THERE has always been a great reluctance shown on the part of the Catholic Laity to reveal the spiritual treasures of the Catholic Faith to unbelievers and people of other religious persuasions; Catholics who are good and faithful in so many aspects of Christian life. often seem to lack interest and motivation to undertake the work of the Apostolate, notably in the field of evangelisation, which is still largely seen as the unique province of missionary priests and religious.
In contrast to this view, the movement of Peregrinatio Pro Christ() within the Organisation of the Legion of Mary, embodies the principle that Lay men and women from all walks of life. can under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Mary Our Mother. carry out the work of reclaiming those who have lapsed from the Faith and be instrumental in winning new converts for Jesus Christ and His Church.
Although legionaires undertake the work of the apostolate in their own parishes at all times, every year. Learns of Peregrine. sacrifice one, two or even more weeks of their annual holiday to travel to different parts of the British Isles, and abroad to deliver the Good News.
Projects are generally carried out in parishes under the directorship of a priest; Many parishioners open their doors to offer true Christian hospitality and accommodation during the length of the legionaires stay.
Each day, begins with Holy Mass recitation of the Rosary and the Legion Prayers. Short meetings are held to organise the work and to present reports: local conditions will decide the nature of the work. but normally it will include house to house visitation and possibly crowd contact work in streets, parks, pubs and restuarants: Sometimes a Public Rosary is organised and a Mass to which all contacts are invited.
No one would ever claim that the work of evangelisation is easy, or even that they have a particualr flair for it, Yet, it becomes increasingly apparent that grace is at work in the spirit of love and co-operation which Peregrinatio engenders in those who participate — and because of the number of people who are put in touch with God for the first time in their lives.
Our late Holy Father. Pope John Paul the First, while stressing the need for other charitable works. emphasised the urgency for evangelisation; In this work of the Lay Apostolate — The Legion of mary, founded by the late Frank Duff is ahead of the times.
With its intense spiritual idealism and practical challenge to Christian action the movement does much to make lay people aware of their role within the structure of the Chruch to give greater impetus to Faith and to foster vocations to the preisthood and religious life.
Mrs Alice Jackson M anchester