Concilium Bulletin April 2008
REPORTS - Europe
Senatus of Austria and Countries under their Care: The Senatus of Austria is planning an apostolate to visitors during the 2008 European Football Championship. The student Curia in Vienna comprises 2 praesidia of 7 and 9 members. They visited approximately 1,000 students in a student home. There was news of the start of one new praesidium each from the Comitia Graz, Klagenfurt and Burgenland and the Salzburg Curia.
Comitium Zagreb with 19 praesidia and 4 Curiae directly attached celebrated their 500th meeting and held a school with 70 present. Extension throughout Croatia resulted in new praesidia in Comitium Zadar, Curia BDM Zadar and Comitium Ossiek.
The Legion is in every parish except one.
Comitium Zseliz with 9 directly attached praesidia and 2 Curiae are making good progress. A retreat held by Curia Trnava has 24 in attendance.
In the area of Comitium Bruenn the priests are showing interest in the Legion. Legionaries in Prag Comitium do street contact apostolate.
Extension efforts throughout the area of the Comitium and the 9 attached Curiae are ongoing with reports at every meeting. Praesidia from adjoining villages of Naliboki and Kletische each with 6 active members and under the guidance of the same Spiritual Director prepare children for first Confession, visit the very ill and aged and prepare them for the visit of a Priest, participate in funerals, distribute Catholic literature and lead prayers in Church. Kletische legionaries completely overhauled their chapel where the Priest can visit only twice a month for Holy Mass. They also care for the cemetery. Visitation of praesidia is reported at the Comitium.
Budapest Regia: During the period of the report, 14 new praesidia were set up. Reports were received from 6 praesidia, 17 Curiae and 8 Comitia. A praesidium visiting a senior citizens’ home prepares about 50 people for reception of the Sacraments on First Fridays. Eight people returned to the Sacraments after lapses of from 10 to 60 years. Regia statistics for 2007 show that there are about 2,858 senior and 53 junior legionaries in the Regia. During the year there were 565 conversions, 68 marriages regularised and 707 returns to the Sacraments after a long time.
A praesidium of 6 active members with 38 auxiliaries reported on works of hospital visitation, street contact and some special cases. On street contact they encourage people to think about spiritual issues, invite them to Church, distribute Catholic literature and the Miraculous Medal.
Warsaw Comitium: A note of enterprise was struck in recent reports, especially from the Diocese of Plock where one praesidium is visiting prisoners and another working with poor children organises games, campfires, visits to monuments and works of art.
A second praesidium has been set up in Craiova, a town north of Bucharest. The members are Italian. A series about the Legion was published in a parish newsletter. Fr. Dominic, Spiritual Director of a praesidium in Targoviste, translates the letters from Concilium into Romanian language.
Curia Kamenets-Podolsky: Elections were held for Vice-President and Secretary of Curia in January and February. The formation of 2 new praesidia bring the number of adult praesidia to 15 and 2 junior praesidia. Two new Curiae are due to be erected in Slobidke Rachnowtska and Tschernitsy. In March, the recollections in Letitschew were attended by 50 people. Zhitomir Comitium: A new praesidium was started near Zhitomir. Legionaries visited three other villages where they undertook home visitation and hopefully set up new praesidia. With the help of Sr. Kriss the Comitium has planned the activities for the year.
Corrientes Regia: A new Curia was set up in Formosa. Attached Councils are organising different events and ceremonies to celebrate Venerable Edel Quinn’s 100th anniversary. The Regia also plans to place a picture of Venerable Edel in a prominent place in the Legion House. An attached Curia with 1 junior and 13 praesidia is working well.
Rosario Regia: An attached Curia set up a new praesidium for young persons. The same Curia does street contact work in parks, squares and bus terminals. An attached Comitium does contact work in and around the universities and third level institutions with a view to meeting young people. A number of parents, whose children are attending catechism, have had their marriages regularised. Teaching catechism to children and statue visitation are some of the works reported by many praesidia.
Cordoba Senatus: The correspondent visited the Senatus in December. A new praesidium was set up in Dean Funes. Extension work is being carried out in the city of Saint Helen. Four praesidia have started with young members in La Rioja with an average of 8 members in each. A praesidium will be set up in the University. Two extension workers, Edel Garcia and Laura Rodriguez have been appointed to work in the Cordoba Senatus area.
Rio de Janeiro Senatus: In Vitoria Regia hospital apostolate involves patients, doctors, nurses and general staff. Campo Grande Comitium held 1,284 Bible circle meetings. Junior legionaries in Rio staff a book barrow. An autistic child was brought to Catechism and a public Rosary is broadcast by radio. Two Comitia in the Western Amazon report set up 4 and 5 new praesidia respectively. Belem Regia had 5 Exploratio Dominicalis projects, which resulted in a Curia and 4 senior and one junior praesidia being set up. Legionaries from the interior, needing hospital and medical care, are helped by fellow legionaries.
Sao Paulo Senatus: Extension is planned for Diadema. A Comitium in Paraibuna reported 19 children receiving First Holy Communion and 12 youths received the Sacrament of Confirmation. They also work with young alcoholics and lapsed Catholics, some of whom returned to the Church.
Salvador Senatus: The Senatus asks for prayers on the occasion of the death of Sr. Conceicao Brasil who recently completed six years as Senatus President, R.I.P.
Belo Horizonte Senatus: Frequently on visitation, the Rosary is recited in the homes of Protestants. A Peregrinatio Pro Christo project resulted in the founding of a new praesidium. Twelve legionaries are engaged in a broad range of catechesis in Carmopolis, 35 children for initial catechesis, 65 for First Holy Communion and 70 adolescents for Confirmation. Intensive home-to-home visitation is evident with one Comitium reporting 11,000 contacts and another 9,000. Rosary promotion resulted with a thousand men participating.
Recife Senatus: The inaugural meeting of the Senatus was followed by celebration of the Eucharist by the Auxiliary Bishop, Dom Edvaldo, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. Reports show significant results with 800 returns to the Church in one Comitium through Exploratio Dominicalis projects. Another Comitium reported 8 such projects in three months. Three suicides were prevented by the Legion organising alternative accommodation for a family at risk.
Sao Luis Senatus: The Archbishop, Dom Jose Belisario da Silva, OFM, was chief celebrant at the Eucharist at the setting up of the new Senatus in March. Twenty-six legionaries from the Regia of Teresina attended. An apostolate to young men at street corners resulted in their attending Mass. Crèches are visited to arrange for children to take part in catechism classes and other legionaries help children suffering from cancer.
Brazilia Regia: Sixty legionaries took part in an intensive apostolate over four days visiting almost 2,000 families where Bible extracts were read and houses were blessed. The junior Curia works with street people and people with depression. The Curia represents the Legion in the Archdiocesan council for youth.
Senatus of Kenya: Despite the recent upheaval in the country the Senatus and attached councils continued to meet regularly. Acies and retreats were organised and the annual Mass at Venerable Edel’s grave is being planned. It was reported that 1,227 babies and 548 adults were baptised and a great deal of work is done for orphans. The junior movement is growing.
Senatus of Uganda: Reports include very encouraging news about young legionaries from primary to third level doing much extension and recruiting with good attendances at functions. It is noted that there is generally improved discipline in schools where the Legion exists. The Archbishop was the Chief Celebrant at the Mass for the Senatus Reunion and junior legionaries entertained the 1,138 members present.
The appointment of a Ugandan Extension Worker for Ethiopia is being planned. The legionaries are implementing the recommendations made by the Ugandan legionaries who visited them last June. Numbers are growing within the Legion ranks.
Enugu Senatus: The Senatus officers held a planning meeting and it is proposed to hold a Spiritual Directors’ Conference in 2009. One Comitium has 4 Seminary praesidia and 10 legionaries were ordained priests. Aba Regia reported 100 lapsed returned while 2 Comitia had 95 conversion and 90 lapsed returned. 74 were recruited during an Exploratio Dominicalis project.
Ibadan Senatus: One Curia organised events to commemorate the three Causes while a Comitium formed 4 senior and 4 junior praesidia. The University Curia is planning a retreat for non-Catholics.
Lagos Regia: 5,000 copies of the Handbook are being printed.
Abuja Regia: 2,200 attended Makurdi Comitium Congress, while two other Comitia reported 396 conversions including 31 Moslems. Four senior and 1 junior praesidia were started.
Jos Regia: A junior Curia with 14 junior and 15 intermediate praesidia does home and hospital visitation, teaches catechism, had 6 baptisms, 10 First Holy Communions, 13 Confirmations and 1 Moslem converted. Marriage counselling, teaching Catechism and visitation are among works of another Curia who reported that 10 couples had their marriages blessed.
Onitsha Regia: A Comitium with 3,696 senior members and 6 junior Curiae with 1,468 members (intermediates and juniors) reported on many receiving the Sacrament, 57 lapsed returned, 11 converted and 7 praesidia formed.
Ikot Ekpene Regia: There were 44 conversions and 62 lapsed returned to the Church. One junior and 3 senior praesidia were started.
Blantyre Regia: Correspondents visit councils and report on them where necessary. The Regia held a 3-day Retreat. Arrangements were made to mark Venerable Edel’s Centenary year on a diocesan basis. The Major Seminary was visited to introduce the Legion to students and English Handbooks were left there. The Handbook is being translated into Chitumbuka.
Lusaka Regia: In one parish 100 Legionaries attended an overnight retreat. Visits are made to the sick and lapsed and 2 people are under instruction.
Kasama Regia: Great efforts are made to extend although they have huge difficulties with distance, bad roads, lack of transport, etc. Many retreats were reported on. Works include visitation of homes, the sick and dying, orphans, the bereaved and prisoners.
Rombo Comitium: Two Curiae were revived. They are particularly promoting junior membership during Venerable Edel’s Centenary year. One praesidium had 30 returns to the Sacraments.
Mtwara Comitium: Two Curiae joined to visit distant parishes to extend the Legion and they recruited 19 members in one area and plan an early follow-up visit. A praesidium reported that 12 couples will be married in Church following a seminar on marriage.
Njombe Comitium has 6 Curiae and 9 attached praesidia. Works include marriage counselling, teaching catechism, home and hospital visitation and works of service.
Mbinga Comitium: There are 14 Curiae and 97 praesidia, also 3 Comitia attached with a total of 1,154 members. Works include visiting homes, hospitals, children’s homes and organising youth praesidia.
Visit of Officers of Brussels and Antwerp Senatus
The two Senatus of Brussels and Antwerp were represented at the Concilium meeting by their officers, who had come to Dublin for discussions with the Concilium Officers. Georgina Jacquet, President of Brussels Senatus reported that the Senatus governs 31 praesidia. They have German, French, Congolese and English speaking praesidia and some of their works include helping refugees, statue visitation, enthronement to the Sacred Heart and door-to-door visitation for Adoration. They have organised PPC to France for the past 20 years and do extension work during the summer period. Maria Wens, President of Antwerp Senatus, reported 34 praesidia in the Senatus. Their works include working at the Permanence in Lourdes, where they contact people at campsites and explain the meaning of Lourdes and offer the gift of a Miraculous Medal. They are making great efforts to involve the Africans in the Legion of Mary.
Thanks was expressed to the Concilium by the Senatus Officers for the great reception given to them in Dublin and Tommy McCabe, President of the Concilium, thanked the legionaries for the work they are doing for the Legion and for their willingness to travel to Concilium.
Extension Workers for Argentina
Srs. Edel Garcia and Laura Rodrigues have been working in the Curia in Alta Garcia (Cordobo Senatus)with a view to extending the Legion in that area and recruiting young people in particular. The priests are interested in their mission because the Diocesan Pastoral Plan emphasises the need to encourage the youth to be active in the Church. They were invited to a Conference for vocations where they met the Bishop and about 100 young people. They had the opportunity to speak to them about the Legion of Mary.
They have also made contact with the Comitium of Rioja (Cordobo Senatus)and will be going there next week to help set up a junior Curia and an extension committee. They plan to work in a parish where there are large numbers of university students and where there is already a good senior praesidium. The Parish Priest is very pleased with the extra help from the two extension workers.
Please keep all the extension workers in your prayers.
1915 - 2008
Mary Kennedy was born in Rockfield, Co. Limerick in 1915 the youngest and only girl of a family of 6 children. Her brothers sent her to school in England and at the outbreak of war in 1939 she joined the Land Army working on farms in Wales to keep the food chain going. She was drafted into the Army and rose to the rank of Captain. She later worked with the British administration in Palestine, studied hotel administration in Switzerland before moving to America where she ran hotels from Florida to California and up to Toronto.
She was appointed Legion Envoy to Canada and served 5 years in that capacity. Many of her letters to Concilium came from Indian reservations. It was claimed that she was the first white woman to live with the Indians. After completing her five-year Envoyship she stayed in Canada for 10 years before returning to Ireland.
Some time before she died on the 15th February, she was asked if she had heard from Manitoulin Island where she had lived with the Indians. “Of course” was her answer. “And do they still have the Legion?” “Of course they do” she said. May her soul rest in peace.
Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Frank Duff
God our Father, You inspired your servant Frank Duff with a profound insight into the mystery of Your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary the Mother of Jesus in this mystery. In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence on Mary he formed her Legion to be a sign of her maternal love for the world and a means of enlisting all her children in the Church’s evangelising work. We thank you Father for the graces conferred on him and for the benefits accruing to the Church from his courageous and shining faith. With confidence we beg You that through his intercession you grant the petition we lay before You….............. We ask too that if it be in accordance with Your will, the holiness of his life may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your Name, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Favours attributed to the intercession of
The Servant of God, Frank Duff should be reported to:
Legion of Mary
De Montfort House
Morning Star Avenue
North Brunswick Street