THE MILITIA IMMACULATAE IN ASIA PART II
On 30 June 2015 I was so happy to announce to you that the number of knights of the Immaculata in Asia has passed the 1900 mark after only 7 months. Today, 4 months later, I am yet more thankful to Her. I am happy to announce that we have passed the 3000 mark.
Since the 31st of May the priests of the district of Asia have started to enroll their faithful.
Now in almost all our chapels we hold enrolment ceremonies, and to our great surprise an overwhelming majority of our faithful want to become Her instruments to save other souls. In the Philippines the members of the Legion of Mary made the MI known amongst the people they visit and in their presidia, and this is certainly the reason for the great number of knights in the Philippines, which numbers 2297 today.
We are about to start our regular apostolate in Thailand. The first enrolments will take place on 15 November. Within the next 3 months in many chapels we will have enrolment ceremonies for all those who for any reason were not able to attend the previous ones.
Our faithful, specially catechists and Legion of Mary members have also started to make the Militia known amongst Catholics who are not our faithful yet, but who have a deep devotion to Our Lady. We hope that through the Immaculata many of them will approach the Catholic Tradition and join our ranks. In fact, our dream is to offer Our Lady a small army of 100,000 knights for the year 2017.
Allow me to recall some of the more significant events of the MI during the last month.
ROSARY CRUSADE DAVAO
In the beginning of the month of the Rosary, Fr. Tim Pfeiffer organized a Rosary Crusade in the city of Davao, which consisted not only of processions in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary but also praying the rosary with the faithful. Father organized a whole catechetical campaign with catechism classes in houses, where he gathered every day 15 – 30 people: the Crusade started at 1800hr in the evening with a series of conferences followed each time by a rosary. After a short rest (Father likes to sleep on the floor or where/whatever) at 4 a.m., Holy Mass is celebrated followed by another conference and rosary. At 0700hr the participants go to work / school, and Father to the priory. In this way he could within one week, make Tradition known to almost 200 faithful. Many of them returned to the sacraments, and around 70 were enrolled in the MI.
LEGION OF MARY INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS IN MANILA
On the feast of Christ the King, the traditional Legion of Mary held their congress with more than 140 participants from all over the country and some from abroad. The reports of the officers showed the immense apostolic work done during the last few years: hundreds of children prepared for first Communion, assistance of the sick and dying, organizing pilgrimages and crusades, more than 20,000 family visits. The Legion of Mary in the Philippines is the backbone of our apostolic work. During the congress the members welcomed the Militia Immaculatae as a very important means to attract the people to Our Lady, to consecrate themselves to her. The Legionaries promised that they would try to make the MI known wherever they work.
ENROLMENTS IN LEYTE
The last weekend I went to the “island of Yolanda”, the place where 3 years ago the terrible typhoon hit the country. Thanks to the apostolic zeal of Fr. Albert Ghela , 5 SSPX chapels were opened on this place, and everywhere enrolment ceremonies were held .
The first was in Ormoc on the evening of, Friday 30 October with 36 enrolments. Ormoc has the smallest mass centre and we say the Holy Mass in a private house. Thanks to the Immaculata, the number of faithful grew the last 3 months from around 25 to 40, and on this day most of them became Knights of the Immaculata.
On Saturday 31 October at 7.30am we had the ceremony in Sogod, where we have the chapel in a garage. Inspite of the heavy rain the chapel was full with almost 100 faithful, half of them children from catechism classes run by our legionaries. Unfortunately some other 20 faithful from the mountains arrived only after the ceremonies. After the Holy Mass we had 58 enrolments. It was quite dark in the chapel, because there was a electrical power failure due to the heavy rain. So it was a bit difficult to write the certificates and distribute them. However, exactly when I gave out the last certificate, the rain almost stopped and the scheduled procession in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary could proceed. Father was afraid that the children would get sick, but it was they themselves who asked ” Father, let's make the procession – rain doesn't matter!”
So we went out of the garage-chapel . The children carried a beautiful statue of the Immaculata and prayed the Rosary and sang in the streets of the town. All the people seeing so many children praying the Rosary in the rain were very touched. Many of them greeted Our Lady devotedly and joined in the songs and the rosaries. In this way the faithful in Sogod ,immediately after the consecration proved, themselves to be real knights of the Immaculata, ready to offer prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
On November 1st we had 3 enrolments in the 3 remaining chapels: Maasin (90), Bato (115) and Tacloban (48). Altogether in one weekend, on one little island, 345 new knights joined our ranks.
Wherever we have our legionaries, similar apostolate work is done. On the island of Mindanao Father Tim Pfeiffer is about to establish “missions” in different villages and smaller town.
In a “mission”, catechists (mostly legionaries) give catechism to children and adults, pray with them regularly and twice or three times a year the priest visits them to give the sacraments. One day in September, Father Tim had in such a village 15 baptisms, 6 marriages, 9 sick calls and many confessions.
Another very important help for the MI is the new Asian Website, but as many of the knights in Asia have no internet, we are about to publish bulletins (similar to Fr. Maximilian Kolbe with his “Rycerz Niepokalanej”).
Father Therasian has already started the bulletin in India “Cor Jesu” in English and Tamil language, which is also the parish bulletin for the priory. For the Philippines we are preparing the “MI Messenger” which will be published in English, Tagalog and Visayan languages – the most important languages in the Philippines.
May the IMMACULATA protect her little army in Asia.
Manila, the 4 November 2015
Fr. Karl Stehlin