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The Legion of Mary, founded four decades before the Second Vatican Council, seems to me to incorporate some of the beautiful insights, teachings and directives of this Council on collaboration between priests and laity.
A word of this fine organization will bring our reflections to a conclusion. The Legion of Mary handbook and practice spell out that the priest spiritual director is expected to supply doctrinal and spiritual orientation to the praesidium or other council.
He gives the members God’s blessing. He is their link with the Bishop with whom ecclesial communion is appreciated as important. The lay people guide and direct the Legion of Mary. They chair it and run it. They see, judge, act. They assess situations, assign work and discuss reports on work done. They make direct approach to people. They are not shy to share the faith with those who are ready and willing. They learn to overcome human respect and to evangelize. They listen to the allocution of the priest who gives them spiritual and theological nourishment which animates and nourishes their apostolate.
The Legion of Mary balances prayer and work. This is clear even in the order of events at a praesidium meeting. Long before Vatican II, the Legion incorporated some of its best directives on the different but complementary roles of priests and lay faithful.