“The private Catholic is, by nature, a poor missionary” – Bishop Deenihan

On Saturday 20 November 2021, Bishop Tom Deenihan celebrated the anniversary Mass for the anniversary of Frank Duff RIP in Saint Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Archdiocese of Dublin. Members of the Legion of Mary from throughout the country were in attendance and the Mass.

During his homily, Bishop Deenihan said, “Frank Duff was, as you know, invited to attend part of the Second Vatican Council where he was accorded a standing ovation by the bishops of the world. Vatican II’s teaching on the Church, the lay apostolate, and the emphasis on the centrality of the vocation from baptism was in some way a confirmation of the work of Frank Duff and a vindication of the Legion of Mary.

“That outward looking and missionary Church, typified by acts of outreach, charity and compassion is very much the model that Pope Francis has for the Church of today. Indeed, a recent article on the Legion of Mary in The Tablet said that the Legion of Mary, founded as it was one hundred years ago, prefigured many of the themes of Pope Francis’ pontificate.

“The scope of the work extended from here to China, where the Legion was established and worked collaboratively with Columban missionaries. This was in keeping with Duff’s statement that the Legion was a priest’s organization, par excellence, and is, in fact, an extension of him.”

Speaking on the importance of the work of the Legion today, Bishop Deenihan said, “It is, as I mentioned, one hundred years since the Legion was founded and forty one years since Frank Duff died. While these are short periods in human history and in our memories, much has also changed in these periods.

“The sex workers of Dublin that the early Legion members assisted have now become the trafficked women from around the world who are sent to every Irish county, to be used and exploited.

“The homeless we still have and those who have not come to know the joy and hope of the Gospel of Christ are still with us and are of all ages and are our colleagues, neighbours and relations.

“The need for the Legion is still there, perhaps even greater.”

To read the full homily, click here.



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Fr Sean O Sullivan
3 The Presbytery,
Church of the Resurrection, Farranree,
Cork T23Y7K2


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