The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with well over 3 million active members in almost every country of the world. It has been active in the United States since 1931, has been approved by the last 6 popes, and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council.
The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members. Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, crowd contact, religious education, visiting the newly baptized, Pilgrim Virgin Statue rotations, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director named by the pastor. The Legion is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the pastor.
Members meet once a week for prayer, planning and discussion in a family setting. Then they do two hours of definite work each week in pairs and under the guidance of their spiritual director.
The members have visited parishioners in 14 different nursing homes: Assumption; Austinwoods Rehab Center; Boardman Community Center; Beeghly Oaks; Briarfield Manor; Camelot Arms Care Center; Caprice; Glenview; Greenbriar; Humilty House; Meridian Arms; Omni Manor; Shepherd of the Valley; and the Inn at Christine Valley. We have distributed the Holy Eucharist to our shut-in parishioners at least once a month and we give sacramentals, such as medals, prayer books, Rosaries, holy cards and scapulars to those we visit.
Our duties are as follows: (1) send letters to auxiliary members for encouragement and thanks; (2) have a Mass offered by Msgr. Cariglio for our deceased Legion members; (3) have a Mass in October, followed by a luncheon, for auxiliary members; (4) send Christmas cards to all nursing homes and home-bound parishioners, as well as birthday cards and get-well cards as the occasions arise; (5) attend Acies at St.Columba cathedral and Days of Recollection at Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine; (6) attend Curia meetings monthly, plus summer and winter functions; (7) represent our parish at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday.
Members feel they have been very productive during these past years and look forward to serving the needs of the parish community through its various ministries.
The Praesidium continues to grow in spiritual love and devotion to one another, the Legion, our pastor and spiritual director, Msgr. Cariglio, our parish community, and above all, to our Lord and his Blessed Mother.