Concilium Bulletin October 2020
Senatus of Burundi: Regular monthly reports are being received from Burundi. The country has not been in lockdown owing to the low incidence of the virus. The Senatus celebrated the opening of the Centenary Year of The Legion of Mary on 20th September 2020 with concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mushasha, Gitega with many Priests in attendance. Legionaries undertook a novena of prayer in advance. Since 2019 Gitega has been the capital city of Burundi because of its more central location. The Legion of Mary in Burundi has been carrying on as normal with their Praesidium and Council meetings all the time, thank God, under the usual safety requirements. Legionaries at all levels are very focussed on the apostolate with the emphasis on encouraging their contacts to strengthen their faith in all its aspects. Every report mentions a high number of new recruits. They also do many works of consolation and service.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC:
Senatus of Bangui: The Concilium Correspondent is in touch with the Secretary regularly. They work as best they can in difficult and dangerous situations, on a case-by-case basis, dealing with marital and family disputes, teaching prayers, counselling addicts of drugs and alcohol, praying Rosaries, etc.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO
Senatus of Butembo: Attendance at Senatus meeting was down to 45 participants in July. No reports from adjoining councils were given. In August, the month of the Assumption, they were asked to pray the door-to-door Rosary for different intentions. For the centenary of the Legion, Junior Praesidia should be founded at every council. All Legion literature translated into their local language should be used. 3 Comitia and 1Praesidium gave reports in August.
On the 8th of September, Feast of Our Lady’s birthday, the Regia of Beni installed a new Comitium in the parish of St. Gabriel. This is the 51st Comitium in the diocese. The Bishop celebrated a High Mass with all the priests, religious and Legion seminarians present. He said that he himself always renewed his vows of fidelity to the Legion at the Acies. He encouraged youth to join the Legion.
There is insecurity in the diocese of Bunia, so no meetings are held there. All Legionaries have participated in Masses in preparation for the opening of the Legion centenary in their parishes, and the Bishop will participate in Holy Mass in the Diocese of Bunia for the opening of the centenary.
Senatus of Bukavu:
On 6th September 2020 plans were made on how best to celebrate the centenary year of the foundation of the Legion of Mary.
Elections for some Senatus officers will take place at the November Senatus meeting. The Senatus is awaiting reports from the Regia of Goma and Shabunda, and the Comitium Moderator of Uvira.
Senatus of Kisangani: Even though there were no meetings during the lockdown, on 6th September the Senatus resumed Legion activities in Praesidia, Curiae and Comitia. During the confinement Praesidia meetings were held in Legionaries’ own homes. 143 Legionaries have died, of whom 21 are officers, including 2 officers of the Senatus. On 26th September, for the opening of the month of the Rosary, 1,153 Legionaries attended Holy Mass in the cathedral, celebrated by the Spiritual Director, with 187 juniors and 43 Probationers also present. On 31st September the marriage of the Diocesan Co-ordinator of the Junior Legionaries was celebrated.
Prayers are requested for the President of the Senatus, Anne-Marie, who is in hospital being treated for poisoning.
Regia of Rodrigues:
The island has been afflicted with a major oil slick which threatened to destroy coastline and beaches, owing to the break-up of an oil tanker which split in two in the Indian Ocean, destroying wildlife and fish in their waters. Meetings have now resumed, with care. On 15th August Holy Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Immaculate Conception by the Spiritual Director, Pere Robert Dalais, assisted by Br Steve Dursoniah, who is a Legionary and also a Deacon, at which all Legionaries renewed their promise to the Holy Spirit by a collective act of Consecration.
Senatus of Kigali:
The last update of the situation in the country was in September. All activities are still on hold, no meetings, no Mass, except in churches in Kigali on the Sunday. Some Praesidia organised among themselves to say the Legion prayers at the same time. The Senatus officers are trying to establish some kind of format to celebrate the centenary. They are going to translate “Can we be Saints” into Kinyarwanda, and to produce a booklet on the Legion of Mary in the world, and in Rwanda.
The president and vice president were elected for second terms at the July Senatus meeting. A praesidium has initiated a handcrafts circle for girls and it’s proving quite popular. 2 Zoom meetings with the president of Hollabrunn comitium and her legion interpreter were held on 3rd and 30th September with correspondent. They have started a praesidium among inmates of a male prison and wished to know about Curia meetings, suitable works and other matters.
Zagreb Regia: Zagreb Regia: The City of Zagreb suffered an earthquake on March 22nd. The Acies was held on June 6th for Regia praesidia and the attached Councils in Zagreb. Extension: A new Praesidium was formed in Zageda, all meetings are attended by the Parish Priest. A Praesidium of 7 members and 279 auxiliaries have a good variety of works which include home and pilgrim statue visitation. 1 person received the sacraments after a long time and 48 after short periods. 2 Praesidia with 6 and 5 members presented their first annual reports. Home visitation is their main work and many returns to the sacraments were reported. Curiae: Rijeka Curia set up 1 new Praesidium & gained 25 new auxiliary members. The subject for a Patrician meeting organised by another Curia was “Achieving holiness through the sacrament of Reconciliation”. There were 30 Parishioners in attendance Comitia Reports: Zadar Comitium : During the period of suspension of legion activities, the legionaries tried to stay in touch with auxiliaries by phone and those met on their apostolate. Street apostolate and home visitation are the main works. A Comitium in Split has 13 Praesidia and 2 Curiae. 1 new Praesidium started in Sibenik. From the Legionary’s apostolate 17 contacts received the sacraments after long periods and 57 after short periods.
Countries under caretaker ship of Zagreb Regia:
Sarajevo Curia : Following the easing of restrictions, the attached Praesidia started to hold their meetings again. In Svilaj, contact was made with a group of Parishioners who pray the Rosary and legion prayers each day. The legion was presented in two Parishes and the Parish Priest invited the parishioners to respond in order to start a Praesidium.
There is just one Praesidium of 6 members, 362 auxiliaries,25 of whom are adjutorians. Many returns to the sacraments were recorded.
The July Regia meeting reported four new praesidia set up in the diocese of Pécs. Works of a reporting praesidium include visitation of the sick in hospital and in their homes and church duties.
There are 11 Praesidia and 2 Curiae attached to the Comitium. Meetings have resumed since June with no restrictions of numbers at meetings but Legion work is restricted to Home visitation and Street contact. Visitation by a Praesidium in Riga, of a women’s homeless shelter resulted in 8 people receiving the sacrament of Confession. They also visit the hospital, where 17 people received the Anointing of the Sick. Miraculous Medals, Rosaries and other Religious Literature is widely distributed. There is no Chapel in the Hospital but the Patients are delighted that the Legionaries are able to arrange for a priest to visit them.
Telsiai Comitium: Curiae and the Comitia are all now meeting. Extension: Efforts to extend the legion are continuing and permission has been given to set up the legion in one Parish. There are 3 Curiae attached to the Comitium and all reported during the months of February, July and August. A Curia in Tourage set up 1 new Praesidium with 12 members. The apostolate of 2 attached Praesidia is home and hospital visitation. A Catholic school was visited during which a talk on the legion was given to the pupils and the Rosary was prayed with them. Another Curia reported home, hospital and nursing home visitation. Some visible results were: 3 young people received the sacraments after a long period, A married couple went to confession after 30 years and another person after 20 years. The Acies was held on August 2nd. Another Curia has 7 Praesidia attached. From home and hospital visitation, many returns to the sacraments were recorded. Over 3000 homes were visited during which 1600 catholic families were met, 40 non-catholics and 10 who said they were unbelievers. From hospital visitation 15 Patients received the sacraments after long periods of between 30 and 60 years.
Lublin Regia: In accordance with the chairman of the Polish Bishops’ conference, members of the Legion of Mary joined the daily family Rosary prayer together with the faithful throughout Poland. The Rosary is offered for all the sick infected by the corona virus, the Health Service and for each other. Some members pray for 1 hour on the day on which their praesidium meetings were to take place and in this way are united saying the Legion prayers together.
Seoul Senatus: The Senatus met in May, June and July, but the August meeting was cancelled, and the current situation is uncertain. Other legion Councils and praesidia followed the same path. A letter from the Senatus president to Concilium in July gives more background. Attendance at Councils at all levels is confined to presidents. Weekly meetings, consisting of Rosary, Catena and Concluding Prayers are held using social networking platforms. The president wrote ‘I have not found any serious problem in the meanwhile controlling the praesidium weekly meeting in this way’. Some annual reports included with the minutes show that good apostolic work is being done. Contacts are invited to become catechumens and Baptisms are arranged. Gwangju Senatus: Meetings were held in June, August and September. Many weekly meetings are being held via social media. Reports from Councils to the Senatus give details of an extensive apostolate before the pandemic. One Comitium reported three praesidia established during the pandemic
Jakarta Senatus: The Senatus has developed an active on - line presence. 100 attended an on - line Seminar on the theme of ‘Laudato Si: what can the Legion of Mary do?’ The Annual Mass, live streamed on 5th September, was attended by 500 and subsequently viewed by 2,000. Malang Senatus: the Senatus re-assembled in August but some praesidia have yet to start meeting. Reports given at the meeting showed an apostolate to the sick. Patricians are mentioned and meetings for Auxiliaries. Junior praesidia established in schools are referred to. Kupang Senatus: Two Comitium members from West Sumba Island attended the July meeting and gave their report. All three Senatus’ plan to organize events to commemorate the Legion centenary in 2021.
Osaka Senatus: Praesidia reports submitted show a range of apostolic works undertaken by members. Regina Apostolorum praesidium, (Imaichi church), has 8 members and a Spiritual Director, Fr. Nan. They visit the elderly in their homes and care centres and show great commitment in this work. A married couple they had been in contact with for some time was baptized at Easter. Four participants in the Sunday School organized by Our Lady of Lourdes praesidium, (Toyonaka church) were also baptized at Easter. Immaculate Heart praesidium, (Hirakata church), established in 1964, now has 7 members. They run Udon Corner on Sunday morning which provides an opportunity for personal contact.
The correspondent received a letter from a legionary appointed by the Senatus who reported that some praesidia were meeting but were unable to carry out an apostolate due to the pandemic.
The last Comitium meeting was held in January. Legionaries have been working as ushers and temperature takers in churches.
A new Senatus Vice - President has been elected. Legion activity has been badly affected by the pandemic.
Kuala Lumpur: no recent news has been received.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Dromore: One praesidium in Burren is meeting.
Navan: Three praesidia have resumed meetings while members of other praesidia recite the Rosary in the Church.
Diocese of Down & Connor: Immaculata Comitium : The works of the three praesidia reporting at the March meeting include home visitation and visitation of a youth club with short bible study and recitation of a decade of the Rosary with children aged from 6 to 10 years and promotion of the Rosary in three parish primary schools. The August Comitium meeting was held via Zoom because of restrictions due to Covid-19. This was the first meeting since the restrictions in March. Their Spiritual Director Fr. Graham was present. The current status of praesidia was discussed. Three praesidia recite the Rosary and Legion prayers through Social Media weekly and one praesidium is able to hold its weekly meeting. Where possible praesidia hold public Rosaries and if granted permission continue to recite the Rosary and Legion prayers in the Church. Two members were in lock-down in Donegal, but recited the Rosary and Legion prayers at the local parish church Grotto. One member is working in the Regina Coeli Hostel in Dublin. The September meeting was also held by Zoom. The first weekly talks for legionaries took place on the 9th September via St. Mary’s webcam. The talk was given by Canon Heppenelle. The title was “The Pandemic and its Religious significance for Catholics”. The Rosary was recited at 7pm prior to the talk. A monthly book club is continuing by Zoom. In his Allocutio Fr. Graham mentioned that, on the previous Sunday in the Cathedral 9 people had been received into the Catholic Church.
Archdiocese of Armagh: Armagh: Members from the Curia met in Benburb Priory grounds for a picnic and said the Legion prayers to celebrate Our Lady’s birthday in September. The three Curiae in the diocese hope to meet Archbishop Eamon Martin with a view to having him celebrate a Mass for the Centenary.
Drogheda: All praesidia were meeting but no Curia meeting has taken place yet.
Dundalk: Kilsaran praesidium distribute Catholic literature and Miraculous Medals and keep contact among members and auxiliaries by phone. The praesidium in the Holy Redeemer parish, Dundalk, distribute Catholic papers. On Our Lady’s birthday, 8 September they organised an Acies for their praesidium in the church. Fr. Bede McGregor, their Spiritual Director, presided and gave a powerful allocutio that touched the hearts of all there. Fr. Michael Adm. of the parish and Fr. Shajan Michael CC, were also present. About 20 people were present including all the members of the praesidium and some auxiliaries. Sr. Katrina Loughran, Curia President, was contacted by Aid to the Church in Need who asked her to approach local schools to invite teachers, families and schoolchildren to participate in a worldwide praying of the Rosary on 18th October. ACN have supplied Rosaries free of charge to each school.
Mater Ecclesiae Curia: Four out of six praesidia held in-person weekly meetings and one conducted the weekly meeting online. Five praesidia organise a weekly public Rosary. One praesidium continues their Baptism team apostolate in line with current regulations. The Rosary and Legion prayers were said at the Quinn Family grave on Sunday 13th September to mark Venerable Edel Quinn’s birthday. About 15 people were present. All 2 issues of Maria Legionis magazine have been delivered to subscribers.
Immaculata Curia: Legionaries have assisted in their parishes with stewarding and church cleaning. A weekly Outdoor Rosary of 20 Mysteries took place at two parish grottos during August to October. Attendance ranged from 4 to 11 people with social distancing in place. In September, legionaries were granted permission to open St. Aidan’s Church for private prayer for an hour a week; otherwise the Church would not be open except for funerals. Members quietly pray the Legion prayers and Rosary during this time. As symbolic action to support students and teachers by prayer, a weekly outdoor Rosary took place at 8.30am in the Church car park adjacent to the local school. Many people blessed themselves as they passed by. Legionaries recruited 78 people for the 24 Hour Continuous Rosary on Saturdays in October; these included family, friends and those attending public rosaries; 8 of these people agreed to pray the Rosary in their family so as to involve their children in the prayer effort.
Benedicta Curia: Curia meeting took place in August. The Junior Curia had their annual outing to Newbridge Park. 20 attended and the good weather added to the enjoyable experience.
Our Lady of Fatima Curia: 52 people were recruited to participate in a 24-Hour continuous Rosary once a week during the month of October.
Assumpta Curia: 34 people were recruited to participate in a 24-Hour continuous Rosary once a week during the month of October.
Annunciata Curia: Two public Rosaries took place in the garden of the Legion house on the Feast of the Assumption and on the anniversary of the founding of the Legion of Mary. Between 15 and 20 people attended. Pre-lockdown report: A praesidium of 4 full and 23 auxiliaries undertook visitation to 25 local pubs to promote a Barman’s retreat. The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association is promoted weekly after Sunday Mass. 18 people attended the retreat organised for the blind and partially-sighted. Members visit a blind lady whose health has deteriorated and pray with her. An average of 12 people attended monthly Patrician meetings. The Miraculous Medal is widely promoted by members. All 7 praesidia of the Curia undertook to recruit participants for the 24-Hour Rosary effort for October.
24-Hour Rosary for October
Eight Dublin Curia joined Irish Legion councils to recruit over 1000 people to join in a 24-hour continuous Rosary for the month of October. Participants committed for pray the Rosary for one hour on a particular day. Almost all 24 hours of the seven days of the week were covered for the month of October.
Buenos Aires Senatus: Senatus, pre-Senatus, correspondents’ meetings and Alfie Lambe committee meetings are held on Zoom. Most of the legionaries are able to connect to the virtual meeting of the Senatus. Those who could not listened on their phones. All were delighted to be at the meeting especially from distant councils. Visitors to the September meeting included two legionaries from California. Weekly praesidium virtual meetings continue and work in pairs is done by phone - organising Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and daily prayers with those who were previously visited personally. Virtual visits naturally are now more frequent. Some praesidia that had closed have now been reopened. New praesidia have been set up. A new work is called My Sick Friend. This is done using recordings and videos as well as Legion contact by phone to the sick of the parish. It is sent out on local T.V. Where it is permitted, street contact is done promoting Alfie Lambe and explaining his prayer leaflet.
Cordoba Senatus: As of mid-August, Cordoba remains a red zone - in lockdown. It was lifted briefly and Churches opened and Public Masses resumed but this only lasted a short time before the lockdown was reinforced. Early in the lockdown, despite the cancellation of Senatus meetings, the Senatus Secretary sent an email saying they had canvassed the attached councils regarding their activities and received information on works done, some or all of which presumably may have been done pre-lockdown. These included: visitation and help given to various vulnerable groups including the elderly and sick, the mother of a premature baby, a recent widower; home and business visitation using an image or statue of Our Lady; prayer cenacles, telephone contact and helping a religious order making curtains and ornaments. There was mention of extension in Saldan, a suburb of Cordoba city. Throughout the months of lockdown the Senatus Officers met via video conference call. Most councils held virtual meetings for prayer and discussion. Auxiliary members were contacted by phone. In the province and beyond, dengue fever (spread by mosquitoes) has been a bigger worry than covid-19.
Salta Senatus: The September Senatus meeting was their first on Zoom. All were delighted with the experience. Again, distant councils were thrilled to be present at their Senatus meeting. A few legionaries attended the meeting on their phones and were happy to hear, join in the prayers and reports done with their fellow legionaries. The Spiritual Director gave the Allocutio from his parish and praised the legionaries for their continued prayer life and apostolate. In some areas statue visitation to the homes is being done. This is mostly in the smaller villages and on the huge farms in the country where praesidia exist. A project is in place to start more new Praesidia in these huge farms. The Youth Committee of legionaries is extremely active. They have a plan called Legion Joy. These are meetings with older legionaries offering them help to continue in active membership. In this dialogue, the younger legionaries learn from the lifelong experience of their older legionaries. A list of suggestions for virtual Legion meetings includes taking into account the fourth Standing Instruction.
Corrientes Regia: Corrientes has not been as badly affected as other parts of Argentina by covid-19; groups of up to 10 were allowed to meet. Council meetings have not been taking place other than some of them coming together online. Every Saturday a group of legionaries gather at the Regia house to continue its refurbishment under the guidance of two retired construction experts; they finish the day’s work with the Legion Prayers and Rosary and a hymn to Our Lady. It is part of their preparation for next year’s centenary. Update in mid-September from Secretary shows Regia holding meetings online. Praesidium meetings are held but no Legion work is possible. For the 99th anniversary, many active and auxiliary legionaries erected an altar in their homes and celebrated with their families.
Salvador Senatus: The Salvador Senatus and its subordinate councils, had their activities suspended in March this year, due to the pandemic caused by the corona virus.; It is not possible to carry out the legionary apostolate such as visits to homes. Activities are limited to spiritual formation and prayer meetings in online form. Mass was celebrated to mark the anniversary of the foundation of the Legion of Mary on 7 September and was broadcast on the YouTube channel Salvador Senatus.
São Paulo Senatus: No Senatus meetings have been held since March 2020 due to the Covid-19. Some praesidia have held meetings online. The Senatus organised a series of events online each month of the lockdown. Some events were organised with the cooperation of the Missionary Congregation of St. Ignatius of Antioch of which the Senatus Spiritual Director is a member. These included relaying the Holy Week Ceremonies and from Easter, Masses were relayed three days a week. Two series of formation conferences were relayed. From May a daily Rosary was recited online and the Office of The Immaculate Conception was recited on Saturdays. The Senatus officers recited the Rosary online on the first Saturday of each month, when the Senatus meeting would normally be held. The Solemnity of the Annunciation and an Acies ceremony were held online. On 12 May, the anniversary of the death of Venerable Edel Quinn, a day of Prayer, including Mass and Adoration, was held online. As mentioned previously, a virtual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida was held in June, and a day of Prayer was held on 7 June, Frank Duff’s birthday. On 24 June, Alfie Lambe’s birthday, and the Feast of St. John the Baptist, a day of Prayer, including Mass from Recife was held. Junior legionaries had a programme in July and from July a weekly webinar on legionary formation was held. In September there was a week of prayer for the anniversary of the Legion on 7 September. It is reckoned that about 65,000 people were touched in some way by these online events and about 19,500 interacted in some way.