I was a member of the Legion of Mary in my teenage years and during my time in the seminary.
In the early part of my priesthood I was also chaplain to parish Legion of Mary praesidium.
In 1978 when I returned from Wales and was awaiting an Irish appointment I worked everyday in the Morning Star hostel for homeless men – when the man below, Br Tom Doyle, was in charge.
In the Morning Star every morning I celebrated Mass for the homeless men and Legion of Mary members.
The founder of the Legion, Frank Duff, often attended those Masses.
I found Frank Duff to be a gentle, quiet, prayerful man and I enjoyed a number of conversations with him.
After Mass, I had a rough breakfast ( it was a rough spot) with the Legion staff.
Then I spent the rest of the day washing floors, making beds and providing food and company to the homeless men.
It was a privilege to be part of it.
I also spent two weeks in Glasgow in 1972 as a legionary envoy called a “peregrinatio pro Christi” – a pilgrim for Christ.
We went round the houses trying to convert Protestants into Catholics and encouraging lapsed Catholics back to Mass.
As time went on my spirituality developed along a very different path to the Legion.
My faith, while greatly honouring the role played by Mary in God’s plan of Redemption, became more Christ focused than Marian.
In Many ways the Legion is pre Vatican II and I am very distinctly Vatican 11.
Frank Duff worked closely with Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and was the same style of man.
But I have no problem with the Legion of Mary apart from the fact that they are blindly obedient to the RCC and its hierarchs and clerics.
The Legion has done an awful lot of good in its 100 years.
In the early years in Dublin, it was the answer to homelessness and helping women caught in prostitution.
I think Frank Duff was a saintly man.
TWO DUBLIN APPOINTMENTS 😆
ONE OF AMY’S FINEST
WHICH IRISH BISHOP IS REPUTED TO HAVE SCREAMED AT HIS PRIEST MASTER OF CEREMONIES –
“Where’s my f…in mozetta”?