Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2008
Smyth was devout apostle of the Legion of Mary
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"He was one of those people who made us better human beings just by his friendship."
- Byron Price
In 1955 Smyth moved to Britain and continued his Legion work in London until 1958, when he married his wife Laurie and started raising a family in Wales. The couple had five children.
Smyth and his family moved to Edmonton in 1975 and joined the only branch of the Legion of Mary in the city at St. Andrew's Parish.
He decided to expand the Legion and thanks to his efforts today there are 22 Legion groups in Edmonton. He also started the Legion in Calgary where today there are 24 groups.
The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with well over three million active members in almost every country. Its main purpose is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members.
"He was a great gentleman, a great storyteller and always very hospitable."
- Fr. Duncan MacDonnell
Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, crowd contact, religious education and even visiting the newly baptized.
"Terry saw the value of Jesus' salvation through the heart of Our Blessed Mother Mary and worked hard to promote it," said Richard Jiry, who took over as president of the Legion from Smyth about three years ago.
"He was a kind, loving, charitable person in the Legion, kind of everybody's closest friend, yet a leader everyone could trust."
His friendship had no boundaries, Jiry said. "He gave a ride to one elderly lady for 13 years so she wouldn't miss a (Legion) meeting. That's Legion love."
Father Duncan MacDonnell, a close friend of Smyth since his arrival in Canada, credits Smyth with revitalizing the Legion of Mary, which at the time was dying.
"He travelled to different places (in Alberta) to organize the Legion. He and his wife did it together for many years and now the Legion is at its peak."
As part of his missionary work Smyth and Laurie did a lot of work for the poor, helping whoever was in need, recalled MacDonnell.
"He was a great gentleman, a great storyteller and always very hospitable," he said. "I visited him often and I played crib with him."
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