Rob and Kristin have been married for 23 years and live in Greenwich, CT with their 3 young adult children (Grace, 21; Paige, 20; and Beau, 17). The Chmiels were introduced to the Legion and Regnum Christi in 2000 after re-locating to CT from the West coast. Grace, a senior at the College of the Holy Cross, Paige, a junior at Indiana University and Beau a Junior at Fordham Prep, have all enjoyed the RC youth programs offered locally. The girls enjoyed the Leadership Training Program, under the leadership of consecrated Regnum Christi Glory Darbellay and Ally Wheeler, throughout their high school years, and Beau participated in the Boy’s LTP with his buddies from Greenwich Catholic directed by Fr Jason Smith, LC. Rob and Kristin credit these programs as having formed their children in the faith in a profound and lasting way.
The whole Chmiel clan has participated in the Holy Week Mission in Manhattan for the last 6 years. “This became a family tradition and will be forever in our memories,” Kristin said. Paige attended World Youth Day in Spain with Glory and Ally in 2011. In the fall of 2010, Beau, an aspiring Architect, worked with Fr. Thomas Vendetti, LC to renovate and design a new chapel at the Legion’s Thornwood, NY facility, then went on to attend his ordination in Rome. “This ordination pilgrimage was a life changing experience for Beau and me. Beau was only 12, and it was such an adventure and a gift for which I will be eternally grateful,” Kristin said.
Kristin joined Regnum Christi in 2008 and Rob followed just recently in the spring of 2014. Though Rob is new to RC, he has been an active apostle serving in his local parishes on the parish council at St. Michael’s, a Eucharistic minister and Lector at St. Mary’s. Rob also served as President of the Tri-state Lumen Chapter form 2011 to 2013, and has served as the Lumen Greenwich Chapter Leadership circle moderator for the past 5 years.
Together Rob and Kristin began a “new” apostolate this past spring, serving as the “host couple” for the pre-cana marriage preparation retreat sponsored by Regnum Christi called “Three to Get Married” at Old St. Patrick’s Basilica in Soho, NY. They are currently planning a reunion event for the 12 couples this November and are looking forward to the next retreat class coming up in April 2015. “Having been married in Manhattan, we began our life there. Kristin and I have a special fondness for these couples and the challenges they face. We wish we had had the formation these newlyweds now have!” Rob said. “This is the most gratifying apostolate I have worked on to date. It has been wonderfully inspiring for our marriage,” Kristin said.
Kristin is currently serving as “Team Leader” for the Greenwich (CT) Regnum Christi Team. In 2009 she partnered with Glory Darbelley to coordinate the NYC Holy Week Youth Missions. In 2008, Kristin was a member of the Walking With Purpose launch team in Greenwich and continues to enjoy WWP’s Tuesday morning Bible Study at St. Mary’s.
What does Regnum Christi mean to you and your family? “Rob and I were both cradle Catholics and have been blessed with good parents and Catholic education all through grade school, high school AND college. However, it wasn’t until we met the Priests and Consecrated of Regnum Christi in 2007, did we begin to live our faith more fully in the TRUTH. Through Spiritual Direction, the formation programs, retreats, pilgrimages and the means of perseverance that Regnum Christi offers, did we become a true spiritual family. Rob and I cannot count and can never repay the gifts and blessings we have received, we can only hope to share those gifts and spread the good news,” Kristin said.