Concilium Bulletin August 2009
REPORTS - EUROPE
FRANCE: There are 4 Regiae governing the Legion of Mary in France:
Paris Regia: The Legion has a presence in 15 dioceses and it has 22 directly attached praesidia and 3 more in formation as well as 3 Curiae. Membership includes 330 senior, 14 junior and 540 auxiliary members. A reporting praesidium organised a November Mass for deceased parishioners and it circulates a pilgrim Statue in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on 13th May when a special Mass is celebrated. A DVD made about the Venerable Edel Quinn in 2008 was shown for 8 days on a Catholic TV station in France.
Valence Regia has 3 praesidia in the town of Valence and other ones spread throughout the Diocese and distant ones in Clermont Ferrand, Grenoble and Nimes. The 2 senior and 2 junior praesidia in Chateauneuf de Galaure held a reunion in June, which included a visit to the room of the late Marthe Robin, a stigmatist and a legionary for many years. The junior members are all boarders in the local secondary schools. The boy’s praesidium has been meeting for 31 years and some former members have been ordained priests. The Vietnamese Curia based at Lyon has 4 praesidia, which visit hospitals and hold 2 retreats every year for active and auxiliary members and their families with an average of 60 people attending. A pilgrimage to Ars is held in November to commemorate Vietnam’s 115 martyrs.
Aire and Dax Regia: There are 9 directly attached praesidia and 2 Curiae based at Bordeaux and Bayonne. Works of service and catechetical work is done. The Regia organised a very successful weekend in Lourdes in June to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of the Servant of God, Frank Duff at which the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes addressed the French and Irish legionaries who were present. The French translation of the booklet on Frank Duff and Cardinal Newman by Finola Kennedy was launched at the ceremony.
Strasbourg Senatus has one Curia (directly attached) in Colmar, 24 praesidia including 2 junior praesidia and looks after Fribourg praesidium in Switzerland. The Legion is in 4 dioceses. The average membership in a praesidium is 4. A new praesidium started in Strasbourg-Cronenbourg in February 2009. The praesidium is in an area of high-rise flats with a multi-cultural and multi-denominational population. There are many Muslims living here. The Senatus has chief responsibility for manning the Permanence in Lourdes. One of its members recently moved permanently to Lourdes to serve the Permanence and joined the local praesidium. Strasbourg Senatus hosts an Annual Peregrinatio Pro Christo Conference.
Southwark Comitium: Directly attached are 22 praesidia including 2 intermediate and 2 junior ones and 6 Curiae. Four praesidia in Cornwall (Plymouth Diocese), which were formerly governed by Birmingham Senatus were officially transferred back to Southwark Comitium in April 2009, as directed by the Concilium. Extension efforts have resulted in the setting up of new praesidia in Battersea and Hartley. The annual Edel Quinn pilgrimage to Aylesford, which took place on 9 May 2009 was well attended. The chief celebrant of the Mass was Bishop Paul Hendricks. A function was held for Spiritual Directors in February to show appreciation for their services. Bishop Hendricks was the guest of honour and priests from Southwark, Hartley and Croydon attended.
Westminster Archdiocese: The Central London Curia governs 14 praesidia out of a total of 30 parishes. Works carried out range from home-to-home visitation and the running of Patrician meetings to street contact in Soho and surrounding streets. A recruiting drive in Soho resulted in 2 former members returning to the Legion. Three other Curiae based at Hammersmith, Barnet and Middlesex have a total of 21 praesidia comprising 132 active and 451 auxiliary members.
Brentwood Comitium: The Diocese of Brentwood is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Westminster and has twelve deaneries and 135 parishes. In 2006 the Catholic population was 230,700, which represented 8.4% of the population. The Comitium consists of 2 Curiae and 12 directly attached praesidia. One Curia has 9 senior and 2 junior praesidia consisting of 44 senior and 4 probationary members and 13 juniors; the second Curia has 4 praesidia with 30 members. The Curia in Brentwood East have carried out recruitment drives in two areas resulting in 16 people showing an interest in Westcliff and three in Canvey Island. A praesidium reported that a 16 year old boy from Sri Lanka was instructed by legionaries and received his First Holy Communion at Easter, also a non-Catholic parishioner, instructed by the legionaries, was received into the Church in October.
NORTHAMPTION SOUTH AND NORTHAMPTON NORTH CURIAE: Due to changes in the Northampton diocese there are now 13 Pastoral Areas instead of 9 Deaneries. Each Pastoral Area has a Dean; this has also brought about amalgamation of Parishes etc. Northampton South is trying to start a Junior Legion in Aylesbury and is also visiting parish priests in Luton seeking permission to start praesidia. The Praesidium in Bletchley organized Masses during the year in residential homes. In Northampton North, Eucharistic Adoration is supported in many parishes. Two praesidia are involved in the preparation of children for the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. A praesidium visits a prison and prisoners are encouraged to join in the Divine Mercy devotions after Mass.
LIVERPOOL SENATUS: This council governs the Legion in the Archdiocese of Liverpool and its suffragan dioceses as well as the Legion in 2 Dioceses in Wales and praesidia in Sweden. It has 5 Comitia, 8 Curiae and 16 directly attached praesidia. Legionaries assist at Baptisms, recite the Rosary in schools, prepare children for First Holy Communion and do other various works. Newcastle Comitium with 5 attached Curiae promoted devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham and in Sunderland, Apostleship to the Sea is undertaken. One Curia reported well-attended Patrician meetings.
BIRMINGHAM SENATUS: There are 5 attached Curiae including a junior one and 10 directly attached praesidia in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and its 2 suffragan dioceses. Talks on the True Devotion to Mary are widely promoted. Extension efforts continue. A meeting was held with officers of the councils in the West Country to discuss plans for extension. Coventry and Wolverhampton Curiae each has set up a new praesidium. In Saltley and Perry Bar, 2 and 3 contacts respectively were received into the Church at Easter. Patrician meetings are held in Birmingham University and a function organised for the Pauline Year in Coventry had an attendance of 30 including 12 non-Catholics. Following previous Pauline events, the Rosary is being taught to several non-Catholics. Birmingham Junior Curia has 5 praesidia with a membership of 47. Rosary groups, distribution of Holy Water and working with senior members are among the works done.
Wrexham Curia had the privilege of having Bishop Edwin Regan and 3 Spiritual Directors at its Acies ceremony. Cardiff Comitium reports the special ministry of taking Holy Communion into homes, nursing homes and hospitals and conducting Eucharistic Services where no priest is available. A celebration of the lives of the Venerable Edel Quinn and the Servant of God Alfie Lambe took place in Abergavenny. Swansea Curia with 4 attached praesidia organised a Peregrinatio Pro Christo Conference at which the new Bishop of the Diocese was present and made very valuable contributions.
There are 6 praesidia in Malmo, Vaxjo, Sodertalja and Lund. Members visiting Nursing Homes are reaching out to non-Catholic residents.
MEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA
Mexico City Senatus: The Senatus is extending in the diocese of Toluca, a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Mexico where there has been no Legion. Equally so the two comitia in the dioceses of Veracruz and Jalapa are extending. Two attached Curiae merged because the number of praesidia had decreased. Devotion to Venerable Edel is promoted.
Senatus of Merida: Five praesidia, two Curiae and 2 Comitia reported that the Legion in this area continues to extend, a number of praesidia have been set up in the different attached councils. Home-to-home visitation and street contact is done by all councils resulting in many people returning to the sacraments and couples have regularised their marriage. A number of people have returned from the sects. The Miraculous Medal is used on visitation, the Causes are promoted and a recruiting drive resulted in 205 people accepting an invitation to join the Legion.
Hermosillo Regia: A praesidium of 14 men has brought back 26 people to confession and 4 Jehovah Witnesses have converted. Eight female prisoners are being prepared for First Holy Communion. The attached Curia in Obregon has divided. The Bishop of Obregon thanked the Legion for the support in his diocese. Chihuchua Comitium set up a junior Curia recently, they also reported two senior praesidia set up and a third in formation.
Durango Regia: This Regia has established better contact with the distant Comitia and they in turn have pledged loyalty to the Regia. Five ranch-based praesidia will form a new Curia.
Monterrey Regia: At a retreat in February the Bishop thanked the Legion for their commitment in his diocese particularly the home visitation. He urged them to set up the Legion in each parish if possible. A new Curia was set up in the city. An attached Curia has a junior Curia attached. An initiative with children during the Summer months “Holidays with Jesus” included sport, singing, etc. with an emphasis on evangelising; there was an attendance of 280 children. The junior legionaries also took part with the seniors in rural projects. Another attached Curia organises a procession to counteract the pagan customs of Halloween. Two junior praesidia were formed from a theatrical group. The attached Comitium of Saltillo has 19 Curiae attached, they insist that each Curia and praesidium include their extension efforts in their reports.
Guadalajara Regia: The 90 contacts made on recruiting, resulted in 3 coming to the meeting and one remaining. A junior praesidium reported having recruited 13 new members.
Leon Regia: During the reporting period 4 praesidia, 1 senior and 1 junior Curiae and 1 Comitium reported. The junior Legion continues to grow. There are a number of junior Curiae in the Regia. The young legionaries teach catechism to children and for the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple, 320 children were brought to the Church to recite short prayers and receive a blessing from the priest. The young legionaries also carry out an apostolate to drug addicts and young people who are suicidal. A senior Curia and a number of praesidia were set up. The May allocutio was on the True Devotion to Our Lady.
Acapulco Regia: Reports indicate that home visitation is the main work of the Legion in this area because so many have lapsed from the faith. An attached Comitium reported that visitation of 2,558 homes resulted in 247 baptisms, 5 of whom were adults, 239 people returned to confession and 114 couples received the sacrament of marriage, some after a long time. Catechism is taught at 28 catechism centres by both junior and senior legionaries.
Belize Curia: The praesidium on the Island of San Pedro has 15 members. In the course of home visitation a number of people of different denominations are met, some bible study is undertaken with them. Lapsed parents are encouraged to have their children baptised.
Honduras Senatus: Minutes are up to date. Works include home and prison visitation. Legionaries also teach catechism preparing children and adults for the sacraments. Some new praesidia have been set up.
Costa Rica Senatus: Three new praesidia were set up during the year. Home visitation is undertaken with the statue of Our Lady.
El Salvador: During this period a number of praesidia and Curiae and two Regiae reported. In all areas the Regia continues to extend, 8 senior and 6 junior praesidia were set up. Fifty former legionaries returned to the Legion. A family - parents, 3 adult sons and the grandmother - returned to the practice of the faith from one of the sects. Another family discontinued Satanic worship and now have a statue of Our Lady in their home. 112 prisoners attended catechism classes.
Panama Comitium: The two extension workers from Colombia reported that the Comitium is very active with 17 Curiae in 5 of the 8 dioceses in the country. A praesidium did a thorough visitation and census of the parish in preparation for a Mission in September. A large number of young legionaries are catechists giving classes in the different parishes every week. An Exploratio Dominicalis project carried out in a neglected area resulted in many returning to the sacraments.
Guatemala Regia of Camotan: Reports indicate that praesidia are being set up on a regular basis. Home visitation is carried out. A Curia with 39 praesidia divided, the junior Curia remained with the original Curia.
Nicaragua Regia of Managua: Extension is carried out giving particular attention to setting up junior praesidia. During the month of May the True Devotion to Our Lady was promoted on home visitation.
Visit to Concilium by Officers of Seoul Senatus, Korea
On Sunday 16th August 2009, the Officers of Seoul Senatus, Korea, Gregorio Paeng President, Michael Han Vice-President, John the Baptist Jung Secretary, Agnes Han Treasurer, Francis Ha Assistant Secretary and Fr. Pio Min Spiritual Director attended the Concilium meeting. On Thursday 13th August they visited places of interest associated with Frank Duff and the Legion in the Dublin area, on Friday 14th August they had discussions with the Concilium Officers and on Saturday 15th August visited the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.
Under the care of Seoul Senatus there are 10 Regiae and 109 Comitia with a total of 160,000 active legionaries and 195,000 auxiliary members. The Legion of Mary has contributed significantly to the evangelisation of Korea with the number of Catholics and Legionaries increasing.
Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium, thanked the Legionaries and their Spiritual Director for coming and spending a number of days in Dublin and for their commitment to serve Our Blessed Lady. He also sent the Concilium’s best wishes to all members in their Senatus and looks forward to hearing about their increase in their endeavours. Thanks was also expressed to Paddy Fay, the correspondent for Korea.
Visit to Concilium by Officers of Malta Regia
The officers of the Malta Regia Alfred Sammut President, Marjorie Vella Vice President, Joseph Micallef Treasurer and their Spiritual Director Rev. Fr. Leonard Mahoney visited Dublin on Saturday 15th August 2009 to have discussions with the Concilium Officers, which proved very fruitful; they also attended the Concilium meeting on the Sunday.
In his address to the Concilium Alfred Sammut said they have about 1,600 active members and the Regia consists of one Comitium, 13 Curiae, and 13 praesidia. This Regia also caretakes four other countries and have been asked by the Concilium to also care for the Legion in Greece.
Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium, thanked these legionaries for their dedication and commitment to the Legion and Our Blessed Lady.
Peregrinatio Pro Christo
Since the last Concilium meeting teams have worked in five parishes in England and Scotland and recently a team of 10 have set out for St. Peter and Paul’s parish in Birmingham and another team of 18 will go to St. Peter’s parish in Aberdeen. A word of thanks was expressed to the British council organisers who managed to secure more parishes for the unexpected large number of volunteers for the final two weeks of the PPC year.
On the 29th August three teams will set out; a team of 10 to St. Walburge’s Parish in Preston, Lancashire, a team of 12 to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Milford Haven, Wales and a team of 12 to the Parish of St. Boniface in Tooting, London. On the 5th September 3 teams will travel to St. Dominic Barberi Parish in Oxford, St. Patrick’s in Glasgow to Foxbar, Paisley
The project to Soho, which will travel on 4th September, is a follow on to last year’s project and the PPC Committee are very grateful to the legionaries who volunteered again for this very challenging assignment.
Ten legionaries will travel to the parish of the Immaculate Conception at the Surrey Docks outside London. This will be the last British project for 2009.
A team of 8 volunteers including a religious Sister for the French-speaking project will journey to Koekelberg, Brussels from 15th to 24th September. Prayers are requested for the success of all projects.
The Autumn Conference will take place in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra on Saturday 31st October 2009.
Meeting on Evangelisation in Asia
The Office of Evangelisation of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, which has among its Terms of Reference: “To assist various groups involved in evangelisation to cooperate and integrate their efforts in missionary endeavours on national and international levels” is organising a meeting of representatives of such missionary movements and organisations having their presence in Asia and are engaged in evangelising ministry in Asia.
One of the objectives of the meeting is: To provide a forum for mutual contact and an opportunity to know from one another about:
a) The special and unique evangelical charism and thrust of each of the movements and associations;
b) The creative efforts being made, the methods and approaches used in ministry;
c) To discover the opportunities that open up in different parts of Asia for the work of evangelisation;
d) To reflect together on the Asian dimensions of Evangelisation as set forth by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences;
e) To discern the need, if any, of a more stable form or fellowship among the associations and movements at Asian level in order to promote mutual inspiration, and to intensify our efforts at evangelisation.
This meeting is being held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 18, 19 and 20 September 2009. As the Legion of Mary is very much involved with the work of evangelisation in many Asian countries, the organisers requested that the Legion be represented. Declan Lohan, President of the Galway Curia, who has worked in an Asian country, and Paddy Fay, Concilium Correspondent with some Legion councils in Asia, have been asked by the Concilium to represent the Legion at the meeting. Prayers are asked for the success of this meeting, which concerns a matter of such vital concern for the Church, the evangelisation of Asia.
The Secret of Influencing Others
There is an art in the moving of others, and those that work for their neighbour must study it.
Do not say “I cannot,” or “I am not fitted,” or “Nobody heeds me.” For there is one thing that can clothe you with power in your dealings with others - affection for them. This is the great secret of all real influence. To possess it, follow this simple rule:
Look only for good qualities in anyone you meet; you will fine them. Never look for faults, for you would find them.
Act thus, and you will easily develop the habit of love. Convince those around you, by deeds, not phrases, that you truly have this feeling for them, and you can lead them where you like.
Can we be Saints? By Frank Duff
“Can we be Saints” booklet is available from the Literature Department, Concilium Legionis Mariae. Cost 50 cents plus postage.
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,
Dublin 7, Ireland.