Concilium Bulletin - September 2013
Mumbai Senatus continues to grow in membership with the raising of Comitia and Curiae and many new praesidia being established. Youth Day 2013 was held with an attendance of 150. The theme was Faith decides Fate and Bishop Rodriguez celebrated Holy Eucharist giving the message Fire and Faith. 3 legionaries from Mumbai went to Nepal for 3 weeks visiting all the praesidia and re-started the Curia. Officers of the Curia and 3 new praesidia were given training and shown how to do home and jail visitation and the Jesuit seminary was visited.
Pondicherry Senatus: The Senatus President when visiting family in the UK made a visit to the Concilium to meet the Correspondent and officers present on the day as well as visiting Frank Duff’s grave.
Kottar Regia asked for prayers for the Regia Vice President requiring kidney dialysis and the Treasurer was involved in a road accident. A Comitium and Curia are in formation and an average of 3 praesidia are set up each month. 3 non-Christians became Catholics and marriages were rectified.
Visakhapatnam Comitium: One Curia split and 8 new praesidia were formed over 3 months. Works include preparation for Sacraments, catechism, visiting AIDS, Cancer and Leprosy patients, as well as home, hospital and prison visitation. 250 attended the Acies.
Coimbatore Comitium: Territory covers 81 parishes, 34 have the Legion. Their Youth Motivation committee organised a singing competition for girls. They also have Extension, 3 Causes and Gospel Propagation committees. 400 attended the Acies.
Nilgiri Comitium asks to whom they should be affiliated. The Legion started in the diocese in 1942, raised to Curia in 1949 and to Comitium in 1958. They said they have been sailing like a ship without a captain and have been asked to send their minutes to Concilium for the time being.
Palayamkottai Comitium sent word that an election is due at the August meeting. Tirichy Comitium: There are 1 junior and 16 senior praesidia and 1 Curia attached. A wide variety of works including helping newly baptised, 65 marriages rectified, 91 homes consecrated to the Sacred Heart and 30 addicts helped. In October a talk on Frank Duff was organised with 160 attending.
Port Blair Comitium has 11 praesidia affiliated; 1 each Tamil and Malayalam speaking, the remainder Hindi. Burial services were carried out for 96 Catholics, 40 Hindus, 4 Muslims and 22 other Christians. They also have 3 Curiae attached.
Calcutta Comitium 2 Comitium officers, 17 members representing 8 praesidia and 5 visitors attended. 100 attended the Acies. 3 active and 4 auxiliaries were recruited. 92 took part on the Curia outing in January. The reporting praesidium has 6 active and 35 auxiliaries. Works include visiting the sick, families of deceased, hospital where Catholics, non Catholics and non Christians are met and homes were consecrated to the Sacred Heart.
Chennai Comitium sent minutes of the first meeting held in July. 4 officers were elected. 5 Comitium officers were present along with 39 officers from Curiae and 24 from praesidia. The reporting Curia has 390 active, 450 auxiliary, 78 praetorian and 42 adjutorian members. 1 non-Christian became a Catholic. The praesidium reporting has 15 members visiting homes and hospitals, 35 homes Enthroned to the Sacred Heart, 25 brought to confession and 5 received the last sacraments. As a result of prayers in a non-Christian family the husband gave up his drinking habit and the family became Catholics. 3 new praesidia were set up in one Curia and 4 in another.
THAILAND: Contact is done among students, Catholics and those of no Faith are met. Personal hygiene is attended to in a home for elderly and for blind people. Catholics living in remote areas are visited and encouraged to share the Faith. Legionaries pray at wakes and funerals, despite being a small minority of the population.
SRI LANKA: Works done among Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Catholics. In one case after 85 visits a couple agreed to have their marriage sanctified. A reporting praesidium mentioned among its works visiting people in slums and arranging block rosaries.
MYANMAR: The Bishop of Myitkyina wrote to express his appreciation at receiving Maria Legionis. He says there are 3 groups in his dioceses doing well and faithful to their mission, and a new group were to take their Promise in August. He says he prays for legionaries all over the world because like Mary they bring Jesus to the world.
VIETNAM: One set of minutes for April were received. 3 Curiae reported with 9, 23 and 22 praesidia. Family reconciliations, adult baptisms, regularisation of marriages, lapsed Catholics return to the sacraments featured. Much support is given by priests and there is an emphasis on trying to start junior praesidia. The praesidium reporting has 7 members and it was stated having a great love of studying the handbook.
KAZAKHSTAN: This news comes to us via Sr. Elisabeth Kriss. The praesidium in Korneewka said their members attend reliably and come to understand more the Legion mandate. They are visiting the sick and lonely and their fear to be looked at as sectarian has disappeared. 2 legionaries go to a nearby village to conduct a prayer meeting; 10 took part in a summer camp which has led to some candidates coming for baptism and other sacraments.
ARMENIA: Recently ordained Fr. Bernardo de Nardo reports the praesidium in Yerevan has 8 members but are losing members due to emigration to the US, Russia and Poland, however new members are coming to take their place. Preparation for the sacraments, catechism, visiting sick and families continues while a new work of training altar servers is underway.
GEORGIA: The praesidium is no longer meeting and the need for someone to go there to extend the Legion is pointed to. Bernardo was ordained to the priesthood in the Armenian Catholic Church on 18 July for the diocese of Isfahan, Teheran.
HOLY LAND: Annunciation Curia, Nazareth, reported with 7 praesidia. Visiting the aged, the sick at home and in hospitals, sharing the Gospel for the Year of Faith. Nativity Curia, Bethlehem, reported with 8 praesidia doing similar works and in addition reciting the Rosary at funerals. Queen of Peace praesidium in Jerusalem with 20 business men gave its annual report; they visit the elderly, those with disabilities and a home for poor children.
Antwerp Regia: PPC to Beauraing from 16th-23rd August and evangelisation at a Youth Festival were mentioned in the reports.
Brussels Senatus: On visitation to prostitutes Miraculous Medals “were very gently accepted by them”. 40 religious communities were visited seeking prayers for PPC and to recruit Auxiliaries. 4 members are helping the new praesidium in the Permanence in Lourdes.
Paris Regia: Members attended the Marian Festival in Lyon. The Vietnamese Curia with 74 active and 355 auxiliaries, reports 6 adults and 1 infant received baptism and 6 people lapsed for many years received the sacrament of penance.
Valence Regia: Montelimar Curia recruited 3 members recently and the Vietnamese Curia in Lyon has 4 praesidia. They visit the sick at home and in hospital, held evenings of prayer, retreats and an outing to Ars to commemorate the Vietnamese martyrs. In Chateauneuuf de Galaure, where the Legion started in 1951, there are now 2 praesidia with a founder member still active. The Eucharist is brought to sick people, Nursing Home residents are brought to Mass and run a junior boys’ praesidium.
Strasbourg Comitium: This Comitium covers a wide area with aging membership. A newsletter is sent to praesidia that do not travel. A new young adults’ praesidium has been set up in the city of Strasbourg and 4 officers appointed. PPC to Dijon and Lourdes and the festival in Lyon were mentioned.
Birmingham Senatus: 5 praesidia have been transferred from South Birmingham Curia to Senatus in order to strengthen the number of praesidia directly affiliated. A non-catholic brought into the Church, street evangelisation enabled a 45-minute talk with 2 Mormons. A new junior praesidium was set up in Coventry Curia. Bristol Curia continues the book barrow apostolate in the city centre. South Birmingham Curia reports 4 Rosary groups in schools and a Patrician group. A family of 5 children have all been baptised with the support of the Legion.
Northampton Comitium has 10 praesidia and 1 curia. A new praesidium was set up in Slough in March. 1 praesidium runs an ANCHOR programme to help parents understand and pass on the faith to their children.
Leicester Curia has 3 praesidia and 43 auxiliary members. Works include the Pilgrim Statue, Baptism instruction, and preparation for First Holy Communion, a book barrow in the city centre contacts University students, and as a result of visiting a bereaved family 4 lapsed Catholics returned to the Church.
Liverpool Senatus: The junior praesidium in Newcastle Comitium has 7 members. Leigh Curia reported visiting the schools. Extension in the Warrington Curia area continues.
Brent and Harrow and Enfield and Haringey Curiae are having a joint Congress on September 21st and the theme is “Grant us a Lively Faith”.
Central London Curia: One praesidium has doubled in the past year following a change of time and day; they do street and park contact work. Another praesidium does crowd contact at Portobello Market and Ladbroke train station. A praesidium visits “resting” Catholics to arrange baptisms and members are learning prayers in foreign languages to help immigrants.
Hammersmith Curia: The praesidium in Shepherd’s Bush undertakes visitation to the sick, elderly and housebound bringing them parish newsletters, holy water and Catholic newspapers. It is well supported by the priests and works well with other organisations.
West Middlesex Curia: Report covered three praesidia with membership of 6, 11 and 4 and all the traditional works of the Legion are done. A recent recruiting drive resulted in 4 new members.
Brentwood Comitium: Brentwood East Curia was saddened this year by the deaths of their Spiritual Director and Curia Treasurer killed in a road accident. Extension and recruiting is on-going, and PPC, Maria Legionis, and preparation for First Holy Communion was mentioned.
Frankfurt Senatus: A 2-day summit meeting between the Senatus Officers and the Officers of Munich and Cologne Regiae was held in August and the Senatus had a study day on Christianity/Islam in April. Extension efforts are on-going in the Eritrean and Filipino communities.
Cologne Regia: The new praesidium in Essen cares for 2 Prayer Groups for children. 9 members took the promise in Dusseldorf. Of the 500 people who took part in the consecration to Our Lady in Cologne, half were legionaries; following a 33-day preparation.
Munich Regia has a total of 430 active and over 4000 auxiliary members; the Regia looks after the Legion website for Germany. Extension continues with a new praesidium in Munich Ramersdorf.
Berlin Comitium has a new praesidium and the Korean Curia has 6 praesidia. The Croatian praesidium does contact work at railway stations and promotes Eucharistic Adoration. The 3 German-speaking praesidia helped with PPC projects this year.
Freiburg Comitium has an apostolate to camping parks and prisons. Saarlouis Curia has 3 praesidia, organise Eucharistic Adoration and carry out an apostolate over the Internet. Darmstadt Curia has an apostolate to the sick and dying, and the Frankfurt Korean Curia visits the sick and elderly.
The following 3 countries are under the care of Germany
Liechtenstein: The praesidium in Schaan now has 3 members from Liechtenstein itself.
Luxembourg: A 5-day extension drive held in April by Cologne Regia resulted in the recruitment of 4 active and 10 auxiliaries.
Siberia: The praesidium in Novosibirisk visits the old and sick. Birgit Metzler will visit the Curia there for 10 days during September.
Sweden is caretaken by Liverpool Senatus: Pat Bowler became very ill while visiting Sweden; local legionaries have been visiting her. The Swedish Handbook is practically ready for printing.
Zurich Comitium is planning a PPC project for Norway in 2014 and has a new flier on the benefits of Legion membership. The Legion group in Zurich which does not adhere to the Legion system has been asked to cease using the name Legion of Mary.
Amsterdam Regia: A new president was elected in June. In Amsterdam a new Portuguese praesidium has been set up with assistance from the Cape Verdian Curia in Rotterdam. 4 legionaries from Birmingham have completed an extension project in Groningen. Anne and Eddie Evers and Sally Chan will do extension in October.
The praesidium in Tonsberg has 7 members, 4 probationers and 14 auxiliaries. Good contact is maintained with the auxiliary members through house and telephone calls to help them say the Rosary and the Legion prayers. Drammen praesidium has 8 members and 14 auxiliaries. They visit the sick and pray the Rosary during home visitation. Extension to the southern part of Norway is planned.
Since 2009 Edinburgh Curia has increased in membership from 11 to 14 praesidia and now has 105 members. The Curia has gained access to 6 new Primary Schools. A Marian Evening in Stirling had an attendance of 85. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Praesidium and its Spiritual Director Fr. John Keenan, tackles home visitation, street contact work, the Wayside Club, and a book barrow-cum-coffee stall, together with contact among university students.
Scotland cares for Gibraltar. Bishop Hesketh attended the May meeting and will attend when possible until a new Spiritual Director is appointed. Works include visitation to a Nursing Home day centre, St. Bernard’s Hospital, a psychiatric ward, and a prison. Home and school visitation is done and children prepared for the sacraments.
This country is also under the care of Scotland. In August 14 legionaries took part in a PPC project led by Fr. Michael Kennedy to St. Mary’s parish, Helsinki; over 1200 contacts made, of many religions and nationalities. One young man, a Lutheran, is seriously considering coming into the Church.
Under the care of Liverpool.
Wrexham Curia: The Year of Faith and auxiliary membership mentioned in all reports. A number of legionaries have had to retire because of failing health.
Cardiff Comitium reports the closure of Merthyr Curia. Cardiff and Abergavenney will cover the area between them. 2 members of the Youth praesidium have both entered religious life, although the praesidium itself has now closed.
Swansea Curia: (in the care of Birmingham Senatus) The Curia has 5 praesidia with 29 active members, 4 probationers and 36 auxiliaries. Works include street rescue, crowd contact and an apostolate to homosexuals.
Bata Comitium: No correspondence from Bata since the last report. News has been received that a third Comitium was set up in Ebebiyin, a good distance from Bata.
Malabo Comitium: The Comitium is preparing for a Congress. The Vice-President was on official business in Madrid recently and took advantage to get in touch with the Senatus and attended a correspondence meeting. It made her more aware of the value of correspondence and the need to keep up to date.
Abidjan Senatus: A Curia with 9 praesidia attached gave its annual report. They have 243 active members of whom 52 are praetorians, and 34 auxiliaries of whom 19 are adjutorians. There were 1,500 visits to various locations and made 12,114 contacts of which 6,015 were Catholics and 6,099 of other religions and sects. They also visited 1,643 sick people in hospitals and 2,231 in their own homes. As a result of these contacts, 8 marriages were regularised, 2 returned to practice of their faith, 45 catechumens were recruited bringing the total number of catechumens to 245; 26 were baptised and 5 received the sacrament of Confirmation. The praesidium of 30 members was split and a new praesidium was formed. A retreat for all officers was held from the 26-28 July. Their planned Mission to Mali was deferred until September because of tensions in that country.
Douala Senatus: In Kumba they are in the process of setting up a junior Curia, and aiming to recruit more auxiliary members. Douala Senatus and Yaounde Regia reported on the Acies ceremonies, one was also held in the prison, where a Curia is in the process of being set up with 200 inmates. Marie Digne de Louange Comitium has a junior Curia with 9 praesidia and a total of 125 members. One legionary, after having left prison, joined the local praesidium. A young man who was originally from Benin and came from a voodoo family, converted to Catholicism after 3 years of efforts. Now a legionary; after many trips back home to Benin, his mother became a convert herself at the age of 95 and in turn convinced other members of the family to do the same.
Lome Regia: After making great efforts with extension, 3 Curiae have been elevated to Comitia: Adidogome, Tabligbo and Vogan. The Regia will visit Senegal. A Peregrinatio Pro Christo to Anlogan in Ghana had a team of 36 legionaries from Togo and 3 from Ghana from 16-27 August. Nearly all councils report on having junior praesidia and a new junior Curia was set up in Be-Kpota. A booklet combining the 2012 Concilium allocutios by Fr. Bede has been printed. Some of those have been sent to other councils. 1500 French Handbooks have been sent to Brazzaville.
Our Lady of Congo Regia: Visitation of councils and praesidia is undertaken regularly. Reports include large numbers undertaking catechetical instruction and many returns to the sacraments, marriages regularised and requests for baptism. A Curia with 25 praesidia including 2 junior praesidia reports teaching catechism, preparing liturgies and look after the Church. One member acts as sacristan in the parish. For ongoing formation legionaries are reading extracts on ‘Freedom from Witchcraft’ and ‘The Faith of Mary’.
CENTRAL AMERICA AND MEXICO
Camotan Regia: (Under the caretakership of the Senatus of Merida). Two legionaries including the correspondent visited the country recently and a detailed report will be given when the officers come to Dublin in November.
Panama Regia: A rural Curia reported that it plans to set up praesidia in new areas where Churches are under construction. A Legion retreat for the Curia/Regia was held with very good attendance and all were very pleased with the day. Attendance at the Regia meeting over the last three months has been in decline, the point was made in the Concilium letter to the Regia.
Costa Rica Senatus: There are 10 Comitia, 18 Curiae and 11 praesidia attached to the Senatus. A retreat is being organised for September. Among other Legion works jail visitation is carried out. They make contact at Agricultural shows, distribute Catholic papers and approach taxi drivers.
Managua Regia has 2 Comitia, 4 Curiae, 2 junior Curiae and 17 praesidia attached. The correspondent indicates that the visit by Maribel Guzman and Agustin Luque has strengthened the link between the Concilium and the Regia. The Regia has started putting some of the suggestions into practice e.g. Regia officers working as a team, shorter reports from councils to the Regia meeting, solid apostolate and better participation in the Regia meeting by the body.
San Salvador Senatus: A senior Curia with 13 praesidia has 9 junior praesidia. People met on street contact are encouraged to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Two families who had joined the sects returned to the practice of the faith and one joined the Legion. The Archbishop attended a Mass where 130 children received their First Holy Communion and Confirmation, all had been prepared by the legionaries.
Tegucigalpa Senatus: The Senatus is back in touch again with Concilium since the visit of the two legionaries from Madrid.
Mexico City Senatus: 2 Regiae, 5 Comitia, 18 Curiae and 2 praesidia reported. A youth was diagnosed as needing a kidney transplant but after much prayer and accepting the Miraculous Medal, a new kidney was no longer deemed necessary. A number of councils hosted an “Auxiliary Day” on the recommendation of the Senatus. 350 auxiliaries attended one gathering and there were 200 in the Morales Comitium. During street contact apostolate a number of Protestants were met.
Merida Senatus: A Comitium reported 10 new members resulting from street contact and a Curia reported setting up two new praesidia. Members of the sects with whom the legionaries have a friendly exchange of views are met regularly on Legion work, a number of them have returned to the practice of the faith and some have joined the Legion. The Miraculous Medal is used extensively.
Hermosillo Regia: An attached Comitium reported the consecration of homes to the Sacred Heart and they finished by inviting them to receive the Sacraments. A praesidium reported extension in a neighboring diocese.
Monterrey Regia: The Curia Estrella de la Manana continues to help and support 6 new praesidia set up in Zacatecas. 4 new praesidia are in formation in other areas. A young man from Tijuana was prepared for First Communion and is now an active member of the Legion. A Curia reported that they take part in adult catechesis classes with a very good attendance.
Guadalajara Regia: A praesidium reported that they promote the Miraculous Medal Novena and distribute medals after the novena Mass. Another praesidium reported that it helps with the construction of a Church – a type of True Devotion to the Nation work. A junior praesidium of 6 members visits a nursing home with a senior member; they bring a statue of Our Blessed Lady to pray with the residents.