Homily of Bishop Paul Ssemogerere at the Thanksgiving and Inauguration Mass for the Centenary of the Legion of Mary

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

1.0 INTRODUCTION

I welcome all of your present today, and those participating in this Holy Sacrifice of Mass through the various media platforms. Today, in a special way, we are celebrating 100 years of the existence of the Legion of Mary. On 7th September 1921, in Dublin (Ireland), the Founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff founded the very first praesidium of the Legion of Mary. It is now 100 years, and the Legion of Mary is still flourishing and growing as a Lay Apostolic Movement in the Catholic Church.

The intention of our gathering here is to celebrate and thank God for the gift of 100 years of the existence of the Legion of Mary. In particular:

  • We thank God for the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our model as believers, and our powerful patroness and intercessor as the Legion of Mary.
  • We thank God for the gift of the Servant of God Frank Duff, our Founder, who under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, founded the Legion of Mary and guided the Legion’s worldwide extension.
  • We thank God for the gift of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. It is this saint’s Book “True Devotion to Mary” that inspired Frank Duff to establish the Legion of Mary.
  • We thank God for the many believers whose faith has been strengthened through their involvement in the Legion of Mary.
  • We thank God for the many fruits of sanctity and virtue in the lives of believers as a result of their participation in the mission and activities of the Legion of Mary. As we celebrate 100 years, we cannot forget that 3 of our members are on the way to canonization: the Servant of God Frank Duff who is also our Founder, Venerable Edel Quinn who was a Legionary and the Servant of God Alfie Lamb, who was also a Legionary. Indeed, the Legion of Mary is an outstanding school of sanctity.

2.0 THE WORD OF GOD

As we celebrate 100 years of the existence of our Movement, the Word of the Lord today invites us to reflect on our lives as Legionaries, especially as far as doing the will of God is concerned.

As Legionaries, we stand under the banner of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as we march towards God. The Blessed Virgin Mary is both our model and patroness. She teaches us to dedicate ourselves faithfully and wholeheartedly to doing the will of God, which is our vocation as Christians. It is doing the will of God in all circumstances of life that will help us to attain sanctity.

In the First Reading, we have heard God calling Abraham with these words, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”. This instruction is an invitation to Abraham to abandon all other attachments and cling to God – and trust in God. As a reward for his obedience, God promises Abraham blessings and land. Abraham places complete trust in God and obeys and in his obedience, he becomes a model for us as believers, and as Legionaries.  As we celebrate 100 years, let us listen to God’s call to each one of us anew. God calls us too to shake off all earthly attachments and behaviors that do not conform to His will. He invites us to go from where we are in life, to where he wants us to be, to be obedient to His voice and to follow his instructions and commandments. The reward for obedience for us, is not just land like it was for Abraham – it is eternal life. Let us renew our commitment to God and to our Movement. All activities of the Legion of Mary are aimed at helping us to live lives that give glory to God and lead us to sanctity.

The Gospel Reading has presented to us the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary in being obedient and trusting God. The dialogue between the Blessed Virgin Mary and Angel Gabriel reveals to us that despite her initial questioning, the Blessed Virgin Mary places complete trust in God and is obedient to the Lord’s Will. She says, “I am the the Lord’s servant, may it be done to me according to your Word”.  This ‘Fiat Voluntas tua’ is what makes the Blessed Virgin Mary our model as believers. She places the will of God above all else – above even her own will and plans and in obedience and faithfulness, she accepts the responsibility of bringing forth the Savior of the World, Our Lord’s Jesus Christ.

3.0. WE ARE CALLED TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

As we celebrate 100 Years of the existence of the Legion of Mary, we are called to follow in the footsteps of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That was the intention of our Founder – and that is why we are called ‘The Legion of Mary’. ‘Legion’ means ‘an army’, and in military discipline, where the commander points is where the army goes. The Blessed Virgin Mary has today pointed out that putting the will of God above all else in life is what makes our lives meaningful, and leads us to God. As Legionaries, let us be servants of God and let His will be done in our lives.

4.0. GOD’S WILL FOR US IS ‘THE LOVE OF GOD AND NEIGHBOUR’

All the activities of the Legion of Mary can be summarized in one sentence ‘The Love of God and Neighbor’. As Legionaries, as we celebrate 100 years of the existence of our Movement, we need to reflect on how far we have grown in the love of God and the love of neighbor. The love of God is reflected in an active prayer life – in having a personal relationship with God, in being an active and devout legionary and always seeking to obey the commandments of God. The Love of neighbor on the other hand is manifested in going out to meet the needs of others especially those experiencing difficulties, offering material, emotional and spiritual support to those in difficulties and engaging in apostolic work aimed at bringing other people close to God.

We live in a society where cruelty is the order of the day. The violation of life, brutality, murder – all these indicate that there is a crisis of love in society. We need to reclaim back the humane soul of society. And as legionaries, we do this by being agents of love in a loveless world, by being agents of kindness and charity in a world that is full of cruelty and selfishness.

5.0 CONCLUSION

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The Legion of Mary is not just a Movement for us – it is a way of life. It is a way of living in communion with Christ, in communion with fellow believers and following in the footsteps of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we journey towards God. As we thank God for the gift of our Prayer Movement, and for the 100 years of its existence, let us pray that He May grant each one of us the grace to seek and follow His will at all times in our lives, and to grow in love of God and neighbor.

The Lord be with you!

LIVE: Centenary thanksgiving and Inauguration

Join us for the Live Mass as we thank God for the 100 years of the Legion of Mary and also inaugurate the celebrations that will happen in each diocese in Uganda.

Centenary Inauguration and thanksgiving guide

The long awaited day is just hours around the corner!
It is unfortunate that due to the CoVID-19, we can not have as many people physically attend the Mass. Attendance will ONLY be by invitation.

The organising Committee has made a provision for each and every Legionary to participate in the Mass ONLINE. Many thanks to Radio Maria Uganda, Uganda Catholic TV, Ugandan Catholics Online among others that will broadcast the Mass LIVE.

  1. We shall stream live on the Senatus of Uganda Youtube Channel that you can access through this LINK.
  2. The Uganda Catholic TV will also be broadcasting live. You can access it on free-to-air decoders or on GoTV.
  3. Radio Maria Uganda (All the substations). For those unable to access the radio, you can listen Live through their website or download the Radio Maria World Family app (Go to Africa).

Program

The activities of Tuesday, 7th September 2021 will be as follows (For those in a different time zone, we are using East Africa Standard time or GMT+3).

  1. Opening Prayers: As it is for all Legion of Mary functions, we shall begin with opening prayers at 9:20am. These unfortunately will not be live but we ask you all wherever you will be to say those prayers. The next activities will be live.
  2. Mass begins at 10.00am.
  3. The Catena will follow.
  4. The Centenary theme song will be launched and the Centenary candle lit by the bishop to mark the beginning of Centenary celebrations in Uganda.
  5. A few speeches will then be followed by the Concluding prayers of the Legion. These will end our live program during the day.

Centenary theme Song

At 4pm (still on Tuesday), we shall premiere the lyric video of the Centenary theme song. In order not to miss out, you can set a reminder on this LINK available on our YouTube channel.

8pm on 7th September

Do you remember 7th September 1921?
The very first meeting of the Legion of Mary started at that time.

To commemorate that hour in which Legion of Mary will mark 100 years, we shall have the Legion of Mary prayers that will be live on Radio Maria Uganda-Kampala and the other substations that may be connected. 

For more details, follow our social media platforms; Facebook and twitter. We shall try to keep you posted.

For any inquires, send us an email on info@senatusofuganda.org

Thank you.
May mother Mary intercede for us

Centenary of the Legion of Mary in Uganda

Centenary of the founding of Legion of Mary

Legion of Mary in the entire World is celebrating the Centenary of its founding. The first meeting took place at 8pm on 7th September 1921 at Myra House, Francis Street, Dublin, Ireland.

The Centenary is a time of joy, of celebration and of thanksgiving. The celebration of Mass is be the highlight and centerpiece.

Centenary Celebrations in Uganda

Uganda joined the rest of the World in the celebrations that will last one year (September 2021 to September 2022).
The theme of the Centenary is “REMEMBER. RENEW. REJOICE. RECRUIT. 1921-2021

On Tuesday, 7th September 2021 we had the inauguration Mass that was presided over by the Most Rev. Paul Ssemogerere.

The Centenary theme song was launched that day and it is available on Senatus YouTube Channel on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duQnL9mr5XE

On that day, the Centenary Candle was lit by the bishop and handed over to the officers of the Senatus of Uganda. The Candle will be used at all the Centenary Celebrations in all the dioceses in Uganda.

Centenary of the Legion of Mary in Uganda

Indulgence for the Centenary

The Holy Father, Pope Francis granted a Plenary Indulgence to  the members of the Legion of Mary and to other members of the faithful who will joyfully participate in the celebrations. Read more details of the DECREE HERE.

Centenary Celebrations at the Diocese

Each of the 19 Dioceses in Uganda should organise Mass of thanksgiving (with the Bishop in attendance, where possible) between September 2021 and September 2022. At that Mass, the souls of the departed legionaries from that diocese will be prayed for.

Comitia at the dioceses are requested to organise. For the dioceses without the Comitia, the Curia should organise otherwise a Praesidium at the diocese.

A Social and light refreshments served afterwards would mark the occasion.

Endeavor to notify the organising Committee or send an email to senatusofuganda@gmail.com regarding the preparations.

The Mass at the diocese will be the climax of the Centenary Celebrations.

Centenary Memorial Magazine

We are pleased to inform you that the Centenary Magazine is ready.

We are extremely grateful for the different people that have sent in great articles and messages. The magazine is indeed a masterpiece for the Centenary of Legion of Mary.

We are trying to distribute the magazine through the different Councils and Praesidia. Incase you wish to acquire a copy, contact us through the website or leave a comment here or contact +256755265007 or +256774265007

The magazine contains a story of Legion of Mary in Uganda, messages from the different Bishops and Archbishops in Uganda among others. 136 pages of rich content. Each magazine goes for UGX 10,000/=

Other expectations

  1. Praesidia to provide a register of those who established the Legion where we are, the officers and members who served, who are now deceased. This is to include active, auxiliary and former members who are deceased. These registers should be submitted through the curiae to Comitia and finally to Senatus by 6th September 2021.
  2. Each Curia to organize (if possible) a retreat/recollection within the year, aimed at spiritual renewal of the members. Emphasize the devotion to the sacraments, especially reconciliation and Eucharist.
  3. Each curia to organize talks about the three causes of canonization within the year –Frank Duff, Edel Quinn, and Alphonsus Lambe.
  4. Each Praesidium should undertake extensive recruitment and extension, and aim at doubling its auxiliary membership. Each presidium to form either one other praesidium or one Patrician Society or both.
  5. Each Praesidium to celebrate the anniversary of the praesidium formation.
  6. Each Praesidium should offer a novena of Masses for all deceased members in the month in which the Praesidium was formed.

Please note: Do NOT make use of uniforms or specially made up t-shirts, dresses etc. The member of the Legion of Mary is a leaven in society not someone publicly marked out as a legionary.