Concilium Bulletin October 2021
Osaka Senatus: The last minutes, received in August, report small meetings being conducted over Zoom. The correspondent has contacted them for more recent information.
Kuala Lumpur Senatus: It is not clear whether the Senatus has resumed physical meetings. They were notified about the Centenary Mass in Francis Street on 3rd September and several members tuned in to watch it on the webcam.
Seoul Senatus: The July meeting was cancelled due to government regulations and other meetings held had a reduced attendance. Seven attached Regiae and five other Councils reported during this period. The Acies was not held due to Covid 19 regulations. The Centenary Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Soo-Jung Yeom, Archbishop of Seoul, on 28th of August.
Gwanju Senatus: Election of Senatus Officers took place over the summer months as follows: President in June, Vice President and Secretary in July and Assistant Secretary in August. The Senatus were happy to receive a video with greetings on the Centenary from the President of Concilium.
Jakarta Senatus: Meetings are taking place on line. On 7th June the Senatus successfully launched ‘Can we be Saints’ and ‘Frank Duff: one of the best’ in Indonesian language versions on the occasion of a webinar attended by 400 on Zoom and thousands on YouTube. Other events held to mark the Centenary included a virtual choir competition with 500 participants. The canvas banner with the Centenary Logo, which had been travelling through the Senatus area, reaching places as far away as Sumatera Island and Kalimantan, returned for the closing Mass on 11th September. This was celebrated by Cardinal Ignatius with 100 attending.
Kaupang Senatus: No Senatus meetings have been held since June. The Archbishop and 9 priests concelebrated the Centenary Mass. Many Councils held talks which were open to non-legionaries.
Malang Senatus: The Senatus met physically from January to April and virtually thereafter to July. Officers from outlying Councils, who were usually prevented from attending for reason of distance, were able to do so on these occasions. Most Councils are meeting on Zoom or WhatsApp. Where praesidia can meet, the members are working in their parishes in whatever service is needed. The study of the Handbook during lockdown is recommended by Councils.
Elections for Senatus Officers have taken place in recent months. The Treasurer and Vice President were elected for the first term in March and a President was elected for the first term in October.
The correspondent was able to view the Centenary Mass which took place on 3rd September in the Cathedral. The chief celebrant was Cardinal John Kong, who paid great tribute to the Legion of Mary, in particular as a ‘nursery’ of vocations. A large congregation attended and the whole ceremony was most impressive.
Senatus of Austria: Centenary celebrations in Vienna started with Mass on September 3rd followed by street apostolate. On Saturday 4th September there was a procession with the Rosary to St. Stephen’s Cathedral followed by Holy Mass celebrated by the Bishop. The attendance was approximately 600. On Sunday 5th of September a Mariological congress was held and the celebrations concluded with Holy Mass in the Cathedral. Extension efforts are ongoing. A praesidium of 10 members and 44 auxiliaries visits families of first Holy Communion children with the statue of Our Lady, street apostolate and visits to auxiliaries. 2 legionaries do catechises for Albanians. A Persian praesidium of 4 members care for Persians who are preparing for or are newly baptised. Plans are in progress for a second Persian praesidium in Vienna. Innisbruck Comitium and Salzburg Curia are both engaged in recruiting and extension. Graz and Klagenfurt Comitium carried out a mini PPC was in Villach where 23 young and 7 young at heart legionaries took part. Contacts were made with over 1000 people. The upper Austria Curia attached to the Comitium had a statue of St Joseph in circulation on the occasion of the year of St. Joseph.
Countries under care of Austria:
SLOVAKIA: The 2 Curiae in Slovakia have resumed their meetings. All opportunities were used during lockdown to be active in the apostolate.
MOLDOVA: All 7 praesidia in Chisinau have their meetings regularly and hope to be able to have their Curia meetings soon.
CZECH REPUBLIC: The 2 Councils of Prague and Olomouc are working well together and have almost completed the new handbook.
The Acies was held in many places. Some Councils have not had meetings for over a year. Contact is being kept with legionaries by phone. A PPC project in the Ukraine had 3 Austrian and 24 Ukranian legionaries on the team.
Lublin Regia: Most praesidia have now resumed. Regia meetings took place for June and July 2021. Works include home, hospital, sick and housebound and auxiliaries visited and many other works of service undertaken. The Regia Spiritual Director urged all legionaries to study the handbook. Mass for the Centenary was planned for 7th September for Poland. Warsaw Praga Comitium has 16 praesidia directly attached and 3 Curiae with a total of 311 active members and 392 auxiliaries. Works include visitation of nursing homes, hospital and hospice and the sick and elderly. Many praesidia organised and participated in Rosary circles. Miraculous medals and rosaries were distributed.
Zagreb Regia and Countries under caretakership.
Zagreb Regia: On March 27th the Acies was held for all praesidia and Curiae in Zagreb. The Regia is pressing ahead with plans for extension. Works of 4 praesidia included home and nursing home visitation, bringing people to Mass with walking difficulties. Auxiliaries are contacted regularly and home visitation done with the Pilgrim statue. Returns to the Sacraments and anointing of the sick were recorded in all 4 praesidia.1 Curia reported street apostolate and phone contacts and a praesidium holds monthly Patrician meetings. A Curia undertook extension efforts to new Parishes. 18 new auxiliaries were enrolled. Home visits, street apostolate and visits to cemeteries are done. In another Curia, an attached praesidium increased its membership from 5 to 11. Zagreb West Curia set up a new Nazareth group with 10 children and in Dugo Selo Curia, an attached praesidium reported increasing its membership from 6 members to 11. Zadar Comitium has 7 directly attached praesidia, 2 Curiae and 260 auxiliaries. A meeting for Spiritual Directors in the Archdiocese of Zadar had an attendance of 12. Two talks were given on the heart of the legion in the Parish and a talk on the role of the Spiritual Director was given by the Zagreb Regia Spiritual Director. New praesidia were visited. Osijek Comitium: Legionaries visited elderly people in their homes as suggested by the Priests and encouraged them to receive the sacraments. 20 people received the sacrament of the sick. Plans are being made to have Mass celebrated by the Bishop to celebrate the Legion Centenary.
Countries under caretakership of Zagreb Regia.
Curia Sarajevo has 5 praesidia with 21 members, 2 Praetorians, and13O auxiliaries. The Acies was held in May with a good attendance. Curia meetings were held as planned. Legionary work included helping the Parish Priest, contacting people by phone and attending 24 hours adoration etc.
A few Praesidia are back meeting and doing street contact work mainly. A number of older members will not be returning. A Comitium meeting is planned.
Telsiai Comitium: A praesidium of 10 members with 142 auxiliaries conducts 3 groups of the Rosary at which 60 parishioners attend. Contact is kept with auxiliaries. Home, hospital and helping people to the sacraments is also done. A Mass of thanksgiving was offered for a former member, who had celebrated 100 years and is now an auxiliary member. A Curia with 7 praesidia attached has a very big programme of works including much home visitation. During restrictions the legionaries talked to 64 patients in hospital by phone.
Satu Mare Regia: At the December 2020 meeting there was a very much reduced attendance. A praesidium at the Cathedral has 12 active and 370 auxiliary members. Another praesidium has 9 active and 13 auxiliaries. The legionaries take care of old and sick people in the village who request the sacraments if they are unable to attend Mass. The cleaning of graves is undertaken. Curia Sarkoz Livada visited sick and housebound people. One person went to confession after 20 years, received the Sacrament of the Sick and on the 7th of October he went to his eternal reward. Comitium Nagyvarad retreat was held for legionaries on September 7th.
Budapest Regia: Meetings have resumed since May 2021 with 9 in attendance at that meeting. May minutes reported that many legionaries have died, have become ill or due to changes in family circumstances have had to leave the Legion. For 25 years Adoration each Thursday and Friday has been taking place in St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest. During the epidemic this continued on-line with up to 500 people tuning in. The June meeting with 21 present was followed by Mass, the Acies ceremony and St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s 33 Day Consecration to Our Lady. September Regia meeting commemorated the Centenary of the Legion. Their Spiritual Director, Fr. Béla spoke on Frank Duff and the Legion of Mary. After the Mass he blessed a renovated Lourdes grotto and as well as a memorial plaque dedicated to the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress and the 100th anniversary of the Legion.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Dromore: The Centenary Mass in St. Mary’s Church Burren had an attendance of 50.
Navan: Three praesidia have resumed meetings and two of these have got new members recently. They are involved in public rosaries. Some members meet every day to recite the rosary. They continue helping non - national children with English and preparing children for Baptism and First Holy Communion. An eight year old and a 12 year old were baptized the end of July. They hope to resume the monthly public Mass for the Brazilian community the end of October. Their Centenary Mass in Mullingar Cathedral on 20 September with Bishop Thomas Deenihan of Meath as the chief celebrant was a great event.
Raphoe: All praesidia were represented at the Legion Centenary Mass at the Cathedral in Letterkenny on 19 September. Bishop Alan McGuckian presided along with 3 priests. They were allowed to have 50 attendees only due to Covid. The Legion banner was displayed. No meetings of the Legion in the Comitium are planned until after 22 October and permission is granted by the parish priest. One Legion meeting is held over Zoom each week. Some legionaries participated in the “33 days for Mary” prayers and some continue to link in each evening for Rosary. Once permission is received to resume meetings the Comitium will hold a planning meeting to assess the situation and plan a way forward.
Diocese of Down & Connor: Immaculata: This report covers the months of May and June. Both meetings were held by Zoom. Monthly talks to legionaries were given by Fr. Brian Watters who spoke on Easter, and Fr. Graham, Comitium Spiritual Director, who spoke on Our Blessed Lady. At the May meeting a discussion took place as to what new works could be carried out during lockdown. Praesidia have become involved in working in the parishes, organising the recitation of the Rosary (by Zoom) and meeting with ex-members of Regina Coeli. The Edel Quinn Mass took place on Saturday 15 May in St. Mary’s, Chapel Lane. Deacon Gregg gave the homily on Edel Quinn. Down Curia: monthly meetings have been held via Zoom since November 2020.One praesidium has five active members, three Praetorians and Fr. McKinley, parish priest is very supportive of the Legion. Kilkeel praesidium has six active members and 16 auxiliaries. Two residential homes are visited weekly and baptismal visits undertaken. The eight attached praesidia are either saying the Legion prayers at home or meeting through WhatsApp. Two representatives from the Curia attended the Acies in St. Peters Cathedral in Belfast.
Clogher: No meetings have resumed yet as there is a great deal of Covid in the area.
Clonmacnoise: The two praesidia in this Curia have resumed their meetings with all members in attendance. The Curia meeting has also taken place.
Armagh: The Centenary Mass of Thanksgiving for the Archdiocese of Armagh was celebrated on 19th of September in Armagh Cathedral with legionaries from the three Curiae in the Archdiocese participating, Armagh, Dundalk and Drogheda. Armagh Curia Spiritual Director Fr. John McKeenan led the Legion Prayers and Rosary before Mass. Archbishop Eamon Martin was the chief celebrant along with two other priests. Dundalk: The Acies took place on 7th of September with Bishop Michael Router and 8 priests concelebrating and 63 in attendance.
Dublin Southside Curiae
Annunciata Curia: A praesidium of four active members undertake home to home visitation and book barrow apostolate and helping in the Morning Star hostel. The Miraculous Medal is promoted on visitation. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also promoted and receives a good response.
Immaculata Curia: Works reported on at the recent Curia meeting included assistance with the re-decoration of Immaculata House, stewarding and helping in the church, and posting parish newsletters into letterboxes for those who were housebound. Gift pack with Miraculous Medal, Rosary and prayer cards were prepared and delivered to local school for children in Confirmation and Holy Communion classes of local schools. During lockdown some legionaries prayed the Legion prayers weekly together over the phone, whilst others met online. A number of praesidia held and continue to hold weekly public rosaries. Most presidia have resumed their weekly meetings.
Ancilla Domini Curia: Myra House was open to visitors from 10:30am until 5pm daily throughout the Centenary week. Welcome was given to many visitors from around Ireland and beyond. Street contact took place outside Myra House during this time; all those met were encouraged in their faith journey and invited into Myra House for a tour of the house. On 7th of September a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated to mark 100 years of the Legion of Mary. Legionaries gathered in Myra House for the blessing of Myra House and its members. On Friday 17th of September Myra House celebrated Culture Night with a talk given by Finola Kennedy on the life of Frank Duff and the early years of the Legion, 22 people attended. A praesidium of four members engage in recruiting before the weekly praesidium meeting, standing outside the Carmelite Community Centre to meet passers-by and invite them to attend the meeting as well as offering miraculous medals and rosaries. Street contact takes place every Saturday afternoon in Temple Bar. Some contacts are moved to tears when legionaries pray with them.
Gloriosa Curia: A praesidium of four active members gave their report on the past two years. Pre-Covid apostolate included an Exploratio project in Ballyfermot, preparing parents and older children for Baptism, preparing children for confirmation, assisting in the establishment of praesidia in Ballyfermot and Leixlip, doing street contact with book barrow and setting up weekly adoration. During the restricted period, work included assisting the cleaning of the church, helping with stewarding before and after Mass and the distribution of the journal to houses. A reunion was held in Mt. Olivet House to mark the end of Covid restrictions. 20 members attended.
Senatus of Burundi: On 12th June 2021 a pilgrimage to the National Shrine in Mugera was held and Mass was celebrated to mark the birth of Frank Duff and the founding of the Legion in Mugera on 10th of June1954 by Venerable Fr. Denis Achilles. On the Centenary 7th Sept 2021 Legionaries went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Mercy in Mushasha and during the Mass the National Spiritual Director Abbé Simon spoke of the history, the goal and the spirit of the Legion. They had further celebrations afterwards. The monthly reports have a strong focus on evangelization, encouraging former legionaries to return to the Legion, and lapsed Catholics to return to the Faith, great promotion of the Mass and Rosary and True Devotion to Jesus through Mary. Works of service to prisoners, the elderly and sick also feature prominently. The Senatus was delighted to receive the message from the President of Concilium to Legionaries worldwide for the Centenary of the Legion of Mary. Legion in Burundi is very well run - there are appointments of officers every month; the raising of a Curia to a Comitium features regularly; the recruiting of new active and auxiliary members is reported every month; officers from Senatus organise extra meetings with different Comitia to give members further instruction on the Legion.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Senatus of Bangui: Normal apostolic activity is resuming. They hope to reach out to their most distant councils over the next few months.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO
Senatus of Lubumbashi: The Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Mgr Fulgence Muteba Mugalu celebrated on October 9th the thanksgiving Mass for the centenary of the Legion of Mary. In his homily, the Archbishop said that the Legion of Mary is a Catholic movement that has several important roles, including constantly interceding for the advancement of the apostolic mission of the Church through the Rosary. Several thousand Legionaries took part in the celebration. The Archbishop was assisted by 14 priests, 2 deacons and 2 seminarians.
Senatus of Butembo: 1 Regia, 15 Comitia, and 2 Praesidia gave reports for June-September 2021.One new Comitium was set up on the Feast of the Assumption in Butsiri-Kikuvo. Works include contact with sick, prisoners, widows and orphans, war displaced, elderly and the poor. Couples in difficulties were helped and blessed, divorced couples renewed their vows. Huge numbers of families had their children baptised, child catechumens were taught their catechism, lapsed Catholics returned to the Sacraments, Protestants converted to Catholicism, youth converted their life style, drug addicts gave up. New recruits and auxiliaries joined the Legion, rosaries, adoration of Blessed Sacrament and Stations of the Cross were offered up. The new Frank Duff Centre was blessed on 5th September. The Centenary Mass in the Cathedral was celebrated on 7th of September 2021, at which the Bishop asked that rosaries be offered during October to restoring peace in the region. Massacres continue and innocents die.
Senatus of Bukavu; Like many another council, Bukavu has been affected by the Covid and its restrictions. Centenary celebrations began with a solemn High Mass on 5th September 2020. Many novenas of prayer took place in preparation. During a renewal of elections of officers of various councils, emphasis was placed on the importance of this Jubilee for the renewal of the Legion worldwide. Days of recollection were organised for the Juniors and the Probationers in the Marian Centre, while the Seniors held theirs in the Cathedral. High Mass was celebrated on 8th September this year in the Cathedral of Bukavu by Archbishop Mons. Francois Xavier Maroy, assisted by his Vicar General and many priests, in the presence of a large group of Legionaries.
Rodrigues Regia: The last report from Regia of Mauritius (13th September) makes for sad reading. While wishing the Concilium a joyful anniversary, the secretary reports the anguish of the members at not being able to celebrate the occasion as they would have wished. The second wave of the pandemic hit them harder than the first. Although some praesidia continued to meet while keeping the rules, they could not visit the sick, etc. Their annual pilgrimage to Holy Cross shrine was curtailed. It was only on the 11th of September that the first Regia meeting since February was held. They organise prayer meetings via Zoom, What’s App and Google Teams. Two Thanksgiving Masses were held on 7th September. They finish by wishing congratulations to all the members and long life to the Legion of Mary.
Senatus of Kigali: The Senatus officers have visited the dioceses of the country to ask the Bishops to preside over Masses on the occasion of the celebrations of the centenary. All the Bishops have indicated their agreement and the celebrations have already taken place successfully in four dioceses, of course within the limits of the restrictions related to the prevention of Covid 19. The diocese of Ruhengeri was the first, and celebrated the Centenary on the very day of the Jubilee: 09/07/2021. Nearly a thousand Legionaries participated at the Mass, following several related messages, including that of the President of the Concilium translated into the national language, and that of the Bishop who presides over the Commission in charge of the Lay Apostolate, that of the Ordinary of the place and that of the president of the Senatus. Three other dioceses celebrated the Jubilee on the following Sunday, 09/12/2021. These are the Byumba, Nyundo and Butare. The 5 remaining dioceses have fixed later dates. The Kinyarwanda translation of Frank Duff’s book “Can we be Saints” will soon be printed here in Kigali. They were also able to regularly follow the prayers of the 33 days on the Channel of Grace, which greatly comforted them in our faith. The Spiritual Director of Kigali Senatus had also prepared the 9-day prayer (Novena) for all Legionaries of the Senatus and it was broadcast on Radio Maria.
Cordoba Senatus: The correspondent received a message from the Senatus secretary saying that they had resumed meeting in September but no minutes have been sent. It would seem that there had been little activity until then, with the exception of the town of Rio Cuarto 200km away where the Comitium issued an invitation to the local Bishop and priests and religious orders, inviting them to a Centenary celebration on September 12th. A praesidium in Cordoba City featured in a daily newspaper following the celebration of a Mass by the Archbishop in a public square where a new grotto to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was officially blessed. The square was the source of worry to locals due to drug taking and anti-social behaviour until the praesidium started a public rosary several years ago and began planning the grotto. Local shops and businesses donated money, materials and labour.
Corrientes Regia: The Regia has held virtual meetings in June, July and August with the officers in a room in the Cathedral. Their new Spiritual Director, Fr Jose Bollordo, Episcopal Vicar, joined remotely. In August the Comitium of Iguazu gave a report; they have eight Curiae with a total of 53 praesidia including one junior ; their works include visitation of homes, nursing homes, hospitals, a children’s home, and a prison; they give catechesis and pre-baptism instruction, they coordinate Adoration, act as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, give out literature and do statue visitation. For the Centenary, an hour of Adoration was held on Friday 3rd September and a special Mass at 6pm on 7th September in the Cathedral, the main celebrant being the Archbishop Andres Stanovnik. A special Centenary plaque was unveiled and blessed in the Cathedral porch.
São Paulo Senatus: The Senatus is very active online. They have regular programmes of Mass and Rosary and other prayers and talks. Special feasts are celebrated and Legion anniversaries, including those of Frank Duff, Venerable Edel Quinn and Alfie Lambe are marked with special programmes. They had a Week of Prayer in September to mark the Centenary of the Legion of Mary. Each day from the 1st to the 6th they had the following: Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church, the Angelus, prayers of the Tessera, Rosaries, Adoration of The Most Blessed Sacrament, Office of The Immaculate Conception, studies and Holy Mass. On the 7th September, the anniversary of the Legion of Mary, Mass and Rosaries and the Prayers of the Church and the prayers of the Tessera were relayed directly from the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida. On that day also, Holy Mass for the anniversary of the Legion and in memory of all deceased legionaries was relayed from the Shrine of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in São Paulo. The prayer for the Beatification of Frank Duff was recited and a passage from a book on Frank Duff was read and a passage from the Legion Handbook. More than 65,000 people were reached on social networks during the Week of Prayer and 19,500 interacted in some way with comments, etc.
Recife Senatus: Latest meeting was on 2nd October at which reports from praesidia, Curiae and Regiae were represented.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HARMONY IN THE LEGION
Harmony the expression of Unity
Harmony, being the outward manifestation of the spirit of love in the meeting, must reign supreme; and efficiency, in the Legion sense of the word, never excludes the idea of harmony. Good accomplished at the expense of harmony is a doubtful gain; while those failings which are in their essence opposed to it must be shunned in the Legion like a veritable plague. This refers to things like self-assertiveness, fault-finding, ill-temper, cynicism, and airs of superiority, at whose entry to the meeting harmony forthwith departs. (Legion Handbook Chapter 19,section 18).
If the interests of harmony are to be vigilantly guarded in the praesidium, where occasions for differences of opinion occur but seldom, what caution must be exercised in the councils; because: - (a) There, members are less accustomed to work together(b) Differences of opinion are many, one of the chief functions of the councils being to adjust such differences. The consideration of new works, efforts after higher standards, disciplinary interests in general, discussion of defects - all these necessarily tend to create differences of opinion which may develop unpleasantly. (c) Where the members are numerous, it is only too easy to find among them a few persons who, though excellent workers, are of the type commonly termed “cranks.” These exercise on an assembly a most unhappy influence. Their working abilities win for them a following. They bring about an atmosphere of disputation with its sequel of ill-feeling. In the end the body which should be the model to those below it, an object-lesson in fraternity and in the method of conducting business, is found setting a bad example to all legionaries. The heart is pumping acid through the Legion circulation. (d) False loyalties so often operate, that is, a tendency to tilt against some neighbouring or higher council, which is alleged (Oh how easily a plausible case is made and wins acceptance!) to be exceeding its powers or acting unworthily…(Handbook, Chapter 28, Section 25).
The Relations between Members
Legionaries are ready enough to honour in a general way the duty of loving their fellow-members, but sometimes do not remember that it must include an attitude of kindliness towards seeming short comings. Failure in this direction will deprive the praesidium of grace, and may have the dire effect of causing others to discontinue membership. And, on the other hand, all should be sensible enough to realise that their membership is something quite independent alike of the fact that they have a President or colleague whom they find pleasant or the reverse, and of real or imagined slights or lack of appreciation, or of disagreements, or rebukes, or of other accidental circumstances. Self-suppression must be the basis of all work in common. Without it even the best workers may threaten the organisation. Those serve the Legion best, who moderate their own individuality and adapt themselves most completely and most harmoniously to the system. On the other hand, he that says something or does something that departs from the sweetness which should characterise the Legion, may be opening an artery with fatal results. Let all, then, watch that they do those things which fall to the centre, not from it…(Handbook, Chapter 33,Section 7)
Within its own ranks there should be an unaffected simplicity and sincere mutual charity among the members, all distinctions being non-existent. If love is due to those whom the legionary serves, it is no less due to one’s fellow-members. The spirit of distinction is evidence of the absence of the first qualification for member ship, which is the spirit of love. The whole idea and spirit of the Legion is one of intense charity and sympathy, which before radiating its warmth outside must first of all burn brightly and strongly on the domestic hearth of the Legion itself. “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:35) Charity practised in its ranks will soon be practised at large. Divisions removed by membership are on the way to being removed from people outside…(Handbook, Chapter 41, Section 2).