Concilium Bulletin March 2021
The Senatus of Accra: Ghana no minutes received since last report Nov 2020.
The Senatus of Egypt: Had resumed meetings in September, unfortunately early in December the virus started spreading vigorously again and they resumed lockdown for all spiritual and Church activities with the exception of Holy Mass.
Maputo Regia: Weekly meetings of the praesidia remain suspended due to the pandemic. On February 27, a retreat was transmitted through Radio Maria and guided by the Spiritual Director Father Fernando, ending with Holy Mass. It was substantial with many participating, all in the context of the Centenary celebrations. Legionaries remain steadfast throughout the pandemic.
Quelimane Comitium: Churches have begun to be reopened and legionaries had returned to weekly meetings. On January 23, there was a meeting with officers from the 29 curiae, preparation for the Centenary, the role of the legionary in the pandemic, among other points, were discussed. However, given the increase in Covid-19 infection, the government has cancelled all activities. Legionaries remain strong and united in prayer, and through WhatsApp. In this Centenary year, they have studied the life and works of Frank Duff. The study of the Handbook for 12 weeks proposed by Concilium was encouraged.
Tete Comitium: Activities were suspended due to the pandemic. The bulletin is received every month as well as the guide suggested by Concilium to study the Handbook for 12 weeks in preparation for the Centenary. Legionaries are studying and doubts are clarified.
Beira Comitium: Meetings remain suspended due to the pandemic. Legionaries continue to pray at home. Beira was once again hit by a cyclone that caused much destruction and left many people homeless. The Comitium received the Handbook Study Guide with great interest.
Lichinga Curia: In late November, Legionaries of Marrupa, Majune, Sanga, Ceramica and Nzinje met to organize preparations for the Centenary. However, there has not yet been a return to the meetings.
Nampula Curia: Legionaries were preparing to return to activities on January 18, but due to increased infections, the churches were again closed. They continue to receive the Concilium Bulletin, Maria Legionis and Frank Duff’s writings.
Nacala: They continue to maintain contact between legionaries through WhatsApp. The Concilium Bulletin, Maria Legionis and Frank Duff’s writings are sent.
Senatus of Luanda: Minutes received for the January 2021, the first Senatus meeting held since March 2020 due to the pandemic. The minutes for the March 2020 meeting, which were signed at the January meeting, have been received also. An election for Senatus Vice President was held at the March meeting. A new curia was set up in February 2020. The Senatus Retreat was held 29 February 2020 and this year’s was planned for 28 February. One comitium reported that 360 participated in their retreat. At the January meeting, another comitium reported that six members had died due to Covid-19 during the lockdown period.
Senatus of Benguela: Minutes received for October, November and December 2020 and for January 2021. An election for Senatus Treasurer was held in October. A new curia was set up in Mina. Five curiae, four of whom had a total of 89 praesidia, presented reports on pre-Covid periods, which show many visits to the sick at home and in hospital. One curia reported on work among people with problems of drugs or drink. A curia, with 22 praesidia, set up a new praesidium. The Regia of Lobito reported in January. It has a total of nine comitia, 70 curiae, 525 praesidia, 7,550 active members and 575 Auxiliaries. A new curia with six praesidia was set up in Gama on 20 December 2020 and a curia set up two new praesidia on 2 January 2021. Meetings of praesidia and councils are gradually returning to normal. The senatus plans to celebrate the Centenary of the Legion on the 3rd to 5th September 2021 with Most Reverend Dom Antonio Francisco Jaka, Bishop of Benguela, presiding at the closing Mass.
Hwange Comitium: No minutes received since Feb 2020.
Harare Curia: Restrictions have been lifted and meetings will resume in April.
Senatus of Lesotho: Normally has a three-day conference in December. Due to Covid it could not be held in 2020. Instead a similar one-day event took place on Radio Maria Lesotho commencing at 8 a.m. and concluding with Mass at 5 p.m. The day included talks and discussion. The main contributor was Fr. Sekoati who unfortunately has since died. The Senatus Spiritual Director, Fr. Tiaba was to be the main celebrant at the funeral and sadly he died on his way to it. Due to a second lockdown legion meetings have not been held since Christmas. It is hoped to have Acies ceremonies on 27th March on Radio Maria if not possible publicly.
Senatus of Cape Town: Is waiting on the directive from the Archbishop of Cape Town to resume meetings. Churches have reopened but with 30% capacity. A Mass for the Centenary is planned. Acies ceremonies cannot be arranged at this time. Some Legionaries are anxious to meet but await directions from the Archbishop.
Senatus of Johannesburg: Meetings have not yet resumed.
Matatiele Comitium: The Comitium meeting resumed in February. A praesidium of 10 active and 40 auxiliary members reported doing home and hospital visitation on a regular basis. They keep in touch with their auxiliaries on a monthly basis. They translated the Frank Duff prayer into Seseotho. They reported 2 adults and 20 children were baptised and 21 children prepared for First Communion. They set up two new junior praesidia. Esgodini Comitium: They resumed comitium meetings in October and had elections for comitium officers in November. There are 14 curiae attached to this comitium. Their plans for the Centenary include Mass, a big birthday cake, music, Zulu dance and will close with a rosary procession.
Auckland Senatus: Works reported; door to door visitation, statue visitation and DVD Catholic Movie nights. 2 homes enthroned to the Sacred Heart. 71 Brown Scapular enrolments in one curia area and 27 in another praesidium. 80 attended a Rosary procession in October. The primary schools are visited to promote and recite the Rosary. A praesidium of 12 had 2 marriages rectified, 4 returns to Mass, l death bed conversion and 2 cancer patients received into the church.
Brisbane Comitium: Door to door visitation was undertaken to 188 homes where many Buddhist, Hindu and Jews were met. A praesidium in Ayr (some 1 and half hours flying from Brisbane) teach religious education in the school weekly, participate in the Sacramental programme in the parish and visit the sick in hospital, nursing homes and in their own homes. Statue visitation is also done. A praesidium in Sandgate bring Holy Communion to the sick of the parish and instruct the children in the school and had a Legion stall at the school fete. The Comitium held a retreat in October and held a Christmas re-union.
Perth Comitium set up a new praesidium in Broome so the Legion is now in all their dioceses. A new praesidium was set up among the Latin Mass Community. Rosaries and Miraculous Medals are supplied to the Aboriginal community via the chaplin who works in the hospital and outreach centres. Marakei Comitium in Kiribati North has 3 curiae with 70 praesidia. Extension will begin to the villages without the Legion.
Walarano Comitium in Vanuata has 9 praesidia attached and 6 Curiae and a total of 45 praesidia.
Namosi Comitium in Fiji has not sent minutes for a long time due to the very unreliable internet service. Dandenog Curia (Melbourne) had an extension drive in November and a new praesidium set up. Other works reported are visits to homes, nursing homes to recite the Rosary and distribute Holy Communion, transport elderly to Mass, Patricians and a DVD lending library.
Sydney Senatus: 50 attended the Retreat, Frank Duff Mass had a good attendance, Re-union was held in December and Mass for Alfie Lambe held in January. Christmas and Easter timetable of church activities was distributed to 5 hotels and a caravan park. Crowd contact was done at a station and a public rosary in the park. A recruitment drive took the names of 26 interested in the Legion. 3 Indonesian praesidia reported and a Vietnamese curia has 12 praesidia with 150 members. During Covid-19 restrictions phone calls were made to auxiliaries and housebound and elderly of the parish. Online rosaries were held. The Senatus has a Centenary Statue of Our Lady travelling to each parish, a Marian exhibition, competition of colouring and stories by the Juniors and also this will be replicated in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
Western Visayas Senatus: Church organisations are still not permitted to open. They are discussing the Centenary. The Legion in the Archdiocese of Jaro celebrated its 75th Anniversay Mass on September 7th 2020 online.
Cebu Senatus: No meetings taking place yet, some virtual meetings and Rosary gatherings take place. The correspondent writes monthly and gives information about the online initiatives organised by Deus et Patria such as the Mary Conferences, daily Rosary etc.
Bicolandia Senatus: Corespondent writes monthly - but no news coming forth and no meetings since February 2020.
Mindano Senatus: No meetings yet taking place except a few in the south of the country. Correspondent writes monthly.
Senatus of Northern Philippines. (Manila) No meetings as yet, though Zoom Senatus meetings take place. Senatus discuss the Centenary and have a request to the Archbishop for a centenary prayer for each month leading up to September celebrations.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cork: The President keeps in contact with all the attached praesidia and councils on a regular basis. They all report that they are in good spirits, miss their meetings and the social aspect as well. Speaking to some of the legionaries they report that they phone each other on a regular basis and some praesidia arrange to have a Spiritual Rosary at a particular time of the day among the members. One praesidium holds a weekly Zoom meeting with members joining from Dublin and Manchester. The Comitium is currently planning their Acies to be held virtually at the end of the month. The plan is to hold the Acies at St. Mary’s Church, Popes Quay with two to three members of the local praesidium attending to represent the Comitium and the attached councils. It will be streamed live on YouTube. Queen of Peace Curia hold Zoom meetings.
Limerick: A praesidium set up in 2019 with four members communicate with each other online every week.
Ross: The Curia President keeps in touch with each praesidium. Members of one praesidium hold their meetings on Zoom.
Waterford: The Acies is to be streamed from St. Paul’s Church on the 25th March. Notices about this are being given to auxiliaries. Also, a notice is on the Curia website. About 600 Miraculous Medals left in two churches during the pandemic have been taken.
Dublin Southside Curiae:
Due to present restrictions on public gatherings, it has not been possible to hold in-person praesidium or curia meetings.
Legion Centenary Handbook Study Challenge – approximately 30 legionaries from Dublin curiae meet weekly online to undertake a 12-week study of the Legion Handbook.
- Annunciata Curia: Members undertook a novena in preparation for the Solemnity of St Joseph in March. All Curia members recite the Rosary and Legion prayers every day during the present restrictions on public gatherings. Members also undertook a holy hour of prayer in their own homes for nine days leading up to the Anniversary of the Servant of God Alfie Lambe and a Triduum of Prayer in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Study of the Handbook for five minutes a day was encouraged.
- Gloriosa Curia: Two praesidia meet weekly via online. Members participate in online Legion conferences, Handbook study and Consecration to St Joseph. One member volunteers each week at the Regina Coeli hostel. A praesidium has begun to deliver the Maria Legionis journal through letterboxes of subscribers.
- Our Lady of Fatima Curia: Maria Legionis journals are distributed to each praesidium via letterbox. Under the guidance of the parish priest, some praesidia assist with altar preparation, ministry of the Word, cleaning the church and stewarding at funerals. Some members took part in Lenten Rosary and Centenary Handbook Study challenge.
- Assumpta Curia: A weekly praesidium zoom meeting, consisting of Legion prayers, Handbook study, discussion and short allocutio, has been held since last November and is attended by members from 3-4 praesidia. Four members recite the Rosary on the parish webcam twice weekly and 2 others present the Stations of the Cross each Friday during Lent. Some members participate in the Handbook study challenge and Deus et Patria events. Three Patrician meetings took place via Zoom in November, January and February, with Mons. O’Carroll as the Spiritual Director. Two curia meetings took place via Zoom in February and March, consisting of prayers, spiritual reading, allocutio and discussion on centenary plans and acies.
- Ancilla Domini Curia: Members meet weekly via Zoom. Discussions and plans are underway to celebrate the Legion Centenary at Myra House.
The Senatus of Medellin: held virtual senatus meetings in November and December 2020 and in January 2021. At one of the meetings, the Regia of Cali reported; their works include using Facebook to invite people to Mass, hospital visitation adhering to the recommended precautions and several groups reciting public rosaries in parks. A legionary evangelises via social media. The senatus plans to celebrate the Centenary by holding a Mass which will be broadcast online; the archbishops and bishops have been invited to concelebrate. A social event will also be held which will include honouring those legionaries with more than 50 years active service and those clergy and legionaries who have passed away; there will also be testimonies from those who went on PPC and reports and video clips of heroic works.
The Senatus of Caracas: held a physical senatus meeting in January with a limited attendance to comply with restrictions. The minutes of that meeting are awaited. Many legionaries, especially the elderly, are very concerned about catching Covid-19. The election of Senatus Vice President was to be held at the February meeting. Most attached councils and praesidia are either holding virtual meetings or stay in contact by phone or social media. A retreat was organised but had to be cancelled.
The Senatus of Santiago: The Senatus meeting is held virtually each month with very good participation and legionaries taking notes of special items mentioned in reports. Virtual legion retreats are a great success. Many auxiliary members have been recruited online. A praesidium report was given on the apostolate to migrants who have arrived in big numbers in recent times. The Concilium correspondent’s letters are forwarded electronically to attached councils and praesidia. The President of the Correspondents Committee is a former senatus president. The senatus hopes to be able to hold the Acies this year as usual with all its active members.
Senatus of La Paz: Each month the attendance at the virtual senatus meeting has improved. The Spiritual Director never misses a meeting. His short Allocutio encourages legionaries to spread the word; “Be not afraid”. One praesidium reported doing home visitation to families who live close to legionaries. Many legionaries who are grannies thank their grandchildren for their help navigating WhatsApp, Zoom and online technology. Legionaries are able to do street contact offering and explaining the Sunday Mass leaflet to contacts. The Comitium in Cochabamba did a novena for the anniversary of Alfie Lambe. All are praying for his beatification.
Senatus of Bogota: No senatus meetings were held between April and October. They met physically in November and December but restrictions meant virtual meetings again in January and February. In this period, 4 praesidia, 1 senior and 1 junior curiae, 2 comitia and 2 regiae reported. The election of three senatus officers took place. Legionaries not having the means to join online meetings has been a significant issue. Online activities included meetings of correspondents, the Extension Committee and even an Annual Reunion where praesidia submitted videoclips. Councils report organising online conferences, radio programs, days of prayer, 24 hour rosaries and retreats. A junior curia organised online activities including biblical quizzes, a film evening and talks on child saints and the origins of Halloween and how it can be used to evangelise. Many councils are back meeting physically by now and it is hoped the March senatus meeting will be likewise.
Senatus of Lima: Since November 2020 three praesidia, 10 curiae and 5 comitia have reported. The praesidia meet physically but the councils meet virtually, with the exception of 3 curiae in Huancavelica where the Spiritual Directors provided rooms big enough to allow the curiae to meet physically and still satisfy the safety protocols. Elderly legionaries without phones are visited. A novena was organised for the success of the Centenary. A three day online Art and Spirituality workshop in honour of Frank Duff was organised by the senatus. The senatus officers join the virtual meetings of those councils reporting in a particular month. One of the benefits of the pandemic is that distant councils now virtually attend the senatus meeting; the February meeting had 157 in ‘attendance’ online.
Senatus of Montevideo: The senatus meeting is held virtually each month; in addition the senatus officers come together online twice a month. In some parts of the country it is possible for the councils and praesidia to meet physically. The comitium in Canelones restricts attendance at comitium meetings to two officers per praesidium. The comitium is supporting three praesidia by loaning members; a new member took the promise in one of them. One praesidium is doing street contact; another explained the works of the Legion to the new parish priest and he was delighted. In other parishes the priests have asked the Legion to bring Holy Communion to the sick.
Senatus of Quito: Latest news received in January. All councils attached to the senatus are using social media to hold virtual meetings; no physical meetings are being held. Many legion members have died and many more are affected but they are praying very hard. The churches are open with limited numbers; even so, many people are too frightened to attend.
Senatus of Asuncion: Before September 2020, due to the pandemic, most groups held virtual meetings. Since then, almost all councils have been holding physical meetings, observing public health protocols. Some groups, with elderly members, decided against meeting. A maximum of 100 people is allowed to attend the senatus meeting. Centenary celebrations have already begun; the centenary coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Legion in Paraguay. On 7th September 2020 the Senatus Spiritual Director celebrated a Mass in the National Seminary of Perpetual Socorro de Asuncion; 100 legionaries attended and it was broadcast on Facebook. The secretary of the first ever praesidium in Paraguay was in attendance. On 28th and 29th November a retreat was held with 40 attending, the maximum allowed at such an event. On 21st January a Mass was celebrated in the national seminary again, this time to celebrate Alfie Lambe’s anniversary. A special plaque was unveiled to commemorate the place where Alfie attended daily Mass during his time in Paraguay from 30th October 1956 to 21st February 1957. A three day National Youth Conference is planned for July.