Concilium Bulletin November 2008
REPORTS - Europe
The Netherlands: Amsterdam Senatus: The annual report of the praesidium, which contacts the homeless in a city park so impressed the Auxiliary Bishop that he promised to attend the Senatus meetings at least twice a year. The praesidium in Groningen helped one man to return to the Church after 30 years absence. A Muslim searching for God was brought to a Church. The Cape Verdian Curia is delighted to have the assistance of a priest who was formerly involved with the Legion in Brazil.
Brussels Senatus: A new Curia has been set up for the praesidia in Welkenraedt, Baelen, Dolhain and Liege and a new junior praesidium has been started in Anderlecht. A P.P.C. project was carried out in Banneaux in August in conjunction with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. Many fruitful contacts were made.
Antwerp Senatus: Attention is being given to the recruitment of auxiliary members. A reporting praesidium does street contact and also visited a youth concert and found it very rewarding and challenging to speak to young people about God.
The Senatus has set up a new praesidium in Dundee for 8 prospective members. An older praesidium in Dundee arranged to have Legion literature displayed at the Freshers’ Event in the local University. A praesidium in Sterling visits schools, Nursing Homes and a Women’s prison. An auxiliary rally was held and contact work is done at Sterling Castle. Edinburgh Curia has 10 praesidia with 72 active and 463 auxiliary members. Another Curia has 15 praesidia with 106 active, 929 auxiliary, 4 praetorian and 58 adjutorian members.
Liverpool Senatus: Among the works done by reporting praesidia were the staffing of a book barrow in Liverpool in connection with the Capital of Culture commemorations there, helping with parish Baptism programmes, the holding of a Holy Hour to commemorate the Venerable Edel Quinn’s 100th birthday and running a lunch hour Rosary group for school children. Manchester Comitium reported on a public Rosary rally and its attached Blackburn Curia has a new praesidium of 7 members. Leeds Comitium also has a new praesidium and another praesidium works with the prison Chaplaincy team. Ashton Curia report showed 2 praesidia with good membership - 11 and 8 who carry out a varied apostolate. Wirral Curia has a vibrant Patrician group.
Birmingham Senatus: A praesidium of 6 members at Perry Bar reported the reception of 10 of its contacts into the Church at Easter through the RCIA programme and the Baptism of 2 children also at Easter. Coventry Curia held an ecumenical service to celebrate the start of the Pauline year with 200 in attendance including the local priest, the Dean of Coventry and 2 local clergymen. In Wolverhampton Curia, legionaries visit a primary school to teach the children the Rosary in May and October. Contact work is done weekly at the Bull Ring in Birmingham. One person was put in touch with a priest, who heard his confession. An apostolate to homosexuals is also carried out.
Westminster Archdiocese: The new Westminster Curia has set up a praesidium with 10 members at Harrow Road who visit a nursing home where the manager wants them to come regularly to pray with the patients. They also have permission to do home to home visitation. A praesidium set up 8 months ago in Hackney has 14 members. A reporting praesidium visits pubs in the course of parish visitation and makes many good contacts. Following a P.P.C. project in the parish in Soho, a praesidium has been started to do follow-up work there and permission has also been obtained to start in Notting Hill.
Southwark Comitium: Training workshops for different sets of officers are being organized periodically to help newer officers and a number of extension and recruiting drives have taken place.
Brentwood Comitium: A new praesidium of 6 members in Becontree is progressing and a recruiting drive was planned for a parish in an attached Curia. A Mass to commemorate the Servant of God, Frank Duff was held in Forest Gate Church on 1st November.
Northampton North and South Curiae: Members of both Curiae manned a stall at Billing and gave Legion literature to contacts, 3 of whom expressed interest in the Legion. Members of a praesidium in the North Curia helped to organize a Mass in a residential home where many of the residents were able to receive Holy Communion regularly but had not had Mass for some years. It proved to be a very joyful occasion for them.
Channel Islands: Two representatives of the Concilium paid a visit to the praesidium in Guernsey in October. The members visit nursing homes and the housebound and they organise a monthly Rosary in the Church to promote devotion to the Venerable Edel Quinn. The visitors did some café contact work with 4 of the legionaries and distributed Miraculous Medals, Rosary leaflets and leaflets in Polish about Sunday Mass.
Leicester Curia: There are 4 praesidia attached with 23 active and 145 auxiliary members. They visit homes and the sick, attend funeral Masses of parishioners and assist with Baptism instruction. A 3-day Retreat/Pilgrimage to Walsingham was held in September.
Cardiff Comitium: Legionaries support the parish priest by bringing Holy Communion to housebound people. Wrexham Curia has 5 praesidia and the 7-member praesidium in Queensferry is working well. Swansea Curia with 3 praesidia has approached 3 parishes for extension.
Two representatives of Liverpool Senatus visited the existing praesidia and the new one at the University all of which are progressing well. A P.P.C. team, also from Liverpool, met the Bishop and some of the priests and were very impressed with the warm hospitality they received.
The praesidium of 6 members in Tonsbery teach catechism to children, visit the sick, assist with parish duties and run a Bible study group.
Paris Regia The Vietnamese Curia with 9 praesidia and 80 active members visit people at home, in hospital and teach catechism. During the year one adult was baptized and 4 persons returned to the Church. 8 members of the Haitian praesidium took part in various Legion functions including one for auxiliaries and a pilgrimage. Troyes Curia has 10 praesidia in 2 Dioceses. A Korean Religious Sister who set up a junior praesidium in Troyes in 2006 recently started a group for young adults.
Valence Regia: Membership in reporting praesidia ranged from 3 to 8. One of them organises an annual pilgrimage to a local Marian shrine. The 4 praesidia including 2 senior and 2 junior in Chateauneuf de Galrwe held a reunion in May, which included a visit to the house of Marthe Robin. A former junior member has entered a Seminary. There are 7 praesidia and 2 Curiae with small membership in the area of Mont de Marsan.
Strasbourg Senatus: This council is working well. A P.P.C. project was carried out in Banneaux in Belgium. A devoted member is transferring to Lourdes where she will join the praesidium and help with work at the Permanence.
Munich Senatus: In July the correspondent for Munich Senatus and the correspondent for Romania visited the Legion in Munich for 3 days. There are now a total of 80 praesidia, 533 active members and 5620 auxiliaries in the entire Senatus. There are 2 Comitia, 10 Curiae and 11 praesidia directly attached to the Senatus. The Correspondents met with the Senatus Officers and also attended the Senatus meeting. The enthusiasm and commitment of the German legionaries was evident at the meeting. Curia Altoetting reported that 40 legionaries, auxiliaries and friends attended a retreat at Altoetting, the Lourdes of Germany. In Passau on the occasion of the May festival, legionaries distributed a parish newsletter, a religious magazine and miraculous medals to all the stallholders. A praesidium in Germaing promotes Eucharistic Adoration. They had a Legion stand at the Christmas market.
Frankfurt Senatus: A meeting of the officers of Frankfurt and Munich Senatus took place in Munich in August and they discussed common issues including a uniform translation of the Legion prayers. This was reported back to the respective councils for final decisions. The Senatus officers had a meeting with Bishop of Limburg. The Korean Curia in Frankfurt has 9 praesidia and is undertaking extension. 10 legionaries from the Curia managed a summer school for 45 children last June. A praesidium has been re-established in Wedding. The Korean Curia attached to the Berlin Comitium arranged for the baptism of three children. The 7 attached praesidia to the Comitium arrange monthly adoration for the cause of the Servant of God, Frank Duff. Extension work was done in the Diocese of Speyer. Two parish priests following consultation with the parish councils agreed to start the Legion in Ludwigshafen. Comitium Freiburg had an attendance of over 100 legionaries on the pilgrimage to Birnau. Their wide range of works includes prison visitation.
Cologne Regia: 4 members took the promise and 13 auxiliary members were recruited. Their PPC project to Zurich was able to start a Korean praesidium. 43 legionaries attended a retreat in Kevelaer. A couple received the sacrament of Matrimony after 25 years.
Siberia: The praesidia in Atchinsk and Bogotaol were visited in September and a new praesidium in Bratsk is being formed.
Curia Luzern has 3 praesidia and is to do extension in Bern. Curia Zurich has 8 praesidia.
Sydney Senatus. A new President was elected and was presented with a Papal medal in appreciation for the Legion’s contribution to organising the Papal visit. Parishes are very scattered with the population of Catholics low. Home visitation, street contact and bringing the Eucharist to nursing homes are some of the works mentioned. Koreans have 3 Curiae with 700 members.
Brisbane Comitium: Korean Curia work among their own community. 12 adults and 22 children were baptised. 48 active and 35 auxiliary members were recruited in the last 6 months. The Vietnamese Curia organised a pilgrimage to a shrine of Our Lady.
Melbourne Senatus: Each of the 4 city praesidia have 7 members who carry out home and hospital visitation. North West suburbs Curia organised a function in a girls College on Venerable Edel Quinn. A talk on a visit to Edel’s grave was given and 45 attended the address. Adelaide Comitium had an Exploratio Dominicalis in the Cathedral parish, which resulted in 6 active and 1 auxiliary members recruited. Six new praesidia have been set up this year.
Pacific Islands: Tabiteuea Island has a new Curia with 4 praesidia and 2 other Comitia has 5 and 3 Curiae attached respectively.
Auckland Senatus celebrates its 75th anniversary Mass on the 13th December. The Bishop will be the chief celebrant. The Legion has a presence in all 6 Dioceses with 2,600 senior and 400 junior members in 161 praesidia, 10 Curiae and 2 Comitia. New members were recruited after WYD. Works mentioned in the reports are catechism classes, prison visitation, home and hospital visitation, bereavement follow up, Rosary and statue visitation.
Papua New Guinea
Rabul Regia organised a weekend event for legionaries, which incorporated processions, talks and spiritual exercises culminating with a Mass on the 7th September. 945 members attended which was a huge success. Conversions from the sects were mentioned in reports and on the Island of Lihir the Legion is the spiritual impetus for religious life in this predominately Catholic area. Madang Regia is proceeding with the formation of a new Regia to govern the highlands area of the country based in Mount Hagan.
Western Visayas Regia: A PPC project was carried out in Canlaon with a team of 24 and 19 local legionaries. 253 non-Catholic families and 78 un-baptised persons were met. A 2-day seminar for female prisoners had 71 in attendance. A suicide was prevented, 3 young brothers were catechised and then recruited for the Legion by a junior praesidium after their Baptism. 135 people join in a dawn Rosary every first Saturday.
Bicolandia Senatus: A new Regia in Legazapi had its inaugural meeting on 11th May. Two praesidia in a jail have 24 active members who teach the Rosary to fellow inmates. Mass is celebrated monthly. Promotion of the Rosary, the 3 Causes, encouraging Mass attendance, conducting pre-baptism seminars featured in the reports.
Cebu Senatus: Extension work is ongoing and praesidia and councils are currently being visited. Conversions from sects were reported. Catechism is taught to street dwellers and also in a home for girls. In co-operation with the Salesians, legionaries initiated a recollection for 40 students before graduation. They received Confession and after Mass expressed their gratitude to the Legion. Many had not been active in the faith for some time. New praesidia, both senior and junior, and Curiae were established.
Mindanao Senatus: 700 attended an auxiliary rally in Butuan City. The Senatus has initiated a series of “True Devotion to Mary” talks. Several families who had joined sects were brought back to the faith.
North Philippines Senatus
The 68th anniversary of the Legion in the Philippines was celebrated on the 6th July and approximately 100,000 active legionaries attended. Malolos Comitium was raised to a Regia and San Pablo Comitium was divided to create 3 new Comitia. 41 couples were catechised in preparation for marriage. 19 conversions were reported and a Buddhist is now an active legionary. PPC and Exploratio Dominicalis projects were carried out. In Manila city jail bi-weekly catechism instruction is given as well as a Holy Hour and Mass on first Fridays. Patrician meetings were held in male and female wards.
Bogotá Senatus: An attached Comitium reported great results from home to home visitation, a large number of people were prepared for the sacraments including the Sacrament of Marriage. Another Comitium reported many young legionaries in the council working successfully with drug addicts and convincing the young people to return to the practice of the faith. They also organise football games for the youth. The audit is being carried out at every level.
Senatus of Asuncion: A praesidium doing mainly home visitation encourages the families back to the practice of the faith, a number of children and young people were Baptised including a 25-year old girl. In the Institute of Tropical Medicine the legionaries met about 20 young children suffering with AIDS. For the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Socorro the local Fire Department decorated the fire truck with flowers and carried the statue of Our Lady in procession through the streets.
Senatus of La Paz: Extension work is on the monthly agenda, three new junior praesidia are being set up. Weak praesidia are given extra attention. Legionaries visit the sick and where requested bring the priest for Confession and the Sacrament of the Sick. The Concilium correspondent’s letter is read in full at each meeting.
Senatus of Santiago: Minutes indicate that reports are followed by excellent suggestions and questions. An affiliated Comitium reported that there is a praesidium in a local jail. The Viña del Mar Comitium was invited to take part in a meeting with the seminarians of their diocese. A Curia reported that it takes part in a television and radio programme aimed at evangelising the families and promoting the Legion.
Senatus of Montevideo: In the Maldonado Comitium area the Legion is in 8 of the 15 parishes. A praesidium, which visits a home for the elderly took the residents to a concert.
Senatus of Quito: A praesidium reported they have 2 praetorian, 47 adjutorian and 80 auxiliary members. Jehovah Witnesses are very active and an auxiliary member became a Jehovah and said she regretted it. The recitation of the Angelus in the homes is encouraged.
Senatus of Caracas: Exploratio Dominicalis and extension feature prominently in the reports. The junior movement is very active and there are plans to set up a praesidium among the Indians. A retreat for 160 children was held in Puerto de la Cruz. Legionaries help with a weekly Mass in the jail as well as teaching the Rosary and catechism to the prisoners. In Maracaibo Comitium a new Curia was set up and 6 praesidia including one junior are being set up.
Comitium of Havana: Extension is ongoing in the different dioceses in the Havana Comitium. The Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Clara said he hopes that the Legion will be set up throughout his diocese. They also contacted some Filipino religious Sisters who are helping to set up praesidia and are willing to be Spiritual Directors. The Legion is now established in 5 of the 9 dioceses.
Accra Senatus: The new work of visiting prisons and a correction centre continues. Sunyani Regia has 1,923 senior and 659 junior members. Their main work is home visitation, the number of legionaries teaching Catechism is increasing and great efforts are made to bring them into the Legion eventually. Goaso Comitium has intensified its visitation in the Ashanti Region, a large area without the Legion.
Lesotho Senatus has 13 comitia, 3 curiae and 5 praesidia directly attached. Only two Maseru comitia, two Maseru curiae and three of the praesidia attend regularly. Reports to the Senatus show marriages solemnised through the work of legionaries. When the Ugandan visitors were there in 2007 they reported a total of 437 seniors and 18 juniors in three of the four dioceses. Lesotho also supervises Bloemfontein in South Africa, which they reported has 616 senior, 19 junior and 260 auxiliary members.
Praia Regia: Besides the central work of home visitation many legionaries are engaged in catechesis, for instance, in one of the 9 Comitia the focus is on preparation for the Sacraments. Other works include adult literacy, bible formation groups, celebration of the Word - in the absence of the priest and promoting active participation in the Eucharistic Liturgy. Conversions of three young 7-Day Adventists were reported. One Curia reported 14 Exploratio Dominicalis projects. Although 4 junior praesidia closed 10 new junior praesidia were set up. True Devotion to the Nation (TDN) work involves helping the poor repair their homes also cleaning the homes of the sick and aged. Several Curiae held congresses.
Luanda Regia: Minutes include reports on various activities in the Regia.
Maputo Regia: This Regia reports on the usual legionary activities. It has one Comitium and 25 Curiae and they have their meetings every three months with the Comitium and all the Curiae in Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane.
Hwange Comitium: Reports indicate legionaries asking couples to sanctify their marriages in Church, encouraging baptisms and bringing adults for instruction and new praesidia are being established. Works also include home visitation, visiting the sick in hospital, home Rosary and street contact apostolate. In July they had an annual retreat in two places. Several hundred attended the one for Hwange Comitium and the one at St. John’s Mission brought in one hundred and ten from senior and junior members. They had a Congress in Hwange from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September. There were 573 members present from different places and 83 took the promise. The Legion is growing in the diocese with many junior praesidia reviving in Hwange Town along with many men’s praesidia being set up.
Capetown Senatus: The Senatus Secretary visited Dublin in October and met with the correspondent and some Concilium Officers. Plans for the future development of the Senatus and extension to outlying areas were discussed. Works undertaken by the legionaries include organising a rosary procession, which had an attendance of over 300, reciting the rosary in homes and hospital visitation where contact is made with non-Catholics and Muslims. A correspondents meeting is planned. Johannesburg Senatus: Works undertaken by East Rand Curia include encouraging parents to bring their children for baptism and to send their school going children to catechism classes and keeping in touch with recent converts. Soweto Comitium is planning the annual retreat and reunion. Matatiele Comitium: A praesidium of 12 members reported 35 baptisms, 34 confirmations, 3 marriages rectified. One praesidium runs a Patrician Group. Durban Comitium: A praesidium of 16 legionaries has 5 praetorians, 75 auxiliary and 15 adjutorian members.
Launch of The Legion of Mary Child Safeguarding Policy
At the Concilium Meeting on Sunday 16th November 2008, Fr. Paddy Boyle, Child Protection Training and Development Coordinator, launched the Legion of Mary document on Child Safeguarding. ‘The Child Safeguarding Policy aims to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for children and young people where they are cherished and encouraged to become involved in the life of our Church.’ Janet Lowthe, Concilium Officer overseeing the policy, stated that every legionary will be given a copy. Training of legionaries in this area will commence next year. The policy can be downloaded from the Legion website (www.legion-of-mary.ie).
Peregrinatio Pro Christo
The Autumn Conference in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra was held on Saturday 1st November. There were approximately 320 legionaries present and we were blessed with the presence of a number of Priests and nuns. Fr. Bede McGregor was the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass and was joined by Frs. Rory Brady, Tim Peacock, Michael Ross and Michael Kennedy.
The reports were most interesting and the highlight this year was the historic section when reports were given on key projects in past years including the early history given by Hugh Brady. This was followed by talks on Russia, Israel, Poland, Iceland, Africa and on the youth sleeping bag projects.
The reports on the 2008 projects in Britain were also excellent, and we heard about ventures in Finland, Sweden, Amsterdam and Berlin organised by the British Senatus councils. Tommy McCabe, President of the Concilium, gave an inspiring concluding talk. The discussions were lively and altogether it was a very satisfying day.
Bernardo de Nardo - Envoy for Central Asia
In the latest report from Bernardo he informs us about his intended visit to meet personally the Latin Bishop of Georgia to tell him of the value of the Legion and hopefully to allow it to start in his diocese.
Bernardo prepared short articles on Frank Duff and the Legion in Armenia, which has appeared in the Diocesan Journal. He is hopeful this will enthuse priests to accept the Legion in their parishes. The Handbook is being translated into Armenian by a seminarian of the Armenian Apostolic Church who is very impressed by the wisdom of the Handbook. Prayers are asked for the continued success of his 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
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