Concilium Bulletin December 2020
Malta Regia: At the August Regia meeting, it was revealed that most praesidia were back in action. However, elderly members were reluctant to return because of health fears. One of the Regia’s own praesidia celebrated its 80th anniversary of foundation and gained 3 new members, bringing its number on its roll book to 16.
The president and vice president of the Regia were both re-elected for a second term in office at the September meeting.
Gozo Comitium: most of the praesidia are meeting with the notable exception of the junior and intermediate praesidia.
A former Legionary and Bishop of Gozo, Monsignor Mario Grech was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis, and he celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving for the 99th anniversary of the Legion in Gozo. Talks on the True Devotion to Our Lady commenced on the 24th October.
Madrid Senatus: A directly attached praesidium has been meeting on Skype and reckons they will be able to return to their normal meeting soon. A praesidium which does work in a red light area are now back in action and July meetings were held observing social distancing etc. Officers met the Cardinal who was delighted to accept the invitation to celebrate the Legion Centenary Mass in the Cathedral. The Legion retreat will be held using the WhatsApp system and non-legionaries will also be invited.
Valladolid: the dawn rosary was attended by the Archbishop and by a good number of the faithful, many of whom were contacted by phone during the pandemic. It is hoped to resume home to home visitation soon.
Barcelona: Legionaries are maintaining contact with fellow members by phone and receive the monthly bulletin from Madrid. They are not permitted to do home visits, by government order.
Milan: Correspondent has been told that no meetings have been held for a considerable length of time and as membership is decidedly in the upper age group, she fears that many will not return after the pandemic has receded.
Padua: Again, no meetings have been held for many months and the secretary has not written other than some brief notes on her own position as a doctor in a hospital where she is overworked and is deeply involved in works of consolation, but not as designated Legion work.
CANADA & USA & WEST INDIES
The Senatus of Toronto: The Senatus held in-person meetings in October and November. In September, there was a joyful wedding of two very active officers from the Junior Curia.
New Brunswick Curia: celebrated its history, going back to 1934! A praesidium of 13 active and 154 auxiliary members are most appreciative of Fr. Hilbert as Spiritual Director to both the senior and junior praesidia.
Pre-restrictions, they visited 698 homes, having 204 contacts. The juniors working with the seniors reflects the use of the Master and Apprentice system.
Durham Curia: creatively led faith formation with online retreats on True Devotion to Mary and RCIA, and gaining new auxiliaries.
Montreal Senatus: meetings were held in-person from July to September. After 65 years of devoted service, their Spiritual Director Fr. Senez, retired on health grounds. Fr. Paradis was appointed as his successor by Archbishop Lepine. They held the Acies ceremony in August. A praesidium of 6 active and 36 auxiliaries had organised Eucharistic Adoration rota. Three attached Curiae reported meeting in-person when permitted. Covid works included phone contact, several online prayer events and stewarding in church. They have printed “Can we be Saints” in French.
Vancouver Comitium: At the August meeting each Curia and praesidium gave an update. Most of the members continued to pray the Legion prayers and Rosary. They contacted their active and auxiliary members by phone or virtually and helped in the church as lectors and sanitising duties. Centenary celebrations are scheduled for 4th Sept. 2021, with Mass by Archbishop Miller and their Spiritual Director, Bishop Emeritus Monroe. A praesidium with 14 active (9 Praetorians), and 94 auxiliaries, worked for those who are homeless, those in prostitution and who suffer addictions.
Boston Senatus: met last in February but reports from attached councils and praesidia are compiled into a quarterly Senatus Bulletin which is then circulated.
New Haven Comitium: has a total of 211 active and 502 auxiliary members. Merrimack Valley Curia: has 97 active and 352 auxiliary members in 9 praesidia. Monthly newsletters to praesidia, Rosary promotion, suggested Handbook readings and guiding their families to Mary, featured during this crisis.
Hartford Comitium: has a total of 5 prison praesidia featured in its attached Norwich Curia.
Providence Comitium: has 1 junior and 15 senior praesidia as well as 2 Curiae attached; these are Cranston Curia with 9 senior and 2 junior praesidia and a Spanish Curia with 12 praesidia attached. A young adult group was started in August.
New York Senatus: met last in March 2020.
Korean Comitium: Pre-Covid work included over 3,000 door to door calls; 21 baptised, 9 new members. 423 were contacted at funeral homes and prayers at burial sites.
Lower Manhattan Curia: evangelised over 500 contacts through crowd and book barrow contact. 2000 Miraculous Medals distributed.
Philadelphia Senatus: safely continued their monthly meetings.
Harrisburg Comitium: has about 100 subscribers to the Maria Legionis. The Spanish Curia in Metuchen has 11 praesidia with 96 active and 2485 auxiliary members. They still lead bible study and a youth group.
Pittsburgh Regia: organised sanitising of churches, ‘Baptism gift bags’, ‘Pandemic Pen Pals’, and phone-calls to the housebound. When allowed, they went on numerous rosary walks, including to two police stations.
Chicago Senatus: Pre-Covid work included their 41st Exploratio Dominicalis doing a crowd contact project in Jefferson Park. Northside Curia met in-person to elect two new officers.
Rockford Curia: held meetings in September and October. They planned a virtual Congress for November and organised a 24-hr. Rosary.
Lake County Curia: has 13 senior and 2 junior praesidia. In an assisted care-facility, pre-Covid, they organised a sing-along sessions and direct rosary-making classes to give to troops abroad.
Sioux Falls Curia: continue with a Men’s bible study and RE classes conducted on Zoom.
The Hispanic Comitium: is still doing street evangelising, mindful of restrictions, contacting 191 persons.
Mankato Curia: did pre-Covid door to door visits contacting 43 homes, resulting in one returning to church and a family bringing the children to RE classes.
St. Louis Senatus: The traditional parish works, auxiliary visitation, pilgrim statue, Marian Conferences and nursing home visits featured in most pre-Covid reports. 7 New senior praesidia and 5 junior praesidia were set up; 1 praesidium has 22 members! Exploratio Dominicalis was organised to promote membership for 3 other praesidia. 5 officers had tested positive and had quarantined.
Arlington Regia: Washington Comitium held a virtual retreat for 45 attendees. A new praesidium with 5 attendees met virtually.
Potomac Comitium: does both auxiliary visits and prayers in nursing home virtually.
Raleigh Comitium: has one praesidium under extension. They had their 1000th meeting on Zoom and invited all their past 47 members to it. 20 came, including a former Spiritual Director.
Western North Carolina Curia: has a praesidium in formation virtually. The Regia held a Mass for the promotion of the Cause of Frank Duff recently with 100 people present.
Cincinnati Senatus: had monthly meetings in person during last quarter. They held an Acies in September for 31 Legionaries present.
Knoxville Curia: their retreat was both “in person” and online. Works reported by attached units included prison ministry, writing to nursing home residents, a children’s retreat, AA ministry, a Eucharistic procession for 300 participants, 4 returns to sacraments, 3 marriages in church, 3 adults and 2 children baptised. At the November meeting, Senatus discussed the restructuring suggestions offered by Concilium in 2018. They agreed to ask Concilium to reduce Senatus to a Curia and to guide the restructuring of their subsidiary councils.
Houston Senatus: resumed meetings in September and October with a limited number of legionaries attending a shorter than normal meeting. The majority of praesidia have been unable to meet but are in contact by telephone and virtual means. Vietnamese Curia in Houston reported that 400 members viewed the Acies online. In McAllen Curia, a praesidium initiated praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet for funerals and patients in hospitals, in the parking lot. In Dallas, a Chinese praesidium, conduct virtual classes to RCIA candidates.
Los Angeles Senatus and all the attached councils are now meeting up virtually. Long Beach Curia: held an Acies in August with social distancing etc. They are also preparing RCIA candidates via Zoom. Other virtual activities included a 33-day preparation for True Devotion To Mary Consecration and a Patrician meeting.
San Francisco Senatus: held virtual meetings since April. The Senatus held their 8th Annual Senatus Conference online. A new praesidium of 6 active and 45 auxiliary members in Novata resulted from a PPC in 2018. Under the spiritual direction of former legionary Fr. Felix Lim, new recruits visited 350 homes (pre-covid) which yielded 3 conversions. During the pandemic, most praesidia have phoned both active and auxiliary members, used virtual means to do catechesis, Handbook study, Patricians, 33-Day True Devotion to Mary preparation, Bible study, a youth rosary rally.
Stockton Comitium: had 33 attend a virtual Congress. 3 auxiliary members transferred to active membership.
Oakland Comitium: held their retreat and summer function outdoors. Outdoor Rosaries with Consecration of the area to Our Lady also featured. A spiritual enrichment program for migrant men was organised in Santa Rosa Cathedral.
Miami Regia: Email messages have indicated that some praesidia co-ordinate an apostolate by using zoom. The Regia are still seeking a new Spiritual Director.
Senatus of Santo Domingo: Meetings in person from May to November, except for June (held via Zoom). The Senatus has a weekly WhatsApp youth training programme. Sick and elderly members of Bánica Curia keep in touch by phone. They are encouraging young people to join the Legion. They had a virtual youth retreat, 22 young people participated, including two young men from the USA. The Senatus suggests activities for each week of the month, such as researching Frank Duff’s life and his role in the Legion of Mary. In October they suggested teaching people to pray the Rosary. The 100th birthday of the Legion of Mary will be celebrated by vicariate and diocese. Press teams will be formed to motivate via the media. Groups of auxiliaries are being encouraged to pray for the success of the festival. They are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of Legion of Mary in the Dominican Republic.
Senatus of Santiago de los Caballeros: Some members died from the Corona virus. Virtual meetings were held in October and November with attached councils giving updates on activities. They plan to meet the Senatus of Santo Domingo to co-ordinate the programme for the centenary celebrations.
Regia of Trinidad and Tobago: Last minutes received was in November and at that time they were in a partial lockdown. They held a virtual Regia meeting in September and October. Some of the councils in the Caribbean were not meeting due to the pandemic. In a praesidium the members phoned the elderly and prayed with them as many were very lonely.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cloyne: At an officers meeting in Queen of Peace Curia they thought it would be a good idea to get the children to count the number of grottos in their area. They felt that this could be done at a national level and find out which area had the most grottos. A teacher in a primary school in Middleton requested 400 Rosaries for the boys and girls and the legionaries also gave her 400 explanatory leaflets.
Mid Clare: Two praesidia in East Clare Curia recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary via Skype daily. Once daily Mass was allowed two legionaries have been available for Ministry of the Word. Adoration is held after Mass on Thursday mornings with one Brother who is a Eucharistic Minister reposing the Blessed Sacrament.
Thurles: The last Comitium meeting was held on 30 September with seven legionaries in attendance. The Acies planned for 7 October was rescheduled for the previous night due to Lockdown coming in at midnight. The Rosary was recited at 6.30pm followed by Mass. All were instructed to wear masks and keep social distancing. They had a full attendance. No praesidium meetings are being held due to Level 3 restrictions at present. Fr. Michael Kennedy recites the Rosary and Legion prayers on a Monday via Zoom.
Limerick had a meeting of 3 Curia Officers, the Curia Spiritual Director and one Officer from a praesidium on WhatsApp in December.
Waterford: Seven of the auxiliaries attached to one praesidium take the Maria Legionis and all issues to date have been given to them. A public Rosary was organised by the praesidium each Monday and Thursday at Marian Shrines in two parishes while they were allowed to under Covid regulations. At present a notice, explaining that the first 2,000 Medals were available in Paris coinciding with a cholera outbreak in the city, has been left in two churches, inviting people to take a Miraculous Medal and over 200 have been taken.
Enugu Senatus did not hold meetings from April to September 2020,councils etc. were asked to still submit their reports during this time .All the reports show great apostolic work being undertaken and also extension of the Legion .Among the many items reported by Nsukka Regia were the return to the Church of 637 lapsed Catholics, 57 non-Catholics converted, 696 marriages blessed, two former street girls received into the Church, 1243 junior and 2,335 senior legionaries recruited and two Comitia established.
Jos Regia: The Curia at Zari Road reported they recruited 122 persons into the legion, 129 received First Holy Communion 168 Confirmed, 57 Baptized and under instruction, 1 lapsed Catholic was brought back to the faith. Council and praesidia meetings resumed in October.
Ikot Ekpene Regia: Legionaries are holding meetings and undertaking apostolic work, they are not doing home or hospital visitation due to the Pandemic. Port Harcourt Comitium established a new praesidium and Curia. Ikot Osurua reported 44 infant and 11 adult baptisms, 6 catechumens received First Holy Communion and 6 couples received sacrament of holy matrimony.
Onitsha Regia: The Curia at St Charles Borromeo Parish has 20 praesidia, 3 of these are in the Blessed Tansi Seminary and another 2 in All Hallows Minor Seminary. The Curia helped 17 couples marry in Church, 364 prepared for first Holy Communion, 825 were prepared for sacrament of Confirmation, 2 lapsed Catholics returned to the Faith and 2 marriage disputes were resolved. Nine members of the Curia ordained Priests.
Lagos Regia: The Archbishop has not yet given permission for group meetings but a number of praesidia are holding Zoom meetings.
Abuja Senatus: resumed meeting in September and in early December Legion activities are picking up with more Parish priests giving permission for praesidia and councils to resume. One Comitium reported 22 lapsed returned, 12 marriages rectified, 10 conversions and due to kidnappings some areas prove difficult to visit. Another Comitium had 208 lapsed returned, 48 marriages rectified 16 conversions and 19 praesidia were formed.
Ibadan Senatus: Benin Regia reported many conversions. There were 42 lapsed returned, 85 marriages rectified. 14 senior praesidia and two Curiae were set up. There was a Moslem converted and one lapsed returned.
Br. Geoffrey Matuma was elected Senatus President at the November meeting. At present only two officers from attached praesidia and councils are allowed attend the monthly Senatus meeting. The Senatus Officers planning meeting took place in October and all attached councils were instructed to carry out their annual audits and to submit them to the next higher council. The annual Frank Duff Mass was well attended and the monthly prayers at Venerable Edel Quinn’s grave continue. In his Allocutio at the November meeting, Fr. Boniface Spiritual Director urged the legionaries to find new ways of doing their apostolate in a pandemic, reminding legionaries that our search for souls must continue in all circumstances.
Dar-es-Salaam Regia: is continuing to meet and to keep in touch with its attached councils. The Regia Officers have also visited the legion in other dioceses in Tanzania on behalf of the Concilium.
Songea Comitium: had elections in March 2020 but minutes are awaited for ratification. A new curia is planned.
Hai Moshi Comitium: works reported include home and hospital visitation, contact with drug addicts, encouraging couples to marry in Church and preparing adults and children for the Sacraments. A new praesidium was started into KCMC University and a student on field work in another area helped start the Legion in a secondary school. Covid-19 has disrupted the holding of praesidia meetings etc.
Uganda Senatus: the Lockdown was relaxed on the 18th October. They are allowed a shorter time for meetings and only 2 members from each praesidium and council can attend. There are still many changes in the country due to Covid-19 including a 9 PM curfew. The Senatus issued very clear guidelines to their councils advising them to adhere to Church and State instructions when resuming legion activities. The centenary celebrations are on hold. They have set up a website and are publishing a magazine as they await an appropriate time for the celebrations.
South Sudan: The Senatus of Uganda are planning a visit when it is safe to do so.
Maula Senatus: The Senatus meeting was held in November and the councils are visiting their lower councils to ascertain the impact of Covid-19 and strengthen them.
The Regia held its first meeting in October since the outbreak of Covid- 19. Praesidia meetings resumed in June and July, although not everyone is willing to return especially those with underlining health conditions. Legionaries agreed to start meeting as long as proper measures are followed including social distancing and hand sanitising as well as timeliness, some Curia and Comitia started to meet in October. During the Covid lockdown the Regia executive officers continued to meet and keep in touch with lower councils. Legionaries were asked to submit ideas on what to do for the Centenary. Two members of the Regia joined the Frank Duff mass online.
Lusaka Regia Officers visited Kasama Regia in November. Kasama is roughly 800kms from Lusaka. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss collaboration between the two councils, preparation for the Centenary in September 2021 and to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the legion of Mary in Zambia. Many items were discussed including the translation of handbooks into local languages, the strength and weakness of the Legion in Zambia and the threats it faces (mainly from distance and poor roads, poor understating of the legion and poverty among others).
- The standard constitution of the Legion of Mary enshrined in the Handbook and recognized by the Holy See. Note that on 25 March, 2014 the Pontifical Council for the Laity, now the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, granted Statutes to the Legion of Mary. The Legion of Mary is bound by its statutes and these statutes apply equally in all countries and it cannot legitimately depart from its statutes and cannot vary them without the explicit approval of the Holy See.
- The four basic rules of the Legion of Mary (Standing Instruction).
- The structure of the Legion of Mary which ties very well with the structure of the Catholic Church. This structure is worldwide.
- The catena prayer which joins all Legionaries worldwide like a chain. And the prayer life of every Legionary based on Rosary prayers.
- Obedience to the church and desire to work with the Church.
- Obedience to the higher councils of the Legion of Mary.
Efforts will be made to ensure that every legionary will participate in some Centenary celebrations at minimal cost. Masses will be organised at parish, deanery and Diocesan level. Spiritual formation of legionaries, novenas and vigils will form part of the programme and for entertainment there will be plays on various aspects of the legion.