Bernardo de Nardo Completes his term as Envoy for Central Asia
Bernardo said that the past five years (2 years as an extension worker and 3 years as an envoy) had been the happiest years of his life. The experience gave him the unique opportunity and privilege that only a few people have, to see the Church in so many different places, to see how the Church lives, suffers and rejoices. This experience deepened his love for the Church and the Legion; it transformed his vision of both and showed him how universal they both were.
He thanked the many legionaries all around the world who had accompanied him with their prayers, during his long journey across Kazakhstan and Central Asia, then in the exotic land of Nepal. Finally in the mountains of Caucasus to Armenia, the first country to adopt Christianity 1700 years ago and from whose capital can seen the Holy Mount Ararat, where Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood and after that to Georgia.
In some countries, Catholics are a small minority. This was an excellent reason to offer them the gift the Legion. His Envoyship had been directed towards very small Catholic communities, first in the Muslim world of Central Asia, then among the Hindu and Buddhist world in Nepal, and finally in the Oriental Christian world of Armenia and Georgia. This very recent experience shows that it is possible to start the Legion even in these places where Catholics are a small minority.
Bernardo also spoke of his short visit to India and he hoped that the Legion would continue to develop there. His great desire and prayer was to see more Legionaries from all continents working in new territories to extend the Legion of Mary.
Tommy McCabe, President, thanked Bernardo on behalf of the Concilium, and said that the Legion was deeply indebted to him and to his family particularly his mother for allowing him to undertake this onerous task, which he carried out with faith, courage, bravery, great will, obedience and dedication. He absorbed the language of every country he visited in order to make acquaintance with his contacts. His patience and faith had been tried and tested. Fr. Bede McGregor, Spiritual Director of Concilium, spoke of the indebtedness owed to Bernardo and thanked him on behalf of priests.