Concilium Bulletin March 2023
The Senatus of Accra: Star of the Sea Comitium are working to revive dormant praesidia, they had a successful Legion month of Celebrations. Approximately 20 attend their monthly Frank Duff prayer meeting. 85 Juniors attended a day for Junior Legionaries; activities included a Rosary Procession, a talk, a quiz and Holy Mass. Splendour of Grace Curia is embarking on a drive to revive dormant praesidia.
The Senatus of Egypt celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in December. Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, Archbishop Thomas Adly, the Spiritual Directors and a number of other Clergy participated in the Mass which was attended by a large number of legionaries from Cairo. A Retreat for Juniors was organised by Senatus of Egypt in January 2023. The 3-day Retreat was attended by young legionaries from all over Egypt. The theme of was “Here I am, Send me” (Isaiah). The program included prayers, lectures, group workshops and many other activities.
Quelimane Comitium: The Spiritual Director is looking for ways to make essential Legion material accessible, such as the image of Our Lady for the Legion altar, the Tessera and the Handbook. Tete Comitium: To facilitate the work in the Diocese, organization of Pastoral Zones was made, with the support of the Spiritual Directors. The difficulties reported are the great distances legionaries must travel. A workshop on the formation of Curia and praesidia Officers took place in March. Beira Comitium organised formation workshops for Curia Officers. Nampula Curia held its annual planning meeting with discussion on the program for the year ahead.
Benguela Senatus: Several Councils celebrated the Centenary, and organised Holy Mass for departed legionaries in November. It is hoped that newly-elected Officers in various attached Councils will help establish better organization in the Senatus area. Recruitment of new members is urged to help strengthen praesidia with low membership. Works reported include home and hospital visitation, visitation to sick people and one couple received the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Senatus of Luanda: Monthly meetings are held regularly with good attendance of attached praesidia and Councils while care against the corona virus and measles is maintained. The Spiritual Director Fr. Cândido Sitôngua spoke to legionaries on the importance of attendance at meetings and the doing of the weekly work. Praesidia, Curiae and Comitia are periodically visited. Extension, recruiting and the formation of senior and junior legionaries is ongoing. Two Curiae were recently raised to Comitia. The Senatus celebrated 101 years of the Legion of Mary in September and 71 years of the Legion of Mary in Angola was celebrated in October. Immaculate Heart Comitium held a legionary formation day with 357 participants.
Lesotho: Mother of the Church Comitium reports visiting 440 families over a four-month period. Mary New Eve praesidium has eight active members with close to 100% attendance on a regular basis. Works include the visitation of families and the teaching of catechism.
Cape Town Senatus: Works reported include home and hospital visitation, visiting the sick, the bereaved and the elderly. The Archbishop of Cape Town recently appointed Fr. Cebelihle Cibane as the new Spiritual Director to the Senatus. Masses for Frank Duff and deceased legionaries took place in November. Legionaries made a visit to Port Elizabeth in November. They held workshops for legionaries and gave them copies of the Handbook. The Annual General Reunion took place in December. Legionaries enjoyed the celebrations with singing and dancing; the mood was described as awesome and was enjoyed by all. Works on documenting the history of the Legion in Cape Town is ongoing.
Matatiele: A praesidium of 8 members and 11 auxiliary members recruited two new members. As a result of their visitation to homes they reported 14 children were baptised, 26 received first Holy Communion. 8 people who are converts are learning more about the Catholic faith and 8 adults returned to the sacraments. 12 adults and 29 children attended a Patrician meeting on the topic “The greatest of these is Love”
Harare: Contact with the correspondent has improved. Three praesidia are now meeting but the Curia has yet to meet. Our Lady Most Pure praesidium has 11 active members. Works include: hospital visitation; praying with sick patients; visiting auxiliary members in their homes; visiting the homes of bereaved parishioners, and attending Requiem Masses and burials. They counsel lukewarm Catholics and those facing social and economic difficulties. One member is a Catechist. Mediatrix of all Grace Seminary praesidium in Chishawasha has 40 active members. They report visiting the sick, the elderly and the bereaved.
Senatus of Northern Philippines: 12 juniors were recruited for a new praesidium. Regia of Lipa has 25 directly attached praesidia, 8 senior, 1 junior Curia and 4 Comitia. Two new senior praesidia were set up. A junior praesidium conducted catechism classes, and a Patrician meeting started in August. This Council conducts basic seminars for new members and a refresher course for members after Covid.
Mayapa, San Pablo and San Pedro Comitia have 22, 20 and 33 parishes respectively with a total of 17 parishes without the Legion. They organised a radio programme, ‘Legion of Mary’ which airs every Sunday from 8 to 9 a.m. as a means to evangelise and promote devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
Comitium of Novaliches had 11 conversions to the faith. 4 junior praesidia and 1 senior praesidium were established, and 5 juniors graduated to senior ranks. They have discussed the many challenges facing them: dwindling membership due to age; illness, after-effects of the Pandemic and a reluctance to return to face-to-face meetings.
Bicolandia Senatus: Councils are visited to encourage all to return to meetings. One praesidium had enthronement to the Sacred Heart in homes and other parochial works undertaken.
Labo Comitium complimented one praesidium for their attendance at meetings during the pandemic. Three people were brought back to Confession. The Major Seminary Curia has 12 praesidia with 78 full members and 26 on probation. The Minor Seminary Junior Curia has 12 praesidia with 61 members. Meetings take place in the Canteen, class rooms, library, and sports hall. Works of Radio apostolate, Jail visitation, Holy week apostolate, serving at Mass, Choir, and cleaning the Seminary compound were reported.
Cebu Senatus: The Senatus will host the 21st.Biennial Conference from 18th to21st.May.
Minglanilla Comitium has 14 praesidia and 6 Curiae. They promote Sunday Mass attendance, Baptism, visit the sick, invite children to take on catechesis and distribute Rosary beads and Scapulars. A cancer patient who returned to Confession died 3 weeks later.
Oslob Comitium has 3 Curiae and 27 praesidia (including 7 juniors) attached. 22 senior citizens received Confession.
Dumaguete Regia has 7 Comitia, 4 Curiae, and 18 praesidia. Home visitation, assisting children and adults in receiving Confirmation, backyard catechism to first communicants and marriage validations were reported. Visitation to councils is undertaken and some Curiae are restructuring after Covid.
Western Visayas Senatus: Regia of Negros Occidental has 8 directly attached praesidia, 7 Curiae and 6 Comitia. Kabankalan Comitium was greatly affected by Typhoon Odette; the Legion house was destroyed and some documents lost. Despite all that, they continue to work and facilitated the baptism of 3 teenagers. A seminar was conducted for 592 parents of children who received Confirmation. Apostolate to tricycle drivers, visitation to a home for elderly priests, and some former Spiritual Directors was reported. A junior Curia with 5 praesidia encouraged 53 people to talk and dress modestly, and 14 were taught basic prayers. A legionary has enrolled in the Seminary. 5 Comitia reported works including counselling of unmarried couples about the importance of a Church wedding. After much follow up, these later married. A former junior legionary who fell into bad ways was prayed with, visited often and later returned to the sacraments and is now back in the Legion. Many baptisms were facilitated, students catechised, children prepared for sacraments, and during the pandemic over 260 adults were catechized and taught how to pray the Rosary.
Mindanao Senatus: Minutes up to date but do not contain much information.
Auckland Senatus: Three praesidia reported with 12, 8 and 14 members with 33, 57 and 44 auxiliaries. Home and retirement homes visitation was done, Pilgrim statue and RCIA apostolate were conducted and two people were received into the Church. A new Curia of 9 praesidia was set up in the Northwest.
Auckland Korean Comitium has 15 senior praesidia of 116 members and two junior praesidia. Christchurch Korean Curia has 7 praesidia with 51 members. Christchurch English Curia has 8 senior and 2 junior praesidia. One English and one Samoan praesidium were set up. The Curia had 50 on a Retreat.
Melbourne Senatus: Adelaide Comitium has 8 directly attached praesidia, 3 Curiae of 200 members. Vacancies are high. An Easter flyer distribution is planned for the markets area.
Perth Comitium has 10 praesidia who supply Rosaries to the aboriginal chaplaincy. Bayside Curia held recruitment drives and gained members. A praesidium visited three Parish Schools and over 1,000 Miraculous Medals were distributed. Western Suburbs Curia conduct a Rosary in the schools and over 1,150 Miraculous Medals were distributed. Parents much appreciate this apostolate. The Senatus held a two-day Summer School. Tasmania was visited.
Namosi Comitium in Figi Island: Works include Door to door visits, taking Holy Communion to the sick and elderly, plus Church cleaning. Fr. Donal McIlwraith has translated the Handbook into Figian, but it is not yet printed.
Sydney Senatus: Works include: bringing elderly to Mass; teaching Catechism in the schools; RCIA instruction; assisting parishioners during funerals and follow up to bereaved. Members of one praesidium visit the Eye Hospital, talk and pray with patients and distribute Miraculous Medals and Rosary beads. Our Lady of Grace Curia had 16 homes consecrated to the Sacred Heart. An Indonesian praesidium has 15 members and a junior praesidium attached. Members assist at the Senatus book shop. The Senatus Spiritual Director, Fr. Arthur Givney has taken up a new appointment as the First Years Director at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cork: Two praesidia feature in this report with eleven and six members. The apostolate includes home visitation, street contact, Rosaries at Grottos, Fatima statue visitation and many Church activities. The outdoor Rosary in May had 50 in attendance. Two buses with approximately 100 pilgrims in travelled to Knock. Coronata Curia has five praesidia attached. As no praesidium report was taken in this period, a discussion took place on two topics: ‘The writings of frank Duff and the power of his prayer’, and ‘The meeting that makes the Legion.’ Muire na nGras Curia: From recruiting drives on Culture night, the Heritage Day and St. James Church, two new members were gained. Confirmation and Holy Communion classes were visited with Miraculous Medals for all the children. One praesidium does home visitation and brings Holy Communion to some nursing home residents.
Thurles agreed to suspend their extension efforts in Littleton until the Spring. The annual reunion was held in December with 51 in attendance and enjoyed by all. Cashel Curia had an outing to the Cistercian Monastery, Roscrea and made a visit to the home of Servant of God, Alfie Lambe. Two legionaries take the Blessed Sacrament to a Nursing home twice monthly for an hour of adoration with the residents. Fatima statue visitation is also done with the promotion of the Rosary. Murroe Curia: The attendance at the meeting is small. Legionaries are trying to establish a group of people who will make a commitment to do weekly adoration. The setting up of a Frank Duff prayer meeting was proposed.
Cloyne: The praesidium in Ladysbridge has started an after-school Rosary group for the children and their parents each Friday in Lent. One of the parents who plays the guitar helps with getting the children singing hymns, usually finishing with the Ave Maria. The Spiritual Director of the praesidium is always in attendance.
Kerry: The new praesidium in Tralee is progressing well with nine members and a Spiritual Director. Contact work is carried out in Parks and surrounding areas. On the 27th of November, the Feast of the Miraculous Medal, the legionaries did contact work outside the Church where miraculous medals were offered to all. The Maria Patria project will take place on 12/13th April. Efforts to start a praesidium in Kenmare will take place as soon as the Parish Priest has recovered from illness.
Birr Roscrea has a presence of the legion in six of the ten parishes. The Acies is planned for March 25th. A praesidium of four members reported street contact at Christmas. The Rosary is recited every Monday night at the grotto in Borrisokane. The legionaries organise Eucharistic adoration and other Parish duties.
Ross: At the November Curia meeting the President was elected for a second term of three years and three new Officers were elected for Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Due the inclement weather no meeting was held in December.
Limerick: Two Praesidia are engaged in visiting nursing homes and hospitals in Limerick City. Our Lady Help of Christians Praesidium which is the most recent one set up have been engaged on street contact in pairs and home visitation with a positive response. There are signs that a new Praesidium might be established in Rathkeale. Elections for three of the Curia Officers are much overdue.
Lismore: The reporting Praesidium has 12 members. The legionaries visit the elderly living alone and home visitation to those who are ill or housebound. Home visitation is also done and many Parish duties are performed.
Waterford: The President of the Curia is in contact with the Parish of Dunmore East for permission to start a Praesidium. A response is awaited. A very successful PPC project in Manchester was reported at the meeting. A Curia reunion was held and thoroughly enjoyed by all the members.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
Porta Coeli: Four praesidia are operating at present. Attendance at Curia meetings has suffered in the past few years. Membership overall is low due to the loss of many members during Covid and also age-related reasons. However, a batch of recruiting cards is being given to each praesidium and it is hoped that in time and with some outside help, restructuring of the Curia will take place. The Curia joined with Bethlehem Curia for the annual Reunion, which was most enjoyable and varied, with approximately 40 in attendance. 100 copies of Maria Legionis are distributed quarterly. Former members are regularly visited and prayed with. Auxiliaries are visited and enjoy receiving the Maria Legionis. One recipient of the magazine is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. One member worked for two weeks helping out with the Baths in Lourdes. Other works include taking Holy Communion to a number of people and helping out with house duties at Concilium. A presidium which used to visit a hospital is not at present doing this work due to new rules on visiting this hospital, but the praesidium does some parish work.
Consolata: The Acies will take place on Saturday March 25th and annual Retreat is being planned. January Patricians entitled ‘How can we achieve Christian Unity?’ had 7 attendees. February Patricians entitled ‘What is the significance of Lent?’ had 6 attendees. Quarterly gathering for Mass and Adoration, followed by Legion prayers was held in February, to pray for new members. Mass for Anniversary of Alfie Lambe was held in January, where the celebrant gave an informative talk about Br. Lambe. A junior praesidium distributes holy water and Catholic newspapers along with miraculous medals and three causes’ prayer cards. Last year three of the juniors set up an on-line Rosary Group for children from the age of 3 upwards. Every fortnight they meet in Mellifont Abbey, Co. Louth, for Rosary and Adoration which the families also attend. A senior praesidium’s main works are home visitation, nursing home visitation and pilgrim statue visitation. These works are done jointly with a neighbouring praesidium, due to small numbers in both praesidia.
Exaltata: A praesidium carries out its entire works in the Morning Star Hostel. During the last year 1 new member joined. The hostel works consist of tidying, cleaning, serving, accounting etc. Contacts are made with the residents while working in the hostel. One member takes part in the Saturday afternoon street contact work in Temple Bar. Another member takes part in street contact at various Churches in the city, after Mass distributing miraculous medals and leaflets on the medal, and encouraging people to join the Legion.
Presentata: The Curia has organised the Annual Edel Quinn Mass in St. Saviour’s, Dominic Street at 11am on May 20th. The Film Club is continuing once a month in Presentata House. A recent quiz night attracted over 40 people. Fourteen people attended the February Patricians where ‘St. Brigid’ was the topic. The Curia is hoping to shortly start two new praesidia. A praesidium has built a book barrow which they hope to take out on street work. This praesidium also set up a cycling club last summer and toured places of interest connected with the Legion and Frank Duff.
Bethlehem: The Curia reunion was held in January and the Acies is organised for May 26th. A Frank Duff prayer meeting is held monthly. Exploratio Dominicalis is planned for Gardiner Street parish on Saturday April 1st. A praesidium does both home visitation and Pilgrim statue visitation which lead to a man returning to Mass and the Sacraments. A public Rosary was also held.
Veneranda: The Acies is planned for March 26th. A Parish Mission in Finglas, to celebrate the Centenary of St. Canice’s Church, will take place in May/June this year. The Legion has been asked to participate. The theme is ‘Eucharistic Renewal’ A praesidium sells Catholic newspapers and Legion literature from the Church shop. Ninety copies of Maria Legionis are distributed. Home visitation is also done and visitation to auxiliaries. The Rosary is recited in a nursing home.
Senatus of Caracas: Attendance at the Senatus meeting ranges from 79% 84%. Post-pandemic, the Senatus has contacted it’s 8 Curiae, 16 Comitia and 2 Regia. Few praesidia or councils closed due to the pandemic, but some members resigned due to illness, old age or fear. The councils are taking steps to rebuild. One Curia reported a new praesidium and another in formation. A praesidium of 10 members recruited 4 new members and a junior praesidium is in formation. 13 new members have been recruited in Merida Regia.
Quito Senatus is in contact again after a long silence. They had a long lockdown and resumed contact with their councils in December 2021. All councils are functioning well apart from the Regia of Cuenca which appears to have problems. The Spiritual Director Fr. Manuel Calipsa suggested the private recitation of the Guardian Angel prayer by legionaries and that they encourage those they contact to pray it also.
Senatus of Bogota: 4 praesidia, 3 Curiae, 5 Comitia and 5 Regia reported. Most reports feature Columban Drives. There are various groups in formation including juniors. They catechised 3 unmarried couples living together for more than 30 years, until they received the Sacrament of Marriage. They also catechise the children of mothers who are in jail. Good contacts were made with homeless and migrants, visit impoverished families, nursing homes and prisons and do hairdressing for the sick. Also mentioned are Nazareth groups, bereavement counselling, book barrows, contact on public transport and with taxi drivers using Rosary leaflets and in commercial areas advertising the times of Masses and events in the local parish. With permission, they light a campfire in a park and make contact with those who approach to warm themselves. The Regia of Cartagena held a Youth Conference last September. The Senatus has been holding online meetings with the Alfie Lambe Committee of Buenos Aires with a view to the first annual celebration of Alfie’s life in October in Bogotá.
Senatus of Medellin: A Curia of 11 praesidia is helping the praesidia of another Curia that has not been able to meet after the Pandemic. Another Curia set up a group for 11 young people at risk of substance abuse. A new praesidium was set up in March 2022 in the centre of Medellin; it has 20 active members, including 11 probationers. They carry out works of evangelisation and consolation. The members were congratulated for being so active even though they are new to the Legion.
Senatus of La Paz: Visits to Councils are taking place post-Covid although travel is still restricted. Some praesidia are still meeting in legionaries’ homes as parish premises have not yet reopened. An extension team set up a new praesidium. Sunday Mass leaflets are handed out with a personal invitation to come and participate in the celebration of the Eucharist. The Comitium of Cochabamba visited all their councils and praesidia. A special work is the visitation of 50 couples who are experiencing marital problems. Those previously contacted by phone are now being visited in their homes or invited to come to the Parish Centre for a chat. A special Mass was celebrated on Alfie Lambe’s Anniversary (Alfie started the Legion in Bolivia).
Senatus of Santiago: Every month, along with the Minutes and reports, the Senatus Secretary writes a long letter with comments and questions. Many legionaries died during the pandemic. The Senatus visited their praesidia to encourage their members. Extension and Columban Drives are taking place in many councils. Legionaries going on summer holidays were reminded to contact local legionaries where present and to promote the Legion where it is not presently operating. A praesidium of Venezuelan immigrants in Santiago with 32 active members, divided to form a new praesidium.
Senatus of Montevideo: One Comitium, one Curia and one praesidium reported. Four people took the Legion Promise. Not all groups are meeting in person. A praesidium of youths pray a weekly online Rosary with other youths. Other works include Pilgrim statue visitation, working with youths, visitation of nursing homes, a military hospital, cemeteries and chapels. They carried out a ‘mission’ in the town of Progreso, visiting 54 families and reporting back to the Parish Priest. Two Councils held a Congress. The Legion house hosted the relics of St. Margaret Mary Aloque on 8th December 2022. The Statutes have been circulated to all Councils. A talk on the life of Alfie Lambe was held.
Senatus of Lima: New Senatus Officers have been elected and attached councils have been holding overdue elections. The Senatus finances for 2022 have been audited. One Regia, 8 Comitia, 15 Curiae and 4 praesidia reported. The Senatus has 190 probationers while 3 new praesidia were set up and a Curia re-organised. All Councils are meeting in person again but some praesidia have not returned due to many legionaries having died and others are still afraid of getting the Pandemic. Reports mention visitation of homes, the sick, hostels, hospitals, clinics, auxiliary members, street contact, book barrows, catechesis, Sacred Heart Enthronements, Nazareth groups, Frank Duff Prayer Groups and juniors. One Curia is forming a group of mothers. Visitation is carried out in an area of extreme poverty, drugs and violence, and in another area, the legionaries try to undo the harm caused by the sects.
Asuncion Senatus: 119 legionaries left Asunción in two buses on January 18 on Pilgrimage to the tomb of Alfie Lambe in Buenos Aires. The Senatus Spiritual Director Fr. Pedro Gennaro, who knew Alfie, presided at the Anniversary Mass on 21st January. They were joined by legionaries from Argentina and Peru. In December, 48 legionaries participated in a 10-day PPC in the Pilgrimage City of Caacupé; contact was made with over 11,000 people, who were taught to pray the Rosary and how to prepare for Confession. Two legionary seminarians from the National Major Seminary were ordained priests. The Senatus has produced the plan for 2023 and received plans from its attached councils. The main priority this year is recruitment.
Alfie Lambe Mass: Br. Michael Ryan gave a detailed report on the annual Mass for the Servant of God Alfie Lambe which was hosted by Immaculata Curia in St. Agnes’s Church Crumlin. Fr. Shaughnessy gave a wonderful homily on the life of Alfie. There was a large attendance of parishioners and legionaries. Alfie’s nephew and other family members were in attendance. After Mass refreshments were served in the parish centre where acquaintances were renewed.
Notice of election of Assistant Secretary: Sr. Síle O’Neill has completed her second term as Assistant Secretary. An election will take place at the April meeting.
Finglas Project: St. Canice’s Parish Finglas is celebrating its Centenary in June 2023. In preparation for the celebrations the Legion of Mary has been asked to visit a large section of the parish giving details of the celebrations and encouraging parishioners, in particular newcomers to participate. Legion visitation will take place from the 6th May – 14 May.
PEREGRINTIO PRO CHRISTO COMMITTEE
On Saturday 25th February we held a very successful organisers’ meeting which included members from London and Manchester areas and a good number from Irish Councils. We stressed the importance of having proper travel details and for more Legionaries from U.K. be encouraged to go on PPC. In the afternoon session we had a PPC Conference and heard reports of six projects with some very good contacts being reported. The Concluding Talk was given by Maria Keaveney, which was positive.
At the moment we have three confirmed projects so we need volunteers. Our first project will be from 27th May to 3rd June. We urgently need completed volunteers forms as soon as possible so that the teams can be organized. To date we have received organisers’ forms from 23 Councils, out of a total of 73, so we ask Correspondents to request their Curiae to send in their organiser’s details.
A special word of thanks to all legionaries who helped at both meetings.
Please keep all the projects for this year in your prayers.