Legion of Mary Can Be “breeding ground” for Consecrated Life: Catholic Priest in Kenya

Fr. Boniface Kariuki, Spiritual Director Legion of Mary Nairobi Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Nairobi

Making known the Legion of Mary across Kenya and having the people of God in the East African nation embrace the lay Catholic movement can foster vocations to Consecrated Life, the Spiritual Director of Marian movement has said. 

In an interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Boniface Kariuki proposed induction of newly ordained Priests in the lay Marian movement whose centenary celebrations of its founding were marked in 2021-2022.

In the September 30 interview, Fr. Kariuki made reference to reduced applications for enrollment in Major Seminaries and houses of Religious formation in some Kenyan Dioceses and Kenya-based Religious Orders and Societies of Apostolic Life respectively.

He said, “In the general decline of vocations to the Priestly and Religious Life, I have witnessed that the Legion of Mary is a good breeding ground for the Consecrated Life.” 

To promote awareness about the Ireland-founded lay apostolic association of Catholics, the Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary in Kenya who doubles as the Chaplain of the Nairobi-based Kenyatta University appealed to those at the helm of various church institutions to make known and “strengthen the Legion of Mary as a lay movement by giving more space and time to the propagation of the same.”


An intense and good induction of newly ordained Priests to the Legion of Mary would be a big boost,” the Kenyan Catholic Priest further said, highlighiting the role members of the Clergy can play in the growth of the Marian movement as they practice their Priestly Ministry.

Fr. Kariuki recalled efforts being undertaken to address the challenge of declining numbers during the start of the centenary celebration of the founding of the Legion of Mary in September last year, saying, “One of our key points was to increase the number of Legionaries through recruitment and extension.”

In an interview with ACI Africa in October last year, the member of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Nairobi said initiatives were being explored to address the declining number of the members of the Legion of Mary.

“We will strengthen the legionaries in our schools and introduce the movement where it does not exist. Here we will work closely with the Education Secretary in the Archdiocese of Nairobi,” Fr. Kariuki said during the 12 October 2021 interview.

The Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary in Kenya added that his office had planned to visit and rejuvenate Legion of Mary members with challenges, in view of establishing factors behind the declining numbers, which he said his office would seek to address.

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In the September 30 Interview, Fr. Kariuki reported “some progress” in the planned initiatives to address the declining numbers of Legionaries in Kenya. 

“We have made some progress in reviving lapsed Praesidia and opening new ones. This we have done in the councils attached to Senatus, Thika comitium, Ngong curia, and Machakos comitium,” he said.

The Kenyan Priest added that the Kisumu Regia and Bungoma Regia “have also opened new Praesidia and Councils. We have also ventured into the Kitui Diocese where there was no Legion of Mary.”

He went on to explain the structure of Legion of Mary, describing a Praesidium as the basic unit in the Parish. 

A number of Praesidia make a Curia; a number of Curia form a Comitium, and a number of Curiae and Comitia form a Regia, Fr. Kariuki further said, adding, “Senatus is the highest governing body of the Legion of Mary in a country such as the Senatus of Kenya.”


“Curiae, Comitia, Regia, and Senatus are referred to as Councils,” The Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary in Kenya during the September 30 interview. 

He went on to recount the background of the declaration of October as the month of Holy Rosary by Pope St. Pius V following the victory of the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571, which was attributed to the Marian prayer of the Holy Rosary.

In celebrating the miraculous victory of Christian forces in the battle of Lepanto, Fr. Kariuki said in reference to the Pope St. Pius V whose Papacy spanned from 1566 to1572, “the Pope established the feast of our Lady of the Rosary.”

He continued, “The Pope attributed the victory to the power of the Marian prayer of the Rosary other than to the military might of the ships and cannons. The whole month is dedicated to our Lady the Holy Rosary.

The Legion of Mary official called upon Legionaries in Kenya to participate in daily recitation of the Holy Rosary during the month of October amid their respective “spiritual, emotional and economic challenges.”

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“Relying on the powerful intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, I invite all Legionaries to pray the rosary daily especially during this month of October,” Fr. Kariuki said, and added, “We ask Our Mother Mary to accompany us and the world amidst the spiritual, emotional, economic, political challenges of our times.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary, he went on to say, “is able to mold us her children as she did at the home of Nazareth.

“It will be good if the Legionaries and the Christians pray the Rosary in their families. Nothing really specific but the month of the mission we ask for Mary’s intercession to be true witness of the victory of Her Son Jesus over sin and death,” Fr. Kariuki further said, making reference to the Acts of the Apostles. 

He called upon members of the Legion of Mary in Kenya to pray for a variety of intentions, including peace in the country, in Africa and the World, and for the drought-stricken areas especially in Kenya and Africa.

Fr. Kariuki also called for prayers that members of families may model themselves to the Holy Family of Nazareth.

The member of the Clergy of Nairobi Archdiocese thanked his Local Ordinary, Archbishop Philip Anyolo, his predecessor, John Cardinal Njue, and Bishop David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Kenyan Archdiocese, “for their continued support, accompaniment and encouragement to the Legion of Mary in the Archdiocese.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.