Concilium Bulletin December 2009
REPORTS - AFRICA
KENYA: Senatus of Kenya: A praesidium of 18 in Nairobi restarted a junior praesidium, and care for Venerable Edel’s grave. Kisumu Regia with approx. 25,000 members celebrated its Silver Jubilee. Reports show 712 adults, in danger of death, were baptised, 613 marriages validated, 1,255 adults and 760 infants baptised, l67 lapsed legionaries rejoined. Twelve visits were made to prisons. Ten witch doctors were visited and 5 agreed to burn their tools and are taking instruction.
Machakos Comitium reported 10 Protestants under instruction. Please pray for rain to alleviate Kenya’s current great famine.
Uganda Senatus: Works include home and hospital visitation, teaching catechism, contacting street girls and the homeless. Legionaries working in prisons console and encourage people not to lose hope. Another work is counteracting witchdoctors’ activities. Reports show many conversions, returns to the Church, marriage validations etc. One Tertiary Institution Curia with 19 Praesidia set up a University Praesidium and revived 4 groups. Three priests and 362 students participated in a School Congress. Twenty traders at a city commercial hall began praying the Angelus daily. A Mass for Frank Duff was held on 7th Nov. Southern Sudan - under Ugandan caretakership has 12,199 senior members, 10 praesidia, 103 Curia and the Legion is in 5 of the 6 Dioceses.
Abuja Regia: Twenty-five praesidia were started in one Comitium. Another Comitium recruited over 400 members, yet another council reported 14 conversions including 3 Muslims. Kaduna Regia covers 7 dioceses and has 7 praesidia, 1 Curia and 15 Comitia directly attached with 12,820 senior and 6,631 junior and 1,248 auxiliary members. Lagos Regia: A Comitium reported 30 senior and 30 junior praesidia plus two junior Curiae formed, four street girls left a brothel and now attend a catechism class. Two new Comitia have been set up. A Comitium and a Curia both reported increases of over 600 members.
Ibadan Senatus: Attendances - 53% of praesidia and 67% of Council officers. Benin City Regia reported 479 conversions including 31 Muslims. One Comitium had 129 marriages regularised and 312 lapsed returned.
Enugu Senatus councils and praesidia reported large numbers being prepared for the Sacraments, organising the blessing of marriages and the settling of family disputes. The Bishops of Abaliki and Nsukka gave approval for two new Regiae in their Dioceses. The Legion is in all areas of Onitsha Regia. Evangelisation projects to weaker areas were undertaken. An attached Comitium has 2 junior Curiae in a secondary school, 2 of its 19 senior Curiae are in a University and 5 of its 15 attached praesidia are in the University training hospital. 62 pagans were converted and 47 senior praesidia were established. The Hausa Comitium in Jos Regia reported conversion of 6 traditionalists and a Muslim, 359 marriages blessed and 1,255 legionaries recruited.
Blantyre Regia is pleased with the restructuring of the Legion in Malawi as reported in the November bulletin. An annual report and audit have been received. A junior congress was held. Poor attendance in some areas is caused by the rainy season. The Bishop of Manguchi blessed the new Regia office accommodation.
Lusaka Regia: Works include visits to the sick at home, in hospices and hospitals. 180 members attended a retreat. A legionary spoke at the National Council for Catholic Women. An Edel Quinn Mass was held and True Devotion to Mary is studied. Kasama Regia has 9,124 senior and 3,378 junior members. It covers 3 Dioceses and has 14 praesidia, 7 Curiae and 14 Comitia directly attached.
Dar-Es-Salaam Comitium has 10 Curiae and 139 praesidia, distance contribute to poor attendance. The 3 Legion Causes are promoted especially Venerable Edel Quinn. Two legionaries are to attend monthly to help a praesidium in a Moslem area. The ‘Meet the Legion’ DVD was shown on TV. They find the Concilium bulletin beneficial. Bukoba Comitium with 2,949 seniors (majority under 40) and 500 juniors has 36 praesidia and 27 Curiae attached. Kahama Comitium has 4 praesidia and 10 Curiae directly attached with 947 seniors (majority under 40), 83 juniors and 204 auxiliary members. 152 attended the Acies Ceremony, which was preceded by a retreat. Mbinga Comitium has 1,740 seniors, 1,700 juniors and 35 auxiliary members. Njombe Comitium: June and July minutes are being translated. Sumbawanga Diocese: Half of the 3,545 seniors are under 40 and there are 60 juniors and 596 auxiliaries. The Legion is in 18 of the 19 Dioceses and there are 158 praesidia, 37 Curiae and 6 Comitia. Hai Comitium has 9 Curiae and 14 presidia attached. Rombo Comitium with 16 senior, 2 junior Curiae and 29 praesidia attached, is recruiting juniors and reviving praesidia. 24 praesidia were discovered in Geitha Diocese. Mtwara Comitium visits the sick, has 26 praesidia and 5 Curiae directly attached. Mpanda has 62 praesidia, 10 Curiae and 1 Comitium.
Banjul Curia welcomed two officers from Accra Senatus who attended praesidia, worked with members and discussed their main work of home visitation. Christians and Moslems live harmoniously together. In Faranfenni 35 adults and 27 juniors were recruited. A Priest commended the Legion for “being the sole society in the Church bringing in hundreds of converts”.
Bogota Senatus: In Villavicencio 29 praesidia were set up and a Comitium divided. Catechism is taught to prisoners and soldiers receive the sacraments. A new Comitium has been set up in the Diocese of Soacha and a junior praesidium in Bogota. A Columban drive resulted in 23 praesidia of youths between 14 and 25 years old; also 2 new Curiae of 4 and 6 praesidia. The Comitium in Bogota reported that the public rosary has resulted in many conversions. A praesidium in a poor area taught poor people how to make jam and sweets.
Medellin Senatus: The legionaries of one Curia give classes for reading and writing with attendances between 80 and 100. Legionaries have succeeded in convincing couples living together but not married, to go to confession and receive the sacraments. Another Curia visits prison inmates to console them and teach them catechism. In October they study and deepen their knowledge of True Devotion to Mary. They encourage prayers of intercession to the 3 Legion Causes and ask that any favours granted be reported to the Senatus. A third Curia evangelises on local radio and in rural areas they teach people to cultivate gardens.
Senatus of Quito: They have many new members, some young. An extension project resulted in 20 taking the promise; the priest has requested the Legion in 2 other barrios. Attention is given to street children in Riobamba and a meal is given to native Indians at the Bishops request (he is the Spiritual Director). Portoviejo has 24 junior praesidia; catechism is provided and they were advised to start the Patricians as the sects are working hard here. One Curia was set up and another is in formation.
Senatus of Asuncion: A Peregrinatio Pro Christo project was held in the Cacupe area in several parishes; 1116 homes were visited with 3321 adults and 2112 children spoken to. Workshops were held to show legionaries how to properly record information during contact work.
Senatus of Montevideo: The legion promise is renewed every 3 months. They have a Tribune, the former Senatus President who knew Alfie Lambe. The Vice Postulator for Alfie Lambes cause Irene Sauer, spoke on TV for 20 minutes and was also on the radio; a report was published in the Diocesan newspaper.
Senatus of Caracas: Councils have regular Columban Drives and Exploratio Dominicalis and candidates are being sought for an Incola Mariae project. Four Peregrinatio Pro Christo projects and one Maria et Patria project resulted in some new praesidia. They have held a Congress. News is awaited on the division of the Regia of Barquisimeto where nine new praesidia were formed. There is much development among the young: a biblical theatre was held; 3 new junior praesidia have been set up; 119 young people attended a praesidium function while 25 attended a retreat with hopes of forming a junior praesidium from it. Conversions include a Jehovah Witness, a youth practicing witchcraft and a prostitute who was taught to be a dressmaker. In Los Teques contact is made with 20 native Indians.
Senatus of Chile: Extension: New praesidia are being set up in parishes where they had not existed before according to the reports of the Junior Curia and other attached councils. The Junior Curia has two senior and two junior officers. The Legion Causes are reported on and Masses are held to celebrate the anniversaries. Special attention, naturally, is given to Alfie Lambe as “one of their own”. Prayers through the intersession of Alfie are being offered by legionaries and non-legionaries for a cure for a Senatus officer, diagnosed with lung cancer. True Devotion has been highlighted in the last few months and legionaries were encouraged to attend retreats, which are being given by a religious congregation dedicated to spread of the True Devotion. Works: Junior legionaries do home visitation with seniors as well as train new alter servers. When legionaries do statue visitation, the host family invite their friends and this gives the legionaries a wider scope to evangelise.
Senatus of La Paz: Extension into new areas is ongoing; there are reports of new praesidia set up and the aftercare of recently set up praesidia; all Dioceses of the country have the Legion. The Legion Causes are mentioned and, as in Chile, prayers through the intercession of Alfie are being offered. True Devotion to Mary comes up in correspondence and is being discussed at the Senatus congress. The Senatus Spiritual Director, Auxiliary Bishop of La Paz, makes a point of holding meetings with the legionaries of the country’s interior when he goes on visitation of outlying Dioceses. Both Bolivia and Chile Senatus are excellent in sending on their monthly minutes shortly after the meeting so that they have an answer back from Concilium in time for the following meeting.
Senatus of Lima: During the period 4 Comitia, 6 Curiae and 6 praesidia reported. Most councils have either a junior Curia or some junior praesidia. Reports indicated that 21 new praesidia were set up. Most of the councils report a praesidium working in the local jail and one Curia has a praesidium of 8 in the jail. Large numbers of prisoners have returned to the practice of the faith. One Curia, of mostly illiterate indigenous people, works with their own community. Many reports indicate an apostolate to taxi men and street traders. A praesidium, which had difficulty accessing apartment blocks, persevered and met over 300 families. A successful, well-attended retreat was held for members of the Senatus praesidia. An apostolate is carried out to patients in an Adventist Clinic. Public rosaries are commonplace.
Havana Comitium: During this period one Curia and 5 praesidia reported. Reports indicate that the main works of the Legion is teaching catechism. Legionaries led prayers with families of prisoners. Some families receive the Fatima statue in their homes. Two new permanent deacons were ordained, both had been active legionaries.
A programme “60 year of the Legion in Austria” was shown on the Catholic TV station, which also filmed part of a Senatus meeting. A praesidium attached to the Senatus organized a retreat for homeless AIDS suffers. Comitia and Curiae give news of visitation to their attached praesidia and Curiae. Extension efforts resulted in the setting up of a senior and junior praesidia and five Patrician groups. 220 persons attended a retreat organized by Unter dem Wienerwald Comitium for those away from the Church.
A second Slovakian praesidium was set up in Zeliz Comitium.
Bishop Karel Herbst was appointed as Spiritual Director to Prag Comitium. Bruenn Comitium have printed the Austrian Legion magazine and the Edel Quinn prayer leaflets in the Czech language.
The Bishop thanked Chisinau Curia for organizing the baptism of adults.
During a four- week period in the Summer Elizabeth Kriss and Rita Laner from Austria accompanied by 2 local legionaries visited the Zhitomir Comitium, 7 Curiae and 6 distant praesidia. Legionary apostolate in Western Ukraine has resulted in many people led to prayer, confession and many marriages regularized. In Eastern Ukraine the focus is on caring for newly converted people, teaching the Rosary, and distributing the Miraculous Medal. The Austrian correspondents group of 6, for the Ukraine, is working satisfactorily.
After their return home from their visit to Dublin, the Comitium Officers met with Archbishop Kondrusevich, gave him an account of their visit and presented him with books on Frank Duff and Edel Quinn. He has agreed to offer Mass for Frank Duff on 7th June 2010, circumstances permitting. He would like them to put information about the Legion on their Catholic website. The Comitium is in the process of following up on some of the suggestions made at their meeting with the Concilium Officers. Curiae and praesidia continue with extension efforts in new parishes. A recently established praesidium in Minsk tells in their first report to the Comitium of 10 persons brought back to the Sacraments and the baptism of a boy.
Zagreb Regia has 13 directly attached praesidia, 5 Curiae and 2 Comitia. Extension is ongoing. New senior and junior praesidia were established. All degrees of Legion membership are promoted. Many priests have undertaken the Adjutorian degree. Prison visitation figures prominently in reports. A prison director commended the legionaries for their work, saying he noticed a positive change in behaviour, not only of prisoners but also the guards. Many prisoners accepted the invitation to Confession and Holy Mass. Other items of interest were the conversion of a Moslem and of a declared atheistic journalist, who through the persevering efforts of legionaries asked for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the end of his life.
BOSNIA AND HERZGOVINA
The Legion is established in one of the three Dioceses. There is one Curia in Sarajevo, which has 4 praesidia. Contact was made with two Parish Priests who are willing to have the Legion. Legionaries help the Priests to organize Confession and Mass in a Gerontology Centre where 60 people received the Sacraments.
Works undertaken include visitation to hospitals, welfare homes, orphanages, Bible classes for children and organizing pilgrimages. In the Hungarian speaking region of Western Romania there is a praesidium among traveling people in Szatmar Comitium and a Nazareth group among their children. Nagybatomy Comitium has 56 Nazareth groups. They have been encouraged to set up junior praesidia.
Extension efforts were made in Jelgava and Riga. Priests were visited, the Legion explained and the Handbook left with them. The Bishop of Liepaja invited Legionaries to speak after Sunday Masses. One new praesidium was set up in the Rezekne Diocese.
A Comitium is to be established in Telsiai Diocese, subject to ecclesiastical approval, where there is 3 Curiae with 24 praesidia. Kaunas Comitium has 10 Curiae attached having gained 2 new Curiae. A new praesidium of 7 members has started in Panevezs Diocese. Items featured in reports were: work with drug addicts, teaching catechism to adults and children and return of practice of a lapsed family.
Lublin Regia: four new praesidia have been set up. Church Curia in Swidnik and the Curia in St. Jadwiga Parish, Lublin do extensive visitation of homes. Other works mentioned were: working in a night shelter, organizing children’s Rosary groups, a men’s living Rosary circle, pilgrimages and a Pauline Congress with 63 legionaries participating. Some of the results reported were 20 people receiving the Sacrament of Penance, 2 couples had their marriage regularized and 5 baptisms. Warsaw Comitium: On 25the September 2009 the first meeting of the new Comitium Warsaw/Praga was held. Archbishop Hoser appointed Fr. Tomasz Nowaczek, PP of Our Lady of Lourdes, Warsaw as Spiritual Director. The Comitium governs 3 Curiae and 16 praesidia. On 12th September the fifteenth National Pilgrimage of the Legion of Mary in Poland to the National Shrine of Czestochowa gathered approximately 8.000 people. Two Bishops and 70 Priest concelebrated the Mass.
Death of Fr. Herman Nolan, C.P.
An obituary on the life of Fr. Herman Nolan was given by Sile Ni Chochláin, Vice President of Concilium.
Fr. Herman was born on 14th June 1931 and died on the feast of St. Lawrence O’Toole 14th November 2009. He grew up in the environs of Mount Anville where his father looked after the convent grounds. He has been described as poet, artist, mystic and prophet. He could turn his hand to mending anything from bicycles, locks, statues, to the crib in Mount Argus when he could carve and sculpt in equal measure. He loved the bicycle and nothing gave him greater pleasure than to cycle to Glendalough.
He was ordained a Passionist on 22nd December 1962, an Order he loved and served well. He was a lover of souls, whether he met them at the back of Mount Argus, as he would say himself, when he was mooching around, or while out on the Dublin mountains or on the Legion cycling trips with Frank Duff.
His other great love was the Legion of Mary having been a member prior to entry into the Passionists and resuming soon after he was Ordained. He was ready to say yes to any request made of him. He was appointed Spiritual Director of Praedicanda Junior Curia in the 1960’s and later of Mary Spouse of the Holy Spirit Senior Curia in Dublin where he attended each month. He was Spiritual Director of Our Lady of Loreto praesidium in Annunciata Curia and the Friday morning praesidium in the Morning Star Hostel where he faithfully attended, he also regularly attended An Réalt meetings and the Patricians in Rathmines and many other Legion functions until he was struck with Legionnaire’s disease four years ago.
All who knew him will remember him with fondness as an optimistic, generous hearted priest who loved his country, his language, the Legion and his Priesthood giving his all, right to the end of his journey, on this earth.
May his soul rest in peace.
Visit to Brazil
In September Tadhg McMahon visited 5 Senatus, 2 Regiae and several Comitia, which covered seven States in the South, Centre and Northeast of Brazil. In each area, meetings were held with council officers and correspondents.
In Rio de Janerio he had a live radio interview of about 20 minutes, visited the Archbishop Dom Orani Pestana, and had a meeting with the Auxiliary Bishop Dom Edson Castro Homem who is Spiritual Director of the Senatus and the representatives of the National Bishops’ Conference to the Legion. In Rio the main event was the Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral with an attendance of 6,000, which lasted four hours. This was to mark the Golden Jubilee of the setting up of the Senatus. Other councils visited were the Senatus’ of Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Sao Luis and the Regiae of Brazilia and Maceio.
The Legion in Brazil continues to grow and develop with many younger members helping with the work of administering the increasing numbers of praesidia and councils and the setting up of the Legion in new Dioceses.
Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium, thanked Tadhg McMahon for making these visits to the various councils during his stay in Brazil at the request of the Concilium, while there in a private capacity.
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.