Concilium Bulletin October 2009
REPORTS - EUROPE
SPAIN: Madrid Senatus: It is noticeable how the Legion in this Senatus are keeping in mind what they learned when the 3 Senatus visited Concilium as well as the many practical recommendations made by Bernardo on his visit to Spain. Many praesidia have spiritual directors who attend weekly meetings. Extension: Their area is well covered and revisits to parish priests have produced many new praesidia. Extension is always mentioned in council reports. Youth: Many legionaries do what they call “pesca joven” (fishing for youth). Sometimes this is done during the day but also at night when youth congregate in the bars and plazas. The members who do this are mainly senior legionaries but are well received. The Archdiocese has a Youth Movement connected to the forthcoming World Youth Day, which the Senatus has offered to assist in any way possible. Home visitation is insisted on in the planning of works for the year. Many of those not doing it have agreed to undertake it. Getting into apartment blocks is a problem. As a remedy, the legionaries arrange a special Mass for porters on St. Peter’s feast day. Two young legionaries from the Senatus, aged 20 and 21, came to Dublin during the summer and worked in the Morning Star and Regina Coeli Hostels. They also took part in youth projects, visited Curiae, and did Legion work with many Dublin legionaries. They gave a wonderful report at the Senatus meeting on their return.
Senatus of Bilbao: The Legion is established in 11 of the 13 dioceses in the north of Spain for which the Senatus has responsibility. Attached to the Senatus are 14 praesidia, 7 Curiae and 3 Comitia. The Senatus has 772 active members. There are three junior praesidia in the Senatus. Praesidia are endeavouring to find Spiritual Directors.
Barcelona Senatus has 16 praesidia and 6 Curiae directly attached. Many praesidia reported work of consolation visiting old people’s homes and geriatric hospitals. Some legionaries teach catechism to children and adults. A praesidium in the city of Barcelona contacts immigrants and recruited some of them as active or auxiliaries members. The Senatus prepared a brief treatise called “The Legion of Mary and the Parish Community” with the objective of extending the Legion in the different parishes. A meeting was held recently with officers of the councils in Valencia to discuss plans of extension.
Lisbon Senatus: The importance of extension and recruiting was stressed. A praesidium of 10 of whom 7 are Praetorians, has 33 Auxiliary and 2 Adjutorian members for whom they hold 2 rallies each year. Legionaries doing street contact meet members of the sects and other religions as well as drug addicts. Legionaries engaged in catechetical work in Primary Schools made contact with the School Directors. The Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Fatima is held in October. The correspondent and another legionary visited Lisbon and Fatima and attended a meeting with the officers and some of the correspondents.
Coimbra Regia: is doing good extension and work among students. A praesidium gave catechetical instruction to some taxi drivers they contacted. Members who are ministers of the Eucharist bring Holy Communion to the housebound. Funchal in Madeira is visited by the Senatus.
There are now 4 praesidia in Cyprus composed mostly of Filipinos with a small number of Africans. Membership varies from 20 to 25. They act as lectors and stewards at the Sunday liturgy and distribute refreshments afterwards allowing them to make contact with the congregation. The Rosary is promoted through statue visitation, Rosary processions, and the recitation of the Rosary at a grotto beside the Church. Homes for the elderly are visited. One Praesidium does crowd contact in shopping areas, a market, bus stations, and parks. They pray to Our Lady to lead them to those she wishes them to meet. Many lapsed Catholics are met and, where possible, they get follow up details.
Malta Regia covers the Archdiocese of Malta and the Suffragan Diocese on the island of Gozo. The Legion is established in almost all 85 Parishes on the two islands. Two new morning praesidia were set up for women who do not work outside their homes during the day. Many praesidia carry out an apostolate to tourists. Weeks devoted to home visitation are mentioned in many reports and during one such week 5 members were gained for a new praesidium. An Italian-speaking praesidium, which visits the Italian community, celebrated its 1000th meeting with a Mass of thanksgiving at which the Italian Ambassador and his wife were present. One of the attached Curiae organised an evening for Parents and had an attendance of 200. Prison visitation and an apostolate to refugees also featured in reports.
Gozo Comitium: The Bishop was chief celebrant at the Acies and also attended the July Comitium meeting. The Bishop also led a Marian function attended by 700 people. 1000 families were visited for the Diocesan mission and resulted in one returning to the sacraments after 30 years and to one person receiving instruction for reception into the Church. Youth: 30 attended a seminar for young people at which divorce, abortion, immigration, faith and science were discussed. The Rosary is recited at a prayer group for youth and is followed by a discussion.
Skhroder Comitium in Albania governs the Legion in the Archdiocese of Skhroder and the Suffragan Dioceses of Sape and Lezhe. There are two praesidia in the Archdiocese of Tirana-Durres. The Comitium has 31 praesidia, 2 distant praesidia and 3 Curiae affiliated. There are large numbers in most of the praesidia. During the visit of the Maltese/Irish legionaries it was explained that those who are not in a position to carry out their work assignment should become auxiliary members. A total of 6 praesidia reported at the May, June and July Comitium meetings. The September Comitium meeting was combined with a seminar, which was led by the Archbishop of Skhroder on “The Church’s Relationship with People”. Priests, Nuns and representatives of lay movements attended the Seminar. During this Seminar the apostolate of the Legion was discussed. Malta Regia is following up with the re-printing of the Handbook, the Tessera and the prayer leaflets for the 3 Causes.
Rome Senatus: Renewed extension is planned. One Parish Priest with ten groups of neo-catechumenate is still anxious to have the Legion. In Rocco Giovine, ten persons have given their names to join and the possibility of reviving the Legion in San Clemente is under discussion. In Campania, several groups are near the point of affiliation. Paternò Comitium, which looks after 4 Curiae in Sicily has submitted an encouraging report with membership in praesidia averaging 15 and enterprising works such as visits to the juvenile prison. The Archbishop of Catania attended the Acies and praised the Legion for its faithful service. Maltese Peregrini tackled a problem area of the city and brought many back to the Sacraments. A Congress is planned.
Milan Regia: They are preparing for a congress in October in honour of the 50th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Alfie Lambe. Some returns to the sacraments were reported among people who attended prayer meetings but who had not been attending church. An Albanian woman was instructed by legionaries at the request of a Parish Priest and has been received into the Church. Cardinal Archbishop Tettamanzi encouraged the work of the legionaries on his visit to a Parish. There is a new Filipino Praesidium in Turin.
Padova Comitium: Families of the newly baptised are visited. At the chaplain’s request the Rosary is recited over a hospital radio in Italian and German. Legionaries helped to prepare two meals for immigrants. Auxiliary members are visited regularly and helped in time of crisis. The True Devotion and the Theology of the Apostolate are being studied in depth.
Cape Verde Regia: At the August meeting the Regia was pleased to welcome Br. Jose Vaz the President of Guinea Bissau Comitium. Br. Vaz thanked the Regia for its support and was grateful to the Concilium for affiliating the Legion in his country to Cape Verde. Emigrant Cape Verde Legionaries in Holland and Paris plan to hold a joint outing to Belgium. All praesidia reporting carry out Exploratio Dominicalis projects. Details are requested on a work called ‘Sharing the word’. Besides the regular visitation of homes, works also include apostolate to the crowd and catechesis with one Comitium reporting that 120 youths were prepared for Confirmation, 450 children for First Holy Communion and 40 for the Sacrament of Baptism. Cleaning work is done in churches and homes. One difficulty presented in a Comitium report is the inadequacy of officers. Guinea Bissau reported via Cape Verde that they have 571 active members in the Comitium with 7 directly attached Curiae and 8 praesidia. They held a congress at which there were 300 participants.
Maputo Regia: Minutes of September and December 2008 meetings have been received. The Regia holds a meeting every three months. One Curia with 28 praesidia set up five new praesidia. Among other works Legionaries visit the sick and prisoners. They prepared 20 couples for Marriage. Another Curia set up a new praesidium with 15 members. The Curia has 30 catechists. The Regia planned to celebrate its Golden Jubilee on 5th October.
Benguela Senatus: The retired Bishop of Benguela, D. Oscar Braga, attended the December 2008 meeting of the Senatus and the new Bishop, D. Eugénio dal Corso attended the February meeting this year and thanked the legionaries for their courage and perseverance. He urged everyone who could possibly travel to go to Luanda for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vicariate Apostolic of Namibe, where the Legion is very well established has been raised to the status of a Diocese. The new Diocese has a Comitium, which is affiliated to the Bengeula Senatus. The Senatus has asked councils to hold their Acies in March and not at other times of year.
Luanda Regia: The minutes for the August meeting were received by the correspondent. A pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at Kalulo - Libolo was held in July. During the Mass, Bishop Dom Benedito gave an inspiring homily. In the course of the Pilgrimage a meeting was held with officers of councils in the interior of the country. The Regia also organised a meeting of officers of councils in Luanda and a meeting with young people, which was considered very positive. A junior Curia in Muxima affiliated two new praesidia and is proposing the setting up of a new junior Curia in Golf. A praesidium of 22 members visited 140 prisoners. There has been no recent news on the situation in Cabinda. The President of the Cabinda Comitium attended the May meeting of the Regia in Luanda. He expressed his appreciation of the help received from the Bishop.
Senatus of Accra distributed 10,000 copies of the Frank Duff leaflet and 14, 000 more have been printed. They have also made great efforts in promoting the True Devotion to Mary, purchasing literature and organising talks etc. Two of the Senatus officers met with 28 Seminarians, 9 of these are deacons who are all legionaries in Cape Coast Seminary, particular mention was given to the promotion of the Enthronement to the Sacred Heart and the promotion of True Devotion to Mary by the Senatus, encouraging them to become involved. An appeal was made to them to remain involved in the Legion and to help promote and strengthen praesidia in parishes.
Sunyani Regia asked its 6 attached Comitia to organise three day retreats, the main theme was to be “The relevance of Lay Apostolate in the Church today “. Among the activities of the retreat was home visitation. The report from one area indicated that they were well received at the homes but that the rate of non-Communicants among the Catholics met was very high, and the relevant councils were asked to follow up on these contacts. Reports indicate many Catechumens being prepared for the Sacraments and a lot of contact with couples experiencing marriage difficulties, legionaries found that many of these difficulties were overcome following meeting and discussion with the couple.
Lesotho Senatus: The Senatus has 12 Comitia, 3 Curiae and 5 praesidia. At the last five meetings an average of 12 council officers (and that includes the Senatus officers) and eight praesidia officers attended. It seems that many councils have very few praesidia directly attached. Reports in minutes include return to the sacraments and marriages regularised in church. Many Acies seem to be a two-day event. Work is nearly complete in translating the handbook into Sesotho.
Harare Comitium: Feb, March and June 09 minutes have been received. The legionaries plan to visit the local seminary.
Hwanage Comitium: The Legion in this area is surviving despite great difficulties. Many legionaries are leaving the country. Prayers are requested for them.
Johannesburg Senatus: Included in the work of a praesidium of 16 members is teaching the Rosary to the local Anglicans who appreciate the efforts of the legionaries and they are improving immensely. Our Lady Queen of China praesidium has a lot of contact with the Chinese community, regularly visit the Chinese home for the aged and arrange an annual retreat for the Chinese. Among their extension efforts is the formation of a Malawian praesidium at the Cathedral.
Soweto Comitium has 7 attached praesidia. The Senatus is making efforts to extend the Legion and visits attached councils.
Cape Town Senatus: A praesidium of 18 active members do home and hospital visitation, has 33 auxiliary members, do prison visitation and also organise and attend funerals. The Cause of Frank Duff is promoted and a novena was made to Frank Duff for a legionary’s daughter who was extremely ill. Although not completely cured there is a great improvement. They also make Novenas to Frank Duff for praesidia no longer functioning and for the growth of the Legion. Namibia presented its annual report at Cape Town Senatus.
Marian Hill Comitium: The Legion is functioning well and good reports are received. A couple who were about to split up were counselled by legionaries and they sorted out their differences.
Durban Comitium: A praesidium of 10 members visit an Aids centre on a monthly basis and also do home and hospital visitation. Fifty-five adults were baptised at the Easter Mass. Kwamashu Curia in Durban has 66 active members and had a full attendance at the Acies.
Matatiele Comitium: A praesidium of 17 members do home visitation, teach catechism and have public stations-of-the-cross in Lent. They organise an Exploratio Dominicalis project every September. Bizane Curia had 56 catechumens received into the church and 66 youths and 27 adults are ready for First Communion.
Senatus of Egypt: Heliopolis Curia held an annual conference on “The Secular and the Priestly Life” with an attendance of 57 officers. Praesidia have been asked to organise a spiritual day which is held every 3 months, all the other Praesidia in the Curia attend with their families. Forty juniors attended a spiritual day for formation for juniors held by Shobra Curia. The reports on meetings sent recently show the various councils and legionaries appear to be extremely involved in organising conferences at all levels.
Peregrinatio Pro Christo
The final two teams came safely home since the September Concilium, one from the Parish of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Surrey Docks and one from the Basilica of Kierkelbert in Brussels. Both projects were excellent and we gather the Parish Priests were very happy with the work done.
Raising of Councils
At the October 2009 Concilium meeting the following councils were raised to Regia status:
Panama is a small country with the Legion established in 5 of the 9 ecclesiastical divisions. There is a Comitium in Panama city with 16 Curiae attached, 9 of the 16 Curiae are in the Archdiocese and the rest are in 4 of the other Dioceses.
Recently the Legion in Panama was visited by two legionaries from Bogota, Colombia and found the Legion working very well. They made the following suggestions: to raise the Comitium in Panama city to Regia status with 13 praesidia directly attached and 9 Curiae in the Archdiocese.
There are 7 Curiae in the Provinces and it is proposed to raise two Curiae in the Provincial area to Comitium status and affiliate them to the Regia: Madre de la Iglesia in the Diocese of Colon and affiliate two adjacent Curiae, and Madre Reina de la Paz in the Diocese of Santiago and affiliate the remaining 3 Curiae.
The Legion in the Country will then be governed by the Regia in Panama City with 2 Comitia, 9 Curiae and 13 directly attached praesidia.
Mexico is a very large country with a population of 142 million in 93 Dioceses. The Legion is governed by two Senatus and six Regiae. Two year ago three new Regiae were raised and a fourth was planned. These steps were taken to enable the Senatus of Mexico city to govern better and to extend. The Senatus now governs 4 Archdioceses and 21 Dioceses. The new Regia will be in that area.
It is proposed to set up that fourth Regia in the Archdiocese of Puebla by raising the Comitium Nuestra Senora del Rosario in Puebla city to Regia status and affiliating the Legion in that Archdiocese and the Archdiocese of Jalapa and the corresponding 11 Suffragan Dioceses. In all there will be 8 praesidia, 13 Curiae and 4 Comitia attached. The new Regia will be affiliated to Mexico Senatus.
This move will leave Mexico City Senatus with 8 praesidia directly attached, 14 Curiae, 7 Comitia and one Regia to govern 2 Archdioceses and 10 Suffragan Dioceses.
Concilium sends their congratulations to the new Regia in Panama and Puebla Regia, Mexico on their great achievements and wish them every grace and blessing in their new status.
Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God, Frank Duff
God our Father, You inspired your servant Frank Duff with a profound insight into the mystery of your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary the Mother of Jesus in this mystery. In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence on Mary he formed her Legion to be a sign of her maternal love for the world and a means of enlisting all her children in the Church’s evangelising work. We thank you Father for the graces conferred on him and for the benefits accruing to the Church from his courageous and shining faith. With confidence we beg you that through his intercession you grant the petition we lay before you
We ask too that if it be in accordance with your will, the holiness of his life may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your Name, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Favours attributed to the intercession of
The Servant of God, Frank Duff should be reported to:
Legion of Mary,
De Montfort House,
Morning Star Avenue,
North Brunswick Street,
Dublin 7, Ireland.