Concilium Bulletin June 2007
REPORTS - AFRICA
Burundi: From the Senatus minutes received, it showed that the Legion is working well and growing towards the 50,000 membership mark. A special meeting was held to discuss extension of the Legion .
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kinshasa Senatus: The Senatus has taken up the idea of True Devotion to the Nation to help the country in its new era of peace and as a means of recruiting more men, into the Legion.
Bukavu Senatus: 5 Comitia reported, membership in each ranging from 500 to 700.
Butembo Senatus: The Senatus undertook visitation of the Legion in the Diocese of Wamba travelling over 3,000 kilometres.
Central African Republic
Bangui Regia: The legionaries carry out a varied apostolate and seek to read with contacts relevant texts of scripture and then sit down with contacts to discuss their situation.
Works include home and hospital visitation of Catholics and non-Catholics ensuring that Holy Communion is brought to the sick and housebound, teaching Catechism to children. Junior members visit a centre for handicapped children with whom they play and pray.
The Regia now has 2 Comitia, one Junior and 5 adult and Curiae and 18 attached praesidia. Recent reports from a praesidium with 17 members and from a Curia with 17 attached praesidia give excellent accounts of work at family and parish level. In the neighbouring rocky island of Rodriguex, there are 570 active members of the Legion and 500 auxiliaries.
Kigali Senatus: Reports on excellent work in the effort to reach every soul. The Senatus officers put great efforts into visitation of councils.
A Seminarian praesidium has a prison and youth ministry. One of their members graduated from the junior praesidium into the Seminary. Delaware County Curia had an Evangelisation Day with 32 legionaries and 10 parishioners doing door to door visiting. A Peregrinatio Pro Christo project to Port-Richley Florida visited nearly 2,000 homes. Delaware Korean Curia work among their own community. Camden Comitium in New Jersey has 5 book barrows, visits 7 prisons and have 3 Patrician groups. Pittsburgh Comitium: Legionaries are fulfilling their new duties as a Regia. Mettuchen Comitium recruited 12 new members.
Los Angeles Senatus: West San Fernando Korean Curia has 13 Patrician groups. East Los Angeles Spanish Curia does street apostolate to teenagers and young adults.
Boston Senatus: The Korean Curia with 45 members covers a wide range of work among the Korean Community including helping the newly baptised to become interested in the Legion. Works reported include preparing couples for a Sacramental Marriage and visiting a women’s prison.
Chicago Senatus: Two members of the Senatus distribute Miraculous Medals in a homosexual neighbourhood. The Legion was represented in the Lay Ecclesial Movements meeting in the Archdiocese. A Curia had a Legion booth at a Protestant Church Summer Fair and those present welcomed Legion literature. Sioux Falls Curia reported a great change in prison inmates since the visitation of legionaries and had four conversions.
Cincinnati Senatus: A Peregrinatio Project was organised to the Baptist area of Georgia. A new Seminary praesidium has been set up.
St. Louis Senatus: 5 new praesidia have been established. The sick are visited, the Rosary crusade is promoted and the three Causes promoted. The husband of an Auxiliary member was received into the Church at Easter and the family returned to the Church.
San Francisco Senatus: 5 new praesidia were formed in Portland. Idaho Comitium prepared sixth grade students for First Holy Communion and 8 adults for Baptism and Confirmation. Sacramentum Comitium teach the Rosary to prisoners.
Oakland Comitium: does prison visitation. North Utah Curia has taken up True Devotion study. South San Mateo Curia do prison and door to door visitation. In one Parish, 460 homes were visited and there was an 8% increase in Church attendance. The Sacred Heart is enthroned in homes.
New York Senatus: A Peregrinatio project took place in Miami in April. Rockville Comitium has 8 attached Curia which amount to 60 praesidia with 420 active members, 8,002 auxiliaries. During the year 23 joined the Legion, 14 new praesidia were started. Results reported Baptisms, Adult confessions, First Holy Communions and Confirmations.
Houston Senatus: New Orleans Comitium status has been transferred to Immaculata Curia due to the Hurricanes of 2005. San Antonio Comitium undertakes an airport ministry and contacts the passengers and staff. Mother of Fatima Korean Curia visits newcomers and encourages the lapsed to return to practice. Rosa Mystica Curia helped prisoners to return to the faith. The Spanish Curia had a retreat for youth.
Arlington Regia: A praesidium in Washington conducts liturgical services when no Priest is present. Korean legionaries in Richmond report the conversion of 2 Mormons. The Regia organised a workshop on the Legion websites, which was very popular.
Senatus Puerto Rico: A Conference was held with 480 juniors and 50 adults. Talks to 12 to 18 year olds on courtship and a talk to 30 top security prisoners on Fathers Day were held.
Trinidad Regia: On home visitation, efforts are made to evangelise each contact, 1 person returned to the faith after many years. The Sacred Heart was enthroned in homes.
Montreal Senatus: A new praesidium of 12 members from South America has been started.
Toronto Regia: The Regia held a meeting with its councils and extension work was discussed. New praesidia were started in many of the attached councils. Works include instructing 59 boys in a correctional institute on the faith.
Hamilton Comitium; 1 new praesidium has 16 members. The Korean Comitium gave 253 people Catechism instruction and 140 were Baptised. There are a total of 15 Patrician groups in the Regia area. All councils ran True Devotion Consecration days and all councils held Masses for the 3 “Legion Causes.” In Calgary Comitium, regular visitation in a nursing home resulted in a lady being received into the Church. They have 15 praesidia attached and recently set up a website.
Ontario Senatus: Columban Drives resulted in 5 new members. The work of one praesidium comprises organising Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each Friday, a book barrow is taken to a market.
Senatus of Bogota: The Senatus celebrated 60 years of the Legion in Columbia recently. His Eminence Cardinal Pedro Rubiano celebrated Mass in the Cathedral. In his homily the Cardinal said “the Legion of Mary is constant and permanent with an immense love of the Virgin Mary, I don’t say just a devotion to Mary but it is the presence of Mary which leads us to her Son Jesus. The Legion of Mary sows seeds and extends all over the world”. Most reports indicated that work is being done for drug addicts, street children and prisoners. On home visitation they encourage Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which takes place in most parishes. Courses in preparation for the Sacraments are given by legionaries who are also trained catechists. A number of councils have organised talks and retreats with a “True Devotion to Mary” theme.
Senatus of Medellin: Street contact is carried out particularly to young people, some of whom have returned to the practice of the faith. Others have expressed a desire to be prepared for the Sacraments. A woman who was 30 years away from the Sacraments returned and is now visited regularly in her home. In the course of their Legion work, legionaries explain and distribute the Miraculous Medal. A Conference for Spiritual Directors was held recently. The three Causes were mentioned at the Conference. It was emphasised that “the Legion united with the Priest brings the Priest to the people”.
Senatus of Ascuncion: A workshop was held for Council officers, extension workers and correspondents to study the letter of Pope John Paul II on the Family. Those present studied the importance of this document and how they could incorporate the recommendations in their visitation of the families. An attached Comitium with 4,500 legionaries runs two Patrician groups as well as doing the usual Legion works. The Junior movement is particularly strong in an affiliated Comitium where some of the Curiae have up to 12 junior praesidia. Arising from home to home visitation, 13 children were prepared for Baptism, 2 for First Holy Communion and 2 marriages were regularised. An attached Curia recites the Rosary over the local radio.
Senatus of La Paz: Extension work continues with special interest in setting up praesidia for young adults. Many young Bolivians work and study but still find time for the Legion. One of the valuable works done is the Stations of the Cross along the barrios. This creates great interest and many who would not open their doors or their hearts to the legionaries are moved to take part in these processions. Many conversions are reported including a young girl who was practising witchcraft. At the May Senatus meeting, a very moving and warm tribute was paid to Susana Maciel who has completed the extension work in Bolivia.
Lima Senatus: Susana Maciel and Jorge Garcia are visiting the Senatus on behalf of the Concilium. They have met many legionaries who wanted to speak to them. They also had an interview with the Auxiliary Bishop in charge of the laity.
Quito Senatus 2 Comitia, 3 Curiae and 4 praesidia reported. A number of people have asked the legionaries to teach them the Rosary, it is said before Mass and they would like to take part. Two praesidia were activated with the help of 2 extension workers. The sects are particularly active in some areas, a number of conversions were reported and two returned to the Sacraments after a long time and died shortly afterwards.
Senatus of Caracas: 18 councils and 3 praesidia reported. Reports include Patrician groups, Exploratio Dominicalis and Columban Drives. There were two vocations, one to the Priesthood and one to the nuns. There are many young legionaries in Maracaibo. They do crowd contact work making particular effort to reach the young people. The Causes are widely promoted.
Senatus of Montevideo: 2 praesidia and 4 councils reported. At the request of the Parish Priest, two or three legionaries help him particularly during his time off by opening the Church and assisting visiting Priests.
Senatus of Santiago: An attached Curia reported 13 praesidia and one in formation. 350 homes were visited by legionaries who took part in an Exploratio Dominicalis project. Legionaries organise May devotions in schools, they also speak in schools about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
Visit by Senatus of Austria
Officers of the Senatus of Austria comprising Fr Florian Calice Spiritual Director, Elisabeth Ruepp President, Guenther Doppler Vice President, Peter Leeb Treasurer, Anni Cech and Leo Fuehrer Assistant Secretaries held a meeting with the Concilium officers on Saturday 18th June, and attended the Concilium meeting on the Sunday. They discussed the development of the Legion in each of the dioceses of Austria as well in the attached councils in the countries of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Liechtenstein. Their work with young people especially the evening of prayer and music for students and young adults were praised. Tommy McCabe, Concilium President thanked the Austria officers for their visit which was very fruitful.
The 6th annual Youth Conference was held on the weekend of the 9th and 10th of June at All Hallows and attracted an attendance of approximately 250 young men and women. All were enthralled by the speakers which included the Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Most Reverend Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Dawn Eden, Dr. Phil Boyle, Br. Martin from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, David Quinn and Fr. Paul Churchill. The Conference was opened by the Concilium President Tommy McCabe who welcomed all on behalf of the Legion. Fr. Bede McGregor who gave an inspiring closing address. The general reaction of attendees was one of enthusiasm and joy at engaging with their peers for a weekend of prayer, discussion and not forgetting some fun on the Saturday evening including a soccer match and a sing song.
Conference for Priests - May 2007
A Conference entitled: The New Evangelisation: Priests and Laity - The Great Challenge of the New Millennium, which was organized by the Concilium Legionis Mariae, particularly for priests, was held on Tuesday to Thursday, 22-24 May 2007, at Emmaus Retreat Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co. Dublin. About 110 priests participated, many for the whole Conference. Concilium officers and some other legionaries also took part. The high point of each day was the concelebrated Mass, with well-prepared Liturgies and beautiful musical accompaniment. Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, was Chief Celebrant and Homilist on Tuesday evening. His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Vatican, was Chief Celebrant and Homilist on Wednesday at noon and His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Vatican, was Chief Celebrant and Homilist at the Mass which closed the Conference at noon on Thursday.
The Conference started off on a high note with an inspiring address by Archbishop Martin. He began by thanking the Legion of Mary for this affirmation of priests and spoke of his contact with the Servant of God Frank Duff. He said that there is no Church without the Eucharist and spoke of Mary as the Mother of priests. Among the many comments after the talk, one priest said that legionaries are the extension of the hands of the priest. Monsignor Joseph Murphy from the Secretariat of State, Vatican, spoke on Priests and Laity in the Church’s Mission. He said that only in Christ do we find true joy and that Christianity must present itself as the Religion of Truth and Love. He also said that Mary is the image of the Church. Dr. Finola Kennedy spoke on What the Priest means to the Lay Apostolate. She spoke of how bishops and priests, such as António Cardinal Riberi and Fr. Aedan McGrath, SSC, in China, Bishop James Moynagh in Nigeria, and Fr. Manuel A. Gracia, CM, in the Philippines had known how to use lay people in the Legion. She thought it would be good to have the Patricians in every parish. On Tuesday evening, Fr. Owen Gorman, a priest from the Clogher Diocese, and three legionaries, Liam Hayden, Dublin, Mary Mulpeter, Raphoe Diocese, and Bernardo De Nardo, Legion Envoy to Asia, were members of a panel, in which they addressed Challenges facing the Irish Church today. These included: Mass attendance, Vocations, Family Life, and preaching on moral matters.
Wednesday opened with a talk, stressing the importance of being optimistic, by Fr. Bede McGregor, O.P. Concilium Spiritual Director, and Postulator for the Cause of The Servant of God Frank Duff, on the Priest and Laity - the Vision of Frank Duff. He spoke of Frank Duff’s profound reverence for the Priesthood and said that he spent his life trying to get people into Heaven. This was followed by another encouraging talk, this time by Fr. Breandán Leahy, Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Maynooth College, who gave an example of turning hostility into acceptance. Cardinal Arinze gave a very informative talk, not lacking in humour, on The Specific Roles of the Priest and of the Lay Faithful in the New Evangelisation. He said the new Evangelisation is not new in its content but in its fervour and methods. He said that about 17½% of the world’s population is Catholic. He went on to define who are the Lay Faithful, saying that the proper area of apostolate for lay people is to give witness in worldly activities, such as in the family, in parliament, in radio and T.V. and in Universities. He went on to speak of the role of the priest and the manner of celebrating Mass. Following his talk, there were many comments and questions, some on the Liturgy and certain practices in the ministry and apostolate. The Cardinal was accompanied by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, who, in a short address, urged everyone to love the Church. Most Reverend Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, was present also that day and in thanking the Cardinal for his talk, spoke about asking the Holy Spirit to empower lay people to stand up and speak up in the secular sphere. He also spoke about welcoming people from other countries into Ireland. Later, in a session entitled: Witnesses to the Faith, Síle Ní Chochláin, spoke on the Servant of God, Frank Duff; Noel Lynch on the Servant of God, Alfie Lambe; and Fr. John Hogan, Meath Diocese, on Venerable Edel Quinn. All the talks were very helpful. In his talk, Fr. Hogan mentioned Edel’s joy and he said that in Ireland we need more joy. That day closed with a joyful Social Evening with Ceol agus Craic. There was no shortage of musical talent among the priests.
The third day of the conference opened with a striking address by Cardinal Dias. He spoke out of his own experience on True Devotion to Mary in the life of a Priest. He said Mary can make happy and holy priests. He spoke of the many Marian Shrines in the world, and of the manifestation of the miraculous medal by Our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré and referred to the use of the medal by the Legion. He spoke of the battle between good and evil and said that “Mary is gathering together her legion - you are a part of it - to combat the devil.” He also said “Be convinced of the victory of Christ through Mary”.” He recommended that priests help each other through a simple form of fraternity.
In Testimonies on the Laity in Action, Fr. Paul Churchill, Vice Officialis, Marriage Tribunal, Archdiocese of Dublin, spoke on How the Legion can help me in my parish. He mentioned the personal support for the priest which the Legion gives. Fr. Gerard Deighan, Lecturer in Scripture, Milltown and Mater Dei Institutes, spoke on Mary, Cause of our Joy. He said that Mary mediates every grace, she brings us joy. Mary’s outstretched arms are an invitation to gather around her. Declan Lawlor spoke on My Experience of the Legion. He spoke of how important the Legion is in his life and in his profession as a Solicitor. Fr. Pádraig Ó Cochláin, Chaplain, Marino Institute of Education, Archdiocese of Dublin, made the call: “Let us start the new evangelisation of Ireland”. In the afternoon Cardinal Dias along with some priests and legionaries paid a visit to the grave of Frank Duff in Glasnevin cemetery and there recited the Prayer for his Beatification. It seemed fitting that the Prefect of the Pontifical Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples should stand in prayer at the grave of a man who spent his life working for that.
“There was a very happy spirit in evidence at the Conference. It was a memorable event and great credit is due to the Concilium officers for organizing it.” said Paddy Fay former Concilium President who gave the above report.
Visit of Ivan Cardinal Dias to the Grave of the Servant of God Frank Duff 24th May 2007.
His Eminence Ivan Cardinal Dias (Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, The Vatican on 24th May 2007, at the conclusion of the Conference for Priests) visited the grave of the Servant of God Frank Duff at Glasnevin Cemetry. He was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Bede McGregor (Concilium Spiritual Director), Tommy McCabe (Concilium President) and visiting Priests who had attended the Conference. He was greeted by a number of legionaries who had gathered at the graveside. His Eminence spoke of his having been a member of a junior praesidium and as having received his vocation to the Priesthood through the Legion. He prayed privately at the graveside and then led the gathering in the recitation of the prayer for the Canonisation of Frank Duff after which he imparted his blessing. He was very gracious and spoke to everyone present.
Most of the talks given at the Priests Conference can be viewed and downloaded from the Legion Website at www.legion-of-mary.ie
Servant of God Frank Duff Commemoration Ceremony
In Glasnevin 3rd June 2007
The Annual Commemoration Ceremony for the Servant of God Frank Duff took place in Glasnevin Cemetry on Sunday 3rd June 2007. Due to heavy rain the ceremony was held in the Chapel. An inspiring address was given by Fr. Paul Churchill on “Frank Duff, the Man with the Feet-on-the-Ground Spirituality”. There was an attendance of approximately 220. As the rain had eased the procession to the graveside was able to proceed as normal. In spite of the very inclement weather, all participated wholeheartedly in the ceremony.
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
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