Regnum Christi

Meet the North American Delegates to the RC General Convention

On April 29, 2024, delegates of the four Regnum Christi vocations from around the world will convene in Rome, Italy for the 2024 RC General Convention.  The North American Territory will be sending 14 delegates, including three Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, five Legionaries of Christ, and six lay members. 

 

The assembled delegates will discern together the evangelizing focus of Regnum Christi for the next six years, in light of the current situation of the world and the needs of the Church, both locally and universally.

 

Around the world, input for this dialogue has been gathered at both the local and territorial level over the past year.  Regnum Christi members of all vocations were encouraged to gather in teams to discuss the mission Regnum Christi is called to from their vantage point. This was collected in reports that were given to the 104 delegates of the RC Territorial Convention which was held in November 2023 in Chicago. At that Convention, five lay delegates were elected by the lay members present to represent them at the General Convention: Cathie Zentner, Donna Garrett, Tony Frese, Andrew Rawicki, and Horacio Gomez. Kerrie Rivard will also attend the General Convention ex-officio in her role as a lay member of the General Plenary Council over the last six years.

 

The Legionaries of Christ and the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi both held elections to decide which members from the North American Territory would attend on their behalf. For the Legionaries, the delegates are: Fr. Shawn Aaron, Fr. John Bartunek, Fr. Bruce Wren, Fr. Juan Pablo Duran, and Fr. Lino Otero. The Consecrated Women will be represented by Kathleen Murphy, Helen Yalbir, and Maria Knuth.

Read the delegates’ bios by clicking on the photos below.

 

 

 

Consecrated Women of Regnum Christ

Kathleen Murphy

Territorial Director of the
Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi

Helen Yalbir

Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi

Maria Knuth

Consecrated Woman of

Regnum Christi

Legionaries of Christ

Fr. Shawn Aaron, LC

Territorial Director of the
Legionaries of Christ

Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Legionary of Christ

Fr. Bruce Wren, LC

Legionary of Christ

Fr. Juan Pablo Duran, LC

Legionary of Christ

Lay Members

Andrew Rawicki

Lay Member

Cathie Zentner

Lay Member

Horacio Gomez

Lay Member

Donna Garrett

Lay Member

Tony Frese

Lay Member

Kerrie Rivard

Lay Member of General Plenary Council

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Kathleen Murphy

Atlanta

Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Kathleen Murphy is the second oldest of ten children and has been consecrated for twenty-nine years. Kathleen completed her formation in Rhode Island, lived her apostolic internship for three years in California, travelling the west coast of the US and Canada, giving retreats and accompanying young women who were discerning their vocation. She spent eleven years in Atlanta, GA serving at Pinecrest Academy as a formation instructor and mentoring high school girls.

Kathleen then served the Cincinnati locality from 2012-2015 as the director of the community of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and as a spiritual director for the women’s section and for young professionals. During this time, she also provided various formation courses for the young consecrated women who had made their temporary vows. She spent a year in Spain 2015-16 to help with the transition and accompaniment of the Consecrated Women in the studies stage of their formation. During that same year, she served on the international spiritual life commission for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi. She returned to the states in 2016 to serve for a second term as the director of the Cincinnati community.

Kathleen has served as a member of the Territorial Council for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi since 2018. In 2019 she was the director of the community in Chicago and in 2020 she was asked to serve as the Territorial Director. She has been residing in Atlanta since 2020.

Kathleen has a Bachelors in Education and Development from the Anahuac University and is currently finishing a Masters in Spiritual Accompaniment and Vocational Discernment from the University of Comillas in Spain.

 

 

 

Helen Yalbir

Dallas

Helen Yalbir is originally from Saskatoon, Canada. She completed her BA in English Literature at the University of Saskatchewan. From 2005-06, she was a Regnum Christi missionary in Calgary, Canada, and in 2006 was consecrated to Christ within Regnum Christi in Rhode Island, USA. She completed her BA in Religious and Pastoral Studies, Magna Cum Laude, at Mater Ecclesiae College in RI. She recently received her certification in Catholic Youth Ministry through Franciscan University. From 2013 to 2021 she served in Washington, DC, accompanying and forming youth and young women. This year she completed the Divine Mercy University Spiritual Direction Certification course. Helen is currently serving young adults in Dallas, Texas, and supporting the national work of Regnum Christi with young adults. On April 3, 2023, she was appointed as a new territorial council member for the consecrated women in North America to assist Kathleen Murphy in her governance and decision making

 

Maria Knuth

New Orleans

Maria Knuth is one of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi since the year 2000.  She is originally from Minnesota and currently resides in the community of Consecrated Women in New Orleans.  Most of her pastoral work has been in the territory of North America supporting Regnum Christi and ECYD sections and working in RC schools.  She currently serves as the assistant to the delegate of the Territorial Directive College and as a formator for the Regnum Christi women, young adult and ECYD girls’ sections in New Orleans and North Shore, Louisiana.

Maria Gaviria

Sarasota, FL

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Maria immigrated to the United States when she was six months old. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology. 

A 30-year career at Procter and Gamble formed her business acumen in technology, marketing, and human resources. Maria’s leadership roles with billion-dollar brands, global organizations, diverse cultural initiatives and founding Procter and Gamble’s Global Catholic Network shaped her entrepreneurial spirit.

After retiring from Procter and Gamble, Maria founded Aspen & Oliva – a personal branding and professional development agency that helps women discover and blossom into who God created them to be as they navigate the business world. Most recently, Maria launched Catholic Daughter – a ministry helping and accompanying Catholic daughters navigate the journey of caring for elderly parents.

Since incorporating into Regnum Christi in 2007, Maria has led 3 International World Youth Day missions, established Holy Week Mercy missions in Greater Cincinnati, was a keynote speaker and guest lecturer at Anahuac University (Puebla, Mexico), served as a RC council member for the Greater Cincinnati locality, hosted young professionals for monthly encounters, and has volunteered in many other RC programs.

Her most rewarding vocation is motherhood. Natasha and Philip were active participants in many RC programs, including Challenge, Conquest, ECYD Mission Corps, Mission Youth and RC Mission Corps. 

Awards such as “Coach of the Year” at Procter and Gamble and “Champion of Mercy” from Catholic Charities reflect the integral purpose of her life: serving others. 

Recently, Maria relocated back to Florida, now calling Sarasota home. When discerning how best she could serve Regnum Christi from this corner of the world – many ideas came to mind. Yet, God had a different plan. On May 1st, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, she received a call asking if she would serve in the North America Territorial Directive College. Living out her favorite bible verse, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), with a humbled heart, she said: Yes.






Fr. Shawn Aaron, LC

Atlanta

Fr. Shawn Aaron was born in Ridgecrest, CA on January 25, 1968. He is the oldest of four children, with three younger sisters. On April 29, 1978, his family entered the Catholic Church. They later relocated to Modesto, CA, where he attended Central Catholic High School, lettering in several sports: football, basketball, baseball, and track.

 

After completing high-school Fr. Shawn attended Modesto Junior College where he studied liberal arts and ran track. In 1989-90 he served as a team leader for the National Evangelization Teams (NET) and traveled throughout the United States providing retreats for students. After NET he began working with St. Paul’s Outreach (SPO), in St. Paul, Minnesota, their mission is to build transformational communities that form missionary disciples for life.

 

In 1991, he joined the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut. He studied at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy receiving degrees in philosophy (1996) and theology (2002). On Christmas Eve, 2002, Father Shawn was ordained to the priesthood at Colegio Internacional Legionarios de Cristo in Rome, Italy.

 

After ordinations, he served as development director for the Legionaries of Christ for several years, and from 2007-2009 also served as retreat director for Our Lady of Santa Clara retreat center in Cupertino, CA.

 

From 2009 through 2010, he was appointed as President of Southern Catholic College, in Dawsonville, GA. From 2010 – 2017 he was the National Chaplain of The Lumen Institute based in Manhattan. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Divine Mercy University and the Lumen Institute.

He was appointed as the North American Territorial Vicar General for the Legionaries of Christ in 2017, a role he held until being named as the North American Territorial Director on March 30, 2020 (effective April 1, 2020). He was appointed to a second three-year term on March 21, 2023. His second term began on July 1, 2023. 

Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Atlanta

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991.

After college he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He has taught moral theology at various ecclesiastical institutions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, Inside the Passion, the only authorized, behind-the-scenes explanation of the film.


Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican¹s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. He is an accomplished author with many books. His most widely known books are “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer” and “60 Days to Becoming a Missionary Disciple“.



He has also written three Regnum Christi Essays: “Sharpening Your Tongue: An RC Essay on Charity in Our Words”, “What Is Regnum Christi? An RC Essay the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation and the Rule of Life for Lay Members”, and “Our Formation Pathway: An RC Essay on Integral Formation and the Journey to Christian Maturity.” His series of Do-It-Yourself online Catholic Retreat Guides are available in multiple formats at RCSpirituality.org.


Fr. John currently resides in Atlanta, where he is serving as Territorial Vicar for the Legionaries of Christ.






Fr. Bruce Wren, LC

Atlanta

Fr. Bruce Wren was born on January 8, 1962 in the small town of Cottonwood, Idaho. After finishing high school as salutatorian of his class in 1980, he attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., where he received a Bachelor’s Degree of Liberal Arts in 1984.  He received his priestly vocation at the age of 23, and joined the Legion of Christ at the insistence of a good friend Jesuit priest.  He began his novitiate in the fall of 1985 in Cheshire, CT, and in the years that followed received degrees in classical humanities, philosophy, and theology in Salamanca, Spain and Rome, Italy.  He was ordained on January 3 1996 by the Archbishop of Hartford, Daniel Cronin, and began his priestly ministry as Instructor of Novices in our French-speaking novitiate in Cornwall, Canada, on the border between Ontario and Quebec.  

In 1999 he was transferred to the “École Apostolique de l’Immaculée Conception” in France, where he practiced his priestly ministry as Rector of the School and Superior of Community until 2014.  He received a new assignment to Chicago, where he was serving as the local superior of his community, as well as the chaplain of the Chicago Chapter of the Lumen Institute, chaplain to the Chicago Regnum Christi Men’s section, chaplain to the Catholic Professionals of Illinois, and spiritual director for many religious and lay people.  He also helped regularly at several parishes in the Chicago Diocese, and devoted regular time to the feminine congregations of the Missionaries of Charity, the Poor Clares, and the Rosary Hill Dominican Sisters. In August of 2022, Fr. Bruce was named local superior of the community of Spalding in Atlanta, and as chaplain to the section of Regnum Christi men in Atlanta. 





Fr. Juan Pablo Durán, LC

Atlanta

Fr Juan Pablo Durán was born in Tucson, Arizona to Colombian parents and moved to Atlanta when he was 4. Thanks to his father’s work with Coca Cola, he lived in Hong Kong and Tokyo from fourth to ninth grade. He graduated from the Atlanta International School and joined the Legionaries of Christ college seminary in Connecticut in 1998.

His pastoral formation included serving as a seminary formator and professor in both Spain and Italy, leading youth groups in the US and Spain, and preaching missions in Colombia, Mexico and Fiji. He was ordained a priest on December 12, 2011, and spent four years as Vice Rector of Legion of Christ College Seminary in Connecticut.

From 2015-2019, he served as chaplain and spiritual director for Regnum Christi and President of Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Having moved to Atlanta in 2019, he has been chaplain for Regnum Christi young men, director of a Pre-Cana program called Three To Get Married, and served on the Board of Pinecrest until 2022. Starting in summer of 2022, he has been chaplain at Holy Spirit Preparatory School and, since June 2023, Territorial Councilor for the Legionaries of Christ.






Andrew Rawicki

Dallas

Andrew Rawicki and his wife, JoAnna, retired to Irving, TX in 2019 from Midland, TX, where they live in close proximity to eight of their ten grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991. He and his wife were introduced to Regnum Christi in 2000 through Conquest and Challenge Camps that most of their six children attended at Camp Bocamb in Louisiana, and Andrew incorporated into the movement in 2001. He has been a past Men’s Section Director and Renewal Coordinator in the Houston locality, as well as the Men’s Section Assistant and Hub City director for Holy Week Missions while his family resided in San Jose, CA. 

 

Andrew served as the Dallas liaison for the “Lift Off” Regnum Christi Regional Convention held in May 2020, and become the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas in July of that year. He is honored to be part of this rare gathering of Legionaries, Consecrated Men and Women, and wonderful lay members of Regnum Christi, forging the future direction of the Territory and contributing to next year’s General Convention.

Cathie Zentner

Calgary

I joined Regnum Christi in 1996 shortly after converting to the Catholic faith and felt a strong calling to use my management consulting experience and administrative skills to serve the mission. Over the past 27 years, I have held various roles within the RC Calgary locality’s women’s section, locality committee and Clear Water Academy. At the Territorial level, I served for six years as a team member of RC Education (formerly known as National Consultants for Education), four years as the director of a Regnum Christi school in Monterrey, Mexico, and six years in territorial administration. For these last seven years, I have been supporting the territory’s governing body and was recently named Territorial Directive College Delegate. In this capacity, I have had the privilege of working with the Mission Support Team to serve members and localities across the territory.

 

I am married to Clark and am the mother of two adult daughters. We divide our time between Canmore, Canada and Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Horacio Gomez

Dallas

Horacio Gomez was born and raised in Guadalajara Mexico, where he attended a RC School and joined ECYD. He incorporated into Regnum Christi in 1996 and gave one year of service as a coworker (RC mission corp) in Madrid, Spain. In 2003 he moved to San Diego CA  to study for a master’s degree and in 2007 to Dallas, working professionally for Flextronics and Amazon. Due to work assignments, he lived for periods over six months in Hungary, China, Malaysia, and Brazil, experiencing the RC charism in different cultures. He is married to Luisa and is blessed with four young children, one of them already attending the Highlands School.  As an RC member, he cofounded the first “ECYD Clubs” in Guadalajara, Mexico (Club Forja and Club Sherpa) and has been a team leader, section director, and RC director (Dallas).  He is currently part of the Plenary Council of the North America Territory, supporting initiatives like the Leadership Evangelization Plan Guideline/process as well as some localities in the discernment of their plans. Over the last 10 years, he has been in charge of different apostolates (Marian Minute, Marian Steps) through the Marian Center of Dallas.

Donna Garrett

Heartland - Omaha

I am Donna Garrett. I live in Omaha NE. I have been a Regnum Christi Member for 23 years. I currently serve as the Director of the RC Life Department for the Territory of North America. My role is to develop resources for all Regnum Christi members and our leaders in the territory.

 

I am a local RC team leader and a spiritual director. I am on the Archbishop’s Committee for Development and sit on the board of the Catholic Worldview Fellowship. I have served as RCD, Section Director and led local Mission Youth Missions and ECYD/Challenge. I been blessed to work on the Regnum Christi Identity project’s international team and have been deeply invested in the renewal process. I have been married to Jeff for 35 years and we have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Tony Frese

Atlanta

Tony G. Frese currently serves as Section Director for the Atlanta Regnum Christi Men’s Section. In this leadership role for over 6 years, Tony is supported by a team of fifteen men that lead a Section of over 200 men across 25 teams. 

 

Mr. Frese is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Currently Tony is Vice President of Business Development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company where he has worked for 38 years. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Tony began his career as an aerospace engineer supporting NASA on the Space Shuttle Program in Houston.

 

Mr. Frese is an avid fisherman and enjoys golf, boating, collecting wine, and volunteering his time in support of the Catholic church. He and his wife, Skotti, have two grown children. The couple lives on Lake Lanier in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Kerrie Rivard

Atlanta

Kerrie Rivard was born and raised in Regina, Canada, and now lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband Paul have six kids who are growing up way too fast, and two crazy dogs to add to the fun.  Kerrie is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Regnum Christi in the North American Territory.  For the past ten years she has been involved with the renewal of Regnum Christi at the international level, and is a member of the General Plenary Council.   


Her missionary passions include communication as evangelization, accompanying people as they discover and live in the love of Christ, volunteering at Pinecrest Academy, and regularly stocking the house with snacks for the random number of teenagers who habitually show up in her kitchen. She deeply values  learning from the wisdom of people she meets on family missions to the homeless in downtown Atlanta.


If she had all the time in the world she would spend more of it in adoration before the blessed sacrament, reading classic literature, practicing Spanish, and improving her surfing skills.





Alex Kucera

Atlanta

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!