Fr. Gerard Ndemino
I retired from active ministry in April 2015. Late in 2016 I felt a strong urge / impulse to continue with ministry in a different way. I joined the Legion of Mary as a Spiritual Director. I direct three groups. One Presidium is for adults who meet on Mondays in the Parish. A second is for university students who meet on Sundays in the university buildings. A third is for primary school kids who meet on Wednesdays on the school premises.
With the Presidium for adults we are in the process of founding a new Presidium in a nearby secondary school. With the university presidium we have founded one in a nearby Lutheran Hospital for medical students.
After praying with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Presidium at Mwenge Catholic University for some weeks I noticed several things. (1) Most students possess a smart phone. (2) In the months January and February they go out for field work / studies in different regions of the country. (3) Every year some students finish their courses and go back to different regions of the country looking for employment. And of course new ones join the University. (4) Every year those finishing and going back home will be increasing in their various regions. This struck me as a "providential opportunity" for more ministry work. What can I do?
I discussed the idea with the University group. We decided to use emails for spiritual talks. So each student acquired an email address. Furthermore we thought of a common email address which came to be firstname.lastname@example.org. So, through this way we can exchange ideas about our work as members of the Legion of Mary.
This is how I have used the opportunity: (i) I wrote an email encouraging members to live up to their Baptismal Promises. (ii) Another mail to encourage them to live up to their Legion of Mary Promise: "Be an active Christian and be an active legionary" (iii) Still another mail: wherever a member is, he/she should attend meetings of the local Legion of Mary group. With respect and hard work encourage the local Presidium to grow strong (spiritually and in numbers). (iv) If no group exists, then start a process of founding one.
When Covid-19 broke out, all schools were closed for three months. It was then that I further realized how important and providential this has been. I have been summarizing the Catholic Bishops Conference Lenten Letter "YOUR KINGDOM COME" for this group. Some students have written back to express their appreciation and to ask me to continue with the summary.
Dear brother SIP Priests and CAC members, maybe you have gone through a similar experience. And maybe you have better ideas and more effective methods for such a situation. Please share your ideas so that we may grow together. This way we hope our Risen Lord will be more and more "all in all". I feel that there is tremendous
opportunity for young people to be involved in spreading the Gospel through the Legion of Mary and similar organizations. "LIVE IN THE SPIRIT"