Concilium Bulletin June 2021
Cordoba Senatus held its Acies on 10th April physically. The Senatus meetings are being held physically too. Some praesidia and councils have started meeting in person again too, depending on the members. Some elderly legionaries are still afraid. The Comitium of Cruz del Eje started meeting in person again in February. They report one new member making the promise. One of their works is promoting adoration. A praesidium unveiled a new grotto with an image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal with the support of the priest; the Bishop came and blessed the image. The legionaries of the Comitium of Rio Cuarto do a version of Pilgrim Statue visitation whereby they bring the statue on a barrow outside each home and people choose to come out or not; passers-by are also contacted. Protocols are observed.
São Paulo Senatus continues to meet monthly online. The agenda is sent to Concilium each month. Agendas up to June have been received. Some council reported on activities being undertaken where it is possible to do so. These include phone calls to the sick and auxiliaries. The Senatus held its Acies online on 27 March. The annual national Legion Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady Aparacida on the first weekend in June was held again this year online as happened also in 2020. The Senatus continues to broadcast Mass and other prayers and programmes each week on Facebook and You Tube. A beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit for the Legion Centenary has been composed by Dom Edson de Castro Homem, who is the Liaison Bishop for the Legion with the CNBB, the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil. A copy of it has been sent to the Concilium.
Seoul Senatus: Meetings of the Senatus and other councils and praesidia are being held online. Mention was made of preparations for the Centenary. Gwangju Senatus: As in the Seoul Senatus, meetings are being held on line. The 68th report from the Legion in Mokpo, the birthplace of the Legion in Korea, was mentioned in the May minutes.
Osaka Senatus: the correspondent has received no reports in the last period, due to the Covid crisis in Japan.
Kuala Lumpur Regia: One council reporting in June gave details of membership as 8 praesidia with a total of 90 full and 4 probationary members, plus 285 auxiliary and 4 adjutorian members. Works include home and hospital visitation, bringing the Eucharist to the house bound and attendance at wakes and funerals. A second council is made up of 5 praesidia with 48 full and 1 auxiliary member. Mother of Light praesidium reported in July with 17 active and 12 auxiliary members. They are carrying out a similar apostolate with home and hospital visitation, during which they meet Catholics and non- Christians. Many meetings were still held online.
Jakarta Senatus: The last physical meeting of the Senatus was in March 2020, since then meetings have been held on line. Legionaries work in their parishes assisting the parish priests. The legionaries are active in preparation for the Centenary. Their aim is to make Frank Duff better known and to this end they have arranged for ‘Can We Be Saints’ and ‘Frank Duff, One of the Best’, to be translated into Indonesian. These books were launched on 7th June with an on line seminar. The Canvas banner, mentioned in the last report, continues to be brought to all 17 Dioceses and will return to the Archdiocese for a closing Mass in September.
Malang Senatus: Many praesidia are still meeting on line. The Acies was celebrated by the Senatus with a small number in attendance and was also streamed on YouTube. Pre Covid works included home, hospital and prison visitation. Rosario Comitium in Makasser set up 2 new praesidia. Preparations for the Centenary are ongoing.
Kaupang Senatus: February and March meetings were cancelled due to the pandemic. In April a tropical storm devastated Flories, Timor and other islands, and many legionaries lost their lives. The other Senatus’ are assisting local legionaries to restart their apostolate by providing handbooks, etc. The Senatus continues with Centenary preparations including on line talks and art competitions for adults and children.
Legion Councils continue to meet as permitted by government regulations. The Acies, held earlier in the year, included a Mass for the first time. As the officers were unsure of the correct procedure they contacted the correspondent who checked with Concilium officers and forwarded details. They reported that the event had a large attendance. The officers have promised to forward Minutes of the most recent Senatus meetings.
Five Comitium meetings were held in 2020. A praesidium has been formed and two are planned. As part of the Centenary celebrations Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Kong.
Two elections have taken place for the offices of Vice-President and Treasurer. Centenary celebrations are being prepared.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cloyne: Zoom meetings take place weekly. Legionaries also recite the Rosary in church and keep in touch with members.
Cork: Two praesidia join together to hold Zoom meetings each week are joined by legionaries from Blackrock, Dublin, Millstreet and Manchester. Works undertaken include phoning parishioners who are living alone, bringing Holy Communion to the housebound and help with stewarding in local churches. Recently members have gone to public grottos to recite the Rosary. Members of another praesidium recite the Rosary in the church each day, an elderly person is brought to daily Mass and members have reorganised the weekly Adoration rota. Members of two other praesidia recite the Rosary each night in a housing estate adjoining both parishes. Members of Glenville praesidium recite the Rosary each night at a Mass rock near the village and a yearly newsletter is produced for emigrants. Queen of Peace Curia: Council meetings are held on Zoom and some discussion items have been held, e.g. ideas for the Centenary celebrations. Muire na nGrás Curia: Miraculous medals and the pilgrim statue have been sent to a local school. A decade of the Rosary is recited by legionaries in the hallway of the classrooms with social distancing applied at all times. Coronata Curia: Member of the praesidium in Kinsale recite the Rosary from Monday to Friday in the local church and this is streamed live to parishioners. Annunciata Curia: Members in Bantry distribute Catholic papers and phone elderly parishioners.
Kerry: The annual Acies ceremony followed by Benediction was held in Killarney Cathedral via webcam on the 28 March. The Rosary continues each Monday night for the end to the pandemic with an average of 12 joining in. Fr. O’Connell gives a short homily and he used the Handbook Study Guide as a theme for the homilies over a number of weeks. Over 100 joined in the 24 hour Rosary which was recited every Friday/Saturday throughout the month of May. During the month some praesidia prayed the Rosary at outdoor grottos while observing public health guidelines. No praesidium has yet resumed. Tralee Curia sought guidelines on work. They were informed that permission was needed from the local parish priest and public health guidelines should be adhered to.
Thurles: The Rosary was recited daily at the three shrines in Templemore and in Thurles for the month of May. The Legion prayers are recited every Monday at 5pm on Zoom and Lectio Divino on Skype every Thursday at 5pm.
Limerick: One praesidium has an online meeting each Tuesday. They recite the Legion prayers and do handbook study. The Curia also has met online. The correspondent has encouraged them to have the annual accounts brought up to date and the President is looking into this.
Ross: The President is keeping in touch with all praesidia. One praesidium has a meeting each week via Zoom. The members of other praesidia recite the Legion prayers at home as not all would be in a position to go on line. The Acies took place in May in Clonakilty Church following morning Mass (as restrictions were eased at that time some legionaries were able to be present). The local priest, Spiritual Director to the local praesidium, conducted the ceremony beautifully and gave the homily and recited the long Act of Consecration. Some local people who were at Mass remained on for the ceremony. The Curia President welcomed everybody and explained the importance of the Consecration to the Legion. Most members of the various praesidia were able to participate virtually and those who were not free at that time were able to get the recording. One member of the Curia participated virtually in the Youth Conference.
Waterford: The crowning of Our Lady was held in St Paul’s Church on 31 May and streamed on the Internet. Some of the members of one praesidium meet for the Rosary on most days of the week except Sundays. They also have been joined by two teenage daughters of one of the members. When the weather is unsuitable the prayers are said online. Work has been done on getting the Curia annual accounts up to date and they should be completed shortly.
Bethlehem Curia: Mass for Centenary which was due to take place in St Francis Xavier Church Gardiner St has been deferred due to Covid-19 pandemic as is the social gathering, reunion and exhibition in 28 Mountjoy Square East. Also deferred is a tour of ‘Monto’ area. As restrictions ease, legionaries’ thoughts and prayers turn to resuming union with Our Lady, in practical ways, in her role in caring for souls. This month, 5 members attended Chinese-community Mass for the late Johanna Xiao at St Andrew’s Westland Row. Some on-going contacts and Latino community work continues. (Via Zoom)
In the Finglas area the Rosary is recited at Our Lady’s Grotto and the junior praesidium hold their weekly meetings on Zoom. Members of the journal praesidium work on their administrative duties in relation to the journal accounts. As the Church in Berkeley Road is closed for a short while after Mass, legionaries and some parishioners recite the Rosary in the Curia House. The members of the Irish speaking praesidium have held weekly meetings and continue to work on the Frank Duff library. One member is involved with the work at the Regina Coeli Hostel. Journals are being distributed in two of the praesidia along with Catholic literature while observing social distancing.
Presentata Curia: Members have being using modern technology such as Zoom to attend the weekly meetings remotely and the daily Rosary and talks on Mary’s Channel of Grace. The Morning Star Hostel and the Regina Coeli Hostel have noticed an increase level of support for their legionaries over the past few weeks and thank God all our residents and are doing well. The monthly vigil held in the Morning Star Hostel has resumed and the numbers of attendees have increased. The Vigil commences with Holy Mass on the Friday evening at 9pm and closes with Holy Mass at 8 am on Saturday morning. Members are looking forward to meeting in person so as to plan their next big drive – ‘Recruitment, recruitment and more recruitment!’ for this very special Centenary Year.
Porta Coeli Curia: Some members tune in to the Deus et Patria Zoom meetings and one member contributed a paper on ‘Marian Apparitions’ at one of the Patrician meetings on Zoom. A member also spoke on Radio Maria’s programme on the topic of Fr. Aedan Mc Grath’s apostolate and imprisonment in China. Many auxiliaries are kept in touch with and copies of the Maria Legionis magazine have been delivered to auxiliaries with deferred payment.
The Curia hopes to soon resume meetings.
As the April Senatus meeting could not take place due to lockdown in Vienna, the Senatus Officers held a virtual meeting that included Rosary, legion prayers, Spiritual Reading, Allocutio and a discussion item on “Strengthening the unity of the legion of Mary in Austria for the Centenary”
The legion of Mary was presented in Vienna seminary to the newly arrived eight seminarians. PPC was also explained and promoted with 3 of them showing an interest in participating in a project. Due to Covid restrictions most of the reports had to be deferred to a later month. The Croatian Curia could only hold their praesidia meetings virtually but the legionaries were able to organise anointing of the sick for four people and helped in a marriage regularisation. Plans are in progress for the Centenary celebrations in September. The Senatus agreed for the following writings to be published: “ True devotion to Mary “ by St Louis Marie de Montfort and the biography of Alfie Lambe. The Frank Duff biography by Finola Kennedy has been translated into German and will now be revised at the end of the summer.
Zagreb Regia and countries under caretakership:
Zagreb Regia: There was an increase in the attendance at the February Regia meeting. Plans are in progress for extension in two Parishes in Zagreb and presentation of the legion was carried out in Labor. A number of Pilgrimages took place on October 24th 2020 by the Regia and its attached Councils to various shrines of our Lady with good attendance recorded. Two praesidia feature in this report. Their apostolate included street contact, visits to hospitals, nursing homes and a home for retired priests. 4 people received anointing of the sick. During lockdown when some works were suspended, legionaries sent Christmas cards to auxiliary members as a way of keeping in touch with them. One Curia reported keeping in touch with their 398 auxiliary members by phone and visits when no other works were permitted.
Curia, Rijeka set up a new praesidium with six members with the support of the Parish Priest. This Curia is planning to have the Acies in June and have been discussing the possibility of holding a Congress. Returns to the Sacraments after long and short periods were recorded.
Zagreb South Curia has ten praesidia, 398 auxiliary members and 33 adjutorians. Two new legionaries took their promise.
Comitium Zadar has 7 directly attached praesidia and two Curiae. Home visitation is the main work but some activities were reduced due to Covid. With the support of the parish priest the new praesidium in the town of Korenica, the first in the Diocese of Gospic-Senj is persevering despite the current difficulties. The two attached Curiae are doing street apostolate, teaching catechism and Nazareth groups. The mother of a family received the sacraments after a long period and agreed to have her two children baptised with the godparents being two legionaries.
Comitium Osijek has six praesidia, two Curiae, and 562 auxiliaries. The apostolate includes visitation of homes, nursing homes and an institution for the mentally ill. Hospital visitation was not permitted because of restriction but the legionaries visited family homes, auxiliary members and organised first Holy Communion and confirmation in their parishes. The Acies was attended by 5 priests and legionaries from the Comitium.
Petrinja Comitium In October, 2 Curiae reported with 9 praesidia attached to each. One has 53 active and 190 auxiliary members. The other has 57 active and 135 auxiliary members. Works and meetings were disrupted but when possible Nazareth groups and junior praesidia met. Some visitation also to the elderly is also done.
In March the reporting Curia has 8 praesidia with 43 active and 269 auxiliary members. One new praesidium was set up. 20 took part in a retreat. The second reporting Curia also has 8 praesidia, 36 active and 123 auxiliary members. When home visitation was possible homes affected by the earthquake were called upon and the legionaries prayed with the families.
Bosnia Herzegovina: A Curia in Sarajevo has 4 praesidia with 22 members, 4 praetorians, 7 adjutorians and 139 auxiliary members. The Acies and general reunion was held on December 12th, 2020. The usual works were not permitted during Covid but legionaries kept in touch with people by phone for support and encouragement. A praesidium in Posavska Mahala started a prayer group for auxiliaries with 18 in attendance.
Due to Covid-19 no Regia meeting has taken place in Hungary since September 2020. The correspondent sends a letter to the Regia each month and has just learned that the Regia meeting is due to take place on June 19th. In April the World Health Organisation reported that Hungary was the worst affected country in the world. Prayers are requested for the legionaries in Budapest Regia and the people of Hungary.
Telsiai Comitium: No meetings have been held since October 2020 due to restrictions. One reporting praesidium has 10 members 8 of whom are praetorians and 198 auxiliaries and 7 adjutorians. The legionaries accompanied the priest to 228 patients in hospital who received the Sacraments. 5 patients went to Confession after periods of between 5 and 40 years. From home visitation a 50 year old lady met is due to receive her first Holy Communion. Many good contacts were made on this work. In December 8th a get together was organised for auxiliary members which included Holy Mass, Legion prayers and Rosary followed by light refreshments. A Curia in Tourage with 5 praesidia reported efforts to form a new praesidium but their efforts were hampered due to the pandemic. The Acies was held on September 12th where the legionaries from all five praesidia were present. In one of the attached praesidia the legionaries kept in touch with their auxiliaries by phone during the restrictions. Arrangements were made for a housebound person to receive the sacraments and a 40 year old person to be baptised. The cause of Frank Duff is being very much promoted.
Kaunus Comitium: Some meetings did resume but were closed again since last August. Some legionaries are holding meetings over Zoom and in March a Comitium meeting was held over video conference. Legionaries have been holding night vigils and encouraging their auxiliary members to the vigil and keeping in touch with some of their special cases by phone calls, a number of legionaries are helping with Radio Maria and cleaning the church, one legionary helped prepare a young boy for First Holy Communion. Legionaries in another praesidium communicated once a week with 12 people addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Due to Covid no meeting can take place and because legionaries are old they are unable to hold meetings over Zoom or Skype but they do phone each other to and keep in touch. Some legionaries phone the prisoners in the jail which they would normally visit and assure them of their support and prayers.
Praga Comitium: Only two meetings were held in August and September 2020 and the minutes are awaited for these.
Warsaw Comitium: Due to restrictions no Comitium meetings have taken place in 2021 so far. Some praesidia meet but many do not meet. Celebrations are being planned for the Centenary and details will be sent to Concilium as soon as arrangements are in place.
Satu Mare Regia: The annual legion retreat took place on February 15th 2020 with 150 in attendance which included the Bishop. He thanked the legionaries for their prayers, efforts and works of the legion. His advice to the legionaries was to meditate on prayer, never too late to learn to stay in silence so as to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. Confession and the Rosary were very much promoted during the retreat. The Regia meeting took place after the retreat. The apostolate of the two Curiae which reported included organising adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, helping housebound people to receive the sacraments and hospital visitation as well as many other parish activities.
Baia Mare Curia one praesidium with twelve members celebrated its 18th birthday.
Comitia Carei has 124 active members and 244 auxiliaries. The legionaries of the Comitium are leading the Rosary before Mass every day in Church, Organising pilgrimages and helping in the work of Radio Maria. On 1st of January they welcomed the New Year with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Comitium Oradea has 124 active members and 91 auxiliaries. Their main work is helping people to receive the sacraments, Radio Maria and leading the Rosary in Church.
Gitega (Burundi) Senatus: Their legionaries are very committed to the apostolate to all ages and all peoples eg.catechising children and teaching them prayers; encouraging people to go to Mass and receive the Sacraments; encouraging people to respect God’s commandments. Their financial report was also enclosed. They hope to have lodging soon for visiting legionaries. This is a priority due to the unpredictable severe weather conditions and the distances legionaries have to travel to the Senatus meeting. Prayers are requested for some members of the Institute of the MSV (Militants of the Blessed Virgin Mary) who are ill. They have 3 praesidia of novices. The Legion of Mary was started in 1954 in Burundi by Fr. Achille Denis, who also founded the Institute of the MSV in 1959. The first members to join this secular institute were legionaries. One member Marie Rose Horicubonye died on 25/2/2021. May she rest in peace. She was instrumental in setting up a praesidium of civil servants.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC:
Senatus of Bangui: Only 2 meetings of this Senatus were missed during the pandemic. Normal apostolic activity is resuming, and they expect to get back on track shortly. They hope to reach out to their most distant councils over the next few months.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO
Senatus of Butembo: 96 members were present at recent Senatus meetings. A new Comitium was set up in the diocese of Bunia. Works include an outreach to orphans, widows, refugees, prisoners, children from broken homes. Senatus Officers travelled 200 kilometres to an Institute of Education to give a talk on the Legion. 30 students joined a praesidium. Prayers are requested for peace in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Senatus of Bukavu: Election of Senatus officers was held on 13 March 2021, to replace those whose mandate expired on 17 June 2020. All procedures were correctly followed.
Regia of Goma: Activities which were entirely suspended during 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic have now resumed. Reports for the 1st quarter of the year include: Visits to the sick in hospital and in homes and visits and help to the elderly. On the 22nd May last came the news of the volcanic eruption of Nyiragongo, which brought about a great natural disaster. A huge lava flow covered part of the city of Goma, destroying homes and causing many deaths. The population had to be evacuated and seek refuge elsewhere. We still await news of the fate of local legionaries.
Regia of Shabunda: Works include seeing to the needs of priests and religious, baptism of 323 catechumens and 10 became Legion members, visits to the sick, widows and orphans. Legionaries gave counsel and advice regarding the prevention of Ebola disease, which was prevalent in the area prior to the Covid epidemic.
The Comitium of Kindu has recently given a report after many years of silence. They visit the sick, prisoners and handicapped that have been abandoned by their families. They bring Holy Communion to the sick. This Council has composed a beautiful prayer in Swahili for the centenary of the Legion of Mary.
The Comitium Moderateur of Uvira: 183 children were prepared for the sacraments and 983 prisoners prayed with. They also visited the sick.
Flooding during a recent deluge greatly affected the area, and many members lost their homes and belongings, which were carried away by the flood. Uvira is an important diocese, and the Comitium consists of 1,688 legionaries, spread out over many distant Curiae. Prayer is requested for legionaries who live and work in difficult conditions, while they prepare to commemorate the Centenary, in organising novenas of prayer, and encouraging people to listen to Radio Maria.
Senatus of Kinshasa: Elections were held, of which we still await details. Correspondent has received no report recently.
Rodrigues Regia: A cautious return to normal parochial activities at praesidium level, mainly which involves prayer with the young.
Senatus of Kigali: No news from Rwanda, although correspondent keeps in touch monthly.
Reprint of Frank Duff in His Own Words
By kind permission of Philadelphia Senatus, The Dublin Interviews of the Servant of God Frank Duff has been reprinted and is available for €4 per copy (postage extra).
In the Centenary year this is a wonderful resource on the origins of the Legion, the setting up of Sancta Maria Hostel, the clearing of “Bently Place” and Edel Quinn.