Concilium Bulletin July 2022
Senatus of Caracas: Senatus meetings are back to normal but there are large numbers of vacant officerships both at praesidium and council level. Steps are being taken to fill as many as possible. There are also reports of recruiting new members. A new curia with five praesidia was set up recently. The curia is attached directly to the Senatus with plans to extend further and raise a comitium in the area, which they consider necessary. Public rosaries are recited weekly in public parks. Jail visitation and home visitation continue again. Two praesidia prepare and facilitate RCIA courses.
Senatus of Medellin: In February 34 attended the meeting and the Regia based in Arma reported; the council comprises 3 Comitia, 18 Curiae and praesidia of adults, juniors and pre-juniors. It is a very active council, doing much extension, visiting the sick and holding retreats. From 24th to 26th March they celebrated a Marian Triduum and the Acies ceremony. In June 2 curiae and 1 praesidium reported but no reports were sent despite the correspondent requesting them.
Senatus of Bogota: The Senatus Extension Committee meets monthly to develope its members and to plan ahead. Most reports mention the Columban Drive method of recruiting. Many praesidia are supporting neighbouring praesidia which are weak post-covid. There is much mention of Centenary masses. Typical apostolates are street contact, public rosaries in parks, catechesis and junior groups, reaching out to the bereaved, counselling pregnant women and presenting their own programs on diocesan radio channels and on Radio Maria. There is an ecological apostolate based on Laudato Si. They participate in parish social activities visiting the elderly, sick and alone, encouraging them to confess and receive communion. Members of a comitium who are Eucharistic Ministers recruited 20 auxiliaries in the course of that work. Legionaries take part in parish missions and in missions to rural areas. A prison praesidium prays the rosary with prisoners and uses a “5 Minutes of Prayer” booklet to evangelise.
Asuncion Senatus: The Legion in Paraguay has 50,000 members including 15,000 auxiliary and 300 junior members. The Senatus president reports 95% return to normality with regular conferences to enhance the spirituality of members. The legion in the Seminary of Asuncion had 77 members present at the Acies celebration. Devotion to Alfie Lamb is strong and they celebrated the 90 birthday anniversary on June 24th in Asuncion and also attended the Buenos Aires event. The Senatus organized a pilgrimage to the Grotto of Our Lady of Aparecida, patron saint of Brazil in June which was well attended.
Senatus of La Paz: The Comitium of Potosi has 5 senior and two junior praesidia directly attached and a new praesidium is in formation. Visitation of the barrios has recommenced and families are delighted to see the legionaries again. The legionaries have started a Family rosary campaign giving special attention to the children praying with their parents. Celebrations for Alfie Lambe’s 90th birthday in Buenos Aires were relayed to all councils of South America for those who could not attend personally; two new books on Alfie’s work in Paraguay and Uruguay were launched during these celebrations.
Senatus of Santiago: This month of July the Senatus is praying to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of Chile, to increase the number of active legionaries. One of the praesidia reporting has two married couples amongst their members. A new Curia is being set up in Iquique, the most northern part of Chile on the border with Peru. During the month of May legionaries did a huge crowd contact in the city centre plazas promoting May devotions. Great importance is given to helping praesidia recruit and reorganize their activities.
Senatus of Montevideo: The Senatus meetings resumed in person in April 2022, when a new President was elected. Four praesidia reported in this period; no councils reported due to their only coming back together after Covid. A praesidium of youths has started street contact and receive a very good reception while a Curia has started prison visitation. Another Curia is setting up a praesidium of young adults. Acies ceremonies have been very well attended. A PPC project is planned for the town of Minas in July.
Senatus of Lima: They continue holding virtual meetings, with around 130 legionaries participating. They are looking for a suitable venue in which to hold meetings and comply with regulations. In this period 6 praesidia, 11 Curiae and 7 Comitia reported. During the pandemic telephone contact was very popular, reading the daily Gospel and commenting on it, and praying the daily rosary with families. As a result of these activities, many new members have joined the Legion when in-person meetings recommenced, and there has been a surge in auxiliary membership. Some notable apostolates include art workshops with youths to promote the faith, encouraging co-habiting couples to marry and evangelisation in colleges, universities and institutes. The correspondents worked very hard during the pandemic, encouraging and liaising with their councils.
Bicolandia Senatus: April saw the 1st.face to face meeting in 2 years. Cacares Comitium reported 360 seniors of which 85 are praetorian, and have 45 Juniors. Works reported visits to the jails homes, market stalls, also praying at wakes and funerals and teaching catechism to children. The Spiritual Director Fr. Xavier Amoroso of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary Curia attended the April meeting and he has now been appointed the Senatus Spiritual Director.
Western Visayas Senatus has returned to physical meetings after 2 years. Attendance is still limited to 2 officers from each council. Between March and April 4 Comitia and 4 Curia reported. All featured home visitation, marriage validations of which a married couple of 12 years were reluctant to have a church wedding, but through prayer and further visits they decided to go ahead . Catechism is taught in state schools. An Exploratio Dominicalis project resulted in many baptisms and conversions. A man who had suicidal thoughts was referred to the Priest who invited him to join the legion and he has now taken his Legion promise and is doing well.
Mindanao Senatus: Some praesidia and Curia are back to full participation while others with more elderly members are slow to return to meetings. One praesidium teaches Catechism and First Holy Communion preparation and assist the priest with the anointing of the sick. A lady who had observed the legionaries while she was cleaning the church was so impressed that she joined and is now actively involved.
Cebu Senatus: The visitation to councils has re-commenced. Distant councils with problems will be prioritized. A leadership training seminar for officers will be conducted in July to refresh duties and responsibilities.
Northern Philippines Senatus. Manila. In the Regia of Lipa a junior curia officer joined the Congregation of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, and in Pasig Comitium a former junior took 1st vows as a novice at the Holy Spirit Congregation. In Metro Manila councils on 18th.June, 131 male legionaries took part in the 1st conference for men. It was suggested to them to hold another for non-legionaries. Other works reported Jail visitation and legionaries gather housemaids in the lobby where they work and are catechised. Each month in 2021 webinars were held online and also a prayer message from 10 Archbishops for the centenary were recited and prayed by all.
Auckland Senatus: 3 praesidia reported with 8-10 and 12 members. Works include bringing Holy Communion to the sick and elderly in hospital and rest homes, Rosary and statue visitation. Juniors help with the hospital visitation and monthly Mass with their senior members. 5 members of the Senatus visited Wellington Comitium in April/May with a view to help them in recruiting and to increase the attendance at Comitium. 2 stayed 7 days, while the 3 others stayed for the weekend. 12 parishes were visited and 5 Priests and parish secretaries were met. Contact at Mass and fliers were distributed. There is only 1 junior praesidium in Wellington and the Senatus will follow up on a further visit.
Brisbane Comitium: A praesidium promotes the Legion online and does welcoming tours of their Cathedral and is an avenue to evangelize. The Comitium will now become affiliated to the Sydney Senatus and Sydney will visit them for the August meeting.
Melbourne Senatus: A successful Summer school was held in February. Noumea Comitium in New Caledonia reported with 8 Curia on the mainland and 1 in Wallis Island who have a junior praesidium attached. Albury and Wodonga Comitium which is a 4 hour train journey from Senatus held a Rosary crusade starting with Mass in the cathedral and stopping at 4 churches to recite the Rosary. Other praesidia reported outdoor functions, recruitment and Congresses planned.
Sydney Senatus. A 33 day Preperation for the Total Consecration started on 12th July, via Zoom. All councils are slowly getting back to meetings and regular work. Vietnamese Curia organised bereavement assistance during the lockdown. Northern Suburbs Curia started a new praesidia in Chatswood and works undertaken by curia members are distribution of Miraculous medals, weekly bible classes, parochial duties and organised online Rosary during lockdown. In Auburn-Bankstown Curia they had 8 baptisms reported.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Navan: Seven praesidia in the Comitium have resumed their meetings. Following a recruiting drive the presidium in Johnstown was restarted with seven members. Home visitation and public Rosaries in towns followed by street contact is done. Mass was celebrated in the Comitium and the two attached Curiae for the fourteen legionaries who died during Covid 19. The Acies was celebrated in March with a good attendance. Mass for the three causes was celebrated in June by the Bishop.
Raphoe: Membership continues to pose challenges. Two Praesidia in Letterkenny have merged for the moment. Two new members were gained after morning Mass. Street contact and recruiting are the main activities. Three legionaries who were to leave for PPC in North London tested positive for Covid and were unable to travel. A special project for PPC was held with an attendance of 15.
Dromore Comitium: Comitium meetings have resumed since March.The Acies was held on March 27th. School visitation was done to Carrick Primary school, Burren where a talk was given on the Mass, a DVD of the Miraculous medal was shown and a Miraculous Medal was given to each pupil. St Marks High school in Warrenpoint was also visited where the Rosary was recited with students in two classes.The Officers of the Comitium would like to thank the Concilium for their kindness and hospitality shown to them on their visit to the meeting in March.
Down and Conor: Elections for five Comitium Officers have taken place.
Drogheda: Minutes for March and April to hand. The apostolate of a Praesidium in Drogheda is Pilgrim statue, bringing holy Communion to the sick and housebound and an outreach to the homeless. The Ardee Praesidium had a book barrow for four hours on March 5th outside a busy supermarket. It was time well spent as there was a good witness of faith to a lot of people. A book barrow was also staffed by Drogheda legionaries outside Scotch Hall Shopping centre where many good contacts were made. A three year audit of the Curia finances was done. Leitrim: Seven of the eleven praesidia were represented at the Curia meeting. As the terms of Officership of all four Curia Officers had expired an election took place for each and all were filled. There was no praesidium report. A Curia outing was arranged. The Spiritual Director, Fr Courtney asked praesidia to get to know and develop a closer relationship with their Parish Priests. In doing so it would help to promote the legion and would likely result in expansion of the legion. Armagh: The Praesidia in Armagh and Keady are meeting each week. Portadow, Ballygawley and Dungannon are not meeting yet as they don’t have a meeting room available. The Acies was held on March 25 that which Fr. Mc Keever gave an inspiring address. Most of the work being done is leading prayers and Rosaries. There was a weekly Rosary during the month of May in a local housing estate. Homes were also visited with the Pilgrim statue.
Dundalk: Two Praesidia are now meeting and they hope to resume the Curia meetings soon.
Kilmore Curia: The Curia has only one praesidium of eleven members in Cavan town. Two nursing homes are visited where the Rosary is recited with the residents each week. The Rosary was also recited in the adoration chapel during the month of May.
Clonmacnoise: Curia meetings are taking place each month. At the June meeting there was a discussion on recruiting and extension. Better use of the Parish Bulletin was suggested for getting new members. An outdoor Rosary on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima had 30 in attendance. Two nursing homes are visited where the Rosary is recited with the residents in their rooms.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
Exaltata Curia: A mixed praesidium, mainly African, does contact work outside a shopping centre to encourage those who have strayed from the Catholic Church. They promote the legion in their area and the African Mass which is held on the 4th Sunday of each month.Visits are made to members who are in difficulty and they pray the rosary with them. The members support a prayer group and a Rosary group in adjoining parishes. Four legionaries from this praesidium attended the recent Young Adult Conference. There is a mixed preasidium working in Porterstown parish. Another praesidium has 17 members. Works include volunteering in the Morning Star Hostel; distribution of the Alive paper; minding a toddler for three hours while the mother goes to college; visiting the Pre First Communion children in Corduff and taking them to Adoration. A Rosary group for children meets every Friday and approx. 20 attend, aged between 3 and 13. They are taught the Rosary and are encouraged to pray it. Shopping and doctor visits are organised for the sick and immobile.
Consolata Curia: Members of all praesidia gather together every third month for mass followed by a Holy Hour of Adoration. The Rosary and Legion prayers are recited. These quarterly gatherings have been going on for the last 3 years. The purpose is to pray for new members. Approximately 20 new members have joined the praesidia since this initiative began. The last such gathering was on July 2nd. To promote the Centenary, Curia set up a book barrow in Swords on June 25th, from 11am to 5pm and distributed over 500 miraculous medals, leaflets and 3 causes prayer cards, as well as other Legion literature. A praesidium uses recruiting cards, the parish newsletter and the church notice board to advertise Legion events and to recruit new members. Legionaries make contact with people along the beach offering miraculous medals and explanatory leaflets and talking about the faith. A Ukrainian legionary has been visiting Ukrainian refugees and helping them with shopping, translating etc. This legionary has joined with a non-legionary to give English lessons to the refugees. A praesidium distributed prayer packs to First Holy Communion children and to children attending mass. Maria Legionis was given to teachers and priests of the parish. The pamphlet written by Frank Duff explaining the names of Jesus and Mary in the Islamic faith was given to a young Muslim. May and June Patrician meetings each had an attendance of 10 people. The titles were “What is our understanding of the Eucharist?” and “The message of Fatima and world peace.”
Bethlehem Curia: presented a slideshow on the life of Alfie Lambe on June 24th. Recruiting is high on the agenda especially during this centenary year. Four new members have been recruited. Street apostolate in Dublin city centre is the main work of one praesidium. Legionaries encounter many homeless people whom they direct to the two hostels. They engage with lapsed Catholics and encourage them back to the practice of their faith. The praesidium also operates a book barrow which is a good focal point in the city. People stop and chat and many solid contacts are formed. Recently a Brazilian man spoke at length with legionaries and both he and his girlfriend attended the following praesidium meeting.
Presentata Curia: Legionaries work in the hostels, organise a public rosary, do street contact and regular home visitation. They also visit business premises. A contact who was met on home visitation and who had been away from the sacraments for many years accepted a visit from a priest. Another contact in hospital was visited by the Spiritual Director and received the Sacrament of the Sick. A troubled family was visited by the priest, who subsequently officiated at the daughter’s wedding. Two baptisms have also been arranged.
Veneranda Curia: organised the annual Frank Duff celebration in Glasnevin in June. Street apostolate is carried out by brothers each week. The brothers use the leaflet ‘The Agony of Jesus in the Garden’ to open the conversation and explain the mass. The also offer the Miraculous Medal together with the leaflet and an explanation. Legionaries distributed 90 copies of each issue of the Centenary Maria Legionis. A young man who’s wished to be baptised was put in touch with a priest. Home visitation has resumed and many young people, working from home, are happy to have a chat about the faith. One man said he would seriously consider having his child baptised.
Porta Coeli Curia: is not meeting yet but some of the praesidia are back meeting and doing work. Works include home visitation, distribution of Maria Legionis and distribution of Catholic newspapers. A praesidium does contact work every week at a local shopping centre. Miraculous medals are explained and distributed as well as 3 causes prayer cards
The Senatus of Benguela celebrated their 14th anniversary on 23rd April 2022. 771 legionaries attended Mass to mark the occasion. The chief celebrant was Bishop Dom Antonio Francisco Jaka, The Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Daniel Gomes Spiritual Director to the Senatus. It was a joyous occasion giving members strength and confidence for the year ahead. Our Lady Queen of the World Regia recently held elections. Works include home and hospital visitation, visiting the elderly and sick giving them hope and support through these hard times.
Luanda Senatus: The 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Legion of Mary in Angola on 28th October 1951 was celebrated on 31st October 2021. The Senatus Acies was held on 2nd April. During the period October 2021 to March 2022 elections for several Senatus officerships were held, two Curiae were raised to Comitium, two senior praesidia and one Junior praesidium were set up. From 25th to 27th March 2022, an Apostolic Journey was undertaken to Nambuangongo/Bengo during which people were invited to Sunday Mass and young people and adults were accompanied to the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. A Day of Formation for officers of higher councils and some praesidia was held on 27th February 2022. The January 2022 minutes mention the death of a legionary sister, Luguinga Kahenga, aged 110 years. May her soul rest in peace.
The Senatus of Egypt: The Coptic Catholic Patriarch in Egypt attended the Acies in Cairo. Efforts are being made to establish more Praesidiae in Cairo. A 3-day annual conference/gathering is planned for July, the theme of which is “The Contemporary Marian Mission in the Communion of the Holy Spirit”
The Senatus of Accra, A project involving 37 Legionaries resulted in establishing a new Praesidium of 24 members. Queen of All Saints Curia, Madina is undertaking visitation to revive dormant Praesidia. Splendour of Grace Curia Mataheko is organising ‘A Day with Mary’, activities to include Rosary, Confessions, talks & Mass. Kumasi Regia reports visiting many homes, hostels and halls. The Regia organised several events to celebrate The Legion Centenary, including a Mass on 7th September to thank God for 100 years of the Legion, around 600 were present at the Celebrations.
Banjul Curia. All Praesidia were permitted to resume their weekly meetings. However, the Diocese of Banjul still has restrictions on homes and hospital visitation meaning this apostolate cannot be undertaken. A new Praesidium of 18 members was established. The Legion’s once a week Radio programme was extended to end of Sept 22.
Maputo Regia: Weekly meetings have resumed, evangelisation retreats are promoted and visits to Comitia and Curiae took place to motivate legionnaires. Efforts are made to motivate the Councils that are having difficulties. A celebration is planned for 7th September with the presence of the Archbishop of Maputo. The Spiritual Director of the Regia encouraged legionaries to recruit young people, saying young people are missing from the legion.
Quelimane Comitium held a planning meeting to discuss activities for the coming months. Legionaries participated in a Radio Maria program, where they talked about the Legion of Mary’s history, spirituality, apostolate, and Frank Duff. Reports include 251 new members, 212 of these recently took the Legion Promise.
Tete Comitium organised a Pilgrimage to the Shrine at Zobue in May, many legionaries participated. It was a time of prayer and celebration. Holy Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Tete, Dom Diamantino.
Beira Comitium is working on extension, a new Praesidium was established. Due to the pandemic no Centenary celebrations took place in 2021, celebrations are being organised for this year. The Acies is expected to take place in August. The Spiritual Director, a Spiritan priest, expressed great joy and gratitude for the communication with Concilium. He asked for help and support to reorganize the Legion in the Diocese.
Lichinga Curia are planning Centenary Celebrations.
Nampula Curia established two new Praesidia, work to expand and recruit new members is ongoing.
Nacala Praesidia is organising a Vigil to celebrate the Centenary.
A praesidium of eight members had a 100% attendance over a sixteen-week period. They report visiting 486 families. Another praesidium visits a prison and a hospital.
The Senatus of Cape Town: The Senatus is planning to celebrate the Centenary later in the year. Elections were held in April 2022. The Senatus has requested a meeting with the Archbishop to discuss appointing a new Spiritual Director, the publishing of the Afrikaans Handbook and a venue for the Senatus. Works include praying the rosary at wakes and funerals and in the homes of the sick and housebound. A praesidium organised a retreat where the rosary was prayed on the beach.
Matatiele Comitium. Reports include Home Visitation and praying the Rosary with families. Several Praesidia attached to the Council organised Masses for Venerable Edel Quinn. Many children and adults attend a Patricians meeting held by the Mystical Rose Praesidium, remarkably more children than adults attend.
Harare Curia. Through the efforts of the correspondent contact was made with the former Curia President who resigned her position as it was not in line with the Legion Statutes. Her last email on May the 30th is a good news clarification as she explained that they wished to comply regarding proper elections and had planned to do so but the meeting intended for this purpose did not go ahead due to Covid restriction. Once Curia meetings resume the elections will take place in accordance with handbook rules.
ELECTION OF CONCILIUM VICE-PRESIDENT
Sr. Síle Ní Chochláin proposed and Sr. Bróna Snow seconded the nomination of Br. Declan Lawlor. As there were no further nominations Sr. Mary Murphy declared Br. Declan Lawlor elected as Vice President of the Concilium for a 1st term of three years.
PEREGRINATIO PRO CHRISTO
There were two projects last week 9th to 16th July to Birmingham and London – so far we have had no report on their progress. One project went again to Claphan London with 8 volunteers on the team. There has been a number of cancellations mainly due to Covid 19. We have three other projects to Bristol, Soho and Manchester. There is one volunteer needed for the Manchester project for the 3rd to 10th September.
On Saturday, 25th June we had a pre-departure meeting which was attended by seven volunteers. There was a lively and informative discussion on the approach and how to develop the conversation also other details regarding travel and other requirements, etc.
Please continue to pray for the success of all these projects. Thank you.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE MEETING
There will be a General Correspondents meeting on Saturday 15th October 2022 in Nazareth Hall from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
All correspondents are invited to attend.
REGIA / SENATUS
The Regia and Senatus are very important Councils in the government of the Legion of Mary throughout the world.
Serious consideration is always given by the Concilium before this status is conferred on a council.
Approval of the Hierarchy in a particular region and the agreement of various councils which will be attached to the new body has to be obtained.
Only the Concilium meeting has the authority to confer higher status on a proposed Regia or Senatus. It has to be formally proposed and seconded at a Concilium meeting.
No person or other legion council has the authority to raise a Legion council to Regia or Senatus.