Concilium Bulletin November 2022
Sydney Senatus: Mass was celebrated by Bishop Terry Brady on September 10th to close the Centenary. 1400 attended. A week long Marian exhibition was held in the Legion house. Mass was celebrated for Frank Duff on 12th November. An Indonesian praesidium reported with 7 members. They started a new praesidium in Marayong. Blacktown Comitium reported works of teaching religious education in the State schools, preparing parish children for the Sacraments of Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation, also involvement in the RCIA program, baptismal preparation and many other works in the parish. A Day Retreat was held for auxiliaries. Visitations to the homes and nursing homes was done. 2 new praesidia were set up and the Junior Curia has 12 praesidia.
Melbourne Senatus: Visitation to all councils has recommenced. Mass for Frank Duff was celebrated on 12th November. Adelaide Comitium reported with 9 Senior and 1 junior praesidium, 3 Curiae and 200 members. The Vietnamese Curia had 60 attend the Acies. Noumea Comitium in New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean held their Centenary Mass and also gained the Plenary Indulgence. They have 8 Curiae and a total of 55 praesidia including 3 junior praesidia attached. There are 6 praesidia attached in the outlying islands. Hobart Curia in Tasmania has 3 praesidia with 19 members. They bring Holy Communion to the sick, do door to door visitation and rosary and pilgrim statue visitation. A Curia held a Retreat and Reunion.
Auckland Senatus: An officers training day was held with 30 attending. Works reported were visits to nursing homes, to the sick and housebound, transport elderly to Mass, teaching Catechism to children, assist at funerals and do street contact. A new praesidium journeyed with 12 participants in the RCIA course, 7 non-Christians were received into the church last Easter and 5 from other dominations received in the Catholic Church. Korean Comitium legionaries encourage the lapsed to reconcile and attend Mass.
Bicolandia Senatus: Visitation is made to parishes to re-start the legion. The Senatus has 8 praesidia, 6 Curiae, 5 Comitia and 1 Regia attached. The Holy Rosary Major Seminary Curia has 12 praesidia with 84 members .They make visits to the hospital and jails and teach catechism in schools. They conducted an online apostolate during lockdown. Libmanan Comitium has 520 senior and 87 junior members. Visits are made to the sick and help prepare them for confession, on home visitation early baptism is encouraged and marriage validations.
Senatus of Northern Philippines: 41 legionaries joined the first men’s conference held in May. Praesidia inside the Manila City Jail and Philippine General Hospital continued works despite the pandemic. A praesidium did crowd contact among tricycle drivers in a market. A Columban method of recruiting in 8 parishes resulted in gaining 30 Juniors, 20 Seniors and 105 auxiliaries.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
The Regia of Rabaul reported that the Legion exists in 76 of their 82 parishes consisting of 17 senior praesidia, 19 senior Curiae and 19 Comitia. Extension work is being carried out in Bougainville Diocese and many councils are holding workshops on Legion administration.
The Regia of Madang and Port Moresby are slow to communicate with the correspondent. Guam Comitium has 10 parishes with the Legion and 19 parishes without. There is a praesidium of 10 in Guam, a Korean Curia with 5 praesidia, Saipan Curia has 14 praesidia and 1 praesidium in Palau in the Pacific Ocean.
Mindanao Senatus: Attendance at meetings is still low. A legionary had a kidney stone and prayed through the intercession of Frank Duff. Her prayers were answered and no operation was necessary. The President of Senatus suggested a medical certificate and to forward the information to Concilium.
Cebu Senatus: The Senatus has 1 Regia, 5 Comitia, 18 Curiae and 9 praesidia directly attached. Columban Drives were organised and an overall intensity of efforts urged in recruiting new members.
Maasin Regia has 9 Comitia, 5 Curiae and 22 praesidia attached. Guadalupe Curia has 16 Senior and 3 junior praesidia. They teach Catechism to children and are involved in parish activities. Tabla Curia has 8 Senior and 3 junior praesidia. A Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine which included Mass on 8th September was organised. Works reported in Minutes over the 3 months include home visitation, assisting at anointing of the sick, marriage validations. Extension in ongoing and Mass will be celebrated for the culmination of the Centenary.
Western Visayas Senatus: 61 council and praesidia officers attended a Back to Basics Seminar and were encouraged to hold a similar one in each council area. Iloilo Junior Curia with 7 praesidia taught basic prayers to 53 children and catechism to 92.
Regia of Negros Occidental reported with 5 Comitia. Works reported were Exploratio Dominicalis, home visitation, marriage validations, baptism of 5 children, 35 families had homes Enthroned to the Sacred Heart. Catechism classes were held for 60 Jail inmates and in another Jail catechism was taught to 471 male and 200 females. Monthly Mass is conducted. 2 persons away from the church for over 20 years, after many visits by the legionaries, accepted the visit of the Priest, had confession and received Holy Communion.
Senatus of Caracas: Some of the reporting councils indicate positive recruitment results. An attached Curia and an attached Comitium reported one new praesidium each. A Comitium reported 4 new members following a Columbian Drive. However, there appears to be a number of vacancies in both praesidia and councils. A young man who was prepared for baptism is now receiving instruction for First Communion and Confirmation. Prison visitation is carried out.
Senatus of Quito: The Senatus is meeting again. Concilium correspondence has been sent each month but no reply.
Senatus of Medellin: Due to the resurgence of the pandemic, the meetings in March and May were suspended. At the September meeting there were elections for all Senatus officerships. The elected candidates were warmly applauded, as were all the participants; Father Bernardo Restrepo was invited as representative of the Archbishop of Medellín. A Regia reported that during the pandemic legionaries prayed rosaries from the balconies with neighbours. A praesidium visited a prison to celebrate the Easter Vigil with inmates and assisted with outreach at an Alcoholics Anonymous congress. Another praesidium brings Communion to more than 500 sick people; they accompany the doctor and qualified legionaries even give injections. They make contact with young people with drug problems. A praesidium does evangelization in a remote neighbourhood of Medellín where they share Lectio Divina with a group of 25 to 30 people, give them talks on living together and pray the Holy Rosary.
Senatus of Bogota: Various Formation Days have been held covering extension and works. The Columban Drive was used in various parishes with good results. The Senatus held a congress for its attached praesidia and on 15th August started preparation for True Devotion consecration. Works include contact with metro users, migrants, taxi drivers and business owners using catholic materials. 178 students attended the Way of the Cross in a college. Legionaries organise spiritual activities and entertainment in an Institution for people with autism and the visually impaired. Ecological Walks are held to attract the youth. A Curia prepared 3 adults for baptism while a Comitium helps in a homeless hostel. Another Comitium had a stand at Expo Maria 2022. Barranquilla Regia held a PPC to Candelaria in places without a priest, results are awaited. Villavicencio Regia has difficulties with priests who have not returned to their meetings; in this Regia only around half of the Legion praesidia and councils are operating.
Lima: Reports were received from 5 praesidia, 14 Curiae, 10 Comitia and 1 Regia. The Senatus meetings to August were virtual and since then in person. Some groups still meet online. They lost many members but also recruited many so that there has been an influx of probationers. Vacancies are being filled. Catechists act as Tribunes in some praesidia. Priority is given to starting junior praesidia and Frank Duff Prayer Groups. There are 3 prison praesidia. They are striving to visit all praesidia post-Covid to check how they are.
Montevideo: All meetings are in person now. 1 praesidium, 1 Curia and 3 Comitia reported. Meetings of correspondents were held in July and September. The vice president went to Buenos Aires at the behest of the Senatus there to present his book on Alfie Lambe; the Irish ambassador was among the attendees. The Legion standard was used in the Corpus Christi procession. An extension project was undertaken in the town of Minas in August. They also organized a pilgrimage to commemorate the centenary. They have committed to a one-hour slot on Radio Maria every Thursday.
Senatus of La Paz: Some legionaries say the rosary with their grandchildren online. The Regia of Santa Cruz sent maps with their annual report showing how well the Legion has spread in that part of the country. The Legion exists in 20 parishes of their dioceses. There are many rural Curiae. Mary’s school is where legionaries teach children catechism and preparation for the sacraments. All the Regia correspondents have now been able to visit their councils. The secretary of a curia in Cochabamba has moved to Madrid and immediately joined a parish praesidium where her sister was a member already; they invite Latinos to join them to carry out an apostolate to the many Latino immigrants.
Senatus of Santiago: Punta Arenas Curia has 90% attendance at meetings. Many councils organise processions and public rosaries to encourage Catholics to come to the church for Mass and the sacraments. Street contact is a very prevalent apostolate while contact with bus drivers is a new work. A Chilean lady and her Peruvian husband joined the Legion when they lived in Dublin. They now live in Sweden and have started a new Spanish speaking praesidium which does an apostolate to the Latino community.
Asuncion Senatus: On October 3rd there was a special Centenary closing ceremony at the Seminary where the five seminary praesidia attended. The main Centenary closing mass was celebrated on Sunday October 16th in a packed Asuncion Cathedral presided over by Cardinal Adalberto Martinez. The Senatus Officers met on November 13th to look back on 2022 and to plan for 2023. The committee for the Cause of Alfie Lamb is very active and the Spiritual Director Fr Gennero attended the special meeting on June 26th in Buenos Aires. The Comitium in Villarica with 106 active and 140 auxiliary members carry out visits to prisons and a youth correctional centre as part of their weekly activity. On Nov 17th there will be a correspondents meeting where they will be encouraged to communicate more on the steps being taken and the fruits of work being carried out. A PPC project will take place in Caacupe from November 28th to December 8th.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORTS
Elphin Comitium meeting was held in October with a small attendance. All six praesidia have resumed their meetings. Works carried out are leading prayer, and Rosary before Mass in October and November. Public Rosary in the Cemetery during November and delivery of church envelopes. The Comitium plan to show the DVD on Frank Duff in Roscommon on November 25th to conclude the Centenary celebrations. North Elphin Curia have planned a Frank Duff night on November 16th.
Tuam Comitium: The Comitium has six praesidia. Four are meeting and the remaining two plan to resume shortly. Works being done are leading the Rosary in Church, Cemeteries and Grottos, distribution of Miraculous Medals and bringing the Blessed Sacrament to the primary school for half an hours adoration. Praesidia in Corofin and Mountbellew both got one new member. They set up an altar in the Church for the week of September 7th with a box of miraculous medals and literature. Most of the medals were taken and there were some enquiries about the legion.
Carlow Comitium: There were no praesidia reports taken at the September or October meetings. A report was taken on the work done at the Ploughing Championships where legionaries from the Comitium, Laois and Kildare Curiae did duty there. There were a good lot of visitors to the stand. Some good contacts were made and miraculous medals and literature were offered and accepted. A Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Island was held on September 8th. A Retreat was held in St. Raphael’s Gardens, Oylgate followed by a social event in Rosslare.
Galway Curia: Following an extension drive in Castlegar during which 150 homes were visited the Parish Priest expressed a wish to have a praesidium in his Parish. Five or six people expressed an interest. The Curia will do a further visitation and speak at the Masses. Six legionaries from the Curia took part in the Croagh Patrick project where miraculous medals and rosary leaflets were distributed. The work done by the reporting praesidium is home visitation where enthronement of the Sacred Heart is promoted, and they run a Rosary club weekly for children with 15 in attendance.
Killala Curia: A praesidium in Ballina has gained one new member and the Parish Priest has given permission to resume home visitation. The heritage day in Ballina was attended by all the legionaries. The praesidium of four members in Kilglass has a good attendance each week. The legionaries manned the legion stall at the Enniscrone show in July. Two legionaries from the Curia took part in PPC projects.
Clonfert Curia: The Curia has seven praesidia . Following a decline in membership since 2020 recruitment is high on the agenda. One praesidium has gained two new members. Legionaries from the Curia did crowd contact recently at the Fair day in Ballinasloe. One legionary took part in PPC in August and another went on Maria et Patria project in June. Praesidium visitation is being resumed.
Achonry Curia: The first Curia meeting since 2020 was planned for November in Charlestown. An approach was made to the Parish Priest with regard to setting up a praesidium in Charlestown. The works of the praesidium in Kiltimagh are:- Bringing the Pilgrim statue to families in the Parish, leading the first Saturday devotions for those who attend, bringing Holy Communion to housebound people. The secondary school and a primary school were visited for permission to distribute Miraculous Medals to the students and a response is awaited.
Ferns Curia: The praesidium in Wexford town has a public Rosary in the main area of the town. In New Ross the praesidium organises a Rosary, Divine Mercy and suicide prayer each Friday on the quay at 3 p.m.
A retreat for men had over 60 men in attendance. The talks were reported interesting and a testimony was given. A procession is planned through the main street of Wexford on the 8th of December.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
Veneranda Curia: Home visitation reveals that many people are working from home. Legionaries have had to inform some people that mass online no longer fulfils the Sunday obligation. They are told that all sacraments are now available in the church. Many young people are also met and are offered a miraculous medal and are encouraged in their Faith. Street contact and book barrow Apostolate yield good contacts. One lady was sent by the St Vincent De Paul to the book barrow to get a Miraculous Medal. Mental health is a big issue. Adoration is encouraged. Two or three praesidia are not meeting and one is to be closed.
Porta Coeli Curia: A joint congress with Bethlehem Curia was held in October. Thirty attended and the flow of conversation was excellent. The day finished with Benediction. The Curia distributes 140 journals. Journals are delivered to auxiliary members in all areas including Baldoyle and Raheny and to a small number of auxiliaries in Kilbarrack, although the praesidia no longer exist in these three parishes. A praesidium has received permission from their parish priest to hold a recruiting drive. Recruiting cards will be printed and more help will be needed if it is to be successful. A praesidium visits two former members who are now in a Nursing Home.
Consolata: The Curia outing to Glasnevin cemetery in September, started with the Rosary and Legion prayers at the grave of Frank Duff. Legionaries also prayed at the grave of Fr. Toher and Fr. Creedon. Recruiting drives have been held in Portmarnock, Malahide and Rivervalley, using the Frank Duff banner. Two auxiliaries and one probationary member were recruited. Patricians meetings with titles ‘What does respect for God’s creation ask of us?’ and ‘St Therese - a saint for our Times’ were held. Six legionaries and six parishioners attended. A praesidium makes contact with young people, handing out prayer packs and promoting World Youth Day, Pure in Heart and the Young Hearts group in Raheny. One legionary set up a lunchtime Rosary Club in her school with 45 children attending each day for the month of October. All praesidia are promoting the centenary Closing Mass. Annual reunion will be held on Sunday November 27th.
Presentata Curia: Fifteen people attended a recent Patrician meeting entitled ‘The Reformation’. And sixteen attended a meeting entitled ‘St. Thérèse’. Eight legionaries plus three non-legionaries attended a Patrician meeting in the Morning Star and nine attended a meeting entitled Miracles. Forty-three attended the recent Curia Retreat. A praesidium with 20 members has responsibility for the administration and daily running of the Morning Star Hostel, including St. Brendan’s and the Men’s Shed. The main work is looking after the the spiritual and temporal welfare of the residents. Residents who move out of the hostel to other accommodation or hospital or prison are visited. Mass and sacraments are available to staff and residents. A morning Zoom rosary is run by two of the brothers. A newly formed praesidium gave its first report. It has seven members and two probationaries. Works include Saturday morning street contact which has yielded new members and assisting in the Regina Coeli hostel. The praesidium also organises a fortnightly Film Cub. Films are chosen from the Vatican list entitled ‘Some Important Films’ and are discussed afterwards.
Bethlehem Curia: A congress was held recently in conjunction with Porta Coeli Curia. It was very successful. A praesidium’s main work is running the DeMontfort Men’s Club, twice weekly. Rosary, Catena and Frank Duff prayer are recited. The men lead the Rosary and are invited to mention their intentions. In the last year 14 different man attended, 4 of whom were new. One man asked for, and was given, a Bible. Another man always comes when he needs prayers. One new member said he looks forward to the club. Catholic calendars, together with a Christmas card are posted out at Christmas. Tea and sandwiches are served. Fr. John McAteer has a great way with the men. He celebrates First Friday mass and confessions every month. Some men who don’t come to the club come to the mass.
Exaltata Curia: There are two hostel praesidia attached to the Curia. The main work of these praesidia is the spiritual and temporal welfare of the residents. A few weeks ago a legionary came to set up a choir with the residents. Members encouraged the residents to attend. What a wonderful result! Some of the residents have amazing voices. It really gave them great joy.
The Senatus of Accra: A praesidium given an opportunity to speak about the Legion of Mary after Mass recruited five members. Many praesidia and Councils organised very successful Brown Scapular Investitures. Many areas organised Legion weeks in September including Mataheko Curia where they concluded the week with a Talk, Mass and a membership drive. A successful students conference was held with 150 in attendance.
The Senatus of Egypt: A celebration of Our Lady’s birthday was held with over 200 in attendance, including 6 priests. Our Lady of Apostles Curia organised a Celebration for Our Lady’s birthday which included a retreat and leadership session.
Maputo Regia: Legionaries from Inhambane and Xai-Xai attended the last Regia meeting. The Regia reports the annual Pilgrimage to Namaacha took place in October.
Tete Comitium has organized a meeting for 19th and 20th of November in thanksgiving for the activities carried out during the year. Monthly Eucharistic adoration is held.
Quelimane Comitium continues to attract new members. 1345 new members were recently recruited. 9 new praesidia were set up, with plans to establish 4 new Curia. The rapid growth in membership and praesidia has challenged the administration. Their works include visiting the sick and needy and a women’s prison, 3 prisoners recently received the sacrament of Baptism.
Nacala Centenary celebrations took place on 30th of October. It was a joyous occasion, attended by the bishop and many legionaries, including legionaries from Nampula. A cake reception was held afterwards to mark the event. Nampula Curia is working well in the diocese, 60 active members recently took the legion promise.
Luanda Senatus: Monthly meetings have resumed after Covid restriction were lifted, necessary care is taken to protect legionaries against infection. The agenda of the meeting shows that the legion prayers, spiritual reading and allocutio follow the rule. During this period a presidium reports making 73 home visits, 35 hospital visits as well as visiting ex-members and auxiliary members while visits are also made to homeless boys. The Senatus held a very successful Acies and organised a novena to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the Senatus. The Senatus continues to promote legionary formation in its councils organising a meeting with the officers of the Junior Curiae and praesidia. There was a suggestion to hold this meeting every three months with the aim of promoting cooperation between all the young people. Notice was given for the raising of the Curia to a Comitium. Plans for the 101st anniversary of the Legion of Mary and the celebration of the 71st anniversary of the Legion of Mary in Luanda were given.
Benguela Senatus: Legionary meetings and activities have resumed with caution. 7 praesidia attached to the Senatus report home and hospital visitations to the sick and elderly bringing hope and support while encouraging lapsed Catholics back to the sacraments and helping others receive the sacraments of the church. A mass of thanksgiving was celebrated for the Legion of Mary centenary. Several new praesidia were established including a praesidium with 12 members all seminarians who took the legionary promise under the guidance of the Senatus Spiritual Director Fr. Daniel Gomes. In addition, 1068 legionaries attended the 25th ordination anniversary of Fr. Gomes.
A praesidium with eight members had a 95% attendance rate over two months and reports 41 lapsed Catholics returned to practising their faith and 20 marriages took place. Mother of the Church Comitium visited 512 families in a three month period.
Cape Town Senatus: Legionaries recently visited Nababeep, a copper mining town located in the mountains close to Springbok to conduct a workshop for a newly formed praesidium of 25 enthusiastic young men. Centenary Celebrations to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the Legion of Mary in South Africa took place on the 7th of August. The Chief Celebrant was the Archbishop of Cape Town Stephen Brislin. Works documenting the history of the Legion in Cape Town continues. A praesidium reports visiting 104 homes, praying the rosary, reading daily scripture readings and given Catholic literature to those visited.
Matatiele Comitium: A Patricians meeting organised by Mystical Rose praesidium is well attended by adults and children. The newly appointed Spiritual Director to the council is fitting in extremely well.
Hwange: An annual planning meeting for the year ahead recently took place. Works reported include visiting the sick, praying for them in hospital and the community, reading catechesis, marriage counselling, prison visitation and encouraging lapsed Catholic back to the sacraments. The Council reports 350 active members and 8 junior groups. The council is thankful for the handbooks they recently received from Dublin.