Miles Christi Order impacts Cathedral community

Father Richard Castro (4th from left) and Father Martin Latiff. (far right)

Katie Agner, Contributing Writer

If there is one thing that keeps Cathedral Catholic unique, it is the spiritual influence that flourishes in its students. That, of course, includes the original order that is currently making its own impact on campus. The Miles Christi Religious Order, founded in 1994, brought the two newest spiritual directors to our Cathedral community: Father Richard Castro and Father Martin Latiff.

It all started with the diocesan priest, Father Roberto Yannuzzi, of the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina. On August 15th, 1984, Father Yannuzzi received his inspiration to start his own order. It would be created with one purpose in mind: to have priests and brothers offer retreats, catechetical formation and spiritual direction to the lay faithful, particularly high school and college students.

“The goal of the order is to nurture the sanctification of lay people and to help students grow in holiness,” said Father Martin.  “We do this in mainly three ways. The first is through retreats, specifically through the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The second is through catechesis, and the third is through spiritual and personal direction.” In 1994, the foundation took place, and from that point on, the order of Miles Christi continued to grow and expand. A year after its foundation, a community was founded in Rome. Five years later, Miles Christi established its first house in the United States, in Detroit. Currently, it is active in four countries, in twelve high schools, and in four universities around the world. Among the order’s fifty members, twenty-five are priests, ten  are brothers, and the rest are studying for the priesthood.

Since its inception, the Miles Christi Order has succeeded in leaving its positive mark on the world through events in the local community, such as weekend retreats, the Prayer Breakfast earlier on this year, and the continued spiritual aid it gives to students. The possibility of being the proponent of such good deeds is what inspired Father Martin to be a part of Miles Christi. Towards the end of his senior year in high school, he decided to join this influential order.

“I decided to give my life to the service of God, the Church, and the lay faithful. I thought if my faith gave such a great sense of joy and fulfillment to me, it could bring that same benefit to others as well,” he said.  “It’s such a great joy to see how God makes use of us as instruments to bring blessings on the people we meet. That’s happened here. It’s rewarding to see the grace of God in the hearts of people through our ministry. It’s been, to quote scripture, ‘a blessing upon blessing.’ Every year I feel more and more satisfied and confirmed in my vocation.”

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