Concilium Bulletin January 2010
Reports - AFRICA
Bangui Regia: The report for 2008/09 indicates that there are 20,870 Legion members in the Archdiocese of Bangui with a further 23,262 in the remaining 8 Dioceses. The Regia has submitted the text of the Handbook in Sango with a view to having it printed in that dialect.
Kinshasa Senatus: The Senatus has over 160,000 active members. A new Comitium, Mary Mother of Youth has 8 Curiae, 71 praesidia, 1,722 active members, 13 auxiliaries, 294 praetorians and 347 junior members. In a year, they visited 3,512 homes.
Bukavu Senatus: Election of officers took place on the 20th December 2009. The printing of the Handbook in Swahili is being undertaken.
Butembo Senatus: Legion matters are being managed well. The Senatus organised a pilgrimage to a shrine of Our Lady.
Lubumbashi Regia: There are good works undertaken by the Regia, which includes work in the prisons and this is well organised.
Gitega Senatus are planning a Congress for next August. Bujumbura Regia announced with great joy the foundation of a Curia at Tenga, one of the black spots of ten years ago.
Kigali Senatus are considering a proposal for the establishment of a Regia at Cyangugu.
Mauritius Regia: Regular reports from attached councils with particular attention being given to youth through organisation of retreats, teaching of Christian Doctrine to school children, recitation of the Rosary in families, preparation of children for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. New praesidia were recently formed in three colleges, Port Louis, Goodlands and Terre Rouge. Other works include home to home visitation, visitation of hospitals, accompanying Priest to the ill, care of the poor and AIDS sufferers. 150 legionaries were present at a Retreat organised by the Curia of Curepipe. The annual visit was undertaken by two legionaries to Rodrigues.
St. Denis Comitium: Works for juniors include visitation of sick and aged accompanied by adults. They also help the priest by serving Mass and distributing Mass leaflets. Recruiting of juniors is one of their works. Work reports by senior legionaries include visiting the sick at home and in hospital, doing mortuary work, which includes recitation of prayers in the mortuary and at wakes and taking part in the Mass for the dead. They also counsel the bereaved. The Rosary is recited in retirement homes and first Saturday devotions organised. Five members are catechists.
Curia Cause de Notre Joie held its 257 reunion in September 2009. The strongest Curia in the country is Stella Maris de Morondava.
Calcutta Comitium has 15 praesidia and 8 Curiae attached with an active membership of 650 senior, 75 junior and 350 auxiliary members. In the mountain regions of Nagaland there are 17 praesidia and the plan is to have the Handbook translated into the Angami language. Fishermen and farmers make up the majority of members in South Bengal. The Legion is Bangladesh is visited periodically, Chittagone was visited and Dacca, the capital, is due a visit.
Mumbai Regia: The Cardinal has allocated visitation of hospitals to the Regia, it in turn carried out a census of the hospitals and allocated them into the care of nearby praesidia. The apostolate to non-Christians, monthly extension and efforts to promote Edel Quinn are ongoing.
Kerala Senatus: The Legion works in 25 Dioceses and operates in all 3 Rites. Extension features in most reports. Catholics, non-Catholics and non-Christians are visited and much catechetical works are done.
Karnataka Regia operates in the Archdiocese of Banglore, which has 10 Suffragan Dioceses with the Legion working in all but one. Five Comitia, 15 Curiae and 10 praesidia make up the Regia. Families are encouraged to return to practice and in 2 slum areas 15 people changed from their illegal way of life.
Pondicherry Senatus: An Exploratio Dominicalis type project was undertaken by 51 legionaries to an area 300 kms away and split into 4 teams. Six praesidia were rejuvenated and 4 new ones were formed.
Tuticorin Comitium has 16 directly attached praesidia. The praesidia reporting have an average of 19 members and a new Comitium and Curia was established. 106 parishes don’t have the Legion yet so each council has been tasked with some of these parishes for extension.
The Senatus celebrated its 60th anniversary at which the Auxiliary Bishop Charles Bo said “almost all parishes have benefited from the apostolate of legionaries”. The Senatus governs 2 Comitia, 7 Curiae and 19 praesidia. In a distant area 17 praesidia were discovered working well and are being formed into a Curia. In another area a curia almost wiped out in a cyclone in 2008 has reformed thanks to the support of Fr. Lay Cho - 10 of the 16 praesidia have restarted.
Much work in the area of Bible Study is being done for the education of adult Catholics, a work in which legionaries are assisting. 38 out of 60 couples in irregular situations had their marriages regularised. Students of all faiths are met. Study of the Handbook is been stressed.
In deference to the majority attending the Comitium meeting the proceedings were carried out in Urdu. Encouragement is being given to have minutes come more regularly. The legionaries ask for prayers in these troubled times.
Works mentioned include home, hospital and prison visitation. Health and nutritional education is added to the spiritual apostolate. English is taught to poor children. 51 attended a Legion Congress and the Lanka Comitium celebrated its golden jubilee with a Mass attended by the Archbishop, clergy, religious and over 3,000 lay people.
Good statistical information is provided and a very solid apostolate is undertaken throughout the country. The officers have been invited to provide more details in reports presented to the Senatus. Higher councils are required in some Dioceses.
Minutes of the 2 Curiae have been received and are being translated.
The Curia Mary Queen of Apostles in Yerevan consists of 2 senior and 1 junior praesidiae with hopes of further development. The membership is made up largely of a mix of nationalities, with a dedicated Spiritual Director Fr. Petros. Visitation of families, those with difficulties counselled and children for Baptism discovered.
The praesidium in Ude have 6 members and since they started in February 2009 prepared 19 people for Confession and others for the Sacrament of Marriage as well as bringing 9 families back to the practice of their faith. The legionaries are hampered by not having the Handbook in Georgian. The praesidium in Vale also has 6 members.
The Comitium in Jerusalem has 4 Curiae and praesidia are also working in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, Jaffa & Ramla, Ramallah, and Galilee/Meilia. Their membership is 548 active and 183 auxiliary members. This congress was attended by 450 members and had sessions on The Legion is Handbook Living, Commitment, Consecration and Obedience.
The Legion was well represented at a two-day meeting for Laity and at a National Forum for Youth. 25 young people participated in a holiday camp for youth organised by legionaries. 105 attended an all-day celebration of the 88th anniversary of
the foundation of the Legion after which a film on the start of the Legion in Dublin and in Beirut was shown.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
The Concilium raised the Comitium in Mount Hagan to Regia status.
The territory takes in the Archdiocese of Mount Hagan and its 4 Suffragan Dioceses (in this mountain region). There are 7,506 members been seniors and juniors. The new Regia comprises 11 praesidia, 5 Curiae and 3 Comitia. Ecclesiastical permission has been granted for the Regia.
The Senatus of Northern Philippines (Manila) at its October 2009 meeting recommended a proposal to be put to the Concilium to raise Lipa Comitium to Regia. The territory covers the Archdiocese, its 3 Suffragan Dioceses, 2 Apostolic Vicariates and 1 Prelature. Between senior and juniors the membership is 4,772. The new Regia would comprise 21 praesidia, 1 junior and 6 senior Curiae and 3 Comitia. The 3 Comitia are located in Lucena (11 praesidia, 1 junior and 5 senior curiae), Gumaca (18 praesidia, 2 junior and 2 senior Curiae) and Calapan (9 praesidia, 1 junior and 6 senior Curiae). Ecclesiastical permission has been sought. The Senatus itself would be left with 13 praesidia, 1 junior, 2 senior Curiae, 15 Comitia and 3 Regiae. This new Regia in Lipa was approved by the January 2010 Concilium meeting.
Theme for the Legion of Mary worldwide in 2010:
“Get back to Basics through the Study of the Handbook”
At the December 2009 meeting, the Concilium agreed the above theme for the Legion worldwide during 2010 to generate a more intense and systematic study of the Handbook by all active legionaries.
“If every legionary were to spend 5 minutes a day in 2010 reading the Handbook what a difference it would make”, said Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium.
It would lead us all to do the following:
“Have a greater presence of our Lady in our lives, to help us to see and serve Christ in everyone.
“Be more gentle in our treatment of people and our fellow legionaries.
“Get to know better the spirit of the Legion as well as the rules.
“Improve our government of the Legion through greater knowledge of Chapter 28 in the Handbook on “Government of the Legion “.
“Focus on the visitation of praesidia and councils and remember to use constructive suggestions at meetings, and all dealings with people. The Handbook tells us “to exclude all words and attitudes which are hostile to charity” and “to saturate meetings with the spirit of prayer and full Legion devotion”. (Chapter 28,Section 1.25)
“Consult the Handbook as a first port of call when confronted with an issue or problem.
“Renew our zeal for evangelisation through study of the Handbook’s Chapter 40 “Go Preach the Gospel to the Whole Creation”. Be more aware that a council is responsible for its whole territory and not just the parishes, which have the Legion.
VISIT OF OFFICERS OF PARIS AND DAX REGIAE, FRANCE
The Officers of these two Councils had come to Dublin for discussion with the Concilium Officers and attended the Concilium meeting on Sunday 17th January 2010.
President of the Dax Regia, Marie Claire Brethous requested prayers to create a stronger council. She also thanked the legionaries whose work of evangelisation at the Permanence in Lourdes was gratefully appreciated. She thanked the Concilium for their welcome, help and prayers.
Monique Chevrot, President of the Paris Regia, said this year the Regia will be celebrating its 70th anniversary having been established in 1940.
Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium, thanked the Officers for coming to Dublin and wished them many graces and blessings in their work for the Legion of Mary.
VISIT OF EXTENSION WORKERS
Edel Teresa Garcia and Laura Emilia Rodriguez
The two legionaries thanked the Concilium for the privilege of working on extension on behalf of Concilium and also for the prayers for the work they carried out over a six-month period in the Senatus of Cordoba and Regia of Corrientes in Argentina.
In the Cordoba area they worked on the setting up of junior and young adult praesidia directing their efforts to parishes with a high number of young people and also the University parishes. During their stay in Cordoba they were also successful in organising a conference for young legionaries from different provinces in Argentina. They also had fruitful discussions with the Senatus officers.
In Corrientes Regia they were very impressed with the zeal of the legionaries and also the many that did great work setting up new praesidia in the shanty towns and rural areas. They were able to travel extensively to make contact with the distant councils attached to the Regia.
Edel and Laura also reported on the work done by young legionaries to promote the cause of the Servant of God Alfie Lambe. Meetings, discussion groups, a puppet show, a play and a video as well as many contacts with the youth were undertaken.
Each year a procession of young people including many legionaries walk a distance of 30 miles through the streets of Buenos Aires and with a police escort to Alfie’s grave. On the way prayers, hymns and contact is made with those taking part. The legionaries invite onlookers to join them.
Tommy McCabe, President of Concilium, thanked them for coming to Ireland and for the great work they undertook in Argentina and to hear first hand what they are doing for the Cause of the Servant of God Alfie Lambe. He also thanked Ann Murray, Concilium Officer, and Noel Lynch, correspondent, for organising their itinerary.
The Servant of God, Alphonsus Lambe
Alfie Lambe was a model of patience, kindness, charity and perseverance - qualities which were apparent in all his dealings with his family, his friends, those he worked for and in his freely-chosen activities on behalf of the Legion of Mary. He considered no obstacle too great, no hardship too severe if by overcoming such handicaps he could win another soul for Christ.
He was born in Tullamore on June 24th 1932. From an early age his one ambition was to be an Irish Christian Brother. He entered the order at thirteen years of age, but the doctors decided that he would hardly be able to stand up to the rigours of religious life.
Returning home dejected, he later joined the Legion of Mary where he realised his true vocation. He volunteered to go as envoy to South America, into a vast territory that included Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia. Life was not easy. He had to learn to speak Spanish and adapt himself to the different customs of those around him. But Alfie was not a hermit, he was deeply interested in every individual with whom he came into contact.
Before Alfie was twenty-one, he was chosen to introduce the Legion of Mary to Ecuador. Here he did great work amongst the people and glowing reports were circulated about him. His days, weeks, months and years abroad were packed with activity. Alfie’s apostolic zeal helped him to reach objectives, which could be called superhuman, even for a long and rich life. It is difficult to keep pace with his travels. Yet everywhere the branches of the Legion he established and flourishing and bear witness to his sound vision and practical outlook.
Alfie’s holiness expressed itself about all things in his actions, in the simple and natural fulfilment of what he recognized as his duty - and this to the utter giving of self.
On the 21st January 1959, the feast of St. Agnes, the Concilium received a cable with the news of the envoy’s death the wording of which said ‘Alfie joined Edel today’.
Alfie Lambe Legion Envoy by Hilde Firtel
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.