Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reflections on the First Allocutio in Legion History

Concilium Allocutio October 2011
By Fr. Bede McGregor O.P.
Spiritual Director to the Legion of Mary

Reflections on the First Allocutio in Legion History

During the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Legion of Mary we have been reflecting on various aspects of the very first meeting of the Legion. That first meeting is very special in many ways because it sets the pattern and spirit of every other meeting that takes place in the Legion. We have already meditated long and deeply on the indissoluble connection and influence of the True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie de Montfort on the first meeting. There would probably have been no first meeting and no Legion if the 'first nighters' had not been exposed beforehand to de Montfort by the talk and explanation given by our Founder Frank Duff. The spirit and teaching of de Montfort has been branded on the very soul of the Legion. But there were others things at least as important as the True Devotion to Mary that dominated the spirit and motives of that first night and every moment of the existence of the Legion ever since. These were the spiritual reading and the first allocutio and the discussion that took place on them.

There was, of course, no Handbook from which to pick the spiritual reading at that time. That became more or less customary much later. So Fr. Michael Toher, the local curate, read the 25th Chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel and then commented on it by way of an allocutio and then the whole little group discussed it at length. They fastened on the key words: 'Whatever you did to the least of my brethren you did to Me.' Those words provided the motive and method of every Legion apostolate. They express the doctrine of the mystical Body of Christ in the clearest and most practical way. There is no Legion without the doctrine of the mystical Body of Christ. From the very first meeting the Holy Spirit made sure that the Legion would be properly centred and rooted in this Gospel teaching. Frank Duff vividly recalls how the first young legionaries vied with each other to visit the very poor in the Cancer Ward of the old Union Hospital and the joy they brought to this apostolate because they firmly believed that they were meeting and caring for Our Lord in these hopeless patients.

Again in an Address to a group of Quakers on the work of the Morning Star Hostel he said: 'How is the work of the Morning Star possible? There is one way only - it comes from the realisation of the Christian truth that in our neighbour we must see Christ Our Lord and that not as a mere sentimental expression, but in a manner which though supernatural and beyond our power of understanding is nevertheless in the order of reality. The 25th Chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew "As often as you did it to some of these my least brethren, you did it to Me". These words are the charter of the Morning Star; they are its moral foundation stone, its motive-power, and its guarantee of its success. Without that motive power, the work would not go far. It is too thankless, too arduous, too grim, too much above mere human striving and thoughts.'

One would have to add that this pivotal attitude of seeing Christ in our neighbour is not only activated in our formal Legion work but should be present in every personal contact. It provides a deeper meaning to the Legion saying that the legionary is never off duty. Certainly in his writings, his letters, his audio tapes, the Handbook, one comes across familiar passages like the following: 'The rich, the poor, the respected or those who, for various reasons, are not respected - the Legionary approaches all with the same respectful manner. This is not a business manner, assumed for the purpose of ingratiating themselves. It is a consequence of the Mystical Body of Christ. "So often as you did it unto one of these my least brethren, you did it to me." Even the unthankful, the evil, and the greatest objects of natural repulsion, are to be viewed in this light, and to be rendered a reverential and princely service.'

This doctrine of the mystical Body of Christ developed and deepened gradually in the thought and life of our Founder. He certainly learned about the application of the Gospel text in Matthew from his years in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul which he joined in 1913. He wrote about seeing Christ in our neighbour in his pre-Legion classic 'Can we be Saints?' He rejoiced that this doctrine was central to the first meeting of the Legion and it was incorporated into all the editions of the Handbook. Finally, lest it should ever be neglected or overlooked it was placed in the Standing Instruction to be read at the first meeting of every month. 'Every legionary binds himself to the performance of a substantial active legionary work, in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary, in such fashion that in those worked for and in one's fellow members, the Person of Our Lord is once again seen and served by Mary, his Mother.' From time to time I think it would be a very helpful exercise if every praesidium were to ask itself whether it is really living the doctrine of the mystical Body of Christ in its meetings. If it is not being lived there, it is hard to see how it can be lived in our apostolates and other personal contacts.

By way of conclusion let me add that in one of the interviews recorded on video tape the interviewer, the late Father Al Norrell, asked Frank what he thought of the Legion as a maker of saints. Frank found this designation absolutely justified. 'The Legion of Mary,' he said, 'put into the legionary mind the capacity for understanding the great Catholic doctrines: the doctrine of the Mystical Body, the Motherhood of Our Lady, and the extraordinary influence of Our Lady with the Holy Spirit. These things are holy and sanctifying,' he added, 'and they make saints by the bushel.' The Legion is not a pious association of men and women with a deep but sentimental devotion to Our Lady and a fussy desire to do all kind of useful little things for the Church. From its very first meeting it resolved to live the great doctrines of the Church especially the teaching on the Mystical Body of Christ and the Motherhood of Mary and it specialised in heroic forms of the apostolate and was willing to undertake what humanly speaking seemed to be impossible.

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Quote of the Day
We all agree that there is a pressing need to try and disseminate the Word of God and to get people to open their ears and hearts to another voice, the voice of God, a voice that speaks of peace and that gives life.

We are challenged to find methods to help people attune to this Word of God.
Fr. Paul Churchill, Archdiocese of Dublin

Friday, August 5, 2011




Sunday, June 13, 2010


Spiritual Director
Rev. Fr. Bede McGregor O.P.
Appointed by the Hierarchy of Ireland

Síle Ní Chochlaín
June11' - 1st Term

Aileen O'Donoghue
July 11' - 1st Term

Paddy Fay
May '10 - 1st Term

(Africa -Legion Zones A&B)
Mary Murphy
September '10 - 1st Term

Assistant Secretary
(Maria Legionis/Central and South America)
Ann Murray
November '09 - 2nd Term

Assistant Secretary
(Housekeeping /Visitors to Concilium)
Alice Creaton
April '11 - 1st Term

Assistant Secretary
(Dublin Councils)
Pat O'Donoghue
June '10 - 1st Term

Assistant Secretary
(Irish Provincial Councils / Europe)
Rose Caulfield
August '10 - 2nd Term

Assistant Secretary
(PPC and monthly bulletin)
Miriam Phelan
October '10 - 2nd Term

Assistant Treasurer
(Premises Legal Matters/Insurance/North America/West Indies)
Declan Lawlor
February '09 - 2nd Term

Assistant Treasurer
(Literature and Printing)
Annette Mulrooney
July '11 - 1st Term

Assistant Treasurer
(Vexilla/International Literature)
Liam Hayden
October '10 - 1st Term

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Allocutio for the Month of May

The Daily Recitation of the Catena

The second item of the Standing Instruction that we are reflecting on in this year of going back to basics in the Legion is the Catena. Catena is the Latin word for link or chain. So basically the praying of the Magnificat every day is the chain or link that binds together all members of the Legion whatever their kind of membership. Indeed even those who have left the Legion for one reason or another are encouraged to pray the Catena and thereby keep some vital connection with the Legion. It is important to understand the essential role the Catena plays in the prayer life of the legionary.

The Catena starts with the question: Who is She? Who is Our Lady? Then Mary gives us the perfect answer in her Magnificat. There Mary reveals her deepest identity, her very heart and soul. There she gives us the most perfect picture of her spirit and as the Handbook says the spirit of the Legion is nothing more than a sharing in the spirit of Mary. At the Annunciation, Mary identifies herself simply and profoundly as the Handmaid of the Lord. She has no other aim in life but to live according to God’s will. Here in the Magnificat she explains in joy and song the same theme: she is totally wrapped up in God.

In the Magnificat the Legion touches what is deepest in Our Lady, her prayer life, her relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Her heart is the place where the Holy Trinity loves to dwell and it is the place where we must learn to dwell too. In a real sense we already have a place in her heart because she is our Mother and every mother carries her children in her heart. Our Lady precisely as our Mother wants to share everything that she has with us. There is nothing in her that she does not want to share with us. She shares with us her relationship with her Son Jesus, her relationship with the Holy Spirit and with God, Our Father. So in the Catena we pray with Mary in her own words and ask her to give us a share in her spirit that expresses itself so beautifully in her Magnificat. It really is an absolute masterstroke that Frank Duff places the Magnificat at the centre of the Legion prayers. But of course he would say, and rightly so, that it is the choice and the gift of Mary to give her heart and prayer life to the Legion.

Let me just briefly indicate some of the convictions of Our Lady revealed in her Magnificat. First she is aware that God totally and unconditionally loves her. She knows that she is specially chosen by God. She believes that God loves her in her lowliness or nothingness. She wants us to have these same convictions.

She is utterly certain that anything that is good in her is the work of the Lord. Her very soul proclaims the goodness of God. She knows that God has redeemed her and she rejoices in God my Saviour. We legionaries should remember the words of St. Ephraem so well: ‘May the spirit of Mary be in every soul to glorify the Lord.’ In one simple sentence Mary expresses everything she is: my soul glorifies the Lord. She does nothing else and invites us to do the same.

She is aware that at the very root of her personal existence is the Mercy of God. And she tells us that this Mercy of God is available for all those who reverence Him.

She warns us that pride is the most destructive force in the world and blocks the offer of grace. The Lord scatters the proud hearted. We know this to be true from our own experience and have seen that how it can destroyed or gravely diminish even Mary’s own Legion.

Mary tells us about the power of humility. Grace flows abundantly wherever there is authentic humility. Humility must play a role in the solution of every problem or difficulty the Legion has to face.

The Magnificat really does lead us into the deepest heart and spirit of Mary. That is why the Catena is so important for the formation of the Legion spirit. Might I suggest that while we always pray the Magnificat together at all our meetings that sometimes we should also pray and meditate over it personally and in solitude. If you really want to know and love and serve Mary the Catena is a splendid place to begin.

Let me end this allocutio which is being given during the Easter Season with a quotation taken from St. Ephraem and is found as the last words of the Handbook: ‘Through you O Mary, we have a most sure pledge of our Resurrection’.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


( from left to right Bro. Benjie Dael Extension Worker, Sis. Hermie Odvina Regia president , Sis. Corazon Brizo Regia Secretary, Sis. Arsenia Paluca, Comitium Vice Pres. Sis. Aurelia Sularte Comitium President, Sis. Teresita Carbonell Comitium Secretary and Sis. Regina Cinco the Treasurer. )

It was the 20th of September third sunday of the month. The Dipolog Comitium Officers and together with their Curiae and Directly attached Praesidia Officers were happy that during their Election. The Regia Officers in Ozamis City headed by their Active President Sis. Hermenia Odvina and Sis. Corazon Brizo Secretary was there who witnessed the said election. And the following were elected.

SIS. AURELIA M. SULARTE - President 2nd Term
SIS. ARSENIA A. PALUCA - Vice President 2nd Term
SIS. TERESITA M. CARBONELL - Secretary 1st Term
SIS. REGINA P. CINCO - Treasurer 1st Term

Thursday, July 2, 2009

LOM - Dipolog Curia Biennial Congress 09

Legion of Mary Dipolog Holds Biennial Congress

On June 27, 2009, the Legio Mariae Dipolog Holy Rosary Curia and its Dipolog Comitium Directly attached Praesidia holds its Biennial Congress with the theme "Legionaries as Agents Of St. Paul's Spirituality: Evangelization, Conversion, And Mission." . The venue is at Room 2, Zamboanga del Norte Convention Center. The Moderator of the program is none other than the 100% KATOLIKONG PINOY member Bro. Benjie J. Dael.

The program gave way to the concerns and the pulse of the local Legion of Mary activities.

From Left to Right: Bro.Benjie J. Dael, Sis. Aurelia M. Sularte, Sis. Arsenia A. Paluca, Sis. Wilma S.Velasco

The Legionaries of the Dipolog Holy Rosary Curia here listening to reports

Pre-program errands lead by Bro. Benjie J. Dael.

The congress was concluded by a mass celebrated by Msgr. Emigdio T. Socias V.G, the Spiritual Director of the LOM.together with Msgr. Esteban C. Gaudicos, V.F.

For the greater glory of God in His Church!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Concilium Officers

The current Concilium Officers and their dates of election
Name of officer
Date of election
Spiritual Director Rev. Fr. Bede McGregor O.P.
President Tommy McCabe June 2008
Second Term
Vice-President Síle Ní Chochlaín July 2008
Second Term
Secretary Enda Dunleavy May 2007
Second Term
Treasurer Janet Lowthe September 2007
Second Term
Assistant Secretary
(Maria Legionis/ Website)
Ann Murray November 2006
First Term
Assistant Secretary
Household/Summer Schools)
Catherine Murphy April 2008
Second Term
Assistant Secretary
(Dublin Councils)
Liam Hayden June 2007
Second Term
Assistant Secretary
(Irish Provincial Councils)
Rose Caulfield August 2007
First Term
Assistant Secretary
(PPC and monthly bulletin)
Miriam Phelan October 2007
First Term
Assistant Treasurer
(premises legal matters/insurance)
Declan Lawlor February 2009
Second term
Assistant Treasurer
(Literature and printing)
Aileen O'Donoghue July 2008
Second Term
Assistant Treasurer
(Vexilla/international literature)
Raymond Mulrooney October 2007
Second Term