Concilium Bulletin January 2017
Senatus of Abidjan:-Seven Comitia, one Curia and six praesidia made their Annual Reports to the Senatus during this period. They have a combined membership of 6,343, including 1,718 Praetorians, 1,620 auxiliaries of whom 397 are Adjutorians and 1,939 probationers. Work carried out during this period included: 54,954 visits to a wide variety of locations; contacts made were 575,956 of which 224,731 were Catholic and the remainder Methodist, Moslem, Jehovah Witnesses, various sects and Fetish people, plus many of no religion. They made 34,311 visits to the sick at home and 93,396 to those in hospitals. The fruits of this work were: 1,373 Catechumens recruited, bringing the total Catechumenate to 6,487; homes reconciled 81; marriages regularised 116; returns to Mass 182; Baptism 605; Confirmations 292; Sacrament of Reconciliation 178; Sacrament of the Sick 121. The number of legionaries teaching catechism is 295. Two new Curiae and four new junior praesidia were established. The Senatus in Abidjan has a caretaker role for the Legion in the neighbouring country, The Republic of Mali, and they had a visit in July from the President of the Comitium of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the Archdiocese of Bamako, the capital. He was accompanied by the Assistant Secretary and a Curia President. It was an opportunity to support and encourage the Legion in that country.
Douala Senatus: Researchers have started checking documents about the history of the Legion in the area to prepare for the Centenary in 2021. Many of the reports include Exploratio Dominicalis, prison visitation and numerous conversions. Where home visitation is intensive, like Bamenda and Kumba Comitia, the reports mention 29 and 32 converts respectively. A new Curia was set up in the Comitium of Mbangassina, as well as several new preasidia in other councils and 1 praesidium in the prison in Bafoussam Comitium. Bertoua mentions the setting up of 3 new Comitia as well as a new junior praesidium.
Lome Senatus: A PPC was undertaken to Ghana from 19th-30th August with 55 legionaries taking part. A 75 year old man died 30 minutes after receiving Baptism. His wife also converted to the Catholic Church. Two people aged 85 and 95 were mentioned among the many other conversions, also several returns to the Sacraments and abortions prevented. Many reports included Exploratio Dominicalis projects, Patrician meetings and prison visitation. Avenou Curia reported on the setting up of a junior Curia, as well as recruiting 29 active members. Totsi Curia started a new junior praesidium. Kara Regia is composed of 2 Comitia, 13 Curiae, 16 senior and 4 junior praesidia.
SENEGAL (under caretakership of Togo): The Comitium in Dakar has 2 Curiae and 17 directly attached praesidia. Two new praesidia were started, one in St. Louis and another in the University Parish.
Cotonou Regia: Working with senior legionaries, a junior praesidium of nine members directly attached to the Regia undertakes door to door as well as hospital visitation and makes contact with Catholics, and followers of other faiths, including traditional religions. Having been now working faithfully for 16 years the legionaries received a commendation from their Parish Priest. The Regia also has a separate junior Curia in the city at Akpakpa, and care-takes the 3 Comitia in Gabon Republic.
REPUBLIC of GUINEA: The Officers from Togo who visited Concilium last summer offered to visit Guinea on behalf of Concilium. Now that the Ebola outbreak seems to have been brought under control, this option is to be considered.
BURKINA FASO: Sr. Odette Dié, former President of Abidjan Comitium (Ivory Coast) who went to the second city, Bobo-Dioulasso, to reorganise the Comitium there at the request of the Bishop has received Minutes from the body and is to send them on to Concilium.
Senatus of San Salvador: A Curia reported preparing several families for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage. A praesidium reports doing street contact and inviting those contacted to do Eucharistic Adoration; they also give out Miraculous Medals and phone some of the auxiliary members and sick contacts due to large distances. Another praesidium catechises parents and godparents of children to be baptised. They organised the Enthronement of the Child Jesus, preceded by a Eucharistic Procession attended by over 1,000 people, including 8 priests. Fifteen talks on Christian Formation were given to a group of policemen. Several Curiae held Legion Congresses in September.
Senatus of Tegucigalpa: Since the last report the Senatus held a Retreat, the Christmas Reunion and a meeting of officers based in Tegucigalpa. They ask their councils and praesidia for 6-monthly reports but struggle to get them in on time due to long distances and poor communications. The legionaries are working very hard in parishes helping the priests; the main works reported are getting people back to the Sacraments, giving catechesis and visitation of homes including the sick and people living alone.
Regia of Managua: The Regia is made up of 3 Comitia, 3 Curia, 1 junior Curia and 17 directly attached praesidia. Three candidates were proposed for President of the Regia in October; after two rounds the former President of the attached Comitium of Leon was elected. Regarding extension and recruitment, a Curia reported one new praesidium. The junior Curia has nine new members. A praesidium has begun an apostolate to local street girls while a Curia reports continued work with drug addicts and prisoners. They have undertaken evangelising and consoling residents in a home for disabled youths.
Regia of Panamá: In this period 2 Comitia, 2 Curiae and 4 praesidia reported. Extension is on-going with the formation of new praesidia of both juniors and seniors. The 95th Anniversary of the Legion’s founding was celebrated. The Regia has undertaken the publishing of a Bulletin to improve communication. The main works reported include visitation of homes, nursing homes and hospitals, street contact and Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. Exploratio Dominicalis projects are undertaken and there is mention of neighbourhood Evangelisation Gatherings, but no detail on what they entail. An elderly couple were convinced to marry after many years of co-habitation.
Senatus of Mexico City: The Senatus held a Congress in October attended by 120 legionaries, 10 from an attached Comitium. The Comitium in Oaxaca work with patients suffering from AIDS and have an apostolate to street girls. They also give sewing classes to 40 women. A Curia reported 28 Jehovah Witnesses accepting the recitation of the Rosary and 6 of them converted, receiving 3 Sacraments. The legionary most involved accepted an invitation to attend a Jehovah Witness meeting and after some time, when the Jehovah’s understood the Catholic faith, they lamented having been outside the Church for so long; now some of them are legionaries. The same Curia reported a patient confessing after 28 years and she died the following day. Another Curia, in reply to being asked how they had set up a junior praesidium, said: “We all have grandchildren, godchildren and neighbours, so we started the praesidium mostly with family members”; they said it is difficult but possible. The Comitium of Tejalpa reported giving catechesis to the Sacrament children and bringing them into the junior ranks of the Legion. The Comitium of Tulancingo reported that the Archbishop included the Legion in the Diocesan Pastoral Council. In Acapulco the Legion continues to grow; they have 20 Curiae attached and hope to raise two of them to Comitia to reduce the administrative burden.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Dromore Comitium: A praesidium in Newry has 100 auxiliaries. One member has joined the Passionists Order. Each year they run a Retreat for men and 12 attended their latest one. The Mercy Convent School was visited and 67 pupils received Miraculous Medals, Rosaries and leaflets for the three Causes and watched the DVD on the Miraculous Medal.
Navan Comitium: A praesidium of 10 members, including 4 Praetorians has 51 auxiliaries. They organised a Mass for all local students doing their exams. A Brazilian family was visited and their children were helped to learn their prayers. An All Saints party was organised for local children on Halloween night. On 8th December a Procession organised by a praesidium in Navan was very well attended. Trim Curia: A praesidium of 8 members visit homes, hospitals, nursing homes and recite the Rosary with settled Travellers. Mullingar Curia: A praesidium of 5 members visits nursing homes and does Pilgrim Statue visitation to homes.
Derry Comitium: Ballymagroarty praesidium has 147 auxiliaries. They undertake home and school visitation, Pilgrim Statue and hospital visitation. The praesidium in Killygordon has 9 members and 30 auxiliaries. They did a one-day home to home blitz of a housing estate. During the summer a praesidium in Omagh Curia did some home visitation in which they promoted the Year of Mercy. Mater Dei Curia: The 4 reporting praesidia have a total of 22 members and 108 auxiliaries. Works include promotion of the Rosary in homes and schools and promoting Eucharistic Adoration. Our Lady of Zion Curia: Legionaries attend wakes and funerals and visit the homes of the recently bereaved and the homes of new-born babies.
Raphoe Comitium: The first report of the Irish-speaking praesidium was presented at the September meeting. They have 5 members who visit nursing homes and the homes of several people living alone. Their Spiritual Director, Fr. Donnchadh 0’Baoill, who was present at the Comitium meeting said the members are an extension of the priest. A praesidium in Letterkenny has 10 members. Works include home visitation, book barrow apostolate and they promote the Adoration Chapel. The junior praesidium in Creeslough has 5 members. Works include Mass serving and some members accompanied by seniors’ visit a nursing home. South West Raphoe Curia: The praesidium in Donegal town has 6 members and 42 auxiliaries. They do Pilgrim Statue visitation as a way of promoting the family Rosary.
Leitrim Curia: Five members of the Curia helped at the Legion stand at the Ploughing Championships and gave out prayer cards and Miraculous Medals. There has been a positive interest by young people to a proposed new praesidium for those between 18 to 40 years. Exploratio Dominicalis in Granard had 6 pairs of legionaries visiting 4 Estates in October.
Clogher Curia: There are 6 praesidia in the former West Clogher Curia area. The number of praesidia in the area formerly Mid Clogher is being verified. At the September meeting the President reported on a visit to a praesidium in Annayalla (formerly Mid Clogher Curia). There were 6 members and 3 probationers. Enniskillen praesidium has 8 members who accompany the priest on a monthly basis to nursing homes. A member who is a teacher does Bible reading with her classes and encourages devotion to daily prayer and does meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary with them.
Kilmore Curia: A discussion was held at the December meeting about organising a recruiting drive for two of the weaker praesidia in the Curia. On Wednesday 21st December they recited the Rosary in the Cathedral at four different times during the day.
Clonmacnoise Curia: The 3 praesidia in the Curia have a total of 24 members. Works include home and nursing home visitation. A family Mass is organised on a monthly basis to combine with children for First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Drogheda Curia (Archdiocese of Armagh): Among the works of a reporting praesidium are home visitation, including visits to young families and the housebound and regular visits to two nursing homes. During the year they delivered Baptismal certificates and included religious objects to 28 families with new babies. The Mosney praesidium organise transport for the residents in the Mosney Centre to attend Sunday Mass. The praesidium in St. Mary’s Parish, Drogheda, has a variety of works, including regular street contact in Drogheda, nursing home, hospital and home visitation and they have a monthly parish cup of tea after the 10.30 a.m. Mass. Their parish priest, Fr. Phil Gaffney attended the Curia meeting and thanked the praesidium for the work they do in his parish, saying that on his visits to the hospitals and nursing homes the patients express their appreciation of the legionaries. He said also that their home visitations are of great benefit to the parish.
Dundalk Curia: One young legionary attended the Youth Conference in Belfast and plans are being made to have a Youth Conference in Dundalk early this year.
Immaculata Curia (Diocese of Down and Connor): The Curia was enriched by the Young Adults Conference which took place in October in Queens University. Approximately 70 people attended and the atmosphere was joyful with spiritual talks and exercises throughout the day. This was the second Conference in 2016, the first having taken place in March when about 55 attended. Recruiting in one parish resulted in a new praesidium, with 10 people attending the first meeting . A praesidium of 6 members does a variety of works which include nursing home and Pilgrim Statue visitation and also leading a children’s Rosary.
Down Curia: A praesidium in Ardglass has a membership of 5, with 2 Praetorians and 45 auxiliaries. Works include home visitation, works of consolation and organisation of Eucharistic Adoration. During the month of May Pilgrim Statues were left in the homes of children preparing for First Holy Communion. At the request of the Parish Priest of Ardglass a recruiting/evangelising drive was organised by the Curia.
North and Mid Antrim Curia: Annual reports were received from 3 praesidia with a total of 17 members and 127 auxiliaries. The works of one of these praesidia include visitation of new Estates to update parish records at the request of the Parish Priest. Another praesidium organises Adoration especially among young parishioners and organised a Mass for the youth of the parish as they approached examination time.
Bethlehem Curia: Two Patrician meetings had an attendance of 19 Patricains and 4 legionaries. A praesidium of Polish members works mainly with the Polish community. They provide basic English classes for Polish people. A praesidium of 6 members including 2 Praetorians has 2 correspondents. They have 15 verified auxiliaries and 6 probationers. Two pairs of legionaries do home visitation each week. During May and June they had a public Rosary in a Flats complex and 4 adults and 48 children attended. 25 people took the statue of Our Lady for one week.
Exaltata Curia: A praesidium of 6 members has undertaken to visit all the houses in their parish on a systematic basis and to date 400 houses have been visited. Recently two individuals said that they hadn’t been to Mass for over 30 years but then surprised the legionaries by telling them that they recite the Rosary at home instead. During the summer months the praesidium organise an outdoor Rosary in the various Housing Estates. They visit the nearby houses and invite the people to attend. The attendance varies between 6 and 14 parishioners with more children than adults. At the request of the Parish Priest a praesidium in another parish visits mainly in areas where they meet individuals from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and people of many religions, including Catholic, Moslem, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal and Orthodox. They also visit a hospital each Friday.
Presentata Curia: A praesidium of 14 men works mainly in the Morning Star Hostel. During the year the praesidium helped in setting up a “Men’s Shed”, which is a great success. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the men play darts, learn music and do art work. On Thursdays they go on outings to different parts of the city and other places of interest. They also visit sick residents in hospitals and keep in touch with former residents. A praesidium of 13 members working in Regina Coeli Hostel runs a Patrician meeting for the residents. The discussion at these meeting is wide-ranging and lively. The praesidium has good contact with the residents who have many social problems.
Veneranda Curia: The main work of a praesidium of 5 members is focused on Maria Legionis and the management of customers’ accounts. Quarterly circulation is 26,000 copies. A praesidium in another parish does home visitation and street contact. A Patrician meeting on “Preparing for Christmas” had an attendance of 17.
Consolata Curia: A praesidium of 7 full members and two probationers has a junior praesidium with 10 members attached. During Lent they organised a Business House Mass in a Supermarket for staff and customers; 40 attended. On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes they arranged for the Rosary to be recited every hour from 9.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. and there was a very good response from parishioners. On 15th August they organised a trip to the Papal Cross for auxiliary members where the Rosary and Legion prayers were recited, followed by refreshments. In August they organised a ‘Faith and Fun’ afternoon for children ranging from ages 5-12. Average attendance was 15 children each week. The theme was the Extraordinary Year of Mercy and the children enjoyed designing their own Holy Door. A praesidium in another parish has an apostolate to the Travelling Community. In October the Rosary was recited in each Traveller site on Thursdays. Over 40 Travellers attended and the Mysteries of the Rosary were explained.
Porta Coeli Curia: The works of a praesidium with 7 members include home and Pilgrim Statue visitation with two statues and visits to two nursing homes. The praesidium has 45 auxiliary members and sells 25 copies of Maria Legionis. They run a monthly Patrician meeting with an average attendance of 12, promote the Pioneers on the first Sunday of each month and enrolled 20 Confirmation children in 4 four schools as probationary Pioneers. They also helped with the Howth-Harbour apostolate during the summer months. A praesidium of 6 members working in another parish has 43 auxiliary members on roll. This praesidium helps to organise the annual Good Friday retreat for the Licenced trade and visited 25 Public Houses to promote it. 48 people attended, including many legionaries. They also visit a Travellers halting site.
Nepal Curia has 4 praesidia. There is an apostolate to expectant mothers and catechism is taught.
Mumbai Senatus: Book barrow apostolate has brought legionaries into contact with people of all faiths; one Buddhist was converted. Home visitation features in all reports. The Bishop has expressed his appreciation for their works.
Kerala Senatus: This council comprises 17 Comitia, 12 Curiae and 13 affiliated praesidia. Enthronement to the Sacred Heart and prison visitation are among their works.
Karnataka Senatus held a multi-function festival on 29 October in the Cathedral parish at which all praesidia were present. The Archbishop of Bangalore celebrated the Mass. Chennai Regia: Moslems and Hindus are met on home and hospital visitation. Visits to councils and praesidia are carried out.
Visakhapatnam Comitium: A date is being arranged for this council’s elevation to higher status. September functions were held with between 80 and 350 attending. 3 praesidia reported with membership of 16, 28 and 20 with 5, 17 and 11 auxiliary members.
Pondicherry Senatus: Catechism is taught, families are reconciled, homes are enthroned to the Sacred Heart; 20 people were saved from suicide and others with addictions were also helped. Fundraising is carried out to repair their Legion premises. 1,500 attended their Annual Reunion. Kottar Regia: In addition to the regular works they have established a promotional committee for the Cause of Frank Duff and are asking each council attached to do likewise. The Regia officers met the Bishop, Dr. Peter Remigius to seek guidance for future works of the Legion. The Bishop is a great supporter of the Legion. He has appointed the Regia President as Head of the Laity Council for the Diocese and other officers have been appointed to the Vicariate Laity commissions.
Two praesidia reported, one with 33 active and 4 auxiliary members, the other with 9 members. Homes, hospitals and institutions are visited and the legionaries play an active role in many parish events. Work is progressing on translating the Handbook into the Urdu-language.
The council at Ban Me Thuot cover 2 Dioceses in mission lands where people of different ethnicity reside. Each zone has its own language which makes for communication difficulties. Despite the poor terrain there are 50 senior Curiae with 8,964 members working in 610 senior and 173 junior praesidia. They have a total of 14,970 auxiliary members.
SRI LANKA and MYANMAR
It is proposed to make contact through ecclesiastical authorities.
The three Curiae outside Beirut have 225 senior, 23 intermediate and 67 junior members, plus 69 auxiliaries.
Nazareth Curia organised a day Retreat at which Bishop Paul Marcutso celebrated Mass and gave an address. A new praesidium was set up by Ramallah Curia. The praesidium in Bethlehem encouraged more than 200 to attend Confession; at least 60 took up the invitation. Legionaries consider it a privilege to clean the Church of the Nativity. A business women’s praesidium gave its report: they help weak students with study, run youth activities and widely promote the Rosary.
Antwerp Regia Beringen Curia has 19 active and 12 auxiliary members. They visit the sick with Holy Communion.
Amsterdam Regia: Legionaries visit the Red Light area where most of the girls accept Miraculous Medals. They have a Patrician meeting with 15 attending and work with the Sisters of Mother Teresa. The Korean Curia has 3 praesidia and 1 junior praesidium working in its own community. The Portuguese and African praesidia are getting help from other praesidia.
Birmingham Senatus: Many good contacts at the Bull Ring Market Square and an apostolate to homosexuals were reported. Other works include, Patricians, an outreach to the Travelling community and Exploratio Dominicalis. Students are given a religious pack to encourage them in their faith. One non-Catholic attends RCIA, and a mother and children returned to practice. Coventry legionaries recite the Rosary in 3 Primary Schools. Northamption runs an anchor club to help parents pass on the faith. Bristol Curia does book barrow work.
Liverpool Senatus: Extension continues in Manchester with 1 new praesidium starting and the longest in existence is 78 years old. Sweden was visited during the year and another visit it planned for 2017. The Curia there celebrates its second anniversary. The junior legionaries speak to their fellow students about the faith. Leeds hosted a PPC project. Among works mentioned are visiting the sick, recruiting for Adoration, book barrow, contact with non-Catholics and the Year of Mercy was widely promoted.
Southwark Comitium: This council covers 4 Dioceses. 40 attended a public Rosary at the Barbican in Plymouth. 8 expressed interest in the Church arising from a PPC project hosted. When a new meeting time was arranged a praesidium which had closed restarted.
Brentwood Comitium emphasise Extension and Recruiting. Juniors work with seniors on home visitation during school holiday time. Juniors and Praetorians feature strongly in the reports. Central London Curia: Prison visitation was reported, also ‘Prayer in the Square’ during which people were invited to enter the Church and light a candle. The Bayswater praesidium celebrated its 60th anniversary. Hammersmith Curia report 5 Pilgrimages during the Year of Mercy. West Middlesex Curia: Ealing praesidium held its 4,000th meeting. Seniors and juniors have a busy programme in Southall: home and nursing home visitation feature in reports as well as the Pilgrimage to Aylesford. Swansea Curia carried out crowd contact in different locations.
The Senatus care-takes the Legion in Finland and the visit there in August was successful. Edinburgh Curia held an all-night vigil for active and auxiliary members and they report a new praesidium in Kilsyth. Glasgow Curia: Our Lady of Wayside report on wonderful work being done for the Men’s Club. Gibraltar also comes under the care of Scotland and a visit is planned there during 2017. A greater mix of age groups is one of the aims.
36 legionaries on average have been attending the Senatus of Paris since its inauguration in September 2016. A Conference for young adults was organised in November. A PPC project from Austria will visit a parish in June. A new Curia was established in St. Denis.
A Curia was established in Bergen in October – also present were legionaries from Zurich Comitium who have been very active and supportive in building up the Legion in this part of the country. Tonsberg in the south of the country has 8 active and 23 auxiliary members. They teach catechism to children and bring people to Mass on Sundays. In Drammen, a port city, the apostolate includes hospital visitation and enthronement of homes to the Sacred Heart.
Frankfurt Senatus In October a Conference for Spiritual Directors was held. The annual weekend summit meeting between the officers of Munich and Cologne Regia was held. Discussion included extension. A commemorative Mass was celebrated for the former Envoy Hilde Firtel and her writings have been reprinted. Berlin Comitium: Two new praesidia started, one of them for the Spanish-speaking community. Frank Duff prayer leaflets have been left in all parishes. Cologne Regia report that 4 junior members from Essen have graduated to the senior ranks and in Dortmund 2 Iranians are under instruction. Munich Regia report 200 children presented with Miraculous Medals.
The Senatus of Frankfurt is hoping to help with extension in Lucern Curia.
SIBERIA and KAZAKHSTAN
Sr. Brigit Metzler has visited both countries, meeting with Bishop Joseph Werth in Siberia and with the Archbishop in Astana.