The Spiritual Director's Page

The success of the Legion of Mary has always been attributed to all the priests who have served as its spiritual director. This page is dedicated to all our spiritual directors of today and of the past. If you would like to feature your Spiritual Director (a short bio perhaps or even a copy of his Allocutio, please free to submit it to us. We will do our best to share his life and story to everyone. You can submit it using the form below this page. 

Father Philip Singarayar, OMI - Spiritual Director, Oakland Comitium

The following article is courtesy of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Oakland, CA) on the life of our most beloved Spiritual Director, Father Philip Singarayar. We are indebted to him for his commitment to the Legion of Mary. So blessed to have this holy priest lead the Legion of Mary in the Diocese of Oakland. Fr. Philip was appointed as Spiritual Director of the Oakland Comitium in 2009 by the former Bishop of Oakland, Salvatore Cordileone, now the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. 

For a time in the 1980s, Fr. Philip Singarayar, O.M.I. was a man without a country. Father Philip was studying Pastoral Counseling in the United States.  When his courses were over he planned to go home, but that never happened. Originally from Sri Lanka, Fr. Philip couldn’t go there because a civil war was taking place in the country. Complicating a return to Sri Lanka was that Fr. Philip had the same name as a priest wanted for war crimes. Father Philip then looked at going to India, where he had worked for seven years with Oblate seminarians.  But he had visa problems with India and authorities wouldn’t let him go there. Father Philip was born in Talawakelle, Sri Lanka.  He was ordained in 1964 and ministered at several Oblate parishes in the country, included a few that were bilingual.  He was then assigned to work in the formation programs for Oblate seminarians in India. What was supposed to be a few months of academic study in the United States turned into four decades of missionary work in America.  Father Philip’s U.S. ministries have included parish and formation work in large cities such as New York, Washington D.C., Miami and Chicago. Today, Fr. Philip is part of a team of Oblates working at Sacred Heart Parish in Oakland, California.  Father Philip’s international background comes in good use at the parish which has members from about 25 different countries.  About one-third of the parishioners are Filipino and another one-third are African-Americans. “It is a wonderful place to work because there are so many different cultures here,” said Fr. Philip. In December Fr. Philip will celebrate 52 years as an Oblate priest.  He said his life is a great example of how the Lord works in mysterious and wonderful ways. “The Lord has been walking with me all the time, at times visible and at times invisible,” said Fr. Philip.  “My priesthood has been a mystery filled with blessings, surprises and challenges and it has made my life a joyful one.”

Message from Father Philip Singarayar


Frank Duff experienced the loving presence of Jesus and Mary in his heart.  He wanted to share this beautiful powerful presence of Jesus and Mary with all specially with the outcasts of the Church and  the society. Thus, he formed the Legion of Mary. Frank Duff says the object and goal of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members experiencing the loving presence of Jesus and Mary in their hearts. (HB CH: 1 SECTION 2). The Legion Is not understood unless this spiritual aspect is grasped to a reasonable extent by its members. The Legion is not properly worked unless this spiritual life is linked to active work so intimately. The spirit must animate the whole works as the soul animates the body. (HB CH: 30 SECTION 5 ( a ). The Legion aims not as the doing of any particular work but as the primary object the making of of its members holy experiencing the loving presence of Jesus and Mary. (HB, CH: 12 SECTION 1.) All of us may be in different stages in this beautiful journey of experiencing the loving presence of Jesus and Mary in our hearts. The Rules, the Meetings, the functions, etc. are all a means to reach this goal. All of us as Legion of Mary members need to ask ask the question where are we in our journey of experiencing the loving presence of Jesus and Mary in our hearts? Each Praesidium, Curia and the Comitium also needs to ask this question. Are we helping the Legion members in reaching this goal? What are we doing to help our members to reach this goal? Or are we preventing them from reaching this goal? JESUS AND MARY GUIDE US AND HELP US TO EXPERIENCE YOUR LOVING PRESENCE.


If you would like to share some information about your Spiritual Director or share one of his Legion talks (Allocutio), please use the form below.