Melbourne Senatus: During the 4 months, reports were taken from 9 praesidia, 7 Curia and 3 Comitia, all on the mainland, and 7 Comitia and 2 Curiae in the Pacific Islands. Marakei Comitium in Kiribati marked the 90th.anniverary with a 3-day Retreat. Noumea Comitium, New Caledonia organised a youth day with the purpose of strengthening the faith of its younger legionaries. Adelaide Comitium governs 2 Curiae with 20 praesidia. Three members made successful visits to councils in Darwin and Alice Springs. Archbishop Wilson visited Concilium and celebrated Mass during the Eucharistic Congress. Preston Curia with 3 Korean praesidia intend visiting the Universities to encourage the lapsed back to the faith.
Sydney Senatus: All parish praesidia engage in home visitation. There are 3 candidates under instruction, many babies were baptised and Holy Communion is brought to the sick. Crowd contact is done in parks, railway stations and food markets with good results. The new Senatus president has finalised the audits for the past 3 years and copies will be sent to the correspondent.
Brisbane Comitium: Extension is mentioned for North Queensland for later in the year, as an ongoing project is being undertaken at present. Visitation is being carried out to its far away praesidia. Reported works this period are home and hospital visitation, praying at funerals and follow up to the bereaved. Catechism is taught to children attending state schools and they are prepared for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Two Vietnamese praesidia visited the Comitium; they had been out of touch for some time.
Auckland Senatus: A praesidium with 9 members has a junior praesidia attached and a new youth praesidia of those turned 18 years. A Chinese praesidium organises English classes for new immigrants. Christchurch Korean Curia has 9 praesidia, 79 members and attendance is 77%. The Acies had an attendance of 54. Wellington Comitium has 2 Curia, one of which consists of Samoan legionaries. There are 15 senior and 2 junior praesidia attached with a membership of 52 and 3 new praesidia were set up.
Western Visayas Senatus: The Senatus is doing excellent work in governing the praesidia and councils under its care. Eight Councils had 100% attendance, and overall 83% attendance at the Senatus meeting. Msgr. Claudio Sale was former Spiritual Director of the Regia in 198O, he has now returned as Senatus Spiritual Director and he compliments the members on their dedicated service to the Legion. Reports show widespread outreach to all. Two Protestant couples met during an Exploratio Dominicalis were instructed and later brought into the church. A member of a seminarian praesidium discovered his parents were only civilly married, a church wedding was arranged. Five boys left by their mother in the care of their grandmother were baptised. Extension was featured and new praesidia set up.
Northern Philippines Senatus: A Congress was held with their directly attached praesidia focusing their topic on junior legionaries. A new Comitium was formed as a result of the division of Marilae Comitium. Two senior and 2 junior Curiae were organised with 19 senior and 2 junior praesidia. In Cubao Comitium 10 officers were designated as extension workers to closely monitor and assist weak Curiae and praesidia.
Antipolo Regia: A praesidium through its vocation ministry campaign was able to recruit 12 to enter religious life. A monthly Mass is arranged in a tricycle terminal for drivers, vendors and car wash boys.
Bicolandia Senatus: Average attendance 81%. One council has 55 probationers, another 15 which shows recruiting is taking place. A Congress was held and the theme was "Mary is the heart of the Legion and that heart is faith and love un-utterable". Works include teaching catechism to students, home visitation, helping the priest to prepare adults for Baptism and Confirmation. The Rosary is recited with inmates in Jails. A new praesidium was set up in the Naga City Jail.
Mindanao Senatus: A member of the Senatus suffering from cancer reports great improvements in his condition due to praying to Frank Duff. The Senatus asked to emulate Manila Senatus who started six praesidia in Army camps in their area. Works undertaken were: a former Protestant pastor was visited in prison and has now become a Catholic; a 7th Day Adventist family converted through regular visitation and the mother is now a member of the praesidium. Three legionaries who were pressurised by their brother to join the Born Again group, through visitation, have returned to the Church and the Legion.
Cebu Senatus: Officer attendance is 100%. Visitation to councils and praesidia is consistent, the Senatus urges the visitation to be assigned in pairs and to monitor those visited. A Comitium is supervising two senior Curiae, a junior Curia with 5 praesidia and 11 directly attached senior praesidia with a membership of 275, 74 on probation, 224 praetorians, 581 auxiliaries and 128 juniors. Plans are underway to revive the junior Legion in the Seminary minor of Pope John XXIII and to raise the 6 praesidia in the Seminary College to a Curia. Two junior praesidia were set up in schools. Apostolic works undertaken were 2 live-in couples had their marriages validated, children baptised, and visitation of the elderly in their homes with some now regularly receiving Holy Communion every Sunday.
Bogota Senatus: The Senatus has carried out a professional audit, a copy of which has been forwarded to Concilium. Seven new correspondents have been appointed. 2 Regiae, 1 Comitium and 2 praesidia reported during this period. The two Regiae have 5 and 3 junior curiae respectively. One Regia has 215 legionaries between the ages of 18 and 40; the Senatus has asked councils to provide this figure in future if possible. A Curia reported setting up 2 new praesidia while a praesidium reported that a young couple married in the Church, their children being baptised on the same day.
Lima Senatus: During this period 2 Comitia, 4 Curiae and 2 praesidia reported. A Curia attached to Sullana Comitium split. A number of the reports indicate prison visitation and 2 praesidia of inmates were set up, one in the women's prison and one in the men's prison. Legionaries visit the prison sick bay where they make contact with TB and AIDS patients and drug addicts. Ten children, who were in jail with their mothers, were baptised and another praesidium brings the children in prison together for prayer.
Senatus of Asuncion: The Senatus appears to be working well but there was not time to study the minutes recently received in detail for this report.
Senatus of La Paz: The new Comitium of Potosi set up 9 months ago, is doing well. Legionaries serve breakfast at 7am in a soup kitchen; many valuable contacts are made. The Curia of Tupiza in the south of the country makes contact with the Legion across the border in Argentina. In areas where social problems and high unemployment exist, legionaries pray the Rosary and speak to the youth about the dangers of bad company, drugs and alcohol. A lot of contact work is done in the open markets where legionaries use the three main languages of Aymará, Quechua and Spanish.
Senatus of Santiago: The Curia of Punta Arenas reports that many from an Evangelist sect have returned to the Catholic Church. The Curia has made contact with an Argentinean praesidium in Tierra del Fuego, within the Antarctic circle. The Curia of Copiapó gives great importance to the study of the Handbook. Questions are handed out and at the next meeting legionaries return with the answers they found in the Handbook. Prison visitation is done mostly with those who are about to be released. Parish priests request visitation in newly built apartment blocks.
Senatus of Medellin: Reported works include advising unmarried couples to regularise and sanctify their relationship by returning to the sacraments. Evangelisation is done on buses and trains while legionaries also care for children whose mothers have to go out to work.
Senatus of Montevideo: Planning is underway for a PPC project for young legionaries from Buenos Aires from 16 to 23 July. They plan to print, "Can we be Saints" and "Some Handbook Reflections" in Spanish. A commission has been set up to collate information for the Cause of Alfie Lambe. Weekly 20-minute talks are given on a radio station. After praying to Frank Duff, legionaries from the Senatus got a warm welcome from the Bishop of Mercedes in a meeting convened to resolve a serious problem.
Senatus of Caracas: A national meeting of Spiritual Directors is scheduled for July. 47 legionaries went on Peregrinatio Pro Christo. Several Exploratio Dominicalis and Columban Drives were held; 11 new praesidia were set up. Legionaries continue to contact people practising witchcraft, which is prevalent in the country; a booklet and leaflet dealing with this subject was sent to the correspondent. They also mention Patrician meetings, evangelising in the homes and a book barrow in the University. Eight prisoners were baptised and 20 received First Holy Communion. One lady brought back from the sects is now a legionary and three people were rescued from the Jehovah Witnesses.
Senatus of Quito: Works include contact with taxi drivers, promotion of the Angelus, giving talks to the unemployed and the rarely-mentioned distribution of holy water; the Bishop asked the Legion to help distribute meals to indigenous peoples. One praesidium closed but 2 senior and 1 junior praesidia are in formation.
Gitega Senatus: There are 66 Comitia in Burundi, 22 of which are attached to the Regia of Bujumbura and 44 directly to the Senatus. Four to six Comitia reports are taken at Senatus meetings along with reports from directly attached Curiae and praesidia. The Senatus loyally adheres to the rule against material relief and is dedicated to works of service as well as the general apostolate. Legionaries promote the De Montfort's True Devotion to Mary, especially among youth. Last year was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Legion in Burundi and was celebrated nationwide with a considerable entry of youth into the ranks of the Legion.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Kinshasa Senatus: The Curia at St. Joseph's Parish reported 11,047 homes visited in the course of a year of which 4,110 were Catholics, 764 Protestant, 482 Salvationist, 741 Muslim and 1,223 of other sects. Works also include the Baptism of 61 infants, First Communion of 213 young people and one marriage regularised. Hospital and prison visits were also recorded.
Kananga Senatus: This body, which governs the Legion in the Congo's East and West Kasai provinces, was visited last year by Pia Makenga and Henri Kaite from Brussels. Lack of contact with the Concilium was a concern and also the wish of the Archbishop for a renewal of spirit in the Legion. Minutes indicate that the Senatus is meeting and governing its Councils including the Regia of Mbuji-Mayi in East Kivu.
Bukavu Senatus: Reports indicate that there were 120 new recruits to the Legion ranks; 200 Jehovah Witnesses and Protestants were welcomed back into the Church; 57 illegal marriages were regularised; prepared 937 contacts for the Sacraments and 540 children, 360 youth and 50 adults for Baptism. They mediated between 91 Christians fighting and also between 46 families having disagreements. The Comitium of Kyantende has a new Curia.
Butembo Senatus: The February 2012 minutes confirm elevation of the Comitium of Mahagi to Regia status. Reports include 3 marriages in the Youth Curia, 19 Christian marriages celebrated, many couples reconciled, children taught to pray and accompanied to Mass. They are preparing for their 60th anniversary celebrations.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Bangui Senatus: This council has been assiduous in visiting up-country Councils and preparing the way to devolve responsibility more widely. The Archbishop of Bangui referred to the need to keep the rules of the Legion on the occasion of the celebration of the Legion's 90th Anniversary.
Kigali Senatus: On the 16th October 2011, over 15,000 legionaries participated in the annual National Pilgrimage to the place of Apparitions of Our Lady of the Word. Three hundred attended a Legion Congress held for secondary and university students in the Diocese of Kabgayi. Twice a year a meeting takes place with all the Diocesan Chaplains, the National Chaplain and the Senatus Officers. The Frank Duff prayer was translated to Kinyarwandi and distributed to all praesidia and higher councils. Kigali Senatus also translated the Handbook into Kinyarwandi; 4,000 copies of the first edition were sold. The second edition was available at the March Senatus meeting.
Mauritius Regia: A recent count reports that they have 474 active members and 317 auxiliaries in 52 praesidia. They are joining with Rodrigues, a small isolated island with many legionaries, to send a delegation to the 70th anniversary celebrations in Reunion. Many Masses, Rosaries, outings, retreats were organised. The Acies was held in all councils and a formation day for officers. Their Spiritual Director, Pere Robert Bathfield, attends the Regia meetings and is a source of great encouragement.
Reunion Island Comitium: Works reported on include home and hospital visitation, the teaching of catechism and Eucharistic Ministry. A junior praesidium of 16 members promotes family prayer and visits elderly with adults.
In Madagascar the Acies was held on the 25th March and due to the death of the Vice President elections took place to replace her.
Accra Senatus: The Liberian refugees were recruiting Ghanaians to continue the work of their praesidium, when they all returned to Liberia this year. The main works undertaken by Kumasi Regia legionaries are home visitation, catechism and Sunday school instruction, visitation of the sick and encouraging and helping couples to prepare for Marriage. 140 young legionaries participated in a youth week project "Repent and believe in the Gospel, for the kingdom of God is near" which involved religious and social programmes, following this they visited 997 homes, contacting almost three thousand people. A very active praesidium directly attached to the Senatus undertake many different apostolates, one of these is street visitation, where they contact prostitutes, two of the girls contacted "changed their clothes and went back home and have not returned to the streets". The Senatus has had their accounts audited and is ensuring that all directly attached praesidia and Councils are submitting a copy of their audit with their annual reports.
Egypt Regia: A book on Frank Duff was recently published and 2000 copies were printed. A copy was presented to all Bishops, Priests and legionaries who attended the various Acies ceremonies. This book has met with great success and won the admiration of everyone in terms of form, printing and translation. It is proposed to raise Sohag Curia to Comitium status with 14 praesidia and 2 Curiae attached. The various Acies had very large attendances. Many Bishops, Spiritual Directors and priests who don't have the Legion in their parishes were present. The General Conference, which had to be postponed last year because of the unrest in Egypt, is now scheduled for 25-29th October to be held in Assisut.
Benguela Senatus: Most Reverend Dom Eugénio Dal Corso, Bishop of Benguela, attended the February meeting and gave the allocutio. In an email the Senatus Vice President says there will be great joy at the raising of the new Regia in Kwito-Bié Diocese.
Luanda Regia: Two Comitia reported on the proposed establishment of one new Curia each. Retreats were mentioned in reports from several councils and there were many reports on Acies ceremonies. An English-speaking praesidium in Luanda has divided to form a new praesidium. A report for the year 2011 was received which shows works include visitation of homes and hospitals, of the sick at home, visits to auxiliary members, an apostolate to street children and teaching catechism.
Maputo Regia: As reported at the last Concilium meeting, the Maputo Regia, which has no praesidia attached, as a step towards regularising the situation, selected the Curia Estrela da Manhã (Morning Star) in the Parish of São Joaquim, to be the new Regia. An email has been sent saying that the raising of this Curia to Regia would require Concilium and Ecclesiastical sanction.
CAPE VERDE ISLAND
Cape Verde Regia. Recruitment is a regular feature of all reports and while some members leave in most cases the number recruited is greater than those who leave. After a comment at a previous meeting by the Spiritual Director no one left the June meeting before the end. Intensive catechesis to children, youth and adults takes place in most Legion councils. In two months' meetings there were reports of 23 Exploratio Dominicalis projects.
Lesotho Senatus: Immaculate Conception Curia held its last meeting on 31/3/12 and its seven praesidia are now attached to the Senatus, which had only five praesidia. As a result there is an improvement of attendance at the Senatus meeting. Many cases of "lapsed revived" were reported. A Mass was held on 16th June in conjunction with the Eucharistic Congress
Capetown Senatus: The Senatus has launched its own website. The Afrikaans Handbook is being typed; efforts are being made to set up new praesidia in the Senatus area. The Senatus caretakes the Legion in Namibia, from whom they recently received a letter, which has to be translated.
Johannesburg Senatus: There are now 19 attached praesidia and 3 attached councils. Works include visiting homes of Catholics, lapsed Catholics and non-Catholics. Legionaries also visit parents of children not baptised and arrange for them to attend classes to arrange for baptisms. Members of one praesidium teach Catechism. A praesidium visited homes of people using drugs and recited the Rosary with them.. A 'Search for Souls' Project was held on 13th May at the request of the Parish Priest.
Senatus of Lima, Peru,
Proposal for Regia in the Archdiocese of Arequipa, Peru
The proposal is to raise the Comitium Maria Reina de Chapi Chico with 14 directly attached praesidia to Regia status to govern the Legion in the Archdiocese of Arequipa and the suffrage diocese of Puno, Tacna, Moquegua and the prelatures of Ayaviri, Chiquibanba and Juli was proposed and seconded and agreed by the Concilium.
To it will be 3 Comitia, 2 Curiae in the Diocese of Tacna and Moquequa and 5 distant praesidia - two in the diocese of Puno, one in the prelature of Ayaviri and two in the prelature of Juli.
In all there will be 14 praesidia and 5 distant praesidia, 3 Comitia and 2 Curiae attached to the new Regia.
Sile Ni Chochlain, on behalf of Concilium wished the new Regia every grace and blessing.
50th INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS, DUBLIN AND
THE LEGION OF MARY
10 - 17TH June 2012
The following is a flavour of events undertaken by the Legion of Mary for the Eucharistic Congress:
Many legionaries took part in the Pilgrim Walk, consisting of visits to seven designated Churches in Dublin City. Each pilgrim was issued with a Pilgrim Passport which was stamped in each of the seven churches. The walk concluded with a visit to St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral. There the pilgrim received the Pilgrimage Certificate of completion.
Our Stand No. 212 at the RDS was open 7 days from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. It was staffed by a team of legionaries, some who participated for the 7 days. Elisabeth Kriss from Austria and Noelia Garcia from Argentina were on duty at the stand throughout. Some of the visitors were: Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishops Diarmuid Martin and Michael Neary who came to see us a number of times and several of the Irish Bishops. Many of the visiting Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and great numbers of Legionaries from Ireland and abroad visited the stand. Over 120 countries were present at the Congress and one legionary travelled from the far north of Alaska to be present. Many former legionaries and non- legionaries came to visit and all were encouraged to take up active membership. Seventy names were secured for either active or auxiliary membership. One girl who visited the stand on Monday 11th June was at a praesidium meeting within 3½ hours of enrolling for membership. Our Visitors book has hundred of names.
Fr. Collins, a Columban priest, gave a great talk on Bishop Galvin and said one of the three important things he did was to bring the Legion of Mary to China. Priests from England who visited the Stand paid great tribute to the work of the Peregrinatio Pro Christo teams to their parishes down through the years.
During the week legionaries were encouraged to attend the Mass in Church Street on Friday night 15th June and many did attend from various parts of the world. They felt this was a very important part of their visit to the Capital and the social that followed of music, song and dance was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Two wonderful talks were given by Fr. Bede McGregor and Fr. Paul Churchill on the Saturday. The testimonies were great and the overview of the world Legion by Sile Ni Chochlain was amazing.
Visitors from abroad were encouraged to visit Concilium and the "Shuttle Bus" was busy throughout transporting them from the RDS where the Congress took place to the Legion headquarters and to the grave of Frank Duff or Myra House where the first Legion meeting took place.
In the Concilium Headquarters visitors were greeted from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Philippines, Dubai, Pakistan, many parts of Africa, Canada, North, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, a number of European countries and all parts of Ireland and Dublin. They were given a tour of the main room, the first altar, the exhibition and display cabinets in Nazareth Hall, Frank Duff's house, the hostels and were treated to a cup of tea and brack if time permitted. Adoration took place all day in the Morning Star Hostel.
None of the above could have happened if it were not for the help and generosity of so many legionary volunteers to which a special word of thanks is due.
The Congress is over, we hope all who participated in it enjoyed it, and that all legionaries will continue to promote devotion to the Eucharist and start anew to build the Legion in their respective areas.
Peregrinatio Pro Christo
In the week prior to the Eucharistic Congress, a team of 11 legionaries from Houston, Texas together with help from some Irish legionaries carried out a PPC project in the Dublin parish of Firhouse. During that week they called on 1,072 homes and made contact with 550 people. This work was undertaken in union with Mary and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The leader of the team said that "Souls are just waiting to be approached! The time is right now at this very moment! The Blessed Mother is waiting for our yes! The Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is Love and it is love that drives".
Four Irish teams have gone out weekly to parishes in the UK since the International Eucharistic Congress. A further 10 teams will undertake projects up to the second week in September.
The Committee was pleased to receive positive feedback from a number of priests in England who hosted teams. They described the teams as hard working and wonderful; one priest described the Legion as a "Gem which is sadly being overlooked".
The next important date for the diary is the Autumn Conference on Saturday 20th October 2012 in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin.
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