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Concilium Bulletin March 2017
April 2017

AFRICA
GHANA
Senatus of Accra: Tema Curia held a project at Sakumono after Mass, with 35 legionaries from 8 praesidia participating. They contacted 121 people. 6 lapsed Catholics who wished to return to the Catholic faith were later contacted by a local praesidium. Another praesidium was following up on 4 people with no religious belief and 1 person who wished to become a Catholic. A Triduum for Alphonsus Lambe’s Beatification was organised from 18th to 20th January. Holy Mass was offered on 21st January 2017 in all parishes, with legionaries attending Mass and distributing the South American Envoy’s prayer leaflets.

EGYPT
The Senatus celebrated 75 years of the Legion in Egypt at the end of September 2016. The main celebrants were His Beatitude Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, Coptic Catholic Patriarch and head of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Egypt, the Apostolic Nuncio HE Archbishop Bruno Mozaro, and HE Archbishop George Baker, Greek Catholic Bishop in Egypt, along with a number of priests. The celebrations included the showing of a documentary about the history of the Legion in Egypt and its spread across the country.

CAPE VERDE
Cape Verde Regia: In its first Annual Report a praesidium reported preparing 7 adults for Confirmation, 27 for First Communion and carrying out two Exploratio Dominicalis projects.

GUINEA BISSAU
A Curia reported the return of 5 people to the Church who had been members of the sects. There was a large Marian celebration in which legionaries, thousands of Catholics participated along with Brazilian missionary priests and their Bishop from Brazil.

LESOTHO
Lesotho Senatus held a three-three- day Conference, their Annual Reunion and the Senatus meeting in December. 125 visitors attended the Senatus meeting including 46 legionaries from attached councils and praesidia.

ZIMBABWE
Harare Curia: An e-mail has been received giving the name of the new Secretary and an e-mail address for correspondence.
Hwange Comitium has several junior praesidia. Legionaries are involved in home visitation, and encouraging couples to marry in Church.

ANGOLA
Luanda Senatus: A praesidium with 23 active members reported on home and hospital visitation, also they visit a Home for the elderly and visit prisoners. They taught catechism to 29 children, 17 young people and five adults. Reports from several praesidia showed similar types of work undertaken. The Senatus had a gathering of young legionaries, which was considered to be positive. The junior Curiae were congratulated on the manner in which they organised the event and on the large attendance.

Benguela Senatus: During the period September to November 2016 reports were received from two Comitia, three Curiae and three praesidia. One Curia, founded in September 2013, has 388 senior legionaries and 108 juniors. Another Curia, founded in October 2014, has a total of 181 senior members and 148 juniors. Visitation of the sick at home and in hospital is the principal work mentioned in most of the reports.

SOUTH AFRICA
Johannesburg Senatus: A praesidium with 10 members visits homes, and a hospital, while another praesidium does street contact and prison visitation. Durban Comitium: December minutes received. Matatele Comitium: One praesidium reported preparing 33 adults for Baptism in April and teaching catechism to 300 children.

Capetown Senatus is busy working with attached councils on the correct procedures to be followed at praesidia and council meetings. The correspondent recommended organising Legion Congresses at Curia level. The visit to Namibia will take place when the Afrikaans Handbook is published.

ASIA
NEW ZEALAND
Auckland Senatus: Reports include jail visitation, transport of people to Mass, organising Sunday liturgy and other Church-based work, also Rosary and Pilgrim statue apostolate, taking Holy Communion to house-hound and nursing homes. Auxiliaries are visited regularly and a yearly function is held. Exploratio Dominicalis projects were undertaken. Patrician meetings and Mass for Frank Duff were organised. An Advent apostolate was held in the city centre.

AMERICAN SAMOA
The Legion in this unincorporated territory of the United States has 2 praesidia. Works include, home visitation, teaching catechism, promoting the Rosary, Pilgrim statue apostolate and running a video lending library.

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Senatus: The majority of praesidia undertake home visitation and recruit for the Baptism programme, organise Rosary groups, drive parishioners to Mass, circulate the Pilgrim statue to young legionaries and lead the Rosary before Mass. Masses were organised for Venerable Edel Quinn, Alfie Lambe and Servant of God, Frank Duff with good attendances.

SOLOMON ISLANDS
The Archbishop of Sydney attended the celebrations of the raising of the Comitium with 2 Curia attached.

EAST TIMOR ISLAND
Two legionaries spent 12 days on East Timor Island. Extension is on-going and there are 2 Curiae with 212 legionaries. The Tessera and Frank Duff leaflets were translated into the local language.

Melbourne Senatus: Reports featured Congress, lunch-time Rosary in a school, home and jail visitation. Parish praesidia work closely with the Parish Priest and conduct Communion services when the priest is away. Far away Curia report via Skype. Namosi Comitium in Fiji has 3 senior and l junior Curia of 11 praesidia. A new praesidium of 24 men was set up. The Handbook is being translated into Figan. Noumea Comitium, New Caledonia has 10 senior Curiae, and 6 junior praesidia. An outdoor function had an attendance of 150, mostly young legionaries. Catechism is taught to the tribes in the villages. Hobart Curia in Tasmania has 5 praesidia with 28 members. Book barrow work is conducted at a shopping centre.

Brisbane Senatus: Works undertaken include Pilgrim statue and nursing home visitation, transporting people to Mass and teaching catechism in schools. The Korean Curia has 5 praesidia and 35 members. They visit non-Catholics and the lapsed. Migrant families are helped to settle in to their new environment and are offered transport to Mass, taught catechism and prepared for Baptism.

PHILIPPINES
Bicolandia Senatus: Adult Baptisms, Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, Rosary promotion, home visitation and visits to the sick were reported. On hospital visitation legionaries helped in having 2 patients anointed by a priest and some other patients prayed over. Catechism is taught in the Elementary School. 70 adults were baptised and 300 adults confirmed during the Feast of Christ the King. A report is taken each month from the attached councils.

Mindanao Senatus: Butuan Regia has 22 directly attached praesidia and is considering forming at least one new Curia. A praesidium in a prison has catechised a number of fellow inmates; also several returns to the Sacraments were recorded among prisoners. A man convicted of homicide was contacted by legionaries while in prison and on his release the visitation continued; he is now studying for the priesthood. Several favours were reported through the intercession of Frank Duff. Juniors recruit their parents as auxiliaries.

Western Visayas Senatus: 7 Comitia, 1 Regia and 3 Curia reported. All councils had Exploratio Dominicalis projects which resulted in 126 Baptisms, 105 marriage validations and 9 couples receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony. Block Rosaries took place to 120 homes and 38 hotels. A Patrician meeting had 26 attending, mostly cancer patients. A couple living together for 24years were prepared for marriage; the husband converted from the Baptist faith. A mother of 7 children was catechised and received her First Communion and Confession; 3 of her children followed her example. A legionary catechist spoke to 500 students during their International Book Week.

Senatus of Northern Philippines: The junior Curia, Regina Angelorum, held a Peer Pressure Forum. Bataan Comitium did jail visitation to 1,370 inmates. Holy Mass is being celebrated weekly in the district jail. Makati Comitium: Bar visitation and Bible study for girls resulted in 20 going to Confession during Lent. It is hoped to have Confession available on a 24/7 basis to encourage bar workers and call-centre employees to participate. A Seminar for the parents of junior legionaries and auxiliaries was conducted to make them aware of the mission of the Legion.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Rabaul Regia, PNG: 56 of its 70 parishes have the Legion. The council supervises 15 Comitia, 15 senior Curiae and a directly attached junior Curia with 5 praesidia. Mount Hagan Regia has 75 senior Curiae, 439 senior and 53 junior praesidia, with over 9,000 members. Two new Comitia were established. Guam Comitium covers 11 parishes and supervises 2 senior Curiae, 16 directly attached senior praesidia and 1 junior Curia. Home visitation is carried out. The book barrow is being introduced as a new work and parishes are being visited in order to set up new praesidia.
Cebu Senatus: Councils reported on catechetical instruction to Elementary and High School students, also backyard catechism classes leading to reception of First Confession and Holy Communion. 900 sixth form students attended Confession and Holy Communion at their Annual Mass. Enthronement of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an on-going apostolate as is crowd contact. A 50-strong PPC team visited an island adjacent to Hong Kong which had 2,000 Buddhists among its population; 50% were converted. Recruiting and extension is on-going with new members and new praesidia.

IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT

COMITIA

Cloyne Comitium: Votes of sympathy were extended to Fr. Joe Rohan, Spiritual Director and Sr. Mary Cronin, President, on their recent bereavements. East Cloyne Curia: One praesidium takes the Fatima statue to homes in the parish and gave Rosary packs to First Holy Communion children. Rockchapel praesidium in West Cloyne Curia has 8 members who visit hospitals and nursing homes. They have 20 auxiliaries.

Cork Comitium: The council has a new Spiritual Director, Fr. Louis Hughes. A praesidium with 7 members does home, Fatima statue and nursing home visitation. Another praesidium with 7 members, 2 Praetorians and 60 auxiliaries does home and Fatima statue visitation, promoting the Fatima devotions. The members are seeking permission to visit the prison. Muire na Gras Curia has 10 praesidia attached. The 4 reporting praesidia do home and auxiliary visitation, street contact and visit special cases in hospitals and care homes. They also visit the First Holy Communion classes in local schools and distribute Miraculous Medals and pray with the children. Annunciata Curia has 4 praesidia. A Parish Priest expressed gratitude to the Legion for their help and finds the members very reliable. Queen of Peace Curia: Among the many works of the 3 reporting praesidia are visitation of homes, auxiliaries, a hospital and the Simon Community. One praesidium was engaged in two Exploratio Dominicalis projects. Another praesidium shows religious videos and holds Patrician meetings and helps to organise the Rosary float in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year. A presentation of the Legion apostolate was made to a group of students in University College Cork with the hope of getting a praesidium started in the College.

Kerry Comitium: The new praesidium in Listowel with 7 members and a Spiritual Director continues to thrive but still needs the support of our prayers. The praesidium in Knocknagree has reopened with 3 members after being closed for some time. A lady was received into the Church with the help of legionaries and a legionary became her Confirmation sponsor. Legionaries also attended the Baptism of her baby. A prayer service organised by legionaries was held at Fels Point in front of the statue of Christ the King for the closing of the Year of Mercy. Prayers were also recited at Christ the King statue in Killarney on the same day. A legionary from Scartaglin praesidium recited the Rosary at the grave of a Traveller and about 30 members of the Travelling community attended, Miraculous Medals and Rosary beads were distributed. The praesidium also organised an evening Retreat in Ardfert.

Mid Clare Comitium has 6 praesidia with 37 members, including 10 members in the new Polish praesidium. Three members are Praetorians and they have a total of 33 auxiliaries. Works include visitation of homes, hospitals and nursing homes. The Annual Report of East Clare Curia was presented at the December Comitium meeting. They have 3 praesidia with 13 members including 5 Praetorians and 51 auxiliaries. Killaloe praesidium members lead a Eucharistic Service when the priest is unavailable for Mass. Works include home visitation with Fatima statue and nursing home visitation.

Thurles Comitium: In Littleton the legionaries carry out an apostolate to the Jewish Community. The praesidium in Holy Cross with 10 members includes in its apostolate the Pilgrim statue, Eucharistic Adoration and the cleaning of Holy Cross Abbey. Templemore praesidium works in conjunction with members of another praesidium and has a busy apostolate around the Church. Visitation of schools, Patricians, visiting nursing homes and a special apostolate during the Year of Mercy was carried out by legionaries in 4 areas. One legionary is studying for the priesthood in Maynooth. Tipperary Curia held a Mass marking the Anniversary of the death of Fr. Robert Bradshaw. Maria et Patria is mentioned in many of the reports.

CURIAE

Birr/Roscrea Curia: Borrisokane praesidium organised a Pilgrimage to the Holy Door and have contact with Leaving Certificate students. The praesidium in Citeaux Hall has 7 members and 32 auxiliaries. They organise the Annual Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine and undertake nursing home and hospital visitation and also run an Annual Retreat in the Cistercian Guesthouse.
Limerick Curia: The new Spiritual Director, Fr Andrzj Stroka was welcomed to the November meeting. The Curia had representatives at the Limerick Diocesan Synod and a printout of all the details of the Synod was given to each praesidium.
Lismore Curia: The reporting praesidium does home, hospital and nursing home visitation and distributes Miraculous Medals to the Leaving Certificate students. Two local youths attended the Youth Conference in All Hallows.
Ross Curia: Clonakilty praesidium recruited 22 new auxiliaries mainly due to promotion in their bookshop in the Church. On the Feast of the Miraculous Medal Skibbereen praesidium made Miraculous Medals and leaflets available at the Church; 400 medals were accepted. Aughadown praesidium with 7 members takes care of two Churches in conjunction with other parishioners. Miraculous Medals were given to the First Holy Communion class.
Waterford Curia: The reporting praesidium has 6 members and 16 auxiliaries. They help to run the Rise and Shine Youth group which has a membership of 34 children aged from 8 to 18 years and is based in St. Saviour’s Dominican parish. The children participate in Eucharistic Adoration and were taken on a Retreat to Mount Melleray Abbey. In October 28 children and nine adults travelled by train to Knock Shrine for the Dominican Pilgrimage. All children went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or got a blessing. The praesidium visited homes in four Estates and arranged for the blessing of homes by a priest. Their monthly Patricians, with a core group of 8 attending, has been running for over 9 years. For the monthly Holy Hour in one Church they do street contact nearby and encourage people to come in and say a prayer. They are also helping to instruct a young man who will be received into the Church at Easter.

DUBLIN NORTHSIDE

Bethlehem Curia: On Alfie Lambe’s Anniversary the Curia carried out contact work at transport centres. A week-long recruiting project at the Pro Cathedral was carried out from 27 February - 4th March. Two Patrician meetings were held with an attendance of 15 Patricians and 6 legionaries. One praesidium of 4 active members, 2 Praetorians and 10 verified auxiliaries does home visitation, contact work in a Park and recites the Rosary in the local community centre. The Curia is planning a Congress for October. Frank Duff and Edel Quinn prayer meetings were held.

Exaltata Curia: A praesidium of 10 members including 2 Praetorians and 114 verified auxiliaries visited over 1,000 homes in 2016. 30 parishioners attended a Retreat organised by the praesidium at Easter. An outdoor Mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima on 13th October had an attendance of 70. Public Rosaries were recited each Wednesday in May and October in different locations in the parish and had an average attendance of 30. The praesidium distributes 40 copies of Maria Legionis.

Presentata Curia: A praesidium of 5 members and one probationer does home visitation, and organises a monthly healing Mass in the parish. To mark the close of the Year of Mercy the praesidium organised a day of Adoration, Confession, Mass and a walking tour, “In the footsteps of Frank Duff”. The members do contact work on the River Liffey Boardwalk, where many people of different nationalities and religions are met, some just out of prison. A praesidium of 13 men engages in Morning Star Hostel work and helps with the organising of the Men’s Shed. Handbook study is an important item on the agenda and True Devotion to Mary is promoted.

Veneranda Curia: A praesidium of 9 has 5 Praetorian members. During the year 1 member joined the Capuchin Order and another became an indoor Brother in the Morning Star Hostel. The main work of this praesidium is visitation of Mountjoy Prison. They have a good relationship with the prison officers and distribute Miraculous Medals, Rosary beads and Catholic literature to the prisoners. The members also do home visitation and street contact. Another praesidium which is Gaelic-speaking gave its second Annual Report. The praesidium holds a monthly function focusing on Ireland’s Christian and cultural heritage. They gave a demonstration on how to make St. Brigid crosses and 7 attended. A recruiting drive is planned in a nearby parish.

Porta Coeli Curia: Members of one praesidium visit a nursing home. A praesidium of 7 members, 2 of whom are Praetorians has as its main work the visitation of a Hospital. The members are well received by patients and staff and some very valuable contacts are made. A Latvian man who was a patient 4 years ago comes every Tuesday to say the Rosary with the legionaries and patients. The praesidium was in touch with a parishioner who was lapsed for years but was reconciled before her death.

ConsolataCuria: A praesidium of 4 full members, 2 probationers, 2 Praetorians and 43 verified auxiliaries does home visitation in its parish. Miraculous Medals and explanatory leaflets are distributed and recitation of the Rosary is promoted. Members also visit a nursing home where they are warmly welcomed. A junior praesidium has 10 members, 5 of whom joined in October 2016. They distribute Miraculous Medals and leaflets to their friends at school, college and at social events. The juniors collect, fill and label plastic bottles with holy water which are left in the Church for collection. A pre-school prayer group was held during Easter Week. The junior members plan to give a talk on the Legion of Mary to transition year students in a local school. A recruiting drive is planned.

SOUTH AMERICA

COLOMBIA
Bogota Senatus: Arising from the visit of the officers of the Senatus to Concilium in September, steps are being taken to raise higher councils which will enable better administration. The officers are putting some of the suggestions into practice. Officers of the Senatus and Curiae came together to discuss future plans for work and expansion.
Medellin Senatus: Legionaries are very committed. Solid and varied apostolic work is reported by attached councils.

ECUADOR
Senatus of Quito: The Senatus has 11 correspondents. Extension is on-going by 6 legionaries in Pifo and Tumbaco, while a dedicated extension worker is occupied in Sangolqui, a suburb of Quito. Apostolates include helping with cookery classes. They report the conversion of an Evangelical and the recovery of a drug addict. Riobamba established a new junior Curia and received permission to visit the jail. In the past year 19 legionaries have taken the Promise. On the Day of the Sick 230 sick people were taken to Church with the aid of local taxi drivers.

URUGUAY
Senatus of Montevideo: In Montevideo the re-structuring of a Comitium lead to the formation of a new Curia. The Senatus Secretary officially launched his book on Alfie Lambe in November in the presence of Bishop Emeritus Romero, who had met Alfie in 1958. Also present was the Bishop of the neighbouring Diocese of Canelones, who wants the Legion to carry out a PPC project in the town of Las Piedras. In January the 58th Anniversary of the death of Alfie Lambe was marked by a procession to the parish of Cordón, where Alfie set up 2 praesidia and a Curia; the procession was followed by the Rosary, Mass and Evening Prayer.

VENEZUELA
Senatus of Caracas: The Senatus Extension Committee has carried out 4 Exploratio Dominicalis projects and three Columban Drives. The Regia of Barquisimeto report one PPC Project, two Maria et Patria Projects, fourteen Exploratio’s and several workshops. A meeting was held with local Seminarians. The 95th Anniversary celebrations were attended by the Cardinal, several Bishops, Spiritual Directors and Deacons. They requested prayers for the spiritual and economic situation in their country.

CHILE
Senatus of Santiago: The second National Conference, open to all legionaries will be held by the Regia of Temuco, covering topics such as youth, non-Catholics and extension. Many reports feature outreach to migrants from neighbouring countries, many of whom have been recruited into the Legion. Legionaries have to do a preparation course before they undertake prison visitation. Homeless people are contacted at food kitchens and are evangelised. When a long-standing legionary is very unwell, the weekly meeting is occasionally held in their house.

BOLIVIA
Senatus of La Paz: The Comitium of Tarija has 12 directly attached praesidia; one of these operates a book barrow. Not only do contacts buy Catholic literature, including books, but they also donate books for the book barrow. Other legionaries contact shoe-shine children. It was with these poor children that Alfie Lambe set up a praesidium that worked in an area where the sects were very active. A mission was organised for the National Army. Catechesis talks were given and contacts made. Other male youths, doing their military service, were prepared for and received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

PERU
Senatus of Lima: Two new Curiae were set up with directly attached praesidia. Over 100 officers attend the Senatus meeting. Chosica Comitium suggested that each of the attached Curiae should take steps to set up more junior praesidia. A rural Curia functions well and does solid apostolates despite most members being illiterate.

PARAGUAY
Senatus of Asunción: During the three month period, 2 Comitia, 4 Curiae and 5 praesidia reported. The Senatus has a total of 15 Comitia, 19 Curiae and 16 praesidia attached. A Comitium in Asuncion city has 20 Curiae and 4 praesidia attached, with 1,450 members and 2,920 auxiliaries. Works include visiting prisons, homes, colleges and hospitals; they also do Exploratio Dominicalis projects. A praesidium with 15 members promotes a Rosary apostolate in homes and visits the sick. A Curia in Villa Elisa has 16 praesidia, 104 active and 194 auxiliary members. Works include home visitation, promoting Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, visits to hospitals and the sick in their homes, plus catechesis. Another Curia has among its works an apostolate to Settled Travellers. A praesidium which visits a prison, also prepares children for Holy Communion and Confirmation. The Pioneer Prayer is to be distributed for Lent, encouraging a temporary pledge. 53 legionaries made a 645 mile Pilgrimage by bus in January 2017 from Asuncion to Alfie Lambe’s tomb in Buenos Aires.



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Quote of the Day
All of this indicates that if Christianity is to recover its persuasive force in the midst of the present crisis for mankind, it must present itself once again as the religion of truth and the religion of love.

Christian faith, not the watered-down version of the relativists or of those who reduce it to a question of feeling or personal opinion divorced from truth, but the “full and joyful faith of the New Testament, of the Church down the ages” continues to have a chance in the contemporary world.13 It does so because it corresponds to the nature of man, who has an unquenchable thirst for the infinite, for truth and for love.

Evangelisation, then, is a matter of spreading the liberating truth and love that everyone needs.14 Truth is a gift for everyone and alienates no one. In Christ, the essential gift of truth is offered to everyone and it is our vocation, as priests or laypeople, to share this gift freely with others. 13 Cf. Joseph Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), p. 137. 14 Cf. ibid., pp. 56; 73; idem, Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), p. 215.
Monsignor Joseph Murphy, Secretariate of State, Vatican