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United States
In 1965, the Legionaries of Christ founded their first house in the United States: a novitiate in Woodmont, Connecticut, close to the city of New Haven.
The novitiate in Cheshire, Connecticut.
The novitiate in Cheshire, Connecticut.

In 1971, the little novitiate was moved to Orange, Connecticut. In those first years, a few Legionary priests—mainly Mexicans and Irishmen—began forming the first Americans who embraced the missionary charism of the Legion of Christ.

Soon the Legionaries began establishing centers of apostolate in and around the main cities: in 1973, near New York City and Washington DC; in 1974, in the archdiocese of Detroit; and in 1984, Los Angeles. The work of the Legionaries of Christ now reached from coast to coast.

As it happens with every religious congregation in the foundation stage, the first years were focused mainly on searching for vocations and on forming the new Legionaries. God blessed these efforts, and in 1982 the Legion opened the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, a minor seminary with 12 teenagers who wanted to discern their priestly vocation. Currently, the school in Center Harbor, New Hampshire has space for more than 120 students.

Also in 1982, the novitiate had to be moved from the small house in Orange to the campus of a former minor seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut. When the Legionaries acquired this property in Cheshire, they thought they had “all the seminary space that they would need for the next 50 years.”

As the Legionaries’ presence grew in the country, the quantity of their apostolates also grew. In 1986, they founded their first school in Dallas, Texas, the Highlands School. In 1993 the first family center was founded in the suburbs of Washington, Our Lady of Bethesda. The formation center for consecrated women was founded in Rhode Island at the beginning of the 1990s. The Legionary priests, working with the lay people, launched the first national apostolates of Regnum Christi: Familia in 1993 and Youth for the Third Millennium (now called Mission Youth) in 1995.

Many other apostolates have sprung up since then, including Challenge and ConQuest clubs and camps all over the country for girls and boys, Compass to strengthen college students in their faith and missionary outreach, Pure Fashion to teach modesty and values through fashion shows, SportsLeader to foster values in sports teams, Christian Life for small group faith formation and bible studies, and Pilgrim Queen of the Family to foster Marian devotion in families.

The Sacerdos Institute provides services to diocesan priests, while and the Vocation Action Network provide resources to help cultivate priestly and religious vocations among the youth.

The number of missions in the States and abroad has also increased, with Holy Week missions now reaching 11 major North American cities and medical missions gathering hundreds of doctors and nurses for trips to Central America each year.

The Legion of Christ in the United States can be contacted at:
Legionaries of Christ
475 Oak Ave
Cheshire, CT 06410

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