prayer, followed by a Pietra Fitness movement session, a workout which combines stretching and strengthening with Christian prayer and meditation – this session was led by Tara herself. Retreatants then enjoyed a juice and snack while they learned about the lymphatic system, then participated in a journaling session and a Christian meditation on rest, led by Lorianne. After lunch, the women attended several different sessions on a wide variety of topics on the theme of healthy and creative rest, including general nutrition, mind detox, dance, leisure, painting, and gratitude. The day wrapped up with an examen and round table discussion, closing in a Litany of Self-Love. Mass and confession were also available.


While Lorianne and Tara are the co-founders and the retreat directors, they had four other Regnum Christi women give of their time and talents towards making the event a success, by presenting talks, offering hospitality, and designing the print materials and artwork for the retreat. “It was beautiful to watch these RC women bring their gifts and put them at the service of their sisters,” says Lorianne. “I enjoyed seeing that come to life, women building up other women, our own RC sisters using their talents, and opening the door for many more of our members to use and share their gifts.” In the R & R experience, even Lorianne herself was able to put her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Consumer Studies, which she obtained before she became consecrated, to good use. “I love how the Lord uses everything – nothing goes to waste if we’re willing to surrender and make it available to him, to give him access to our heart and use everything the way he wants to use it.”


The goal of the retreat was to help the women feel the sense of wholeness that comes when mind, body, and soul come together, and to be urged to continue to seek this wholeness in their daily lives. Their motto of “Rest well and be well” reflects the idea that peace, health, and healing come from the integration of the whole self. In this way, R & R echoes Regnum Christi spirituality, one which is centered on the integral formation of the entire person. “I think that’s why the idea of this retreat resonates with Tara and I so much,” says Lorianne. “With the love we both have for Regnum Christi, the love for our spirituality, it’s been beautiful seeing this integration come to life, and seeing how it can serve women and make them more whole.”


With the next retreat booked for March 22-23, 2024, Tara and Lorianne are eager to see where the Lord will take this R & R initiative. “He’s opening the doors and we’re taking steps,” says Tara. “We’re all in, and ready to see how God wants this all to unfold.” Tara and Lorianne hope to offer weekend retreats, in addition to their one-day retreats, and their dream is ultimately to be able to host these retreats in different locations, like the beach and the mountains, where participants can spend time in the beauty of God’s creation.


To find out more about the R & R initiative or to inquire about hosting a retreat in your area, email [email protected]. The R & R website,, will be launching soon; email to be put on their newsletter to receive news and updates on the R & R initiative.


You can also read more about Tara’s own journey towards health and hope, and becoming a Pietra Fitness instructor, here.

Novena to Christ the King Day 4 | A Kingdom of Friends, Not Servants

℣. Come, let us worship Jesus Christ, the King of kings.


℟. Come, let us worship Jesus Christ, the King of kings.


℣. The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, the world and all that is in it. It is he who set it on the seas; on the waters he made it firm.


℟. Come, let us worship Jesus Christ, the King of kings.


A Kingdom of friends, not servants


I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.

John 15:15-16

(moment of silence)



Christ continually reminds us that his Kingdom is governed by love and not by domination or status. To Christ, making the Kingdom present is not exercising a  demonstration of strength, but of love and genuine concern for the good of the other, in whom Christ himself dwells: “as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me” (cf. Mt 25:40).


Concluding Prayer

℣. Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, you have called us to be close to you in a particular way through the  spirituality of the Kingdom. Inflame our hearts with your love and give us your understanding and charity toward our brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord.

℟. Amen.                                                                                                                                                 

℣. Christ, ruling with love,

℟. Thy Kingdom Come!

November 20, 2023 – Seeing with Faith






Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time


Luke 18:35-43


As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude, and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.


Petition: Lord, grant me greater faith in your constant and continual presence in my life.


  1. Begging by the Roadside: How many times in life have we felt like this blind beggar sitting by the roadside, down-and-out and hard on luck—physically, spiritually or emotionally? Witnessing our distress, some people simply walked by without a care. Maybe they tossed us a coin, though they didn’t really help us out of our discouragement or difficulty. Others might have jeered at us or not dared to look at us. Some may even have scolded us, like the people in the Gospel telling the beggar “to be silent.” Just as the blind beggar of today’s Gospel could not give himself what he most desired—sight—, we are unable to give ourselves what we most need—faith. Do I regularly ask for an increase of faith? Am I aware of how much I need a strong faith?


  1. Jesus Is Passing By: The book of Job tells us that “life on earth is a drudgery” (cf. Job 7:1). It shouldn’t be surprising, then, when in our lives as Christians we take some real blows and even some falls. God doesn’t want us to become discouraged. He wants us to see these as opportunities to turn to him, the source of the strength and help we need. Other voices will tell us to be quiet and not bother the Master: “After all, you just need to work things out,” “With so much going on, how can you find time to pray?” Jesus constantly passes by. He is the only one who can bring me the peace my heart desires and longs for. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”


  1. “Lord, Please Let Me See”: Jesus promises us that he will listen to our request, just as he did to the blind man. But what should our request be? To have a more comfortable chair so as to sit by the road and beg with ease? To have a beautiful silver cup to collect coins in? Or to see? Often what we really need is not what we ask for in prayer. We need the vision that only the supernatural virtue of faith can give. We need the ability to see everything from God’s vantage point and to see how the difficulties and trials we experience are part of a bigger picture. We need to have the firm assurance of the final victory of the Lamb, Jesus, and the strength to persevere in fidelity. Lord, please let me see… Please increase my faith.


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, allow me to praise and glorify you for your constant companionship and for never leaving me alone in my struggles and trials. Increase my faith so that I will be able to experience your love even amidst difficulty and trials.


Resolution: I will pray three “Our Fathers” for an increase of faith among my family members.

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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!