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The proof of the reality of this love is that it be manifested in circumstances which test it. That vital test consists in loving those whom mere human nature bids one not to love. Here is the acid-test of the true and the false love for humanity. It is a pivot of faith, a crucial-point of Christianity, for without the Catholic ideal this sort of love simply cannot exist. The very notion would be fantastic, if divorced from the root which gives it meaning and life. If humanity for its own sake is to be the gospel, then everything must be judged from the angle of its apparent utility to humanity. Something which would admittedly be valueless to humanity must logically, under such systems, be viewed just as sin would be viewed in the Christian dispensation, that is, as something to be eliminated at any cost. Those who give self-sacrificing demonstrations of true Christian love in its highest forms, do a supreme service to the Church. (Handbook Chapter 37 Suggestions as to works, Section 6 : Work for the most wretched and dejected of the population.)

The Regina Coeli Hostel

Regina Coeli Hostel The Regina Hostel is the sister hostel of the Morning Star and was opened for homeless women and children by Frank Duff because he was particularly concerned with the effects of poverty on women. Following the founding of the Legion of Mary in 1921, he and members of the Legion set out to deal with prostitution that was wreaking havoc on the lives of necessitous young women. The Sancta Maria Hostel located in Harcourt Street was established. During its 50 years of existence hundreds of women were enabled to reintegrate into normal life. Frank Duff recognised that apart from restoring a person's selfesteem, the issue of homelessness was in itself totally demoralising. In 1927 the Morning Star Hostel for men was opened and in October 1930 the Regina Coeli Hostel for women.

Regina Coeli Hostel gardenNot just women but mothers with young children and expectant single mothers. A novel initiative, this was the first time in lreland that a formal effort had been made to facilitate mothers and their children in the role of a family unit. Both the Morning Star and the Regina Coeli have remained open every single day since their foundation. The Regina Coeli Hostel in its entirety is comprised of Legion of Mary Members working round the clock and on a voluntary basis. There are 6 working groups each with a complement of up to 20 members.

Regina Coeli Hostel gardenThey keep the place in good order, make beds, serve meals and befriend the residents- Some legionaries have dedicated themselves wholly to this endeavour and live as indoor staff, while others serve on a temporary basis. Then there are those who dedicate all their active days totally to this work. Presently in the region of 100 women and children are catered for in the Hostel.
Regina Coeli dining roomMothers have facilities for preparing meals in their own units and if they wish can have a mid-day meal in the Hostel's own dining room. Single women have breakfast and evening meals provided and lunch is available for a token charge. Dinner is available for all children on a daily basis.

Regina Coeli OratoryThe Hostel has an Oratory with reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and Sunday Mass. Homeless persons of all denominations or none are welcome and full respect is accorded to their religious beliefs. With the residents making contributions there are not the usual public appeals for funds. Nonetheless funds are needed from time to time and over the years benefactors have helped at critical moments. The policy is to be of service to those who are most in need. Frank Duff reasoned that if the Hostel were to keep only those of calm dispositions then those most in need would be excluded. He called this, the policy of Values Reversed.


Hostel Refurbishment

Old photograph of the Regina Coeli HostelJust in a like manner to the Morning Star Hostel our hostel needs to have some renovation and upgrading work to be done on it. Part of this work has already been completed and we have a new roof on the hostel.


“This particular activity has been considered at length because it really concerns the whole spirit of the Legion. In addition, it holds, amongst services done to the Church, a key position. For it constitutes a special assertion of the Catholic principle that even the lowest of human beings hold in relation to us a position which is independent of their value or agreeableness to us: that in them Christ is to be seen, reverenced, loved.”
(Handbook Chapter 37 Suggestions as to works, Section 6 footnote: Work for the most wretched and dejected of the population.)

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