Allocutio – October 2022

In the Legion system, the spirit of the Handbook is invariable! Why? When I visited Concilium, I asked the officers if there is any definition of the Handbook, but there is none! I believe one of the reasons is that the Legion of Mary is a young organization! A lay organization of only 100 years is considered young among other religious groups, how can we survive without losing the initial purpose? The only way is to comply with the ideal and belief of the founder. In terms of age, 100 years is very long; but in terms of the 2000 plus years of the Church history, 100 years is just the “infancy stage”. Hence, with the foresight of our founder, Brother Frank Duff, he demanded that we had to follow the spirit of the Handbook, which is indeed very reasonable. But we, as newborn children, should reflect on the spirit of the Handbook when we are growing up, and not only blindly follow the rules. Therefore, it is justifiable that we should read and share the contents of the Handbook at our weekly meetings. However, some praesidia think that reading the Handbook once is needed but once is enough, they can read other religious books afterwards. If any praesidium thinks like this, they may have deviated from the correct track. The Handbook contains not only the duties of different positions within the system and explains the meaning of various functions, but also, through the duties and interactions, the group spirit is generated like a chemical reaction. On this aspect, members should read the Handbook more and live out the spirit in order to make it alive. On the other hand, the Handbook contains contents on Marian theology and devotion. Although the Marian theology in the Handbook was prior to Vatican II, the theology of the Church is progressing and deepening, but without deleting any existing concepts and instead, “activating” it. Therefore, when members study on Marian Theology in the Handbook, they can make reference to the Marian theology at their time and integrate them. In so doing, the spirit of the Handbook will be expressed more incisively and vividly.

Among the Legion spirit, “allegiance to the next highest council” is very important. On one hand, during the “infancy stage” of a new organization, it is best to ensure that the Legionary spirit has been and must be complied with. In so doing, we will be able to maintain the desired Legion spirit. At the same time, through the system, we are able to communicate with each other to achieve interconnection and support.

Spiritual Director
Fr. Francis Tam
16 October 2022