The Legion of Mary celebrated two anniversaries at St Patrick’s RC Church, Newtown, 100 years worldwide and 87 years locally.
What a coincidence for the celebration to be carded for Thursday, October 28—the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, known as Thaddeus. The altar and vestments for this feast were red, the colour of the Legion of Mary.
The Legion’s founder, Frank Duff, had the first enrolment of Legionaries of Mary at Myra House, Francis Street, Dublin, Ireland at 8 p.m. on September 7, 1921. The organisation was for a time known as ‘The Association of Our Lady of Mercy’.
St Patrick’s was chosen to celebrate both these anniversaries since the first Legion of Mary Praesidium meeting was held in 1934 under the then Parish Priest, Fr T M O’Neil, OP.
The Anniversary Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Jason Gordon with current Parish Priest, Fr Herbert Charles CSSp concelebrating. Deacon Mike Smith assisted.
His Grace in his homily referred to the Gospel for the feast day (Lk 6:12–19) in which Jesus went out on the hills to pray. After He prayed, Jesus chose His Apostles. He said the first reading (Eph 2:19–22) was a reminder of how we can conduct our lives. Other aspects from the homily which stood out were the beauty of the living temple we call ‘church’; the founder was given the mission to bring love to others; Mary is the Queen of Heaven, the bright new star that is clothed with stars, the Madonna, giving birth to fight with the dragon; and we must pass on the “flame of God’s love” to the next generation with our faith.
His Grace left us with our mission, and we all look forward to the 100th anniversary of the Trinidad and Tobago Mission.
Our day was so memorable since we were fortunate to have the Germain family render their beautiful selection of hymns dedicated to our Blessed Lady.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the 75 representatives from the Praesidium and Legion Council attended.
In commemoration of this anniversary, we all received pins, replicas of the Vexillum. The Mass ended with the singing of ‘Battle Hymn of the Legion’, and His Grace greeted Legionaries with an elbow bump and his usual smile.
Our Blessed Lady certainly gave us her blessings as we all remembered our commitment to our Blessed Mother: “I am all thine my Queen and my mother and all that I have is thine.”
We wish to thank Fr Charles and his administrators for their kind hospitality in allowing us to celebrate our milestones at St Patrick’s. It was indeed a fitting closure for the month of the Holy Rosary.