Junior Praesidia in Rhode Island
There are currently two junior Legion of Mary praesidia in Rhode Island. Junior praesidia are open to young people who are under 18 years of age. Like the adult praesidia, they are asked to say the Catena daily and come to praesidia meetings. Instead of being required to perform at least two hours of meaningful work per week, junior praesidia members are only required to perform at least one hour per week. All junior praesidia members carry Miraculous Medals to give to people they meet who might need Mary’s intercession and care. The Legion of Mary Handbook states that as soldiers of Mary, the young people are to regard the Miraculous Medals “as a ration of ammunition which they are to use to the greatest advantageby giving them, if possible, to non-Catholics or neglectful Catholics.”
Junior praesidia members have worked with a street ministry group, distributing toiletries and gently used clothing, as well as praying with the people they meet and offering rosaries and prayer cards. The members also visit nursing homes, particularly during Christmas and Easter. They may have a caroling group, make and distribute holiday cards, or color Easter eggs with the residents. Some of the older members of the junior Praesidia also assist with religious education classes or assist in teaching pre-school and lower elementary students.
One of the junior praesidia is held at a Catholic high school, which offers opportunity to reach many students. Legion of Mary members sponsor a school-wide Mass for the students and distribute rosaries, Miraculous Medals, and prayer cards to the religious education teachers to give to the students. The junior praesidium also organizes and sponsors food and toiletries drive, a Toys for Tots drive at Christmas, and a Rice Bowl project during Lent. The entire student body is invited to participate in these drives and so is given the opportunity to care for those less fortunate.