The International ECYD Team is a group made up of the territorial ECYD Life directors who work together to align and develop formation resources in order to respond to the concrete needs of ECYD adolescents in the various territories and localities, while collaborating on an international level for the good of ECYD. Their work includes establishing processes for reflection and action on the current needs of adolescents and their formators from the perspective of the Regnum Christi charism, carrying out projects based on the universal and concrete needs of ECYD members, developing materials and formation resources, and guaranteeing ongoing revision and updating of the official ECYD documents.
While the international team meets virtually throughout the year, they recently gathered in person in Rome February 27th – March 3rd for an annual meeting to restructure and set the objectives and priorities for their teamwork in ECYD over the next years. As a team, they created three commissions to address the following issues: collaboration in the formation of Legionaries and Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi during their initial formation; specialized formation of adult formators in ECYD; and ongoing dialogue and alignment in the process of personnel assignments in the Regnum Christi Federation. The creation of these three commissions or committees is meant to create a more divided workload that is structured in a much more collaborative fashion.
One of the key projects that the international team has been working on is the publication of a three-part document that will ensure that ECYD continues to form adolescents according to the Regnum Christi charism in as effective a manner as possible. The first publication, released in 2021, was a Regnum Christi essay on the ECYD pledge of friendship, which highlighted to all Regnum Christi members how the RC charism is lived out by adolescents through ECYD. And soon, the second piece in the series will be published; this essay, called “The ECYD Formator,” will go through the different roles and qualities of ECYD formators: the adult leaders and young adult and high school team leaders. The third essay that will complete the document will outline the formation pathway for an ECYD adolescent, and how the four stages of ECYD (from age 11 to 16), respond to the specific needs of adolescents today. These three essays ultimately form a single document that will be renewed and updated year after year in an ever-current response to the needs of ECYD members.
Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin, LC, is the director of our National ECYD Life Department and a member of the International ECYD Team; as the representative of the North American Territory, he brings forth the experiences of ECYD in North America, as well as Korea and the Philippines. For Fr. Patrick, one of the essential tasks of the international team is to help to ease the transition for adolescents in ECYD to adulthood in Regnum Christi, which is why, during the work meetings in Rome, the International ECYD Team met with the territorial RC Young Adult Life directors to discuss their strengths and the opportunities for collaboration between ECYD to RC as a priority in this collaboration:
“ECYD is Regnum Christi’s youth organization, but it is also the full RC charism as lived by adolescents at their proper stage of life. A big part of what we do is show ECYD members a little more clearly what Regnum Christi is, letting them know that they’re part of this whole spiritual family, and showing them the benefits and support available to them as adults. Junior and senior year in high school are a really important time of transition for the kids as their maturity and commitment grow, and we try to provide the continuity between ECYD and Regnum Christi for those called to take that step, and helping the kids through changes, like going into college or becoming an RC missionary.”
Both ECYD Mission Corps, a chance for high school students to volunteer their time during the summer for a period of four to eight weeks, and RC Mission Corp, where young adults can give one or two years to work exclusively for the Catholic Church, are both excellent opportunities for young people to serve the local Church through active apostolate, and to help others find the meaning of their lives in Christ. “High school ECYD members have so much generosity, which is a big key to growing in their maturity and taking on the faith as their own, and becoming a missionary is a really good step in that transition,” says Fr. Patrick.
And registration for ECYD/RC High School Conventions 2023 is open! The annual ECYD/RC High School Conventions, open to students currently in 9th-12th grade, are taking place this year July 23-29, 2023, in Washington, DC, at the Catholic University of America. The purpose of the National Convention is to bring together ECYD and Regnum Christi members from all over the country in order to encourage them to go deeper into their faith, encounter Christ and one another, grow in formation, share experiences, form lasting friendships, inflame their love of faith and mission, and live as bold apostles in this era our Lord has created them for.
The girls’ theme this year is “Taken Over,” with dynamic formation content focusing on leadership skills, political philosophy and social doctrine, the ECYD/RC charism, and how to impact culture. Registration and more info can be found here. For questions, contact Amelia Hoover at [email protected].
The boys’ theme is “For the City of God,” and will include formation courses on Kingdom Principles, Apostolic Discernment in a Secular World, The Christian Profession, and the Regnum Christi charism. Speakers include Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of Military Services and current President of the USCCB, and Joseph Routh, who serves in the Secret Service in Washington, DC. To register, visit their website. For questions, contact Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin at [email protected].
Both conventions include daily Mass and guided prayer, spiritual mentoring and a half-day retreat, as well as fun activities and sightseeing. The participants from both conventions will spend one day serving together on a mission in Washington, DC. Please consider as a locality how you can send several teens to these incredible formation experiences.