Planting seeds at Canberra’s Garema Place
The wind was biting and the shadows were long but a cold winter’s afternoon was never going to deter Cecilija, Catherine, Gil and Zac*.
They are four local members of the Legion of Mary and part of the Legion’s weekly Saturday presence at Garema Place in Canberra’s central business district.
Like its members worldwide, the Legion’s volunteers are involved in a broad range of service to the Catholic Church, including works of charity and public devotions.
At Garema Place they were handing out Miraculous Medals and Catholic literature and spreading the word about the faith to those who might stop to chat.
They worked from a little table with its Crucifix, Bible, Rosary Beads, the Legion’s Vexillum Legionis (standard), and other items.
“A lot of people are missing the truth in today’s society,” Cecilija told the Catholic Voice.
“It can be challenging. You get people that confront you and you’re kind of stumped. Some conversations are fruitful, some are good. But I think honestly, you don’t really see your work coming to fruition straight away.”
Catherine points to some of the “amazing” encounters the team has had.
“There are people at a point in their journey in life who have come and got a Miraculous Medal.
“And it’s started them on that journey to Catholicism and some will later come to Mass. It’s just wonderful to see.”
For Zac, facing criticism or contempt comes with the territory.
“In my experience, there’s perhaps nothing harder than standing on the street and offering and inviting others into conversation about our Lord.”
Catherine says it’s about “courage” and the need to “keep walking in the face of fear as opposed to running away from it.
“It’s not just about prayer in the chapel and going to Mass. It’s about going out there and actually sharing the faith.
“It plants a seed in someone,” she said.
*’Zac’ is a pseudonym. He requested his real name not be used.