Concilium Bulletin November 2021
Melbourne Senatus. The Centenary Mass was celebrated on 7th September with 50 attending. Mass to commemorate Frank Duff was celebrated on Saturday 6th November. During this last lockdown social media was used to pray the Rosary, phone auxiliaries and elderly. Sacristan work, stewarding and cleaning at the church were carried out. Restricted visits to nursing homes was re-commenced as well as Rosary and Statue visitation. Sydney Senatus. The October meeting took place after 4 months closure. Up to date news will be forwarded as well as their events for the Centenary. Brisbane Comitium: A new junior praesidium was set up in a school with 12 members. A new senior praesidium was set up. 25 attended the Comitium Retreat. The Centenary Mass was celebrated on 12th September by Most Rev. Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane.
Auckland Senatus. Plans were made to make contact with the 47 parishes without the Legion. The lunch time Rosary in the Marist College saw an increase of students and teachers attending. Contact is made at bus stops, and non-catholics are encouraged to attend the RCIA programme. A Chinese praesidium contact the lapsed and teach catechism to children. A new praesidium was set up in Meadowbank. Zoom meetings were held during this last lockdown and telephone calls to elderly and auxiliaries made.
Bicolandia Senatus: No meetings held since February 2020. Sr.Abilay spoke on Radio Caritas on 7th September to give a talk about the Legion and the Centenary.
Cebu Senatus. Councils in the provinces which are under low Covid risk, have been meeting for some time. The correspondent’s news is shared with members on the Senatus group chat and all have been encouraged to offer prayers, rosaries and mortifications in the confines of their homes. Talibon Regia reported a significant increase in senior and junior membership of 2 Comitia and 1 Curia. They pray the 2,000 Hail Mary devotions every 1st Saturday in churches. Palo Regia. A few praesidia hold their weekly meeting after the 7 am Mass on Sunday. Dumaguette Regia organized “home-based catechism” where catechism was taught by family members to their own families. Maomawan Curia supervises 4 praesidia which continues to meet in spite of Covid 19. A praesidia of 24 members, of whom 19 are Praetorians, have 617 auxiliaries of whom 10 are Adjutorians. Reported 25 were confirmed and 118 marriages were validated. Masses for the Centenary were offered in all regions.
Western Visayas Senatus. No Senatus meeting was held for over a year. Some praesidia have opened but with very small numbers. The Senatus officers had a pastoral visit from the Archbishop and he is hopeful that the Senatus will re-start in the New Year.
Senatus of Northern Philippines (Manila).Legion prayers and Rosary and handbook study are done weekly by Zoom. Recollection days, Marian talks, and an animation of the life and mission of Venerable Edel Quinn were held using Zoom. The Senatus officers will meet on 13th November to make plans for 2022. Acies will be held in December.
Asuncion Senatus: On 7th September the Senatus celebrated the Centenary and the 75th anniversary of the Legion in Paraguay. The Centenary Mass was presided over by Mgr. Claudio Silvero, Bishop Emeritus. Also present was Sr. Alfa Serafina Delgado who was a member of the first praesidium in Paraguay and subsequently an officer of the Curia which was raised to Senatus. In his Allocutio Fr. Peter Gennaro, Senatus Spiritual Director, thanked the Redemptorist Missionaries who brought the Legion of Mary to Paraguay. The Senatus is working well and all meetings seem to be back to normal.
Senatus of Caracas: The Senatus has continued to meet every month, albeit with reduced attendance. The Episcopal Conference sent an inspiring message to mark the centenary: “The Mission and vocation of the Church is to evangelise. The Legion of Mary fulfils that objective by its personal sanctification and active participation in the life and mission of the Church.” At the Centenary Mass, Cardinal Jorge Uroso Savino, Archbishop Emeritus of Caracas and Spiritual Director of the Senatus said that the celebrations should be a great impulse to renew our Christian and legionary commitment. He encouraged legionaries to do some apostolate. Cardinal Savino passed away on 23rd September, may he rest in peace.
Senatus of Montevideo: Some praesidia and councils have been able to meet physically but the Senatus meets virtually each month. Works are limited to phoning contacts and, in some places, ministers can bring Holy Communion and catechesis is allowed. There is a monthly virtual link up with residents in a nursing home. For the Centenary they held a virtual concert and vigils, special banners were produced and Radio Maria interviewed the Senatus President and Spiritual Director. Attached councils held events of their own - all had a special mass celebrated; that of the Senatus had Cardinal Sturla and 22 Spiritual Directors concelebrating. The Senatus has asked that all parishes in the country without the Legion to be visited with a view to establishing the Legion. A major refurbishment of the Senatus house is underway.
Senatus of Santiago: All councils held centenary celebrations. Many members viewed the Concilium mass in Francis Street online. There was much interest in the banner on the gable end of De Montfort House. The Senatus organised a gathering of older legionaries who told of the first praesidia in Chile and the efforts made to spread the Legion all over the country. Online formation groups are held with legionaries from many Spanish speaking countries exchanging ideas on Legion spirituality and different apostolates. The Patrician model is used for these meetings. Talks, videos, interviews and plays have been done to promote Alfie Lambe’s cause. Many legionaries are now doing home visitation again and are welcomed by families.
Senatus of La Paz: As usual Santa Cruz Regia gave a packed report of works and courses. The Regia gives online religious formation to legionaries and non-legionaries. Hence it is a recruiting tool for active members. The weekly Radio programme which reaches every province gives Diocesan and Legion news. During the pandemic some family members became active legionaries due to some praesidia meeting in legionaries’ homes. Legion work in public street markets has restarted. Sometimes a child will come to the praesidium meeting with her mother or granny, and the other members try to get other children to come and start a junior praesidium.
Senatus of Lima: Physical meetings are not yet possible so the Senatus meeting is virtual with a higher attendance of 140 because distant councils can now join in. All 9 distant councils attached to the Senatus prayed a novena from 28th August until 5th September as part of their Centenary celebrations. They held special masses with their bishops. Before the pandemic pregnant women were contacted in the hospitals and health centres. Since the pandemic, much work is done virtually: contacting families, junior legionaries, auxiliaries, conducting catechesis, reciting rosaries etc. Recruitment of active and auxiliary members continued throughout the pandemic. In Ayacucho a deaf mute praesidium is being formed. Two new prison praesidia are in formation in addition to the three already in existence. There are several Frank Duff Prayer Groups in operation.
Senatus of Bogota: The Senatus has had 4 physical meetings albeit with reduced attendances. Not all attached councils are meeting yet but all reported on their centenary masses with their respective bishops. The Senatus held online ‘Camino al Centenario’ sessions twice a week leading up to the 7th September. There has been lots of online activities, prayer and recruitment. Physical apostolates include catechesis, RCIA, Exploratio Dominicalis projects, literature distribution at churches and supermarkets, statue visitation, support for vulnerable pregnant women, membership of Bereavement Teams and Parish Social Work Teams and a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Santa Marta Bus Terminal with workers and passengers. A Youth Conference focussed on training youngsters to be the next leaders. The Senatus Extension Committee has been meeting VPs and representatives of attached councils and praesidia. A Comitium is preparing an audio book on True Devotion to Mary.
Senatus of Medellin: The Senatus requested accounts of heroic apostolates, video clips and messages with a view to the Centenary celebrations. They also sought the details of legionaries and Spiritual Directors with more than 50 years’ service. The Curia La Milagrosa de San Pedro used the presence of two Senatus visitators as an opportunity to visit two parishes with a view to starting the Legion. The Comitium Templo del Espiritu Santo undertook virtual apostolates during the pandemic but is now able to carry out visitation of homes, hospitals and the sick.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Carlow: Four praesidia have resumed meetings but with reduced membership as some members are still nervous of going out. Works being done include reciting the Rosary before Masses and at grottos and bringing Holy Communion to some elderly people. Mass to mark the Centenary was celebrated by Monsignor John McEvoy, Comitium Spiritual Director, on 6th of September with a good attendance of legionaries and non-legionaries. One praesidium got a beautiful banner made to mark the Centenary which was blessed at the Mass and will be available to each praesidium for one month to display in their Church. It is hoped to hold a Comitium meeting in December.
Kildare Curia: Praesidia and Curiae meetings are taking place and some new members have been gained. One praesidium has started a Rosary for children.
Laois Curia: The praesidium in Portlaoise, with 9 members attending, has started selling Catholic newspapers after week-end Masses. They started reciting the Rosary before the 10am Mass. One member who works in a school asked the school authorities if they would be interested in getting the Rosary booklet which the Curia produced for the Centenary. They took 40 copies and each morning in November a student recites a decade of the Rosary over the intercom. The praesidium is now organising to send the booklet to other schools in the locality to see if they have any interest. Portlaoise praesidium is assisting in efforts to get the praesidium in Emo restarted as only one member there is available to attend. Edenderry praesidium has resumed meetings and home visits have been made to known contacts where there has been a recent death in the family and their Divine Mercy group continues each week.
Elphin: The Acies took place on 10 October with 60 in attendance including legionaries from the attached North Elphin Curia. Meetings have not yet resumed due to the high rates of Covid 19 in the area. Legionaries keep in contact by phone, text and email. Many works of service are being carried on where the normal apostolate is not permitted. Mass for the Centenary of the Legion was celebrated in three parish churches to which active, auxiliary and parishioners were invited to attend.
North Elphin Curia meeting took place on November 3 with a small attendance. Most of their praesidia have resumed their meetings. Two of its attached praesidia have gained one new member.
Tuam: The Centenary Mass was celebrated on Sunday 10 October in Tuam Cathedral by Archbishop Neary with Fr. Pat Farragher concelebrating and an attendance of 77 active, auxiliary and former legionaries attended. Refreshments were served afterwards in a local hotel.
Westport Curia organized a bus and had 28 at the Mass. Special Masses were celebrated also in Corofin and Mountbellew on 7 September. Kilkerrin/Clonbeirne praesidium held meetings from August 20 to December 20. They have 4 members whose works include recitation of the Rosary in both churches. The Corpus Christi Procession was held on the feast day and 12 hours of Adoration on the feast of Christ the King. Since they have no access to the national school members do monthly Adoration for the children preparing for First Holy Communion. Mountbellew praesidium has 4 members and was in lockdown from October 20 to April 21. Members recited the Rosary on the parish radio during October and November. Meetings have now resumed. An hour’s Adoration is done for the First Holy Communion children once a month.
Curiae: Achonry: Kitimagh praesidium has resumed meetings and work which includes taking Holy Communion on Sundays to sick parishioners and praying with them, bringing the Pilgrim Statue to families who wish to have it, door visits to former legionaries and assisting as volunteers in the Confessional Chapel in Knock and also assisting in the Basilica with the recitation of various prayers.
Clonfert:Two Masses for the Centenary of the Legion were celebrated on 7 September. In Ballinasloe Mass was celebrated at 10am and in Loughrea Cathedral at 8pm. This presented an opportunity for more legionaries, auxiliaries and parishioners to attend so as to make Frank Duff better known. The Curia suffered the loss of one of its very steadfast legionaries, Sr. Joan Tracey who had the honour of meeting Alfie Lambe many years ago and had received correspondence from him subsequently, a copy of which is now in display in his house in Tullamore. During the restrictions the legionaries kept in touch by meeting weekly at the local grotto where the Rosary and Legion prayers were recited. Plans are for all praesidia to resume their meetings when permission is given by the parish priests and also to resume Curia meetings.
Ferns: Wexford praesidium continues to hold meetings and carry out their Legion duties which are street contact and delivering Catholic newspapers. Gorey praesidium is making an effort to get the praesidium up and running. The Legion’s 100th Celebration Mass took place in the Cathedral in Enniscorthy. The celebrant was Bishop Ger Nash. Bishop Dennis Brennan was also present along with many of the priests from the diocese. Canon de Val gave a talk on the Legion, covering its history and mentioning the three significant figures: Frank Duff, Edel Quinn and Alfie Lambe.
Galway: The Curia meeting is being held via Zoom. On 7th September the Curia held a Centenary Mass in the Cathedral which had an attendance of over 200. Bishop Brendan Kelly was the chief celebrant and homilist and he gave a very inspiring homily and spoke about the vision of Frank Duff. He said that he was ahead of his time and that he made an enormous contribution to the Catholic Church.
MARY’S CHANNEL OF GRACE SPECIAL REPORT
In May 2020 a Dublin praesidium decided to arrange a nightly Rosary on Zoom for the month of Our Lady. Lockdown had been in operation for about a month and these intrepid legionaries were missing the regular contact with each other and their auxiliary members. Word of this initiative went round and a group of regular attenders established itself fairly quickly. Around this time also, Fr. Colm Mannion O.P., aided and abetted by Br. Seán Grace, decided to host a Sunday evening Zoom where topics of Faith and Catholic Doctrine could be discussed. Also, around this time, Consolata Curia had to cancel a ‘Mary Day’ which they had been organising in a local hotel, and it was suggested to them that they Zoom it instead. This they did and it was a great success. Though it would take a few months to germinate and some cross-fertilisation would be necessary the seeds of what would become Mary’s Channel of Grace were sown.
Between May and December 2020 the nightly Rosary and Legion prayers continued as the numbers steadily increased. An ‘organising committee’ had come together under the direction of Br. Declan Lawlor and Spiritual Director Fr. Colm. This group steered the nightly Zoom Rosary through all manner of technical hiccups, personal dramas and other calamitous situations. But mostly it was just fun!
By early January we were ‘on air’ every Friday with ‘Fridays with Frank’ and every Sunday with ‘Sunday Rosary and Ramblings’. The nightly Rosary continued. In mid-February Fr. Colm began the 33-day Consecration to St. Joseph, which went out every night. The numbers soared - well over 500 tuned in the first night and that settled down to a regular 450-ish throughout the conference; rising back up to over 500 on the last night. How could we let that number go? Declan had been tossing out the notion of a 7-day programme of events for some time and when lockdown number 2 seemed like being around for awhile, he was poised to take full advantage.
The Consecration to St. Joseph took place on his feast day, March 19th. Immediately after that Mary’s Channel of Grace was launched. With the agreement of all concerned - this being the loyal band of zoomers that had supported the nightly Rosary for the previous 10 months - the events were streamlined. The weekly programme began every night at 8 pm with the Rosary and Legion prayers. Adoration followed the Rosary on Mondays; Tuesdays and Thursdays were Patricians nights; on Wednesday a Dominican gave a reflection on a matter of Faith; Fridays with Frank and Rosary & Ramblings continued in their usual spots and Saturday was chat show night. The programme was carefully designed to be a mixture of prayer, contemplation, instruction and discussion. It continued until the end of June 2020 and evoked much interest in the Legion, among the growing numbers of regular zoomers. Some have even become active members.
In August this year Fr. Colm led a 33-day Consecration to Jesus through Mary, following St. Louis De Montfort’s True Devotion. Several hundred people, mainly legionaries, zoomed in every night from all over the world. The Rosary was prayed in many different languages and a family led the first decade every night. This was a truly joyful event. It was timed to conclude on September 7th the centenary of the first meeting. Nearly 1000 devices zoomed in to the consecration which was broadcast from De Montfort house. Many devices had several viewers, so the actual amount of participants could have been 2000 or more.
The nightly Rosary continues with an average of 150 participants every night, many from outside Ireland. Adoration every Friday and Sunday night attracts upwards of 220 viewers for Rosary & Ramblings, Sundays with Frank and Catholic Chat.
Our Lady has blessed this Legion endeavour, without a doubt. Graces are flowing through Mary, the Mediatrix of all Graces and all are the better for it.
The next Mary Conference on Mary’s Channel of Grace is on Saturday December 11th @ 8.00 p.m. (GMT) The title is Come Let Us Adore Him.
Please come and adore Him. Bring your family and friends.
The Senatus of Accra: Queen of All Saints Curia, Madina reported that 30 of their members were present at the last Frank Duff prayer meeting. Star of the Sea Comitium, Tema organised ‘A Day with Mary’ on the 21st of August 2021. Activities for the day included Mass, Talks, Adoration and a film show. Two Praesidia, Seat of Wisdom and Gate of Heaven began a Grotto Service called An Hour with Mary, on the first Saturday of July and will continue this on the first Saturday of every month. Activities include Rosary, Prayers, Confession, Mass and Benediction.
The Senatus of Egypt: Centenary Celebrations for the foundation of the Legion were held in Cairo, Sohag, Luxor, Menia and Alexandria in September, all the various Celebrations were led by the Hierarchy. Beautiful Photos of the celebrations have been received.
Maputo Regia: After another period of Covid-19 restrictions, praesidia have begun to meet in person. Mass was celebrated on 7th September for the 100th anniversary of the Legion of Mary. The Chief Celebrant was Archbishop of Maputo, Francisco Chimoio. A vigil took place after Mass. There were 250 legionaries present, the number allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Quelimane Comitium: Legionaries were very pleased to watch live the Opening Mass of the Centenary, celebrated in St. Nicholas of Myra Church in Dublin. On 7th of September, legionaries met in small groups for prayer and afterwards went to visit the sick in hospital. In another location, legionaries visited a prison. In person meetings have resumed after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Tete Comitium: The Centenary commemoration was held at Zobue Sanctuary, 120 kilometers from Tete town. Despite the pandemic, attendance was good. It was a time of prayer, which took place on the last weekend of October, beginning with the Stations of the Cross on Friday. Bishop Diamantino Antunes Guapo celebrated Mass on Saturday and Sunday. Within the programme there was time to hear confessions. Saturday night was marked by a procession with an image of Our Lady, ending with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. With great joy, a group of legionaries spent the night singing and dancing until dawn on Sunday. Early in the morning, legionaries climbed a mountain, where an ancient cross is fixed, prayed, and sang in various languages. The closing Mass was marked by much emotion and joy.
Nampula Curia: The Centenary celebrations took place on 31 October. With much joy, gratitude and enthusiasm, the legionaries gathered. The central point of the commemoration was the Holy Mass.
Senatus of Luanda: Centenary celebration took place on 19th September. The Chief Celebrant at the Centenary Mass was Most Reverend Dom Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, Archbishop of Luanda and President of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tome. Concelebrants included Most Reverend Dom Mauricio Agostino Camuto, Bishop of Caxito/Bengo, and Most Reverend Dom Anastácio Cahango, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Luanda. Several Priests also concelebrated. There was a large attendance of legionaries and some invited government representatives and some members of apostolic movements. The August minutes mention a Novena for councils. A Curia in Sanza Pombo, in the Diocese of Uige, was raised to Comitium in August and it was planned to raise a Curia in Seles, in the Diocese of Sumbe, to Comitium in September. A Junior Congress was held in Malanje, the birthplace of the Legion in Angola. The theme of the Congress was “With Mary, let us give witness to our faith, on the way to the Centenary”.
Senatus of Benguela: The Senatus celebrated the Centenary of the Legion of Mary in Benguela over three days. An Opening Mass was celebrated on Friday 3rd September, later that day the Rosary was recited with five Regiae and 15 Curiae. One Curia led hymns between the Mysteries. On Saturday morning there were two Conferences, one with the theme: History of the Legion of Mary in the world and in the Diocese of Benguela; and the second with the theme: The role of the Virgin Mary in the History of Salvation. A theatrical event on The Annunciation was staged by young people. Mass was celebrated in the afternoon. On Sunday 5th September, the closing Mass was celebrated with 2,000 legionaries attending.
Senatus of Lesotho: Members were encouraged to attend Mass in their parishes on 7th September where possible. A special Anniversary Mass was celebrated on Radio Maria on that day. Many praesidium meetings have resumed but some have yet to do so. The Senatus is meeting monthly. A praesidium reported twenty mothers were visited in preparation for baptism. Another praesidium encouraged people to stop abusing alcohol and drugs.
Senatus of Cape Town: Small Centenary celebrations took place at local level. Legionaries were encouraged to attend mass on 7th September where possible. The Spiritual Director of the Senatus is continuously enquiring about the Afrikaans handbook. Some praesidia have resumed meeting in person even though South Africa is still on level 3 lockdown. Some legionaries joined the 33 day consecration and watched the opening Mass for the Centenary live from Dublin.
Matatiele Comitium: Centenary celebrations took place in September which included Holy Mass, and a special Centenary cake. Big efforts were made, and beautiful pictures of the celebration were received. A Patrician meeting held by the Mystical Rose praesidium was very well attended, with 18 adults attending. The Bishop in Kokstad Diocese has agreed to appoint a new Spiritual Director to the Comitium. Mystical Rose praesidium gave their annual report, their works include teaching catechism and visiting the families of Catholics and non-Catholics.
Senatus of Johannesburg: The correspondent has written to the Senatus but has not received a reply so far.
Hwange Comitium: Centenary celebrations were held; we await further details.
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All six of Frank Duff’s books have been reprinted and are available in the Literature Office costing €7 each or the whole six for €40.
Thanks to all the legionaries who re-typed these books during the lockdown.
They all have attractive new covers thanks to Gerard O’Byrne the legionary artist who died in 1964.
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Frank Duff Interviews has been reprinted with the kind permission of Philadelphia Senatus, costing €4 each.
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Fr. Paul Churchill’s book, Let us Trust God Totally With Mary is also available costing €5 each.
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Can council officers please request that their Treasurer order whatever literature stock the council requires for their attached praesidia, instead of individual legionaries looking for small amounts.