Concilium Bulletin May 2008
REPORTS - Asia
Hong Kong Comitium: Works reported on were crowd contact, Sunday schools, catechism instruction, gatherings for people of other beliefs and distance learning Catechism, prison visitation and follow-up.
Singapore Senatus: The Junior Curia reported giving talks in primary schools and organising a Legion camp while the Tertiary Curia organised Patrician meetings, did student contact and run a book-barrow. Three members of the Senatus went on a mini Peregrinatio to Macau in October.
Kuala Lumpur Regia in addition to the usual works of home and hospital visitation, organise Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), visit HIV and leprosy patients, do prison visitation, visit the disabled and cook for the homeless. These works are undertaken by Chinese, Tamil, Filipino, English and Malayii speaking legionaries.
Osaka Senatus: Much attention has been given to the Nagasaki Martyrs. A praesidium set us in 1954 continues with its membership.
Taiwan Senatus: Twenty-five people were received into the Church as a result of the work of legionaries in one Curia and 6 people in another Curia.
Seoul Senatus: Two Comitia with a total of 526 praesidia recruited 11,308 catechumens of which 1,319 were baptised. The Senatus has 7 Regiae attached, one in each of the 7 Dioceses.
Gwangju Senatus: Masan Regia has 11,934 members; they invited 5.006 people into the Church. One Comitium increased its membership by 161.
Daegu Senatus: All councils reported recruiting Catechumens varying in number from 6 to 84. Baptisms reported on numbers between 2 and 12, while returns to the Sacraments were between 2 and 115. Many reports featured visits to hospitals and welfare institutions. Andong Regia has a total of 2,876 active members.
Jakarta Senatus: reports show a variety of works being done including teaching the disabled, street children and catechumens. They organised a seminar to teach the Faith. They visit and help councils and weak praesidia. 1,250 legionaries attended an annual Mass on the 8th September.
Malang Senatus: 150 legionaries attended a Retreat organised by one Comitium. The same Comitium is organising a conference for junior legionaries.
The Cardinal Archbishop in Bangkok attended the Acies. A Comitium reported for 2 Curiae and 14 directly affiliated praesidia have 51 probationers. Catholics living in remote areas, families with un-baptised children, orphans and disabled people are visited, members help with Mobile Clinics, visit foreigners sick in hospital and the life of Edel Quinn is being read and explained to young people in schools.
Due to the untiring efforts of one dedicated Spiritual Director, the number of praesidia in one Comitium rose from 18 to 30. A praesidium cares for destitute boys in an orphanage. One former student is now in his second year in the seminary. In one diocese which is predominantly non-Catholic, 6 praesidia are working diligently. Colombo Junior Curia has 6 praesidia in schools and 5 in parishes, 75 active and 100 auxiliary members. Members brought 348 to daily Mass and organised a May procession. Schools are being visited despite the ‘bad situation’ in the country. Another Comitium set up 12 senior and 3 junior praesidia.
This report covers a period of 3 months prior to the cyclone, which hit the country. Between 30 and 50 attended the Senatus meetings. Works include visitation of homes and hospitals, accompanying the priest on sick calls and enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes.
Karnataka Regia: Two praesidia were set up in a parish, one with 25 and the other with 22 members. The curia reporting in February has 6 praesidia with 115 active, 4,500 auxiliary and 6 adjutorian members. The Regia itself consists of 5 comitia, 6 distant and 11 nearby Curiae and 7 directly affiliated praesidia. It has a total of 8,460 senior and 1,200 junior active members, 3,285 auxiliary 980 adjutorian and 950 praetorian members.
Chennai Regia: Minutes are very informative and give excellent detail on reports presented and comments made arising from reports. Topics needing consideration are aired and returned to at a later meeting for decision. Extension is continuing throughout the Regia area and reports are taken from the councils of the Madurai Archdiocese. In home and hospital visitation Catholics, Hindus and Muslims as well as others are encountered. In the Kottar area the Comitium has 25 senior curiae and 13 directly affiliated praesidia with a total membership of 7,514. The Regia suggested that more comitia be established. Exploratio Dominicalis and Mini Peregrinatio projects are carried out and in his allocutio the Spiritual Director commended the faithful soul to bring into the church an unfaithful one. All councils are being encouraged to organise functions to mark the centenary of Venerable Edel Quinn.
Mongolia minutes are now being received in Korean.
Is another council, which sends informative minutes to the correspondent portraying the real Legion spirit. Our Lady of Hope Junior praesidium presented its first report with 16 members and a 90% attendance. Great assistance is given at parochial level, and people are recruited for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and for the recitation of the Rosary and they assist the senior members. The Curia praised the praesidium for the excellent training being given to the members of the praesidium. A senior praesidium with 7 members has an 85% attendance. They conduct bible classes for 200 children aged between 4 and 14 years, prepared children for Holy Communion and Confirmation. The junior boys praesidium attached has 34 members aged 10 years and over. For support they occasionally send a senior member to the 3 Urdu speaking praesidia in the parish. They conduct a HIV awareness programme for parishioners, arrange medical check-ups for homeless boys including those with cataracts and iron deficiency. Extension efforts resulted in the re-start of a praesidium. His Grace Archbishop Evarist Pinto concelebrated a bilingual (Urdu and English) Mass with 5 priests at the Acies at which he preached on the theme of ‘We can never ignore the cross, it is the centre of our Faith.’ He commended the work of the legionaries and their loyalty to Our Blessed Lady.
Senatus of Tegucigalpa: Visitation of prisons and youth work are carried out by the Curia of Asuncion.
Comitium of Camotan: 14 children were baptised. Numerous couples received the sacrament of Marriage, and reception of First Holy Communion and Confirmation were reported. The junior legionaries visit the sick and elderly, doing some domestic duties for them. Praesidia carried out Exploratio Dominicalis and several new praesidia were set up.
The Regia of Managua: Legionaries evangelise in parks where they meet young people. They also contact people in buses, in the market and with “corner girls”. The Rosary is being recited in the homes, and the sick are visited with the priest and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. Extension is being carried out.
Members of Belize Curia visit homes and also go to terminally ill cancer patient. They are actively promoting the Rosary. One praesidium has a block Rosary campaign, 30 families in each, and the Rosary is prayed daily. A Curia member, on her transfer to the Island of San Pedro where the Parish Priest knew the Legion, set up a praesidium of 9 members, which started in March.
Senatus of San Salvador: A junior Curia of 15 praesidia has three new praesidia and 5 new adult ones. It was reported that works undertaken resulted in 227 First Holy Communions, 172 Confirmation and 29 Marriages. In the Comitium of San Miguel, a praesidium has only one literary member; is doing great work and a Jehovah lady and her son are receiving instruction. Many contacts have returned to the reception of the Sacraments, some just before death.
The Regia of San Vincente reports that there is a praesidium in the jail, 19 children and 1 adult of 50 received First Holy Communion and is now a legionary. The junior Curia has 7 praesidia and 70 active members. Home visitation resulted in 6 returns to the Sacraments and 21 came back to the practice of their faith.
The Regia of Santa Ana has large numbers of returns to the faith and conversions. A junior praesidium was set up. Four junior praesidia in Chalatenango work in a very difficult area and in order to be on time for the meeting, sleep in places nearby.
Mexico City Senatus: Legionaries carry out a variety of Legion works, street contact is done regularly, also contact in buses, trains and taxis. The mothers of children, who are attending catechism classes, are also prepared for the Sacraments. Godparents are instructed prior to baptising the babies. Extension continues, a number of new legionaries have been recruited and some who left have returned. Many have returned to the practice of the faith.
Merida Senatus: All praesidia do home visitation each week. Reports from attached councils indicate that all are progressing with extension especially junior praesidia. Of 1,500 persons contacted, 83 jointed the Legion and 31 persevered. The Spiritual Director in his allocutio said that our work will not be successful if there is no fire in our prayer. An attached curia reported that a thorough visitation of homes indicated that half of 3,000 families joined one or other of the sect. The Sacrament of Confession is encouraged on visitation and a leaflet explaining the Eucharist is distributed.
Monterrey Regia: An attached Comitium reports a junior Curia with 18 praesidia attached. Many of the juniors are involved in teaching catechism to children. A complete praesidium has transferred to the senior ranks. The Comitium is setting up a senior Curia. An attached praesidium reports the return of a whole family to the Church. One Curia emphasises Confession to those they contact.
Leon Regia: An attached Comitium reported that street contact is carried out by many attached praesidia. They also visit the jail and a number of prisoners have received the Sacraments after many years. A number of drug addicts have been encouraged to go into rehabilitation. An attached Comitium in a rural area reported that they visit the people in all the different communities around. Legionaries spend from 2-3 hours walking to and from those communities but their visit is the only Catholic contact, which the people have on a regular basis.
Acapulco Regia: The new Regia, is working well. A Comitium has recently been set up in the Regia area. Most praesidia have more then ten members. Prison visitation is carried out on a wide scale. There are a number of praesidia in prisons also. Works include teaching catechism to street children and regular school-going children. One praesidium organised the regularising of 15 marriages. True Devotion to the Nation is prominent; among the highlights are supervising the cleaning of public squares and helping with drainage schemes. Extension is progressing in two Dioceses where the Legion is weak or non-existent.
Durange Regia: The new Regia is progressing slowly; steps are being taken to ensure that all Legion work is being done in pairs.
Benin Cotonou Regia: Upgrading of religious instruction for catechumens by organising more catechism classes is a priority by this Regia. Street contact has been added to visitation of homes and hospitals as a means of increasing access to those willing to avail of religious instruction for reception into the Catholic Church. Division of one praesidium in the junior Curia brings the total number to six with 130 members. Two groups known as Frank Duff Clubs cater for needs of younger children. Two Patrician groups hold regular meetings.
Brazzaville Regia: Apostolic work within this Regia is good, consisting of visitation of homes, hospitals and orphanages, contacting Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, Muslims, many of whom were given religious instruction and prepared for Baptism and other Sacraments. Functions to pray for the Cause of the Servant of God Frank Duff have been organised.
Abidjan Comitium: Permission is being sought to have French Handbooks printed by the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Paul.
Bata Comitium: The Miraculous Medal is promoted during Legion work and a Triduum was organised for the Feast day. Some of the attached Curiae are rural and very remote. Recently two legionaries spent 4 days visiting a Curia and there is a junior Curia attached.
Bertoua area has 3 Comitia and many Curiae with a total of over 2,000 active legionaries. The 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Legion is being celebrated this year.
Peregrinatio Pro Christo
The Summer projects started 17th May when a team of 10 including Fr. Séamus Donohue, OFM of Ennis set out for St. Joseph’s parish in Lancashire. From now on teams will travel out each week to parishes in England and Scotland until the final project of the year from 6th to 13th September.
A small number of Irish volunteers have come forward for the foreign projects being organised by Glasgow, Liverpool and Birmingham. Scotland now has a full team for their project in Finland.
Since the last Concilium meeting we have had a Regional Conference in Roscrea. It was held in the Cistercian Abbey there, and there was an attendance of almost 70 from the surrounding areas. We are very grateful to the two Curiae, Dundalk and Birr/Roscrea, both of whom hosted very successful Regional Conferences this year.
Extension Workers for Argentina
Edel Garcia and Laura Rodriguez met Fr. Carlow Ponza now working in the city of Cordoba. They had a meeting with the priest in charge of the different lay movements. He said he would like to see the Legion of Mary more involved in Church events. He is very anxious that the two legionaries work with the young people but always with the support of the adult legionaries.
In one of the two parishes where they are working, there is a praesidium of 8 members, which was set up by Alfie Lambe. They are attending the praesidia meetings and working with the legionaries to encourage them to start new works. After Mass they spoke to parishioners about the Legion and invited them to the praesidium. In a parish close to the University they have permission to speak at the Masses and one former legionary has promised to rejoin.
They met a Carmelite Polish Priest, Fr. Ladislao, who was Spiritual Director in Burundi for 12 years. He invited Edel and Laura to speak at the Masses in his parish with a view to recruiting young people for the praesidium in his parish.
Edel and Laura ask us to keep them in our prayers. They feel that Alfie Lambe is interceding on their behalf and this encourages them to continue with their extension and sometimes-difficult work.
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