Legion of Mary Celebration a Small But Warm Gathering Despite Snow
April 6, 2023
MCHENRY—A few dozen hearty souls braved the snow on March 25 to honor Mary at the 2023 Legion of Mary Rockford Curia Acies celebration, held at St. Patrick Parish. 
 
In an email to The Observer, President Dee Sternhagen noted that over twenty members could not attend because “Our Lady provided a winter wonderland that morning.” Still, at least a few active and auxiliary members represented five of the seven Rockford Praesidia. Two active members from Dublin, Ireland, who were visiting relatives in Rockford, joined as well. 
 
Fortunately, St. Patrick Parish is set up for live-streaming, so the Legion streamed the Acies celebration so all its members could join from home. 
 
The celebration began with a banner procession of the Praesidia, each of which is named after a Marian title, such as Woodstock’s “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” and Dublin’s “Maria Assumpta.”
 
Following an opening prayer by Sternhagen was a rosary procession behind the Vexillum Legionis, carried by Tom Armburst. This adaptation of the standard of the Roman Legion replaces the eagle with a dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, and reads “Legio Mariae.” 
 
After a brief talk by Father Steven Sabo, spiritual director for the English-speaking praesidia in the diocese, each attendee made their individual act of consecration to Mary, saying, “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours.”
 
Father Sabo celebrated the Mass, aided by Deacon Hans Rokus, spiritual director of Woodstock’s praesidium, and Deacon Craig Robinson of St. Patrick Parish, here. Members lectored, led prayers and brought up the gifts — some stepping in for members who couldn’t attend. Cecilia Adams, accompanied by Annette Coughlin, led Marian hymns including “Immaculate Mary.” 
 
Afterward, members gathered in the parish center for food and fellowship, and Father Sabo gave personal testimony on the power of prayer and miracles. 
 
—Information provided by Dee Sternhagen. 
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