Concilium Bulletin November 2019
Auckland Senatus: A praesidium visits libraries to encourage them to stock Catholic books. 50 Miraculous Medals were accepted in the University during Fresher’s Week. A family was helped to return to Church after many years, another to join the RCIA class. A maximum security prison is visited every 2nd month where the inmates read scripture, sing hymns and recite prayers of intercession. 300 attended a very successful Marian Day. Juniors help with the children’s liturgy and recruit for the catechism class. Senatus visited Tonga and found 7 praesidia with 30 members. Two High Schools which were severely damaged from a cyclone last year were visited; it is hoped to eventually establish praesidia in the schools. The Mormons are very active and are enticing people to join by offering them better facilities.
Melbourne Senatus: 14 legionaries took part in a ten-day PPC project to Tugroona in the Albury and Wodonga Comitium area. Perth Comitium had 80 on a Retreat. Caulfied Curia held 2 evening Retreats, one for men and other for women. A place of ill-repute which was close to the Church and school has now closed down after a praesidium prayed for its closure. Flemington Vietnamese Comitium has 16 praesidia, 3 Curia and a new praesidium of 9 members was set up. 120 attended a three-day Retreat. Darwin Curia was visited where they have 3 praesidia. The islands of Port Orly in Vanuata and St. Kiribati are out of touch for some time. Brisbane Comitium celebrated its 80th Anniversary. The President and Vice President of Melbourne Senatus attended the ceremony on their way back from visiting Darwin. 3 Vietnamese praesidia reported with membership of 20, 19 and 12. They take part in the sacramental programme in the parishes and had 50 children attend weekly Rosary during the month of May. Other reports included bringing Holy Communion to nursing homes and the Parish Priest is very grateful for this service as some of these homes are in remote areas. The Rosary is recited monthly over the hospital radio.
Sydney Senatus: Reports included transporting elderly people to Mass, visiting nursing homes, Catechism taught in state schools, home visitation, involvement in the RCIA, and promoting weekly adoration. 7 Pilgrim statues are in circulation. A Detention Centre is visited and juniors visit the nursing homes with senior members.
Bicolandia Senatus: Sacred Heart enthronement took place in 4 homes. 30 marriages were validated, orphanages were visited and catechism taught in the High School. 100 Rosary beads were accepted by inmates in Tigaon Jail, and in another jail a praesidium was set up. Juniors do contact to classmates and friends and invite them to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Senatus of Northern Philippines (Manila): In Cainta Comitum 75 juniors and 17 seniors attended a Marian Youth Conference. Manila Comitium held its 1st Marian Youth Camp. 25 female bar employees and their relatives are being prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and said their continuous Bible study increased their faith. Catechism was taught to 2,497 children, 152 of whom were prepared for the Sacraments. A stage play on the ‘Life and Mission of Venerable Edel Quinn’ was held on 12th May on the occasion of Edel’s 75th Anniversary. Pasig Comitium has divided to make two Comitia and the inaugural Mass was officiated over by the Bishop on 21st April. A report was received from Rabaul Regia, Papua New Guinea. The Regia has 17 Comitia, 17 senior Curiae and 5 directly attached praesidia with an active membership of over 8,000. The Legion is in 73 of the 80 parishes in the Archdiocese.
Western Visayas Senatus: Sara Comitium reported catechetical instruction to 851 children; 95 received their 1st Confession and Holy Communion and 5 received Confirmation. PPC was conducted to the Island of Bayas. Dorog Curia reported visits to 62 homes resulting in 9 Baptisms, 4 marriages validated and 80 children prepared for Confirmation. Regia of Negros Occidental members visited the prison with Fr. Fernandez who celebrated Mass and heard the Confessions of prisoners. 15 inmates returned to the Sacraments; 3 others asked how to make a good Confession and 3 received their 1st Holy Communion. A young woman who used drugs was helped by legionaries and is now recovered, attends Mass and has become employed. Many council’s reported Exploratio Dominicalis projects, crowd contact, plus returns to the Sacraments as a result of home visitation.
Cebu Senatus: Dumaguete Regia supervises 7 Comitia, 4 Curiae, and 17 directly attached praesidia. Membership: active 4,113 with 527 on probation; 331 are Praetorians. 188 are Adjutorians out of over 7,000 auxiliaries. They have 1,737 juniors. Reports covered visits to the sick, marriages validated, 382 prison inmates visited, catechism taught in schools and backyards, block Rosaries, enthronement of the Sacred Heart, many returns to the Sacraments and conversions. Fr. Ubod the Senatus Spiritual Director for many years is leaving to take up new duties.
Mindanao Senatus: Tagum Regia with 18 Curiae and 4 Comitia has only 7 directly attached praesidia. The council was advised to close one of the Curiae and have its praesidia attach to the Regia. Davao Regia, which covers a very large administration area, aims to form a new Regia in Cotobato. Details are to be forwarded to Concilium. A lady scheduled for an operation prayed to Frank Duff for a cure and the doctors subsequently found there was no need for the operation. The Senatus is to investigate this further. Several reports were received of marriage validations, and a non-Catholic family was instructed in the faith and received into the Church. A praesidium of 8 members, all Praetorians, has 336 auxiliaries and 29 Adjutorians.
Senatus of Quito: The Comitium of Guayaquil has a junior Curia of 10 praesidia with 4 more in formation. There are 4 legionaries working on extension in Ingapirca, and a new Comitium has been established in Santa Elena.
Senatus of Caracus: 4 Comitia and 5 Curiae reported during this period. Most councils indicate extension, 11 praesidia and one curia were set up, others are at different stages of formation. A new junior Curia was set up in an attached Comitium. There are 8 praesidia attached to the Senatus for a long time now. It has been suggested that they try to bring the number up to 12 at least, thereby having a praesidium report each month.
Senatus of Medellin organised a PPC project to Carepa, a town 3 hours to the north from 1st to 16th July. 26 legionaries took part. 1115 homes were visited and 16 catechesis sessions held with a total attendance of 3,736 people while 198 youngsters attended 3 sessions directed towards them. A Curia reported members staying with the sick during the night in clinics and hospitals. A praesidium reported home visitation during which they counsel couples with marital difficulties, people in crises and youths with addiction problems. The Senatus has sent the Frank Duff Prayer Group leaflet to all affiliated councils and praesidia to promote the cause. Feedback is very positive; already reports are being prepared on three medical cures, two of them reportedly miraculous.
Senatus of Bogota: Councils are encouraged by the Senatus to undertake new works. Existing works include bringing the sick to the doctor and a weekly prison visit during which they engage in activities with the prisoners. They help with funeral arrangements for deceased prisoners, interfacing with family members. They also visit Youth Detention Centres. Street contact is made with passers-by, taxi drivers and the homeless.
Regia of Baranquilla reported 12 new praesidia in 10 towns, 1 new curia and 1 new Patrician meeting. The Comitium of Zipaquira set up 2 new praesidia of 4 and 3 members. Another comitium reported the conversion of a whole evangelical family; the children were baptised and the parents who were co-habiting received 3 sacraments and are due to marry. Several councils held a congress. A National Youth Conference was held in Bucaramanga with 150 youths attending; bullying was one of the themes discussed.
Senatus of Santiago: Many praesidia are recruiting immigrants. One praesidium, as well as Chileans, has legionaries from Colombia, Venezuela, and Haiti. Colomban Drives are quite successful. At the church gates legionaries take names and phone numbers and later visit those interested. The Senatus was pleased to receive details of St. John Henry Newman which they will use with their non-Catholic contacts.
Regia of Temuco reports new praesidia being set up the most recent one in the Cathedral parish. The Regia organises missions in towns currently with no priest. The final open-air Mass of the mission is held on the plaza in the town centre. The legionaries follow this up with Month of May processions and during Lent, Stations of the Cross. Where possible a prayer group is started.
Senatus of La Paz: They are very aware of Pope Francis’s call for the Church to go out in public to proclaim the Gospel. Special attention is given to barrios on the outskirts of towns where new families arrive. These areas are a special target for the protestant sects. The Regia is very good at visiting their distant praesidia and councils as well as training new correspondents. Both the Senatus of Santiago and of La Paz ask for prayers as their countries are experiencing huge national problems.
Senatus of Montevideo: An intermediate praesidium organised camping trips for residents of a Children’s Home. The Legion had a stand at the National Gathering of Lay Movements. Works mentioned include outreach to the homeless, prison pastoral work, accompanying the priest to rural areas and to difficult suburbs. The Senatus held a Congress on 7th Sept with a very good turnout.
Senatus of Lima: The Senatus President and Secretary have been elected for second terms. The Senatus reports 401 probationary legionaries and seven new praesidia. In the Curia of Barranco half of the legionaries are Praetorian members. New works include access to the University of Callao where they hope to start a praesidium and home visitation in the dangerous suburb of Cerro el Pino. 26 adults have been baptised and six college students are under instruction to become Catholics. Other apostolates include work among children with HIV, visits to the government buildings including the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, two prison praesidia in Quencoro Prison and one in Quillabamba Prison.
Senatus of Asuncion: A committee has been established to promote the cause of Alfie Lambe, some members travelling to his tomb in Buenos Aires; a day event was organised to study his spirituality, led by a priest who, as a boy, met Alfie. They held a mass to mark the 75th Anniversary of the death of Edel Quinn, the Senatus Spiritual Director being the main celebrant. Other events include 3 PPC projects and the 19th National Youth Conference. At the legionary Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Caacupe the bishop who celebrated mass was highly impressed by the large crowds; he was given a handbook and Tessera and agreed to become an Adjutorian member; he recalled his active membership as a seminarian. Other apostolates mentioned are the visitation of police stations and the setting up of a praesidium in a women’s prison.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Carlow Comitium: Child Safeguarding is being attended to and on the agenda of each Comitium meeting. Special recruiting took place in Rathvilly and a number of meetings have taken place. Currently there are 2 members and members from the Comitium attend each week. The praesidium set up in Askea parish 2 years ago has closed due to lack of members. One praesidium in the Comitium reported getting a new member. The Comitium was responsible for the running of the Legion Stand at the Ploughing Championships along with the 2 attached Curiae. Tullow praesidium has 4 members whose main work is Pilgrim statue visitation. Tesserae, Miraculous Medals and prayer leaflets for the 3 Causes are distributed. A representative from Kildare Curia attended the July Comitium meeting and the President of Laois Curia attended the September meeting. Three pairs of legionaries in Portlaoise Curia undertook home visitation during the summer which was very successful.
Elphin Comitium: The three reporting praesidia have 5, 5 and 6 members. Home, hospital and nursing home visitation is undertaken. One recent Legion recruit joined because of witnessing the care given to his elderly mother through the years by the visiting legionaries. North Elphin Curia: Works undertaken by the 2 reporting praesidia include home visitation, promotion of the Rosary and Miraculous Medal, Fatima statue visitation, recruiting for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and for Legion membership. One of the praesidia has over 100 auxiliary members. Both Comitium and Curia helped in organising the Adult Conference held in Sligo on 19th October entitled “If Mary were but Known”, which was considered a great success with an attendance of 80 plus and 45% were non-legionaries.
Tuam Comitium: On ‘Reek Sunday’ 28th July 22 legionaries, 11 of these from Westport Curia, did contact work at Croagh Patrick and had many good contacts. Kilkerrin/Clonberne praesidium has 5 members who co-ordinate and participate in Eucharistic Adoration, including a 24 hour session during Lent which was well supported. Weekly visits are made to the nursing home and Holy Communion taken to the housebound. Two members are involved in Eucharistic Adoration with the first Communion children. Another member taught children in the National School how to make St. Bridget’s crosses. Dunmore praesidium has 4 members who visit the nursing home and bring Holy Communion to a housebound person. With the help of the Community school students they filled, labelled and distributed 2,000 bottles of Holy Water to Mass goers at Easter. Prayer cards and Miraculous Medals were given to First Communion children. They visited a Primary School and left the Fatima statue there for a week. Prayers were recited by their teacher with the children. Two members do home visitation with the Fatima statue and are very well received. Mountbellew praesidium has 4 members. Home visitation was done on occasions and the Pilgrim statue taken to some homes.
Achonry Curia: There are 3 praesidia attached. No praesidium report was presented in the period under review. Two former members have rejoined the praesidium in Kiltimagh.
Clonfert Curia: Efforts are being made to re-activate the praesidium in Portumna which closed due to illness of the members. The apostolate of a praesidium by 11 members, one a Praetorian, and 14 auxiliary members in Ballinasloe includes hospital, nursing home and private homes visitation during which Miraculous Medals and Catholic literature are distributed. The legionaries assist with and attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Acies, Retreat and Annual Reunion were all well attended. In the parish of Cappataggle a praesidium of 8 members, two of whom are Praetorians, visit former legionaries who are confined to their homes or nursing home care. In the month of May the Legion altar was placed in the sanctuary so as to recruit and encourage new members. Hospital, nursing home and visits to the bereaved is also included in their work. The legionaries visited the local school where each child preparing for First Holy Communion received a pack with a Rosary beads, Miraculous Medal and an explanatory leaflet of the medal.
Ferns Curia: At September meeting future plans for extension and promotion of the Legion were discussed. Sr. Mary Gannon, on receiving the Bene Merente Medal, was interviewed on the local radio and spoke about the importance of the Legion in her life and the works which the Legion undertakes. There was an attendance of 27 at the Curia Retreat. The junior praesidium in Davidstown has 8 members aged from 7 to 17 years. Their works include helping in the Church, visitation of a local hospital with senior members, assisting a family member to attend Mass, distribution of Miraculous Medals and participation in Adoration and in public Rosaries. Following a Columban recruiting drive on 6/7 October 2 names were received for possible membership. Two full buses went from the Curia on the Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine.
Galway Curia: All praesidia do home visitation. The praesidium reporting in June does home and Pilgrim statue visitation in the Claddagh area and also visits a nursing home. The praesidium reporting in August with 6 members and 14 auxiliaries also does nursing home visitation. The report in September was from a praesidium which visited about 400 homes during the year. Two legionaries from the Curia climbed Croagh Patrick in July and took part in contact work after the climb.
Killala Curia: Ardagh praesidium has 5 members whose main works include hospital and nursing home visitation and parish duties. The August Patrician meeting had an attendance of 10 on the topic of ‘Eucharistic Adoration’. The exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles continues to be moved around the Diocese by legionaries. The Legion had a stall at the Heritage Day in Belmullet and many useful contacts were made. Rosaries and Miraculous Medals were distributed.
KilkennyCuria lost their beloved Spiritual Director, Fr. Joe Heffernan, O. P., who died on 26th September. May he rest in peace. The Curia filled its coach for Knock Legion Pilgrimage. For their summer outing 14 legionaries went to Mount Congreve Gardens in Kilmeaden and Waterford city.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
Porta Coeli Curia: A praesidium of 5 active members including one on probation has 2 Pilgrim statues in circulation. The Pilgrim Statue visits are proving to be a great consolation and aid to people in praying for special intentions. During the month of May, a small picture of Our Lady and some flowers were offered on home visitation, as an invitation to families to set up a May altar in their homes. Visits to residents of two nursing homes and to housebound parishioners are greatly appreciated. 20 Maria Legionis magazines are distributed quarterly. The three legionary Causes are regularly promoted by members through personal contact. A new praesidium which closed temporarily has re-opened with two new members and supporting legionaries from the Curia. The Curia had a full bus on the Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine.
Bethlehem Curia has 10 praesidia. 18 men attended the De Montfort Men’s Club during the year, 5 of them newcomers. The club meetings take place twice weekly, beginning with the Rosary followed by time for chat, discussion on religious topics and refreshments. Attending the club is a great spiritual and social support for the members. An Exploratio Dominicalis project took place to the parish of a neighbouring Curia. Many suggestions of plans for the Legion Centenary were discussed at the Curia meeting. Visitation of praesidia takes places monthly by Curia members. Six people attended a Patrician meeting entitled, “Mission is Possible”.
Consolata Curia: Two praesidia with seven active and 22 auxiliary members reported. A local school is visited weekly and a decade of the Rosary is recited with one of the classes. Families were invited to accept a “Travelling Crib” into their homes for one night during Advent. A folder of prayers, Catholic readings and Christmas pictures for children to colour was also offered. Each family passed the crib on to the next family and joined them in prayer. 70 people attended the Stations of the Cross in a housing estate on Good Friday. Legionaries planned and rehearsed roles with local children prior to the event and these children participated enthusiastically. Residents of local nursing homes are visited fortnightly and join in the Rosary, hymns and they also chat with the legionaries.
Exaltata Curia: 13 legionaries took part in a home visitation project in one parish where a family requested information on getting their four children baptised. Another family wished to learn how to pray the Rosary and another requested a house blessing. A praesidium of nine active and four auxiliary members are responsible for staffing the Regina Coeli hostel twice weekly. Duties include manning the front office, door and phone, interviewing new residents and dealing with residents’ queries and problems. The Rosary is recited twice daily, in the dining room and in the oratory. Members are mindful that every encounter with a resident is an opportunity of grace and legionaries are often blessed by the kind and caring example of residents.
Presentata Curia has 17 praesidia. Reports were given by two praesidia with 17 and 5 active members. Members prepare and serve meals, engaging in cleaning and gardening at the Morning Star hostel. An average of 15 men attend the Men’s Shed daily and undertake activities such as creative writing, art, Irish (Gaelic) classes and music as well as enjoying an excursion once a month. A monthly African Mass is promoted on street contact in the city centre. An average of 8 people attended Patrician meetings over the year.
Veneranda Curia has 10 praesidia. Two reporting praesidia have a total active membership of 8, including 5 Praetorians, 50 auxiliaries and 55 probationary auxiliaries. A weekly Rosary is recited in a nursing home. Non-Catholics were visited during Christian Unity week and contact work was done on the Dublin City University campus before exam time. Recruiting and extension efforts took place in two parishes. Parents with young children were encouraged to have their children baptised. Members on weekly street contact try to engage the public on the significance of the Mass. 7 adults with special needs are helped to enjoy an evening of games, jigsaws, talk and laughter at St. Michael’s Club each week.
Senatus of Accra: Sunyani Regia reported the raising of a new Comitium at Daffiama. Four new praesidia were established by Jirapa and it is hoped to also create 3 new Curiae there. A Curia in Mataheko reported that 78 members attended a successful Retreat at Dzode. A new Curia was inaugurated at Akatsi. A Student Legion Congress was held in September 2019 on the theme “The New Evangelisation for Transmission of Christian Faith: The Role of the Student Legionary” at Sunyani Technical University.
Senatus of Egypt held elections and has appointed a correspondent to the Concilium. The Senatus had a visit in May from His beatitude Abraham Isaac who stressed that the activities of Our Lady’s legionaries are to the forefront of the apostolic activities in the Church.
Hwange Comitium: A report was received in October indicating that the legionaries are busy visiting lapsed Catholics, and encouraging couples to marry in Church. A priest from Mutare Diocese who recently visited the Concilium said that in his area they have electricity for only four hours a night from 11.00 p.m. to 3.00 a.m.
Harare Curia: In a recent e-mail the Curia President stated that there are difficulties for them with the Minutes but that the Curia is meeting regularly. They are delighted to receive the Concilium Bulletin.
Cape Verde Regia: A praesidium reported accompanying the priest to hear Confessions of the bedridden, and on visits to the sick in hospital on islands where access is difficult for relatives. All praesidia report Exploratio Dominicalis projects. A Comitium on the main island of Santiago report the Baptism of 275, 63 of whom are adults. In the island of Guinee Bissau the main focus is on an apostolate to the sick, praying with them and bringing the Blessed Sacrament to their homes. The Capuchins on the island of Fogo give great support to the Legion.
Luanda Senatus: The Senatus President wrote in September giving news of a visit 31st July – 5th August by two Senatus officers and 20 legionaries from the Malanje Comitium to Luquembo in the Malanje Comitium area, to raise a Curia to Comitium. The Bishop of Viana and Apostolic Administrator of Uíge discussed with Senatus officers the possibilities of raising more councils, including Regiae, in the Senatus area. A Curia in Negage/Uíge was due to be raised to Comitium on 7 November. Four Senatus officers and 64 legionaries from the Mbanza Congo Diocese in Angola took part in what was described as “Peregrinatio Pro Christo projects” in Kimpese, Baixo Congo, Diocese of Matadi, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 15 – 18 August. The Bishops’ Conference invited the Senatus officers to the closing of the 1st National Conference of Angolan Clergy, which took place in the Diocese of Viana. The Senatus officers were invited by the Archbishop of Luanda to participate in “Formation in Missiology”, a four-day event, which took place in Luanda.
Benguela Senatus: The Senatus President reported that Senatus officers and other legionaries had visited the Curiae in all the parishes and missions in the Diocese of Benguela. They were planning for the opening of the Jubilee of the Centenary of the Legion of Mary for 1st September when the Bishop of the Diocese would preside at a Solemn Mass.
Lesotho Senatus: The Archbishop attended the August Senatus meeting which included 56 legionary visitors. A lady in a mixed marriage came back to the faith and her children have been baptised.
Lícia and Valdicélio Mendes from the Aracaju Regia in Brazil made a visit of almost three weeks to Mozambique on behalf of the Concilium. They found the Legion exists in all three Archdioceses and nine Suffragan Dioceses. They managed to visit the three Archdioceses and four of the Suffragan Dioceses, and made contact by phone with the other five Dioceses. They met two Archbishops and two Bishops and were very well received by Bishops, priests, religious and legionaries.
Capetown Senatus: The Archbishop has given the go-ahead to print the Handbook in Afrikaans. Fresh quotes were received for printing. Costs have escalated and the Senatus thought it prudent to publish now rather than wait until the inclusion of St. Raphael in the prayers. Praesidia visitation is done regularly. Their works include weekly visits to sick, disabled and dying parishioners. The Legionaries also assist at wake services. Special works include helping foreigners and refugees from neighbouring countries, especially those in need of medical attention. Former legionary Pat Jackson died recently. May he rest in peace. Pat helped Edel Quinn with transport in Nairobi during her work as a Legion Envoy.
Johannesburg Senatus: Works undertaken include home, hospital, hospice and prison visitation and street contact work. The Senatus is diligent about receiving reports from attached councils and visiting the councils. The Causes of Frank Duff and Venerable Edel Quinn are promoted.
Durban Comitium: A new Treasurer has been elected and he has supplied the correspondent with an e-mail address. Matatiele Comitium: A praesidium with 5 active and 7 auxiliary members reported that as a result of regular home visitation 11 persons returned to the Church, one marriage was blessed and four altar servers were recruited Marianhill Comitium: Works include teaching catechism to children and reciting the Rosary with families while on visitation. One Curia reported saying special prayers for the unemployed and finding jobs for 6 people.