Concilium Bulletin June 2020
Cordoba Senatus: A Curia of five praesidia has all officerships filled. There are 35 active, 136 auxiliary and eight adjutorians. The main works are Sacred Heart Enthronements and home visitation in a dangerous part of the city (red light district). The Columban Drive is widely used. The Comitium in Alta Gracia is planning a congress for 2021 to mark the Legion centenary. A workshop on preparing reports was to be held on March 11th involving council Presidents and Secretaries.
Corrientes Regia: The Regia has appointed three legionaries to spearhead the revival of the junior Curia, in abeyance since March 2018. They have also detached the distant Curia of Obera from the Regia and affiliated it to the Comitium of Posadas which is geographically closer. A Curia in the city of Corrientes visits a nursing home and a prison where leaflets and rosaries are given out. A weekly rosary is recited in a local square. A praesidium of six men has 38 auxiliaries and one praetorian. They visit their auxiliaries with an image of the Miraculous Medal. They read the Gospel of the Day to the sick. Once a month the Legion altar is set up in a square, the rosary is recited and talks given. They participate in a radio program every Friday called ‘Simply Mary’.
São Paulo Senatus: The annual Legion Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparacida on the first weekend of June was cancelled. The programme of the Pilgrimage, including Masses, prayers, talks, and Stations of the Cross, was broadcast online on Saturday and Sunday of the usual weekend for the Pilgrimage. As the Sunday, 7th June was the birthday of Frank Duff, a special programme commemorating him was held online following the online Pilgrimage. This included Mass, prayers, talks and the showing of two videos, one of which was the Concilium video on Frank Duff. The video was shown with Portuguese subtitles.
Jakarta Senatus: This Council has a membership of over 18,000 legionaries. 159 special needs people attended a Mass organised by the legionaries who did follow up work subsequently. After long visitation, the grandparents of a Catholic family were baptised and received the sacraments. This took place not long before the death of the grandmother. 48 legionaries were present at the May meeting, which was held on Zoom.
Kaupang Senatus: The Senatus is based on Timor Island and has attached Councils on other islands. Works undertaken include prison and hospital visitation, preparation for reception of the sacraments and assistance at church services. The legionaries have friendly relations with the indigenous Marapu people, resulting in several baptisms.
Malang Senatus: The establishment of senior and junior praesidia was reported. A varied apostolate was reported including many works of service as well as parish and liturgical duties. A praesidium in Denpasar accompanied the priest to celebrate Mass in the prison.
The Senatus officers report having Zoom meetings, to support each other with prayer.
The Senatus report having Zoom meetings, which consist in recitation of the Legion prayers, but they have enquired about on-line meetings as they report that a number of their Spiritual Directors are in favour of this. The Correspondent has drawn their attention to the importance of confidentiality.
Osaka Senatus: Kyoto Comitium has 6 praesidia and one Curia, (Nagoya), attached with a membership of 59 legionaries and 168 auxiliaries. Works include parish support work, Bible class and church school leader. The legionaries were heartened when a person they had visited accepted Baptism. New, younger, officers were elected in Nagoya Curia and the number of praesidia increased to 5. The officers intend to prioritise recruitment by prayer and personal invitation and to make extension visits to parishes without the legion. Legionaries in Hanshin Curia held an auxiliary rally and organised smaller gatherings for auxiliaries. Their works include ushering new comers, the blind and disabled to their seats at Mass. Following a visit by Bishop Shirahama of Hiroshima Diocese to Fatima in 2018, some of the legionaries were inspired to pray a daily Rosary and create paper Rosary flowers, with which they held a Rosary rally with the mothers of Sunday school children.
Kuala Lumpur Regia: 48 legionaries, (54.8%) attended the January meeting, the last one held due to the Covid19 Virus. One Chinese Curia reported they have 14 senior and 1 junior praesidia attached. The main work of the praesidia is home and hospital visitation. Catholic and non- Catholic families are contacted. This Curia comprises 12 senior praesidia with 1123 active, 230 auxiliary and 3 probationary members. These are involved in home and hospital visitation, help with RCIA classes and church duties. The meeting also discussed proposed plans for 2020. They envisaged promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart and an Annual Retreat. These initiatives may now be on hold.
Seoul Senatus: Have been unable to meet due to Covid 19 virus. It is possible they may meet in June.
Daegu Senatus: There has been no further news since they informed the Correspondent that the February meeting had been cancelled due to Covid 19.
Gwangju Senatus: Meetings in March and April were cancelled due to Covid 19 but February and May meetings were held. At the May meeting it was announced that praesidium meetings were being restarted. Precautions are to be taken such as taking temperatures, wearing masks, sterilising of hands and social distancing. Due to the difficulty of carrying out legion work, it was recommended that praesidia have a special relationship with a family, a Hospital or a Welfare Facility where they can have regular contact.
Jeju Regia: reported 809 catechumens baptised and 1397 returns to the sacraments at their February meeting. Large numbers of visits to the sick were also reported by this and the other attached Councils that reported.
IRISH PROVINCIAL COUNCILS
Cork: A reporting praesidium of 7 members has a Spiritual Director and 35 auxiliaries. There works include home visitation where they offer families the pilgrim statue to deepen their devotion to Our Blessed Lady. They also offer Holy Water, Miraculous Medals and prayer pamphlets. A waiting list is often experienced for receipt of the statue. A care home is also visited and they visit special cases of sick and hospitalised persons. One member has volunteered her services at the Regina Coeli Hostel, Dublin. Weekly recitation of the Rosary at a Marian Shrine is also undertaken.
Kerry: The Rosary with Legion prayers was encouraged to be recited by legionaries in their home in line when their normal Legion meeting would be held. Kerry legionaries had a huge positive response to the call for the 24 hour Rosary, a large number of legionaries participated. Legionaries were asked to recite the Rosary on the 13th of the month at approximately the same time the Procession would take place through the streets of Killarney. As many of the legionaries, particularly in rural areas were cocooned, phone contact was kept with them.
Lismore: Members are renovating the area in Mount Melleray dedicated to Frank Duff. A tree was planted there in 1979 to mark his 90th Birthday. His life’s resume is inserted into a steal plaque which is attached to a steal pole. The Curia is refurbishing this plaque.
Waterford: The audit for 2018 has been completed and was presented at this meeting. One praesidium reported on their first Patrician meeting but no further details on it were given in the minutes.
Budapest Regia: January to March 2020 reports received from 5 praesidia, 8 Curiae and 5 Comitia. One new praesidium was set up. There are 19 praesidia directly attached to the Regia, 12 Curiae and 6 Comitia. There are 1476 active legionaries and 2576 auxiliaries. During the year 25 Exploratio Dominicalis projects took place, there were 18 conversions and 85 returns to the Sacraments after a long time. They are involved with 60 children’s’ groups and 70 “Talking about Faith” groups. The March Regia meeting took place during the Winter School and had 9 Spiritual Directors and 94 legionaries present. Works include church work such as Sacristan duties, church cleaning, organizing Eucharistic Adoration, bringing Holy Communion to elderly homes and helping the elderly to receive the Sacraments. Two councils report giving religion classes and one of these has an apostolate to orphans.
Petrinja Curia made up of 8 praesidia with 40 active and 105 auxiliary members did extension work to 3 parishes.
They held a congress at which 60 attended, all came away inspired and further enthused for the Legion.
The work report from one praesidium from Sisak Curia which currently has 8 praesidia attached includes visiting families, doing home to home visitation, conducting a parish library. They also run a Nazareth group, 4 prayer groups, visit the elderly and nursing homes. 9 returns to Confession, 4 returns to practice of the faith and 7 anointing of the Sick reported.
A Junior Curia gave its quarterly report. It is currently composed of 10 praesidia, 38 active members, 6 Nazareth groups. Juniors visit nursing homes, elderly and young people. Annual report from a Praesidium with 3 members and 4 Auxiliaries; they visit nursing homes and run a Nazareth group. Another praesidium of 7 members, 20 auxiliary members do similar works and also visit the psychiatric hospital, and their auxiliary members. One return to confession after many years and 2 anointing of the sick reported.
Burundi Senatus: Burundi has not been in lockdown, but has been taking protective measures due to the Corona virus pandemic. The country’s President attributed the very low incidence of the virus to date in Burundi to God’s protection. Unfortunately this same President died recently on 8/6/2020. R.I.P. Councils have been able to continue holding their meetings. Councils also held their Acies in March, but Legionaries didn’t touch the Vexillum.
Frere Ntakarutimana, former President of the Gitega Senatus died 18th May. R.I.P. He continued up to recently to be available to offer his valued advice to the Senatus. Abbe Reverien Claver Bazikwankana died 24th May. R.I.P. He started out as a Legionary of Mary and later became a Priest in Burundi and recently had been based in France. He was a great missionary Priest.
Since 2015 the Gitega Senatus have their own room now for their meetings. Their main aim for the Centenary is to see their Legionaries live the consecration to Jesus through Mary and to extend the Legion everywhere and to all sections of society. All the council reports to Senatus emphasize the apostolate of good counsel such as encouraging people to return to the Sacraments, promoting family prayer, encouraging people to give up witchcraft etc.
A new Praesidium started in January 2020 in the novitiate of the Institute of the Militants of the Blessed Virgin Mary (MSV). This Institute is based on the spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. It was founded in 1959 in Burundi by Pere Achille Denis who had also started the Legion in Mugera in June 1954.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Butembo Senatus: An average attendance of 80 was reported until May when only 13 were present; 6 Senatus officers at each meeting. Reports received from adjoining councils: Regia, Comitia and Praesidia. 13 Legionary priests were ordained locally in February.
The sick, prisoners, orphans, refugees, widows, and elderly were helped spiritually. Displaced people were welcomed into homes of Legionaries. Conversion of Moslems and Protestants took place and pagans were baptised; ecumenical visits made to other sects. Couples in irregular situations got married; vows were renewed in marriages in process of divorce, after counselling. Children were taught their prayers; adolescents who had joined armed military groups went back to their studies. Reminders to visit the sick, to repent and convert were given by Spiritual Director on feast of our Lady of Lourdes in February. Legionaries were asked to pray that the continual killings would cease in their country, and that factories would cease to produce weapons of destruction.
All councils are preparing to celebrate the centenary of the Legion in 2021. The Spiritual Director asked them to pray the Rosary, that God would rid the world of the Corona Virus, and to recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart in their families in June. The Acies was cancelled because of fear of the virus spreading.
Bukavu Senatus: A recent report showed a great variety of activities in the Senatus of Bukavu and directly attached Comitia. Many young addicts were counselled against alcohol and drug abuse. Direct evangelisation resulted in many conversions to the Catholic faith. Visitation of the lapsed brought about many returns to the Sacraments. Outreach was made to sick and incapacitated Legionaries.
In the Regia of Goma there is great unrest. The Bishop of the diocese organised a meeting with Youth Legionaries, closing with a Mass at which he officiated. Many Praesidia were troubled by insecurity in their region, making it almost impossible for them to carry out their work effectively. Many people who were driven from their homes by armed gangs were given aid by the Legion in form of food, clothing and lodging. A week of prayer for peace was organised, during which thousands of Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets were offered up.
A new Comitium was recently founded by the Comitium Moderateur of Uvira. In nearly all councils, Legionaries are involved in parish activities, e.g. as catechists, readers, choir members, etc., and undertake visitation of prisoners and of the sick, and the care of widows and orphans. In the case of recent elections, the correspondent goes to great pains to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with the directions laid down by the Concilium.
Kananga Senatus: Even before the Covid 19 Virus struck, the Senatus was going through a difficult period, owing to the war which left many dead, including Legionaries. Schools and churches were closed and it was impossible to hold meetings. Much prayer needed.
Regia of Rodrigues:
The Spiritual Director Fr Robert Dalais complimented them on full Regia officership present at their March meeting in spite of current difficulties. It was not a normal meeting. A discussion was held on how best to function as active Legionaries during the present time of crisis. Ideas were to join in prayer with the Apostleship of Prayer, to pray for the monthly intentions of Cardinal Maurice Piat and of the Holy Father. Fr Dalais brought out a special leaflet to be distributed to all members, asking them to visit in prayer a person normally visited physically, i e a family without employment, a sick person, etc.
Kigali Senatus: The numbers in the various councils are increasing. Just to give some examples: Comitium Mwezi has 23 attached praesidia, 403 praesidia spread over 26 Curiae, 6 Curiae in schools, 146 junior praesidia totalling 5214 members, while Comitium Gikongoro has 25 attached Praesidia and 23 Curiae with 312 Praesidia, 25 Praesidia in schools and another 61 junior Praesidia, totalling just over 4800 members. The Senatus is still waiting on the decision of the Bishop’s conference to have 2 Regia established. Some of the works mentioned in the reports include prison, home, auxiliary visitation as well as organising auxiliary rallies and trying to get homeless children back in the right direction.