It Takes a Village…and the Holy Spirit!
Fayne Nicole Mascarenhas, one of the newest members of our Regnum Christi family, recently associated during the 2023 Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) Annual Conference in Dallas, TX. YCP’s mission is to “Work in Witness for Christ” and encourages young workers to live and share their Catholic faith through their everyday work. Fayne and I met through YCP in late 2021 when we were planning to launch the Fairfield County Chapter. We worked closely together as she was President of the Chapter and I the Board Chair and together we successfully launched YCP Fairfield County along with the support of the Diocese of Bridgeport and The Lumen Institute. In September 2022, I invited Fayne to join a wine and food pairing dinner hosted by Regnum Christi members, Val and Jeff Sprague at their home. There she spent some time learning about Regnum Christi from Fr. Daniel Ray and Fr. Mark Haydu, and experienced RC hospitality in true Sprague style! Fast forward to March 2023, Fayne joined me at the RC Spiritual Exercises for Women in Beacon, NY preached by Fr. Eric Nielsen. Fayne made a special trip east from Dallas for the SPEX weekend and it was also her birthday that weekend. Mary Wolff, one of the facilitators of the SPEX weekend celebrated Fayne’s birthday with cupcakes and flowers! It was a nice surprise for Fayne and she was so touched by Mary’s kindness. During the weekend, Fayne received spiritual direction from Fr. Eric and discussed her recent move to Dallas.
A few weeks ago, Fayne and I met up in Dallas at the YCP gala for dinner. She was excited to introduce me to the RC consecrated women of Dallas. I was wondering how she knew them and she said that Fr. Daniel Ray and Fr. Eric Nielsen connected her to consecrated women Tammi Grady and Helen Yalbir, respectively. She also nonchalantly mentioned that she was going to officially join Regnum Christi the very next day at the YCP conference! What a beautiful surprise! I was thrilled that Fayne was ready to “associate,” which means committing to go deeper in her relationship with and commitment to Christ as well as seeking to bring all others to Christ, with the support of the Regnum Christi spiritual family (https://www.regnumchristi.or/en/how-to-join-rc). I was already so moved that she was associating when she also sweetly shared that she was to be associated on Easter Sunday, but waited until my husband Mark and I were in town for the YCP conference!
Fayne’s association took place in a makeshift chapel with Jesus in the tabernacle in a small conference room at the conference venue. The ceremony was attended by four consecrated women, a group of RC lay members, and a potential new member of the RC family, also a YCP member. After the association, we altogether attended the YCP conference closing Mass. A truly blessed event and wonderful close to a most inspiring conference attended by over 650 young adults from 38 different states, an increase of about 150 attendees from the previous year. The conference filled us with hope for the future involvement of young adults in the Catholic Church.
During Mass, I had a felt sense that Fayne was at peace surrounded by her new spiritual family. I was filled with joy to have her as a member of Regnum Christi because of her love of God and faithfulness, and because of the love and care she experienced from several of our RC members. It takes a village and the grace of the Holy Spirit to accompany and bring souls into a deeper relationship with Christ. Thanks be to God for our RC charism of contemplation and evangelization! We can see it in action here…one body…many parts working together to build the Kingdom. The Lumen Institute, an apostolate started by a Legionary of Christ priest (a branch of Regnum Christi), had a significant presence at the YCP conference. And for the first time, Regnum Christi also had a presence at the conference, sharing space with the Lumen Institute.
We are blessed to have Fayne as part of our RC spiritual family. As she begins her new life in Dallas, she remains connected to apostolates/ministries with the Diocese of Bridgeport, including the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Young Adult Council. Separately, she also volunteers as Vice Chairman of the Board for Children in Placement and is working on a Catholic wellness initiative called The Complete Catholic. She has stepped down from her role as President of YCP Fairfield County and hopes to plug into the Dallas chapter soon. We wish Fayne well in her new adventures and professional and faith life in Dallas.
“All things work for the good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose!”