Concilium Bulletin May 2020
Lomé Senatus: Works include home, hospital and prison visitation as well as catechesis, street contact, contact on university campuses and the running of a book barrow giving many conversions, baptisms and returns into the fold. One Congress, Exploratio Dominicalis projects and several Patrician meetings were included in the reports. One junior Curia mentioned holding a quiz on the handbook with prizes for those having the best knowledge. Several new praesidia were started and Adidogome Comitium created 1 new Curia. In the Diocese of Kpalime1 praesidium was started in the prison and they are in the process of starting a new Curia. Kara Regia also set up a new Curia in December last and are in the process of creating 3 new Curiae. An in depth report was received of the visit to Senegal last December.
Dakar Comitium has 8 Curiae and 29 affiliated praesidia. A new praesidium was set up and extension is planned for each parish. Works include visitation of homes, hospital and prison, with as a result that 1 prisoner was baptised. Pikine Comitium has 2 Curiae and 11 attached praesidia and the works include home, hospital and prison visitation as well as catechesis.
Douala Senatus: A letter received stating that due to Covid-19 legionaries were encouraged to say the Legion prayers and Rosary at the normal time of their meeting.
IVORY COAST and MALI
Due to Covid-19 the legionaries have been saying the Legion prayers at home. They have been praying the Rosary for an end to the Corona virus. An email was received from the President of the Abidjan Senatus indicating that conditions had improved there and that they were hopeful of being able to hold their Legion meetings again soon.
Ouagadougou Comitium: Concilium recently ratified the newly elected officers.
THE REPUBLIC OF BENIN
The Legion in this country is governed by the Regia of Cotonou and its control stretches 500 miles northwards from the Gulf of Guinea to where the Niger River turns down from the Sahara and heads south through Nigeria to enter the sea. The Regia also exercises caretakership over the Legion in the Republic of Gabon 500 sea miles to the southeast across the Gulf of Guinea through their affiliated Comitium of Libreville. The Regia functions well in its supervision of its national territory while its caretaking role in Gabon needs to reach to a better level if Gabon is to become self-sufficient. An interesting feature of the Legion’s work in Benin are the Frank Duff Clubs organised for youth. Some time ago their Regia Spiritual Director visited the Legion in Burkina Faso to share ideas and learn new initiatives.
Karnataka Senatus: due to restrictions have not held meetings since February.
Kerala Senatus: A large part of the state of Kerala was subject to flooding. The legionaries of Ernakulam Comitium worked with those who lost their homes and encourage neighbours to contribute to relief funds where possible. The contributions they are collected from legionaries went to the same cause. Another Comitium reporting in December set out its plans for the coming year. Each month had a particular theme or emphasis e.g. June month of the Sacred Heart etc. Centenary Planning was to have commenced with a number of Seminars in different parts of their territory – the first one was due in February but didn’t happen. Their main celebrations are planned for 7 – 9 May 2021 as schools are on holidays for April and May.
The Regia of Ban Me Thuot is made up of 6 Comitia with an active membership of 10,547 senior and 3,565 junior members. Because of so many languages, difficulties can be encountered when a common language is not in use. Reports show 554 adults and 1219 children prepared for the Sacrament of Baptism. 35 abortions were prevented, 656 marriages were regularised. The Saigon Comitium 2 gave its 14th report. They operate in 4 districts with 53 parishes, the Legion exists in all but 6 of the parishes. They have 11 senior and 2 junior curiae with 1611 senior and 261 junior members.159 adults and 41 children were prepared for Baptism and they recruited 134 active and 302 auxiliary members.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Carlow: There are 6 praesidia and 2 Curiae attached. There are 5 vacant officerships. Child Safeguarding is on the agenda of each Comitium meeting. Further efforts were to be made in extension in Rathvilly but now plans will have to wait due to Covid-19. It is planned to have Mass to celebrate the Centenary of the founding of the Legion on 6th June 2021. Two members of the praesidium in Tinryland visited the local primary school. They distributed booklets on Edel Quinn. The pupils were delighted with them and were very attentive. The praesidium in Graiguecullen planned to visit a school on February 25th.
Elphin: The Portuguese-speaking praesidium in Roscommon, which is composed of Brazilian legionaries, works mainly among the Brazilian community in the Elphin Diocese. Some of the works undertaken were visitation of hospitals and nursing homes, taking people to hospital for appointments when necessary, attending and praying at funerals and taking Holy Communion to older members of the community. Our Lady of Aparacida Special Pilgrimage to Knock was well attended by all Brazilian communities and included a Children’s Procession. They are responsible for preparing the Liturgy for Brazilians twice monthly and helping Fr. Heneghan their Spiritual Director with the Baptism course and Sacramental course, which happens yearly for the Brazilian Community.
Tuam: There are 9 senior praesidia with a total of 44 members and one intermediate praesidium with 10 members. The attached Claremorris Curia has 5 senior praesidia with 28 members and 2 junior praesidia with 42 members. Westport Curia has 5 senior praesidia with 22 members and 2 junior praesidia with 24 members. Visitation of both attached councils was done by the Comitium. A praesidium in Tuam has 9 members and 1 probationer. They have 70 auxiliaries and one adjutorian. Home to home visitation is done weekly in housing estates where many non-nationals are met. Miraculous Medals and the three Causes are promoted and the non-practicing are encouraged to return to the Church. The Pilgrim statue is often requested in the homes especially by the Travelling Community. An open air Mass was organized in one estate with 145 homes and approximately 90 residents attended including some non-practising who participated in the music etc. The Rosary is recited weekly in Tuam cemetery and in two other cemeteries at other times during the year. A public Rosary is recited every Friday at 6pm during the year and attracts passers-by including children. Miraculous Medals and Rosaries are given to the children. Two members attend the girls’ intermediate praesidium. Two nursing homes are visited weekly and apart from listening and chatting to the residents the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet are recited and Miraculous Medals given to new residents. Bottles of Holy Water are filled and left at three churches with explanatory leaflets.
Achonry: A draft programme for the year was presented at the Curia meeting. Among the suggestions was to have an extension drive at Masses in Ballaghaderreen and to try to visit the Refugee Centre there. Two legionaries were due to represent the Curia at the Ordination of Bishop elect Paul Dempsey.
Ferns: Bannow praesidium has 7 members whose duties consist of helping in the Church by selling Catholic literature and preparing Holy Water bottles for distribution to parishioners. Two sisters organise weekly Adoration. Visits to sick and bereaved are also undertaken. At the commencement of each school term Miraculous Medals and Rosary Beads are given to the pupils in two primary schools. The Curia now has a banner on Alfie Lambe’s life, which can be used by praesidia for promotional work.
Galway: The main work of a praesidium of 5 is street contact. They meet a lot of rough sleepers who are glad of the chat and they accept Miraculous Medals. They also meet many students and tourists who have little or no faith but they like to take some literature or Medals. The Curia Officers had a meeting with Bishop Brendan Kelly to appraise him of the work being done by the Legion in the City area. He thanked them for the work they were doing and said maybe they could become more creative in order to attract new members. A Mary Day which was to be held in Knock on 21st March was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Killala: The praesidium in Kilglass has 4 members and undertake Pilgrim statue visitation. They are well received with some homes asking to keep the statue for a second week. The legionaries also drop in an explanatory leaflet about Our Lady of Fatima, as well as Medals and leaflets. Knockmore praesidium has five members who carry out hospital, nursing home and statue visitation on a regular basis. Members help with the choir and with the Folk Group. Cornboy praesidium has five members and a very dedicated Spiritual Director Fr Joe Hogan, who is also Curia Spiritual Director. The members prepare First Communion Packs and help with the organising of the Corpus Christi Procession. Two members helped on an Exploratio Dominicalis Project in February 2019 and in the ‘Children of the Eucharist’ initiative. They organised 40 Hours Adoration in Cornboy Parish Church. The title for the February Patrician Meeting was ‘The Pope and the Environment’. The March title was: ‘We are all called to be Saints’. Centenary 2021: A committee has been formed with the first meeting taking place on January 16th 2020. They plan to invite Bishop John Fleming to offer Mass in the Cathedral for the celebrations.
Kilkenny: The Annual Reunion was a huge success with 30 present.
Frankfurt: Regia Cologne: The auxiliary Bishop attended the Christmas Reunion where he was presented with the Legion Handbook and some Legion literature. On two Sundays in Advent legionaries organised an information stand beside the Crib at the Christmas market at which some excellent contacts were made, many miraculous medals distributed and children were delighted to receive the Guardian Angel prayer. Two Patrician meetings with 20 people were held. The Korean Curia in Hamburg asked to be excused from attendance at the Regia Congress as they meet every second year in Germany with Korean legionaries from different European states and participate in three days of training/schooling. However an International praesidium of the Curia thereby has no possibility of taking part in schooling or training in Korean. The Senatus advised the Korean Curia to translate into Korean the officership training/schooling programme for their members. Training for the International presidium would be organised in conjunction with a visitation of the Regia.
Zurich Comitium has 10 praesidia, 2 start ups, 50 active members, 2,300 auxiliaries, and a Curia in Norway with 4 praesidia. Members of the Croatian Community were invited after Mass to a Talk on the Legion, 8 came to one and 21, incl. 3 children, to the second. Permission is being sought to start a ‘Croatian speaking’ praesidium. Centenary Plans: Radio Maria Switzerland is planning a radio programme to celebrate the centenary of the Legion in 2021. Cause of Frank Duff: Monthly Eucharistic Adoration takes place in a convent in Berlin for the Cause of Frank Duff.
There are 6 praesidia within 150 km. The Curia meets every second month in Korneewka. On the alternative month the priest visits the weekly meetings of the praesidia. Works include visitation of the sick and elderly, helping with church duties. Recently the Spiritual Director of the Curia requested financial assistance from the Senatus to defray costs for the members to make a pilgrimage to Karaganda, 300 miles away. The Senatus agreed a stipend of €850 to support the legionaries of Kazakstan. The priest explained that many legionaries are unable to afford the cost to attend the Curia and thereby do not have the chance to meet each other.
Brussels Senatus: Br. Henri Kaite was re-elected President of the Senatus at the December meeting. In his Allocutio, he urged members to persevere and to think long and hard as to how to attract younger people to membership.
Liege: Curia of St. Vith has 9 praesidia attached. In September the praesidium in Neidingen organised a festival for the founding of the Legion. 31 people were present. Deacon Pierre Keifens gave a talk entitled ‘ How can we participate actively in the mission of the Church’ Frs. Jean Franck, Spiritual Director of Curia of Welken-Baelen, with 50 yrs. legionary service, and Fr. Jean-Jacques Kabanda, Spiritual Director of 2 praesidia in Molenbeek, Brussels, both died recently.
Antwerp Regia: Br Evers, correspondent and Sr. Evers visited the Regia recently. They spoke to the president and various officers. A full report has been given to Concilium.
Amsterdam Regia: The praesidium in Gronigen visits the sick and elderly and prays with them if they wish. They also inform the parish priest if people wish to receive the Sacraments, as he is very worried that many elderly die without receiving the Sacrament of the Sick and no religious funeral arrangements. They also give catechesis to children during the first part of the Mass and a member gives catechesis to some of the Chinese community.
Cape Verdian Curia organised a retreat at which 40 people were present.
Birmingham Senatus: Plans for the Legion Centenary are in progress. 5 praesidia featured in reports. Though membership is low much good solid work is being done, including home visitation, street contact, and apostolate to homosexuals. 30 of the contacts made in the course of night fever event went in and prayed in the Church. The Spiritual Director was present and heard Confessions. One praesidium reported the reconciliation of mother and son following statue visitation where five decades of the Rosary were recited.
West Birmingham Curia: Consecration of homes to the Sacred Heart is promoted with good response from new families. In preparation for the Centenary, the Curia is busy organising Exploration Dominicalis projects and crowd contact.
Bristol Curia in the course of an extension drive carried out in one parish, 12 parishioners expressed interest in legion membership. Many good contacts were made in course of contact work carried out at a life size crib at Christmas time. One young man gave his name for legion membership.
Birmingham Junior Curia has 4 praesidia. A Family Rosary Day of Prayer, including Holy Mass, in honour of Our Lady was organised on October 6th.
Councils under Caretakership of Birmingham Senatus – Swansea Curia has 7 praesidia. Challenging works including street rescue, apostolate to homosexuals and crowd contact is done. A contact who was lapsed said that she had turned her life around since receiving and wearing the miraculous medal.
Northampton Comitium has 7 praesidia and one Curia with 7 praesidia attached. There are 2 Patrician groups Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes is organised by one praesidium and school visitation also featured with legionaries reciting a decade of the Rosary in each classroom.
Brentwood Regia: three praesidia featured with active membership of 15, 11 and 3 respectively. Works include visitation of care homes and sheltered accommodation, pilgrim statue visitation and visitation of the sick and housebound. A praesidium in the course of home visitation has contact with one person who wishes to return to the faith and a Muslim who has shown an interest in the Catholic Church.
West Middlesex Curia has 6 senior and 1 junior praesidia. Works include crowd contact, visitation of care homes, promotion of the Rosary during May and October and follow up on those distanced from the church. The juniors visit the care homes with seniors. The Regia held a joint Council Officers meeting – the first since the Regia was established. The object of the meeting was for the officers to get to know one another and to discuss ways of how they could work together to advance the Legion in their different areas. Amongst the items discussed were – to improve extension efforts; encourage praesidia to do more home to home visitation. and other courageous work and explore ways of attracting young people to the Legion and also how to make priests more aware of the good work the legion is capable of.
Central London Curia: an annual report of the Curia was to be presented to the Cardinal at a meeting arranged for March 21st. Statistics show 24 praesidia attached but two have only one member each. There are 42 vacant officerships. A congress with the theme; The Praesidium – The bedrock of the Legion. Membership in the four praesidia featured was 2, 5, 7 and 10 and works include home to home, hospital and nursing home visitation and visitation of the sick and housebound.
Liverpool Senatus: Report covers January, February and March meetings incorporating 6 of the attached Councils, 2 of which have only 2 praesidia. A praesidium in South Shields, attached to Newcastle Comitium, celebrated its 75th Anniversary with Mass and a talk on the Legion of Mary. Membership in presidia varies from 3 to 12 and most have auxiliaries. Works include visitation of sick and housebound, street contact and book barrow work, promotion of the Rosary in the schools during May and October and public Rosary. In one praesidium members visit a prison and were responsible for reconciling a prisoner with his sister. Home to home visitation is done by 2 praesidia and resulted in one person returning to practice after many years.
Senatus of Scotland: The praesidium reporting has 4 members and works include the visitation of homes of the newly baptised and the First Holy Communicants, The Fatima Statue is offered to homes and 7 care homes are visited with the Rosary being recited in one.
Annunciata Curia has 4 praesidia. A Christmas Crib was erected in public and was very successful with many good contacts. Works include door to door visitation, nursing home visitation and the recitation of the Rosary at a care home. To help strengthen the Curia an annual planning sheet has been drawn up and items will be on agenda for discussion at each Curia meeting.