We felt like hiding under the desk as sis Jona entered the chapel last Sunday. We knew she must be very disappointed about our poor attendance at our Legion of Mary (LOM) and Patrician meeting the day before. About half of the members didn’t make it for various reasons: Mostly because we have to attend to some household chores and concerns and because of the hot weather, as she insists on a 3 pm meeting every week. Sis Jona is the LOM president of our unit and she lives 2-3 hours drive from our village where most of us live. She used to live here but had to relocate because of the demands of her job. Since her parents and siblings live here, she comes on weekends to visit them and attend to the Legion work. It is embarrassing for us not to be able to attend to our Legion work and meeting when we live nearby while she lives so far away and she also has a full-time job, married and has a daughter. Maybe because, most of us are also busy as Chapel officers and members, and in addition to that, some of us are village association officers too. I, for one, am a BEC zone coordinator too, though not as active. When we were new residents in the village, we were recruited as active LOM members. The village chapel goers were easy targets. We used to be so active doing Legion work – visiting the sick, doing house to house visitation and census of residents who have not been married in the Church, or with children who are not yet baptized or confirmed, encouraging people to go to Mass, and the like. We were required to do at least 2 hours of Legion work in a week. As we get to know more people in the parish, we were always being recruited. First, I was recruited to be the Chapel Coordinator. When I accepted, it was a no-brainer that our LOM unit would support me. Then I passed the torch to another member and we’re at it for more than 10 years now. Then, when they needed a BEC zone coordinator, the Parish BEC Coordinator would sort of gate-crash into an LOM meeting until he was able to recruit one. Then, when they were selecting officers for the Homeowners’ Association, LOM members usually get nominated. Some of our members have also died and moved away. Some, like myself, have encounters with cancer and are now slowing down. That is the reason why we are no longer as active with our Legion work and attendance at meetings and functions.
But it is a different story with sis Jona. Her mother founded the LOM in the Parish for more than 50 years now and she has passed on the legacy to her children. Severe arthritis has paralyzed her. And to her children, attending to the LOM is non-negotiable. Sometimes I wonder, how it is like in the home of sis Jona, as she spends all her free time and holidays traveling to her parent’s home and doing Legion work. Doesn’t she have cabinets of clothes to arrange or cupboards to clean or do general cleaning which we usually do on holidays from work?
But I guess, what is a disorderly house to her in exchange for souls led to Christ?