LEGION OF MARY
Maryland - North Carolina - Virginia - Washington DC - West Virginia
3 June 2007
Dear Presidents of Attached Councils and Praesidia,
MISSING A PRAESIDIUM MEETING
Background. This memo pertains to those who miss their praesidium meeting for reasons which do not meet the criteria for an excused absence. Excused absences include illness, unavoidable work obligation, school, a family matter requiring urgent attention and vacation.
Absence to Attend a Council Meeting. For several years the Regia, and possibly other attached councils, have worked under the assumption that if a praesidium meeting is missed in order to attend a monthly officers' meeting (Regia or council), then it is necessary to attend a meeting of another praesidium because attendance at an officers' meeting is not an excused absence.
Absence for Personal Reasons. Some legionaries on occasion miss a praesidium meeting for a personal reason, which does not meet the criteria for an excused absence, but attend the meeting of another praesidium as a makeup meeting. Missing one's praesidium meeting for a personal reason must not be other than a rare occurrence.
Concilium Ruling. According to Joe Jackson, our Concilium correspondent, it is not necessary to attend the meeting of another praesidium under either of the circumstances listed above. However, every effort should be made to attend one's own praesidium meeting. Br. Jackson recommends council officers' meetings and personal activities be scheduled so as to avoid a conflict with the attendance at a praesidium meeting. According to the handbook, paragraph 5 on page 71, “Legionaries shall therefore regard attendance at their praesidium meeting as their first and most sacred duty to the Legion.” “The weekly meeting is the heart of the Legion from which the life blood flows into all its veins and arteries. It is the power-house from which its light and energy are derived.”
Application. Attendance at council officers' meetings is of secondary importance, but yet important enough. As noted above, council officers' meetings should be scheduled so as to avoid a conflict with praesidium meeting attendance. There may be a very rare occurrence when a praesidium meeting has to be missed, then there is no requirement to attend the meeting of another praesidium, and there is no requirement to take a work assignment unless the officer volunteers to take one. With regard to work assignments in general, if a member is legitimately excused from a meeting (and if absence is a rare occurrence), then there is no obligation to take a work assignment, but the legionary may volunteer to take one. Those members who do not have a legitimate excuse for missing a meeting are to be regarded as absent, and are not required to be given an assignment. Those who have a temporary change in work schedule or any other problem, which precludes attendance at their normal meeting, may attend the meetings of another praesidium on that temporary basis and can do work with that praesidium.
In the service of Our Lady,
Dennis G. Monroe