Concilium Bulletin November 2020
Bicolandia Senatus: The correspondent writes monthly to encourage them. Most legionaries have no internet/computer access.
Cebu Senatus: Some virtual meetings take place. The Concilium correspondent stressed the importance of all legionaries reading a page of the Handbook every day and his letter is passed on to various councils. Details of the New World of Mary series have been forwarded to the Senatus.
Western Visayas Senatus: No meetings taking place.
Mindanao Senatus: No meetings since February. The correspondent has suggested zoom for keeping in touch, but says very few would have internet. Regia, Aurora in the South is open with restricted numbers attending meetings.
Manila Senatus: Zoom meetings take place in the Senatus with 100 participating. Members in Guam also join. Senatus has encouraged legionaries with health protocols in place to assist in their parishes. The spirit and zeal of the legionaries is alive and well. Senatus held their 2nd Talk on Saturday 7th.November via web Titled, “Servant of God Frank Duff.” A Talk by a Montfort Missionary discussed the significance, and relevance and connection of the Legion of Mary to the True Devotion of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. This sets their preparation for the Centenary.
Auckland Senatus: Zoom meetings are held when no actual meetings can take place. Senatus is back with reduced numbers attending. Legionaries telephone elderly parishioners to keep them informed about the parish news during lockdown. In July 32 people aged 6 to 17 years attended a Play and Pray Day for Juniors and school children. One praesidium is working through a list of 30 homes to be enthroned to the Sacred Heart,
Brisbane Comitium held their Acies in July, 99th, Anniversary Mass in September, and in October an outdoor function to the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians. Some praesidia are not yet meeting. The Comitium is updating its working-with-children policy.
Sydney Senatus: Meetings take place with reduced numbers. Pre-lockdown work reported teaching catechism in 12 state schools, book-barrow, Baptism, marriage preparation, street-contact, Enthronement to the Sacred Heart, RCIA and prisons visitation. 10 Rosary statues are used on home visitation, and Holy Communion is brought to nursing homes. Mother of God Comitium, Dili,Timor Leste, has 5 Curia, 35 praesidia with 483 members, and 6 Junior praesidia with 110 members. Mass was celebrated for the Servant of God, Alfie Lambe. The Senatus is making plans for the Centenary, a one-day Retreat was held, and legionaries are helping in the archives while not able to do regular Legion work.
Melbourne Senatus: Pre-lockdown reports featured home, hospital and nursing home visitation, Holy Communion brought to the sick and weekly Rosary at a hospital.
Noumea Comitium in New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean was only closed for one month. Two officers visited Wallis Island which is 2,101 kilometres away. 5 praesidia in a Curia were visited. The Bishop of Wallis and Futuna was met. The Acies was held and their outdoor function was attended by 200.
Senatus of Asuncion: In September the Senatus held its first meeting since February. During the lockdown the Senatus kept in regular contact with its attached councils and praesidia, and used it as an opportunity to inform legionaries on the life of Frank Duff. They encouraged the setting up of Frank Duff Prayer Groups. Some of the attached councils and praesidia held virtual meetings. 16 seminarians in the National Seminary took the Legion Promise. On 7th September in the National Sanctuary of Perpetual Help, the Senatus Spiritual Director celebrated a Mass to mark the Legion’s foundation.
Senatus of Lima: During this period, meetings have been virtual and confined mostly to prayer. Many legionaries don’t have the technology or internet access to participate. Spiritual Directors join in or send recorded messages. Apostolates have been generally confined to making contact with auxiliary members or family and friends. Young legionaries have been reading at online Masses and helping with sacramental preparation. They have also been bringing a pilgrim image of Our Lady to homes but not entering; similarly they visit the homes of the deceased and pray outside. The Archbishop of Arequipa meets virtually with them every Saturday morning. In preparation for the Legion Centenary a Novena to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary was organised with 320 legionaries taking part. A virtual workshop on Legion spirituality had 200 take part. On 7th Sept, the Senatus Spiritual Director celebrated an Anniversary Mass while a Triduum for Frank Duff was planned for 5th to 7th November.
Senatus of Montevideo: The Senatus Officers have been holding monthly virtual meetings. Praesidia and council meetings have also been virtual for the most part but recently physical meetings are starting again, even though works are limited. An exception has been the visitation of a prison by 2 legionaries; the inmates were very appreciative. On 7th September Cardinal Sturles con-celebrated an Anniversary Mass with the Senatus Spiritual Director and another Spiritual Director.
Senatus of Bogota: The Senatus Officers have been holding monthly virtual meetings with their team of correspondents. They keep in touch with attached councils by email. A Senatus meeting was held virtually in October to plan for a physical meeting in November with a reduced attendance, at which elections for 3 officerships were to take place. Many attached councils have been holding virtual meetings too. The young members of the Regia of Cartagena held an online meeting in July to organise park Rosaries with loudspeakers. The Spiritual Director of the Regia of Tunja organised Marian talks online; the talks were delivered by various Bishops. The Senatus’ Mass for the Legion’s 99th Anniversary was broadcast on Facebook. A Centenary Committee has been formed. Former Senatus Spiritual Director Fr. Alfredo, a Montfortian priest, has organised an online consecration to Jesus through Mary, as per De Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary; many legionaries will take part, including some from Panama. Legion works have been restricted; some make telephone calls; others give virtual catechesis for the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation while online Retreats and vigils have been held. A pilgrim image of Our Lady is delivered to homes and the legionaries call the householders later to discuss how the image should be venerated.
Senatus of Medellin: The Senatus meeting are virtual and the Spiritual Director, Fr. Carlos Fernando, joins to give his Allocutio. A different topic is discussed each month having been studied beforehand; for example next month the legionary promise will be discussed. The Senatus correspondents are doing their best to maintain communication even with the most remote places. The Senatus Officers have maintained virtual and telephone contact with the councils, as well as with directly attached praesidia. For the celebration of the 99th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary, a Mass was broadcast on TeleVid channel and repeated twice later that day in order to reach more people. The Regia of Rio Negro and Calis programmed beautiful virtual workshops with the participation of priests.
Senatus of Santiago, Chile: The Senatus had their first Zoom meeting in October and all were delighted to be in contact with each other again. There is also a weekly Zoom meeting at which Legion spirituality and works are discussed; their Concilium correspondent attends each meeting. The Senatus correspondents write and make phone-calls to their councils. Visitation of praesidia and councils is done online, the visitors joining the virtual meeting. Legion assignments are done in pairs using Whatsapp; those contacted are especially appreciative during the lock down. The new praesidium of Venezuelan legionaries, whose President was a Senatus officer in Caracas, have organized formation meetings and workshops through social media. BOLIVIA
Senatus of La Paz: The Senatus meeting is virtual and is attended by the Concilium correspondent; there is great participation. The correspondents group report that all councils are up to date sending in their reports. The Regia of Santa Cruz gave their report in which they explained that they hold their monthly Regia meeting online. The Regia Officers phone the few legionaries who can’t connect to the internet. During lockdown praesidium meetings continued to be held and a lot of time was given to Handbook study.
Senatus of Caracas: While Covid continues to be a problem in Venezuela, the Senatus is keeping in touch with attached councils via Zoom. There is a problem that some legionaries particularly the elderly are unable to use the technology or don’t have it in their homes but with the help of younger legionaries they are managing. This has brought about a great spirit of help and comradery between the legionaries. On the 7 September a virtual public Mass was celebrated in Caracas, the Spiritual Director of the Senatus officiated. It was very successful and they hope it will serve to attract new recruits. A large number of legionaries and non-legionaries tuned in. There were plans for a virtual Senatus meeting on the 25 October. Prayers, particularly the Rosary are encouraged in private and by Zoom.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Carlow Comitium participated in the 24 hour October Rosary with 72 taking part, including some non-legionaries and four priests: Laois Curia had 24 participants, Kildare Curia, 124, including some non-legionaries took part in an online Rosary. The Comitium is continuing the Rosary commitment for November. Earlier in the summer they held an Afternoon of Prayer on line for members conducted by Fr. John McEvoy. This was a substitute for the Annual Retreat which could not be held because of Covid 19 restrictions. The Comitium also had a virtual outing when Fr. McEvoy exhibited various places of interest on line.
Tuam Comitium: All Comitium meetings have been suspended since March. Legionaries have organised/participated in praying the Rosary daily during the month of October at three local Grottos and on local radio in one parish. Members also participated in the 24-hour Rosary rota for October. Dunmore praesidium has 4 members and 15 auxiliaries. Pre-lockdown work included home visitation with the Fatima statue and legionaries prayed with the families. They recited the Rosary in the local cemetery every Sunday during the months of May and November, which is well attended and appreciated. Members also visited a nursing home and Holy Communion was taken to two people who are housebound. Mountbellew praesidium has four members and 52 auxiliaries. A Mass was offered for auxiliary members in October. Masses were offered for the three Causes. Pre-lockdown, home visitation with the Fatima statue was done and legionaries prayed the Rosary with each family and gave them Holy Water and Miraculous Medals. Promotion of Consecration of the homes to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary started before the lockdown and six homes were Consecrated. Members also visited a nursing home where they distributed Miraculous Medals and Holy Water. Members distributed Blessed Ashes to the children in two local schools on Ash Wednesday at the request of the Parish Priest. They recited the Rosary daily on the parish radio during May and October. They collected and distributed Blessed St. Bridget’s Crosses to two parishes in February and prayed the Rosary in four cemeteries in November.
Achonry: Ballymote legionaries visit the Blessed Sacrament regularly to pray. Two legionaries in Swinford sometimes pray the Rosary together. Legionaries follow Mass, Rosary etc. on laptops in different Churches as they check TV Church Services. In Kiltimagh parish Church the Litany of Our Lady was recited after the Rosary for October and has been continued in November for the Holy Souls. Since March legionaries have maintained an altar in St. Joseph’s Chapel to the Divine Mercy, and donate flowers from their gardens. While two legionaries were praying in the Church, a group of four people arrived for Confessions. The legionaries phoned a priest and he came to hear the Confessions. They also spread the word that the Sacrament of Confessions is available in the parish. Support was given to the bereaved during three recent deaths in the parish. Three legionaries and two parishioners pray the Rosary at the cemetery each Sunday during November.
Clonfert: Due to Covid 19 no praesidia or Curia meetings were held since March. When the Churches were allowed to open and with the permission of the Parish Priest some praesidia met in the Church to recite the Rosary and Legion prayers. At the February Curia meeting the 55th Annual Report of Tynagh praesidium was presented. Four of the six members are Praetorians and they have 10 auxiliaries. Their normal apostolate includes visitation of the sick and elderly in their homes and nursing homes. Legionaries led the Rosary during weekday Masses and assisted in organising a silent Holy Hour each week on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Galway had no Curia meeting from April to July but held one in August. Pre-lockdown, the praesidium in Renmore visited their auxiliaries and they were warmly received. The praesidium at the Cathedral did stewarding at the Cathedral and had a book barrow outside. The Curia had an Acies ceremony on Sunday 6th September.
DUBLIN CURIAE REPORT
Bethlehem Curia: Two praesidia with 9 active and 28 auxiliary members reported. Home visitation was undertaken in four parishes in the city centre. Lapsed Catholics were encouraged to return to the practice of their faith. Three Pilgrim statues of Our Lady were received in many homes for a week at a time. Four meetings took place to promote the Cause of Venerable Edel Quinn, one of which included a special talk and dvd showing on her life, at which 25 people attended. Street contact at a religious book stand provided opportunity for many good conversations with passers-by who spoke with legionaries about their own faith journey. Public Rosaries, work in Regina Coeli hostel and contact at bus stops are among other works. Members took part in and promoted a 24 Hour Rosary during October. Maria Legionis journals were delivered to homes.
Veneranda Curia: Legionaries recite the Rosary each morning in St Joseph’s Church, Berkeley Road and at a grotto in Finglas three times a week. Journals and Catholic papers have been distributed in some parishes. Legionaries make efforts to keep in touch with the elderly living alone. Some members have cleared and tidied the garden at the Curia house and painted the garden walls. The Maria Legionis journal praesidium works on their accounts.
Exaltata Curia: 42 people took part in the 24 Hour Rosary during October and all 24 hours were covered by the curia one day each week during the month.
The Senatus of Accra is gradually resuming meetings, but not all parishes are allowing meetings and legionaries are encouraged to respect decisions of their Parish Priests. The elderly and children are not allowed to meet and attend Church for now in Ghana. The Senatus organised a successful Zoom Retreat.
Tema Comitium is working hard to revive weak praesidia, and one praesidium which was revived has become very active.
Kumasi Regia has been holding virtual meetings. Fr. Anthony Adu Mensah, their Spiritual Director who faithfully served the Senatus for the last nine years is going to Rome for further studies.
The Senatus of Egypt held meetings online during the lock-down. A General meeting was held last September and another meeting is scheduled for November. The Acies ceremonies were mainly online using Zoom application. Praesidia meetings have returned to normal for the majority, while taking all precautionary measures. However, apostolic activities and visits are still on hold. The Rosary has been broadcast weekly via the Catholic Media Centre’s YouTube and Facebook channels by one of Cairo or Alexandria based praesidia. The Senatus was invited to speak about the Legion of Mary in a special episode on Radio Maria that was broadcasted live to the Coptic Catholic Church. The Senatus published a series of posts and sayings by prominent figures of Legion of Mary: Louis de Montfort, Frank Duff and others on a Legion Facebook page.
Cape Verde Regia: A recent report indicates that many praesidia and councils on the island have resumed meetings. Legionaries with health issues and older members should not attend meetings.
Maputo Regia: Legionaries are encouraged through virtual contacts and meetings. Daily Rosary is said with the support of the Spiritual Director, Fr. Fernando. On September 7, the 99th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary was celebrated. The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Francisco Chimoio. In October, the Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was organized in Namaacha. Due to the pandemic, the number of people was restricted. On November 7th, Mass was celebrated for the 40th Anniversary of Frank Duff’s death, broadcast by Radio Maria, which everyone was able to follow. During this month, the praesidia will have Masses celebrated for deceased legionaries.
Comitium de Quelimane: Macuba Curia praesidia are meeting in small prayer groups and continue to encourage those most in need, including the elderly.
Tete Comitium met with the Spiritual Director to evaluate the return to activities. Between October 31st and November 1st there was a Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady with 150 legionaries from four Curiae. The event began at 6 pm, with the celebration of Holy Mass, presided over by the Vicar General of the Diocese, Fr. Vital. The activity was composed of shared dinner, procession with the image of Our Lady, prayer of the Holy Rosary and recreational session, where legionnaires sang and danced until late. In the end, the Spiritual Director of the Comitium, Fr. Filipe presided at Holy Mass. The legionaries were very motivated to organize other occasions like this.
Comitium Beira: The Archbishop of Beira, Cláudio Dalla Zuanna, presided at Holy Mass in commemoration of the 99th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary, thus celebrating the opening of the Centenary year. Nampula Curia: Praesidia have not yet resumed weekly meetings.
Nacula region has not yet returned with the meetings, but have exchanged prayers and some information in Whatsapp.
Lichinga are not having meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but plan to return in November.
Chimoio: Mass was celebrated for the 99 years of the Legion of Mary. Some praesidia are already meeting.
Luanda Senatus: Since the last report a letter was received from the Senatus President in August 2020. There is a lockdown due to the Covid-19 in Luanda and some other areas in the north of Angola and the legionary life has come to a halt, except the legionaries continue in prayer. There have been no Senatus meetings. However, in some Dioceses where the situation with the Covid-19 is better, meetings of praesidia and councils are taking place. The President relayed the news of the death of a very long serving legionary, Francisco Félix José Maria on 9th August 2020. Bro. José Maria made a great contribution to the development of the Legion in Angola. He was always very welcoming to Concilium visitors and provided them with great support during their visits.
Benguela Senatus, which is in the south of Angola, is now holding regular Senatus meetings. The situation in regard to the Covid-19 has improved considerably. Minutes have been received for July, August and September 2020. The July Minutes mention that one Curia set up three new praesidia. Visiting the sick at home and in hospital is an important part of the work of praesidia.
Harare Curia: Praesidia meetings are held on an irregular basis during the Covid-19 virus.
Hwange Comitium: No meetings are taking place at present due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Senatus of Lesotho: The Senatus meetings resumed in July. Attendances are gradually increasing but are not yet up to pre-Covid level. Sympathy was expressed at the death of Sr. Mary Mulpeter of Donegal who lived in Lesotho for a while when her husband worked there. She gave them a lot of advice and assisted in procuring many Vexilla for the Senatus. Members have spoken about the Legion recently on Radio Maria Lesotho. The Senatus is hoping to be able to properly celebrate the Centenary.
Cape Town Senatus: There has not been a Senatus meeting since March. The Officers of Senatus keep in touch with the Spiritual Director and legionaries pray together via Whatsapp. Some Legionaries tuned into the Mary Conference in October through Zoom.
Johannesburg Senatus: No meetings held due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Kokstad Comitium reported setting up two junior praesidia.