Concilium Bulletin January 2021
The correspondent has kept in touch with Ivory Coast. The Senatus President says that COVID-19 is now under control in Ivory Coast and Mali. The Senatus President makes no mention of them holding meetings. He sends his greetings to Concilium and asks for prayers for peace in both countries.
Douala Senatus: In March the legionaries visited the extreme north of Chad, where they found a Curia working away. When the visitors from Cameroon went to Chad back in 2017, they were not able to get to that part of the country.
Bamenda Comitium set-up 2 new praesidia and they also report doing prison visitation. Limbe Comitium, despite being hampered by the war situation, is trying to keep the Legion going. The Acies, which was planned for March 2020, was finally organised towards the end of the year as well as the annual pilgrimage to Bertoua. The October, November and December Senatus meetings were held, and a short summary was received, but still awaiting the minutes. During the November Senatus meeting the Spiritual Director encouraged the legionaries to start up doing apostolic works again.
Lomé Senatus: The minutes of the November and December 2020 Senatus meetings received. The works mentioned are basically from the beginning of 2020: Home and hospital visitation as well as catechesis classes. Curia Avepozo held their 3rd Congress with 105 legionaries attending. Curia Amoutive has a praesidium in the police barracks. The Senatus is preparing for the 21st Legion pilgrimage to Kovie to coincide with the 71st anniversary of the Legion of Mary in Togo. Guinee-Conakry Comitium: Because of the pandemic very few attended the Comitium meetings, only 3 to 10 members attended. Home and catechesis classes were the works in the report.
CENTRAL AMERICA and MEXICO
The Senatus continues to be in lockdown but have been holding the meetings online, reciting the Rosary, Spiritual Reading and allocutio. The Spiritual Director also broadcasts a weekly online formation session for all. An attached Curia helps with sanitizing the churches after the Masses. An attached Comitium organises recycling of rubbish and street sweeping as True Devotion to the Nation activities. In the month of October, the rosary was promoted among the mass goers. The Eucharist was brought to various parts of the town and people received on their doorstep. The highlight of one attached Comitium organised 80 people to undertake the 33 day True Devotion to Mary preparation concluding with consecration to Our Lady. In December the Senatus began holding online meetings with their attached councils which they call virtual visitation. They report that the Spiritual Director will celebrate a monthly online Mass during the year as part of the Centenary commemoration.
Merida Senatus: There were representatives from 15 councils and various praesidia at a virtual meeting. Legionary contacts are made by telephone or WhatsApp with auxiliaries, special cases, sick parishioners or elderly. Active legionaries are encouraged to pray and to study the handbook.
Monterrey Regia: The last Regia meeting took place in May 2020. In July 2020 the Regia commenced meetings by zoom to encourage prayer, spiritual reading and to keep the spirit of the Legion alive. They are encouraged to help in the parish if possible. Many are unable to participate by zoom because they do not have the technology. The make contact by telephone to encourage prayer and read the handbook.
Regia of Guadalajara: Since September 2020 the Regia is conducting the meetings by videoconference. The members pray and study the handbook. The majority of the parishes are closed. Contacts known to legionaries are contacted by telephone, they also contact the elderly who are living alone, auxiliaries and active members who are a little discouraged. The Concilium correspondent takes part in the virtual meetings and send a letter every month to the council encouraging the members to overcome the difficulties of the pandemic.
Durango Regia: The Regia is unable to meet due to Covid but they encourage each other via WhatsApp or phone, encouraging the study of the handbook and prayer with auxiliaries. Some praesidia had been meeting in person for a while but had to discontinue when the rules were changed. A very active legionary, who was part of the prison apostolate, has died. They also receive the Concilium bulletin in Spanish as well letters from the correspondent.
Hermosillo Regia: An attached curia with 21 praesidia with membership of 161 active members attached reported. Since April they are in lockdown but very active in so far as they can with virtual meetings and phone calls. In February a retreat in preparation for the Centenary with an attendance of 90% was organised. Preparations for the Centenary had to be put on hold but prayer particularly the Rosary, Mass and other gatherings take place by video link for the present.
Senatus of Tegucigalpa: The Senatus held the VIII National Legion Encounter in Cucuyagua de Copán by virtual method with a large attendance of 250 legionaries from different areas of Honduras, many young and active. It was a three day event of formation, prayer and activity with the help of several priests, in particular the parish priest of Cucuyagua de Copán who spent the 3 days with the legionaries. As well as Holy Mass, talks, prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament they went out into the streets to pray and to evangelise which was a great experience. The correspondent is in contact, they receive letters, and audios with clarification and the Concilium bulletin.
Managua Regia: In November 2020 the Regia returned to meetings in person with attendance of the Regia officers and some officers of the attached councils and praesidia were permitted to attend. A Curia with 6 praesidia have been reduced to 3, the Curia will help to build up again. An attached praesidium with 11 members visit the sick and take part in other parish activities. Prayer particularly the Rosary and Holy Mass are promoted and encouraged virtually.
Regia: The Regia continues to meet monthly by WhatsApp but some of the praesidia have returned to meeting in person. An attached Comitium organises a perpetual Rosary so that there is prayer through the day. The 33 days prayer of preparation for the Total Consecration to Our Blessed Lady by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort is explained and encouraged.
Senatus of San Salvador: A few praesidia and Curiae have commenced to meet in person again.
Senatus: The Spiritual Director Rev. Marciel Bonilla Morales died 30 December 2020 may he rest in peace. Some praesidia and some councils are meeting in person and some virtually, depending on Government guidelines. In September the Spiritual Director suggested the celebration of Holy Mass and the Rosary on the 7th of each month in preparation for the Centenary. The correspondent keeps in touch with the monthly letter and they receive the Concilium bulletin.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Navan: The Rosary is recited weekly on Zoom and members of all praesidia are invited to participate.
Raphoe: While things are quiet the praesidia are keeping up the Legion prayers every week and some members have committed to reciting the Rosary for 40 days following a request from Concilium. Legionaries participate in online Adoration at the Cathedral in Letterkenny each Tuesday at 7pm. Fr. Brendan Ward hosts a Zoom meeting every Thursday for a young members praesidium, at the Church of the Irish Martyrs in Letterkenny. About 4-5 members tune in. Raphoe Legionaries were greatly saddened by the sudden death just before Christmas of Fr. James Byrne, one of their Spiritual Directors. Legionaries give the Maria Legionis to subscribers whenever they see them.
Diocese of Down & Connor:
Immaculata Comitium: November and December meetings took place via Social Media which enables the Comitium to keep continuity with some praesidia. Officers from Down Curia also participated. In November the parish priest of Dunloy, Very Rev. Fr. Brennan, gave a talk on the “Power of the Rosary” via YouTube. A number of suggestions for weekly work during the pandemic include Rosaries at parish grottos, making use of Facebook/Zoom to promote the Faith, making phone calls to auxiliaries, and where possible to set up a small altar in a home where a death occurred due to Covid-19. The 40th Anniversary Mass for the Servant of God Frank Duff was held on the 7th November in St. Mary’s Chapel at which a very inspiring talk on his life was given by Deacon Gregg. The Rosary was recited at the grotto after the Mass. One praesidium held an enrolment ceremony on the Feast of the Miraculous Medal. Approximately 150 attended the Mass. One praesidium is encouraging its auxiliaries to become enrolled in the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. Fr. Graham, their Spiritual Director, gave a talk via Social Media on ‘Advent’.
Archdiocese of Armagh:
Dundalk: Legionaries in one praesidium drop Catholic papers into parishioners’ letterboxes. The Rosary is recited at 3.00pm daily at a local shrine to Our Lady.
Drogheda: All praesidia members are taking part in the ‘Rosary of Reparation’ for 40 Days. The Rosary and Legion Prayers are recited at Our Lady’s Grotto at the side of St Peter’s Church in Drogheda for 5 months each Saturday at 12 noon with the permission of the parish priest.
There are 12 praesidia, covering 10 parishes, attached to Consolata Curia - 11 senior and one junior. The total number of active members is 61, six of whom are junior members. There are 173 Auxiliary members. During 2019 and 2020 Curia instructed every praesidium to organise a recruiting drive in their own parish. During this period legionaries met together once-a-quarter for Rosary and Mass, followed by Adoration and legion prayers. The intention of the Holy Hour of Adoration was to pray for new members. A few praesidia have increased their membership - one gained four new members who have all taken their promise. One of these new members has taken on officership.
A Patrician meeting is held in Brackenstown Parish Centre with an average attendance of 10, six of whom are non-legionaries. Patricians are written to every month and the event is advertised in the newsletter and read out in the notices. Peregrinatio Pro Christo update is on the Curia agenda every month and the Curia has a PPC organiser. Three members have been going on PPC every year for the past few years. The Curia encourages and supports these peregrini.
There is one Junior presidium attached to Curia. It is located in St. Cronan’s parish, Brackenstown which also has two senior praesidia. New members are recruited each year, usually from the Holy Communion classes. There is a drop-off each year too when junior legionaries enter Secondary School and their work-load increases. They are very active and attend most Curia functions e.g. Acies, annual reunion, visit to Frank Duff grave.
Consolata Curia had planned a conference entitled ‘A New World of Mary’ which was due to be held in April 2020, in a local hotel. This had to be cancelled due to government restrictions. It was suggested to them that they organise the conference on Zoom. Two Curia officers, with the support and expertise of a group of tech-savvy and multi-skilled legionaries Zoomed the conference on Sunday June 14th 2020. Over 300 people attended and the feedback was very positive. So far five ‘Mary conferences’ have been held on Zoom and there are plans to continue these conferences during 2021.
Chennai Regia: after a break of 9 months, held a meeting on 3 January with the Spiritual Director and 37 present. They paid tribute to 3 Spiritual Directors, including a former Regia Spiritual Director and 5 legionaries who died as a result of Covid-19. The Curia that reported did so on a period prior to the pandemic. During lockdown periods many members undertook greater study of the Handbook. They valued the information sent by their correspondent who encouraged them.
Kerala Senatus have not had a meeting since January 2020. They set up a WhatsApp group as a means of keeping in touch with councils and members. Zoom has been used by some attached councils. The Rosary has been widely promoted. An on-line quiz was arranged, open to all, to improve knowledge of Our Lady and the Handbook. One Comitium prepared and presented a daily 3-minute video for social media in conjunction with Bishop Vincent Samuel. 1 million Rosaries were recited between 15 August and 31 October.
Pondicherry Senatus: meetings have yet to resume and they aim to resume as soon as restrictions allow. 5 of the 6 officers have completed second terms.
Mumbai Senatus: no meeting was held this month due to restrictions. Their December bulletin included a summary of 2 praesidia. One with 8 members and 251 auxiliaries, the other with 6 members and 25 auxiliaries. Both do similar works of visitation of the sick and housebound, families, institutions for the marginalised.
Karnataka Senatus: 8 attended a meeting to discuss plans for the Legion Centenary. They decided to set up a YouTube channel for the Senatus to spread devotion to Our Lady and knowledge of Legion government. Care needs to be taken on the method of decision making.
This Comitium had been out of touch for a considerable time. Concilium made contact with the Cardinal Archbishop of Karachi, His Excellency Joseph Coutts. He very kindly responded to say that the Legion is alive and active. He was in touch with the President and hoped he would make contact, to date no word has been received.
Has resumed its meetings and this report covers the period October to December 2020. It covers the reports of 2 Regia, 2 Comitia, 2 Curiae and 1 praesidium. The members of the 7 councils and 1 praesidium totals 12,882 active members, 2,640 of whom are Praetorians and 26,952 Auxiliary members of whom 1,506 are Adjutorian members. The works covered by all were preparation of adults and children for the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation, regularisation of Marriages, the prevention of abortions and bringing people back to practice of the Faith, the numbers of which are very impressive. This is despite the age-group and the poor terrain in some cases. Junior membership is mentioned in 1 Regia having 56 praesidia, the second Regia having 216 juniors, a Comitium having 137 members, the second Comitium having 28 junior praesidia and 557 members. All reports mention recruiting of new active members totalling 1,273 and 1,541 auxiliary members.
A few praesidia are meeting but the correspondent has had no details of works, if such can take place. They are very pleased with the Centenary Logo.
Frankfurt Senatus: A new president of the Senatus has been elected and an audit of Curia funds has been undertaken. The renewal of the ‘33 Day Consecration to Our Lady’ is being undertaken as part of the centenary celebrations. The Consecration date is set for 7th. June – date of Frank Duff’s birthday. All Councils have been encouraged to arrange consecration with the celebration of Holy Mass.
Approximately 8,000 auxiliaries and interested persons are expected to participate in the Consecration. An explanatory leaflet and a letter of registration has been prepared for this purpose. The January edition of the journal ‘Die Stimme’ a special letter will be presented with the explicit purpose of deepening the individual consecration according to the writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort.
Munich Regia: Street apostolate has continued in Munich throughout the pandemic.
Comitium of Frieburg: Eucharistic Adoration is organised daily by the Comitium.
Erfurt: A new praesidium has now got 8/9 members.
Darmstadt Curia: has 25 full and 2 probationary members and 500 auxiliaries It also has a junior praesidium with 3 members. Permission has been granted to establish the legion in the parish of Klein-Auheim and a request has been made in another parish also. The writings of St. Louis Marie De Montfort are being studied continually by the Curia. Legion works include serving Mass, telephone apostolate, works of service and the binding and distribution of herb plants for the Feast of the Assumption. The Korean Curia marked 50 years of existence in September. The Rosary is prayed weekly on WhatsApp.
Geneva: The praesidium has 5 members. Dates have been set for weekend Peregrination Pro Christo Conferences in April and October.
Brussels Senatus: no meetings have been taking place.
Antwerp Regia: No meetings have been held but members are keeping in touch by phone with auxiliaries and others.
Amsterdam Regia: Only one praesidium was meeting on a regular basis but this may have stopped now because of the latest development.
London: Brentwood Regia: No meeting has been held since February 2020. However the President has been in touch with everyone in the Brentwood Regia on a weekly basis and has sent out spiritual reflections to everyone on a regular basis. Members have also been looking in on the Legion Conferences when they come up together with ‘virtual’ Mass for Frank Duff Anniversary in Dublin. Some members have also been attending meetings via Zoom.
Central London Curia: Report covers meetings September to October. A new secretary was elected at the September meeting and a Congress was held in October. The Curia has had a few meetings in their meeting rooms. However some of their meetings were held via Zoom and Internet. There were reports from 6 praesidia with works undertaken before lockdown. Active membership varied from 3- 6 full and 4-8 probationers. Works included home, hospital and nursing homes visitation and visitation with the Fatima Statue, crowd contact including in Red Light area, teaching Catechism, Prison apostolate where the Rosary is taught and explained to prisoners and a Video on Our Lady was shown.
Liverpool Senatus: The President and his wife (who is also a legionary) have held meetings at home and have managed to do some social distancing visiting as well as on-line and phone contacting. They have also been instrumental in helping 2 elderly parishioners attend Mass. In response to a request of the Parish Priest they have also helped with sanitising work in the Church. In the Comitium a monthly newsletter is sent out via email and post detailing interesting spiritual topics. Details of link to Marian Conferences as well as the evening Rosary and Sunday evening talk and discussion by Fr. Colm Mannion O.P.are also advertised. One member of a praesidium has set up three sites on various Religious topics which have been very informative. A letter has been sent to Archbishop Malcolm re the Centenary Mass in the Cathedral which he has agreed to attend. Also contact has been made with some Curia Officers. As a number of legionaries are elderly in both the Senatus and Comitium they are mainly self-isolating.
Birmingham Senatus: No meetings have taken place since March 2020. The Senatus Officers are meeting monthly by Zoom. The Acies ceremony was held in various different venues to facilitate social distancing. Contact is being kept with praesidia and councils.
Senatus of Scotland: No council or praesidia meetings are taking place. The Senatus officers have had an on-line meeting with the Spiritual Director. The Senatus officers were shocked by the news of the recent death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglai. The death has also occurred of Sr. Mary Margaret Whyte, former President of the Senatus.
The Curia and some praesidia have been able to continue their meetings as there has not been a full lockdown. The new praesidium in Jakoburg has 3 members and is being helped by another praesidium. Prayers were asked for Sr. Halena, a long standing very faithful member in Malmo and Sr. Jenni, past President of the Curia who are both ill. One of the two Arabic praesidia has been able to hold meetings.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Copenhagen did not meet between March and May 2020. The praesidium has 12 active and 30 auxiliary members. The meeting takes place on Sunday at 3 pm. During the months of May and October the legionaries led the Rosary in Church each day. The Legion has been given responsibility for disinfecting the Church and organising social distancing before Sunday Masses.