St. Mary’s Sodality
SODALITY MISSION STATEMENT
“TO JESUS THROUGH MARY”
History of Sodality
Protestantism had almost reached its crest in Europe when the Sodality made its tiny beginnings. The last and most threatening assault of the first Red peril, Mohammedanism, was streaming down upon Christian Europe in a final effort to raise the crescent above the cross. Those were dark days for the Church, and the gates of hell seemed to be opening for the victorious armies, which showed strangely forboding signs of storming the rock of Peter.
A young beloved Jesuit, John Leunis, was teaching one of the younger classes in the Jesuit College in Rome. He realized the perils into which the young student of his day would be plunged. He might be called to bear the intellectual and emotional assault of the aggressive Protestant revolution. He might be called to join the ranks of the Christian armies and navies that were finding it hard enough to stem the onrush of the victorious Moslem.
Around the little altar of the Blessed Virgin in the Roman College, Father Leunis gathered his prize pupils and sketched out a simple program that appeared to fit the needs of that imperiled day. If Protestantism had exiled Our Lady from the churches and Moslemism had dropped women down to the gutter, this young teacher determined that his boys should love Mary with a deep devotion and honor and protect womankind because they were the daughters of the Immaculate Virgin.
Since these were students, and the immediate battle was between the philosophy of Catholic living and the philosophy of anti-Catholic living, Father Leunis stressed the need for intelligent Catholics to read and study and talk and argue and uphold Catholic truth against its adversaries. They must be active Catholics, militant Catholics whose deeds of charity and of zeal and of service would mark them off as followers of the social Christ.
This was the birth of the Sodality of Our Lady. It spread through the Holy City, into every country of Europe. In the beginning, the Sodality was for men only. Not until 1751 were women admitted with the result that a tremendous growth was at once manifested.
In 1584, Pope Gregory XIII acknowledged the Sodality in the Roman College and granted it a list of special indulgences.
The Sodality came to North America in 1730 when Clement XII issued a Papal Bull approving the Sodality founded in 1730 at the Ursuline School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Georgetown University was the site of the first Sodality in the newly formed United States!
As Sodalists, we belong to a society which has counted among its members, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Peter Claver, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Bernadette Soubirous and the beloved Pope John Paul II the Great.
Sodality Mission Statement is “To Jesus Through Mary.” The Spiritual and Apostolic Life Mission is to live the Way of Life which recognizes the presence of Christ in the Sodalist’s everyday life. The prayer basis of the Sodality Way of Life was founded upon the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
The Way of Life builds Faith which makes all things possible, and Hope which gives courage. These two virtues, in turn, lead to Charity which reflects love of God and mankind. These Theological Virtues exemplify the life of Mary, Our Holy Mother, whom sodalists venerate and seek to emulate. The spiritual life of the sodalists is a primary function of Sodality.
Through Charity, the Sodality channels spirituality to service in the family, in the Church, and in the community.
Sodality is a Door to Spirituality and a Channel to Service
The Purpose of Sodality
The Sodality is a religious body which aims to foster an ardent devotion, reverence, and filial love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary in each of its members
▸ The Sodality seeks to make its faithful members sincerely bent on sanctifying themselves, each in their state of life, and zealous to save and sanctify their neighbor and to defend the Church of Jesus Christ against the attacks of the wicked.
▸ The Sodality urges devotion to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and inspires the member to a devoted imitation of Mary, who is the highest ideal of womanhood.
▸ The Sodality encourages the use of prayer, spiritual reading and practicing the virtues and works of mercy to deepen their faith.
Today, when so much focus is placed on the secular world and material possessions, women of the parish are offered membership in an organization that promotes time specifically set aside for prayer, traditional Catholic devotions, charitable works and fellowship with like minded individuals.