Concilium Bulletin March 2009
REPORTS - EUROPE
Denmark: There is one praesidium of 15 active members and 15 Auxiliary members in Copenhagen. The apostolate includes prison visitation, hospital and sick visitation as well as block Rosaries. Bishop Chezlaw Kuzon visited the praesidium meeting recently and was warmly welcomed.
Paris Regia: There are 20 attached praesidia and 3 Curiae with a total of about 45 praesidia. Immigrant groups are well represented including a Vietnamese Curia and praesidia for people from Haiti, the Ivory Coast and the Republic of the Congo. Troyes Curia has 10 praesidia with 60 members, including a junior and young adult groups started by a Korean Religious Sister. There have been some losses in remote areas - the praesidia in Vaennes and Caen are continuing to function. The Regia officers recently had a very encouraging meeting with Bishop Bagnard and he selected a date in November 2009 for another meeting.
Valance Regia: The Regia has a total of 17 senior and 2 junior praesidia attached with 3 based in the town of Valance and the rest widely scattered including isolated praesidia in Clermont Ferrand, Grenoble and Nimes. The 2 junior praesidia are based in the boys and girls secondary schools at Chateauneuf de Galaure. The Regia also has a Comitium at Lyon and Curiae in Montelimar and Nice. The Comitium has 2 directly attached praesidia. It also has a Vietnamese Curia with 4 praesidia and 30 members. Nice Curia has 9 praesidia spread over several dioceses including Monaco with 58 active members and about 150 Auxiliaries.
Mont de Marsan Regia: There are 7 directly attached praesidia and Curiae at Bayonne and Bordeaux. Visits are paid to nursing homes and Auxiliary members, Catechism is taught and the Rosary is promoted. Extension efforts are ongoing in Carcasonne. A pilgrimage to Lourdes on 7 June 2009 is being organised to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of the Servant of God, Frank Duff.
Strasbourg Senatus, apart from having its own PPC Conference in January 2009, was also represented at the German PPC Conference at Maria Einsiedel, Gernsheim, Germany in November.
Antwerp Senatus: The Legion has about 200 active members in the 4 Flemish speaking Dioceses. While the Senatus is based in Antwerp with 25 active members in that city, the Comitium in Hasselt has 118 active members, the Curia Gent has 30 active and the remainder are divided over 3 other cities. Some of the more notable works undertaken are the contact work at youth concerts and helping in the Permanence in Lourdes.
Brussels Senatus: Refugees are welcomed and helped.
Amsterdam Senatus: The draft of the Dutch translation of the Handbook has arrived. This is the first new translation since 1965. It will serve not only the Netherlands but also Antwerp Senatus and Suriname. In general the Legion in the Netherlands is greatly relying on non-nationals. In Amsterdam they have an English, a Suriname and an African praesidia as well as a Korean and a Cape Verdian Curiae directly attached. Another 2 praesidia are also directly attached to the Senatus. Further away is a praesidium in Groningen and a Comitium consisting of a Curia and 4 praesidia directly attached. Works by praesidia consist of contact work in the red light district, with some extraordinary results, a praesidium for homeless men, contact work in a park and the praesidium in Groningen works among refugees. A monthly public Rosary is recited in the centre of Amsterdam, after first being introduced by an Irish PPC team in the seventies.
Munich Senatus: This council has 11 directly attached praesidia, 2 Comitia and 8 Curiae. Efforts are made to promote the Legion at Priests’ Conferences. 20 Priests attended a presentation on the Legion in Aichach and extension was carried out in Landau. The Comitia of Augsburg and Stuttgart each has 3 directly attached praesidia and 2 Curiae. In addition to other works, street contact is done regularly. The 8 Curiae in the Senatus range in strength from 2 praesidia in both Curia Nuremberg and Curia Wuerzburg to 11 praesidia in Curia Teisenborg and Curia Amberg-Weiden. Two Curiae have Patrician groups.
Frankfurt Senatus: Frankfurt Korean Curia with 9 praesidia had a study day for 70 legionaries on the Bible and Our Lady. 50 attended the PPC Conference in Maria Einsiedel and15 were present at a retreat for non-Catholics. All the major German speaking Senatus (Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna) have been consulted on the changes to the translation from English to German of prayers on the Tessera and agreed a unified version. Extension efforts were made in 5 parishes and in the diocese of Erfurt.
Cologne Regia: A new Curia is planned for Duesseldorf comprising 4 praesidia. Ecclesiastical permission has been granted to raise a Comitium comprising this Curia and a Korean Curia. Two new praesidia were started in Bochum Stiepel and Neuss.
Comitium Freiburg: 4 praesidia in Curia Gurtweil pray over a map of the world daily.
Comitium Berlin had a 2-day retreat with 55 present organised by the Korean Curia. Monthly adoration is held to support the cause of Frank Duff.
Curia Saarlouis: the 3 praesidia in Saarlouis, Bernkastel and Elm are persevering.
Curia Zurich with 9 praesidia has 55 active legionaries. The Bishop of Chur appointed a Spiritual Director for the Curia. There is a new praesidium in Biel. An Exploratio held in Basel with 6 legionaries from Stuttgart and 10 from Switzerland was a grace filled initiative. Curia Luzern with 3 praesidia in Luzern, Horw and Driens, offered the Legion to parishes.
The Senatus visited the praesidia in Atschinsk and Bogotol in Siberia last September. It started a new one in Bratsk and made contact with former legionaries in Krasnojarsk. A praesidium is planned for Tschita.
This is a small country on the West coast of Africa, with a population of 600,000 - 94% Catholic. The country, which has three dioceses, is divided between the mainland and the Island of Malabo. There are 2 Comitia affiliated to Concilium, one on the Island of Malabo, which is also the Capital and has one Curia attached and one on the mainland in Bata, which has 15 Curiae attached. Two new Spiritual Directors have been appointed recently.
Burkina Faso North of Ghana and bordering the Sahara Dessert is home to 9 million people of whom 11% are Catholics. There are 3 Archdioceses and 10 Dioceses. The Legion was set up there in 1954. Every diocese has a Comitium. The work is well done and there is a good relationship with the Muslims, who welcome legionaries, especially when someone in the family is ill, as they value the prayers of the legionaries. Recently Ouagadougou Comitium set about developing the Legion among the youth, who numbered 138 at a recent gathering.
Cotonou Regia has developed into an excellent council with good meetings and pays attention to detail. The Regia has 30 directly attached praesidia. The work programme includes home and hospital visitation and crowd contact with Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, and sects of all kinds. Catechism is taught to adults and children in preparation for Baptism and other Sacraments. The Patricians and Exploratio Dominicalis projects are promoted. In 2008 a Novena was organised in every parish in Citibiy Diocese in preparation for the anniversary of Venerable Edel Quinn, when a pilgrimage was organised to a Marian Centre in Allada.
The Republic of Cameroon
The latest statistics show a total population of about 18 million of which between 20 and 30% are Catholic. The Cameroon has 19 Dioceses and 5 Archdiocese. The Senatus of Douala has 9 Dioceses of which 2 are Archdiocese. There are over 1400 active legionaries and the Legion is represented in every Diocese. The Regia of Yaounde has 15 Dioceses of which 3 are Archdiocese with the Legion represented in all of them.
The Republic of Chad
Chad has 8 Dioceses with the Archdiocese in N’Djamena, the capital, and has about 20% Catholics. An Acies ceremony had a total of 500 legionaries in attendance.
ASIA AND OCEANIA
Melbourne Senatus governs the Legion in the metropolitan provinces of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Directly attached to the Senatus are l4 praesidia, 4 Comitia and l5 Curiae. In the Islands there are 9 Comitia and 4 Curiae. There has been consistent extension in recent years and l5 new praesidia were set up in 2008. Homes and hostels are visited in some parishes and the Rosary is promoted through the pilgrim statue apostolate and other ways. Attention is given to junior membership and there are some junior praesidia on the mainland and several in the islands. A yearly Mass is arranged to commemorate the life of the Servant of God Frank Duff. The chief celebrant in November 2008 was Most Rev. Peter J. Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne. The Cause of the Venerable Edel Quinn is also well promoted by the Senatus. A new junior Curia with 3 praesidia was set up in Nauru, Fiji. PPC projects are arranged and praesidia encouraged to carry out Exploratio Dominicalis. Financial accounts are professionally audited and the AGM held annually.
Sydney Senatus: Works reported on were pre-baptism instruction, re-visiting the newly baptized after l2 months, crowd contact in parks, homes consecrated to the Sacred Heart and Rosary groups are flourishing. Canberra Curia has 5 senior and 3 junior praesidia with 24 seniors, 13 juniors and 152 auxiliaries. The Korean Curia has 20 senior and 5 junior praesidia. Newcastle Comitium has 6 attached praesidia, and 1 Curia with 5 praesidia.
Brisbane Comitium: the Legion is in 24 parishes spread over 5 dioceses in the state of Queensland the size of half of Europe. There are 11 praesidia directly attached. A Vietnamese Curia consists of 30 members and a Korean Curia has 56. Four recent annual reports showed an increase in auxiliary membership. The Legion House was used during World Youth Day for contacting people.
Auckland Senatus celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Legion in New Zealand. On behalf of the Concilium two visitors from Melbourne Senatus attended and they gave a good account of a very well run function. The Legion is in all 6 dioceses. There are 22 praesidia attached consisting of Samoan, Chinese, Filipino, Malaysian and Korean members. A Congress was held in 2007. New members were gained after WYD. South Auckland Curia has 8 senior and 3 junior praesidia. Hamilton Curia has 5 praesidia. Auckland Junior Curia has 6 praesidia with 83 members. The Korean Comitium comprises 2 Curiae with l8 praesidia each plus 4 junior praesidia. Wellington Comitium has 3 Curiae and 24 praesidia. Christchurch has one Korean and one English Curiae, both with 8 praesidia. The island of Tonga was visited in 2006. It has one Curia with 4 senior and 3 junior praesidia attached on the mainland. Vavua Island has one Curia with l3 praesidia. A new praesidium with 9 members was set up in Niue Island. American Samoa is directly attached to the Senatus and was visited in 2006. Western Samoa has 2 Comitia, l0 Curiae, l4 junior and 24 senior praesidia. The Handbook was translated into Samoan and printed in 2008.
Papua New Guinea
Madang Regia governs the Legion in the Archdiocese of Madang and its 4 suffragen dioceses. The Regia sends legionaries to distant councils to give courses in government and Legion works. Seven Comitia, 26 Curiae and l0 senior and 7 junior praesidia are attached. Main works of the 15,000 legionaries are conversion from the sects, home and hospital visitation and juniors instructing their peers in the Faith. Population is 5.5M with 55% Catholic.
Rabul Regia governs the Legion in the Archdiocese of Rabul and its 3 suffragen dioceses based on the island of New Britain. There are 8 Comitia, 63 Curiae and 6 praesidia and approximately 6,500 members. The sects are very active and legionaries are quite successful with many returns to the sacraments.
Bicolandia Senatus is in the South West and composed of many islands where the Councils are situated. They experience many typhoons, torrential rain and mud slides. The Senatus operates in an Archdiocese and 6 suffragen dioceses. Fifteen praesidia are attached with l4 Curia and 9 comitia. There is a Catholic population of 3m in 220 parishes. Visitation of councils is ongoing and attendance is good.
Mindanao Senatus governs the Legion in the main island of Mindanao from its base in Cagayon de Oro city and includes the Archdioceses of Mindanao and Davao with l0 suffragen dioceses. There are 3 Regiae, which includes 26 Comitia, l38 Curiae and 27,000 legionaries. The legionaries carry out excellent works. The 3 Causes are promoted and many favours have been notified. 700 attended an auxiliary rally and all Legion organised functions attract large numbers. The clergy are very supportive of the Legion.
Western Visayas Regia covers the Archdiocese of Jaro with 4 Comitia, 2l Curiae and l7 praesidia. The 5 suffragen dioceses have 6 Comitia.
Cebu Senatus governs the Legion in the main island of Cebu in the Province of Visayas, which stretches 225 km from north to south and is surrounded by l67 smaller islands. The Archdiocese of Cebu has 4 suffragan dioceses and the Archdiocese of Palo also has 4 suffragen dioceses. There are a total of 34,6l8 seniors, 11,000 juniors and 45,300 auxiliary members. Extension efforts are focused on the Cebu south councils where curiae with large numbers of praesidia are divided and new ones established. The visitation to councils is regular. Promotion of the Legion Causes is widespread. All suggested works of the Legion are undertaken including apostolate to tricycle drivers and crowd contact at a bus terminal. A Curia was established in a boys’ school with 6 praesidia.
Northern Philippines Senatus is based at Manila, the capital city. The Catholic population is approximately 8l%. From September to December l2 Comitia, 7l Curiae, 151 praesidia and 10 junior Curiae reported. Malolos Regia has 4 Comitia, 5 senior and 1 junior Curiae, and l6 praesidia. 200 were enrolled in the Brown Scapular. Patrician groups exist in 47 out of 49 parishes. 20 juniors graduated to senior membership. Four legionaries entered the seminary. Retreats, Congresses and the promotion of the Legion Causes figure in reports. Paranaque Comitium has 350 legionaries in a jail doing works of cell visitation, counselling and assisting in the infirmary. A Military based Curia was revived. In the Philippines there are l6 Archdioceses, all with the Legion and 57 Dioceses all but one having the Legion.
Bernardo de Nardo - Envoy for Central Asia
The following are excerpts from the address given by Bernardo at the March Concilium meeting:
The first thing that I want to say is that the past five years (2 years as an extension worker and 3 years as an envoy) were the happiest years of my life. When I first thought of offering myself as an Envoy I never had any doubt that it was a calling from God that I had to follow. This experience gave me the unique opportunity and privilege that only a few people have, to see the Church in so many different places, to see how the Church lives, suffers and rejoices. This experience deepened my love for the Church and the Legion; it transformed my vision of both and showed me how universal they both were. No other organization except the Legion of Mary can say that it has the universality of the Church.
For me Envoyship is a vocation, a lay vocation within the Church and within the Legion, which I have always considered as a privilege and an honor. Envoyship helps every legionary to be part of the work of the evangelization of the whole world. Everyone can participate in the work of the Church as She fulfils the command of the Lord, “go preach the Gospel to all nations”.
I remember years ago, reading in the Legion bulletin the work of the previous Envoy Maria Smilga in Lithuania and taking part in her mission with my prayers, later in the work of Bill and Morag Mitchell in Kazakhstan and Elisabeth Kriss in Siberia and recently in her work in the Ukraine.
You and many legionaries all around the world accompanied me with yours prayers, during my long journey across Kazakhstan and Central Asia, then in the exotic land of Nepal. Finally in the mountains of Caucasus to Armenia, the first country to adopt Christianity 1700 years ago and from whose capital we can see the Holy Mount Ararat, where Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood and after that to Georgia.
In some countries, Catholics are a small minority. This would be an excellent reason to offer them the gift the Legion. My Envoyship was directed towards very small Catholic communities, first in the Muslim world of Central Asia, then among the Hindu and Buddhist world in Nepal, and finally in the Oriental Christian world of Armenia and Georgia. This very recent experience shows us that it is possible to start the Legion even in these places where Catholics are a small minority.
The Lord and His Blessed Mother invite us to read the signs of the times; it is our duty as the international council of the Legion. I am convinced that Envoyship is one of the signs of our times that Our Lady places in our hands and therefore we must use it. To read the signs of the times also means for me to look forward and to be ready for the challenges of the future. I think that we all must be prepared for these challenges, which will come hopefully sooner rather than later.
Bernardo also spoke of his short visit to India and he hoped that the Legion would continue to develop there. His great desire and prayer was to see more envoys from all continents working in new territories to extend the Legion of Mary.
Tommy McCabe, President, thanked on behalf of the Concilium, Bernardo, and said that we were deeply indebted to him and to his family particularly his mother for allowing him to undertake this onerous task, which he carried out with faith, courage, bravery, great will, obedience and dedication. He absorbed the language of every country he visited in order to make acquaintance with his contacts. His patience and faith had been tried and tested. Fr. Bede McGregor, Spiritual Director of Concilium, spoke of the indebtedness owed to Bernardo and thanked him on behalf of priests. Our Lady had formed him for his 3-year Envoyship. He wished him well, his family and friends and said that we need to trust in the Lord and pray for envoys.
Raising of Kupang Comitium, Indonesia, to Regia
As a result of a visit by Singapore legionaries to Indonesia at the request of the Concilium in 2003 their recommendation was that 3 new Regia (Maumere, Semerang and Kupang) should be established. The last of the three, Kupang Comitium, with the agreement of the Malang Senatus and of the Archbishop of Kupang and of the Bishop of Atambua, was given approval by the Concilium at the March meeting.
The new Regia will be affiliated to the Senatus of Malang and will supervise 7 comitia, 42 curiae and a total of 335 praesidia in all. The active membership currently stands at approximately 4,700 members.
The congratulations of the Concilium was extended to all concerned.
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,
De Montfort House,
Morning Star Avenue,
North Brunswick Street,
Dublin 7, Ireland.