Concilium Bulletin September 2016
Fr. Bernardo de Nardo reports that the visit by Pope Francis was a great blessing. Visits to Georgia and Azerbaijan may also yield opportunities for the Church to grow. A former legionary was recently ordained and is now the Spiritual Director of Gyumri praesidium. Other priests contacted by Fr. Bernardo are open to the idea of introducing the Legion. However, assistance is needed in the way of someone coming to help with extension.
News came of the death of the dedicated Spiritual Director of the Legion in Ude Arali Vale, Fr. Jerzy. The Bishop, Monsignor Pasotto, is open to further development of the Legion and would welcome extension workers.
An Administrative Conference was held. Comitium reports were taken from praesidia in Jericho, Jaffa, Ramallah and Galilee. Works include: visitation to the sick and encouraging people to return to Mass and the Sacraments. Efforts are being made to set up junior praesidia in Beithanina and Jerusalem.
Karachi Curia has 26 praesidia attached. They are looking at the possibility of setting up a second Curia. Where literacy is encountered the Handbook is read by a member and sections are committed to memory.
Lanka Comitium has 13 Curiae, 3,207 active and 4,552 auxiliary members. 200 families returned to the Sacraments. 30 auxiliaries were recruited, homes and Institutions were visited. During the year, 750 legionaries organised the cleaning of wards and premises of a Mental Hospital.
The Handbook is being updated, and the correspondent is encouraging regular communication.
Good contact is being made with people of various religions. An atheist was Baptised and a lapsed Catholic returned to the faith. A Buddist lady asked for Baptism before her Catholic husband died and she is now a staunch Catholic.
Ban Me Thout Regia covers 2 Dioceses with peoples of several ethnic origins; the council has a total Legion membership of 8,964 seniors and 3,118 juniors.
Nha-Trang Regia also covers 2 Dioceses with 3,681 seniors and 2,097 juniors. The majority of legionaries are Vietnamese, but membership also includes people such as Chinese living in this part of Vietnam.
Calcutta Comitium is in touch with legionaries in Bangladesh.
Pondicherry Senatus: Works include village evangelisation, visiting prisoners, those with Aids and leprosy, people with mental health problems and an outreach to many individuals of other faiths.
Chennai Regia: Chingleput Comitium reported homes enthroned to the Sacred Heart, preparation for Sacraments, visiting homes and contact with non- Catholics.
Karnataka Senatus: The prayer for the Beatification of Frank Duff has been translated into Konkani. All legionaries are encouraged to read and understand the Handbook. The annual audit was sent to Concilium.
Kerala Senatus comprises 17 Comitia, 12 Curiae and 13 praesidia. The three Causes are promoted, and the standard works of evangelisation are carried out. Mumbai Senatus: Home visitation is undertaken and the Sacraments are promoted. Many good results were achieved from prison visitation. Nepal Curia: All 4 praesidia in Nepal visit homes and hospitals.
Visakpathnam Comitium accepted the invitation of the Concilium to consider higher status. Many and varied works are carried out.
Tiruchy Comitium, situated in southern India comprises 9 Curiae, 15 senior praesidia and 1 junior praesidium. Marriages were rectified, families reunited, homes and hospitals visited and catechism taught. 40 Catholics, 6 Hindus and 3 Moslems were helped to overcome drug addiction.
Amsterdam Regia: Extension efforts continue. An English-speaking praesidium runs Patricians, while members of the Portuguese praesidium do home visitation and visit the sick. The praesidia in Limburg are progressing well.
Antwerp Regia: Efforts are to be made to start the Legion in the Diocese of Bruges. Contact work continues around Antwerp Cathedral and at Youth Festivals.
Brussels: Belgian and French legionaries took part in a PPC project to Namur. In Liege home and hospital visitation is carried out. A Rwandan couple had their children Baptised. Work for street girls is on-going.
Birmingham Senatus: On 28 April a Mass took place to commemorate St. Louis Marie de Montfort followed by a DVD. The “Night Fever” events brought 90 people to the Church. A priest was available for Confession. Oxford praesidium has 9 members; Sheldon legionaries work for the Travelling Community. In Coventry a lapsed Catholic who accepted the Pilgrim Statue into her home now says the Rosary every day. In Birmingham the juniors are becoming more confident in reaching out to others. Swansea Curia has 5 praesidia attached. Crowd contact at bus and train stations, street rescue and the apostolate to homosexuals was mentioned. Northampton Comitium: A new praesidium with 14 members has been set up.
Liverpool Senatus: Middlesbrough legionaries reported 4 people received into the Church. Recitation of the Rosary in schools and bringing the Blessed Eucharist to nursing homes featured in reports. Manchester Comitium carried out extension in Sweden on behalf of Concilium. Other works include the book barrow, juniors, home and hospital visitation and celebration of the Year of Mercy. Stockbridge, report a number of probationers. A praesidium helped a lady towards the RCIA course.
Southwark Comitium has 5 Curiae, and 8 praesidia. The council organises Patricians and a monthly Rosary for the beatification of Edel Quinn. A mother and daughter received the Sacraments following visitation. A lady and her two sons became Catholics having done the RCIA course. A new praesidium was set up in Norbury.
Brentwood Comitium: A praesidium of 9 members has a junior praesidium attached. During school holidays the juniors do home visitation with senior members. Distribution of Miraculous Medals to First Communicants and Confirmation classes is reported by a number of praesidia. A Curia attached to the Comitium has 11 senior and 4 junior praesidia with 246 auxiliary members, 9 of whom are Adjutorians. The praesidium in Essex University is attached to this Curia; two members of the Curia attend the meeting each week. 5 members of the Curia went on PPC this year.
Hammersmith Curia: Legionaries take Holy Communion to residents in a care-home and once a month serve breakfast after Mass. A praesidium of 9 members has 7 Praetorians. West Middlesex Curia: Works of the praesidium in Hayes include home and hospital visitation, running the Repository and leading the Rosary in a Cemetery in November. Southall praesidium has 22 members and a junior praesidium. They are busy at Christmas with Carol singing; the work of juniors includes preparation of the Parish Newsletter. Brent and Harrow Curia: The correspondent visited the council. Central London Curia: Good contacts were made on home and hospital visitation and they held celebrations to mark Our Lady’s birthday. The Rosary is recited at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park and the Curia held a Congress in June.
Contact work at the Christmas Crib was mentioned by Ayrshire Curia. Glasgow University praesidium members reported on prison visitation, and contact work in parks and public gardens. New members from overseas await Police Vetting. In Greenock legionaries meet lapsed Catholics and present a card reading, “Jesus knows who I am and He loves me” to those they meet.
Paris Regia had an attendance of 150 at the Acies and to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of St. Louis Marie de Montfort organised a Pilgrimage in his footsteps. The Regia was inaugurated as a Senatus on 10 September. Aire and Dax Regia: The new Rector in Lourdes has asked the Legion to do contact work at the perimeter of the sanctuary. A planning Conference with the Bishops will take place in November.
Frankfurt Senatus: Legionaries assisted the Austrian Senatus in reprinting the Handbook. PPC projects were held in Leipzig and Erfurt. A new praesidium has been set up while another re-started. A young adults’ website is being developed to promote prayer for peace. Cologne Regia is organising a Conference of Spiritual Directors for October. In Berlin young adults are prepared for Baptism.
Freiburg Comitium: Guitar lessons help as a means of contact with refugees in the area and the marriage was arranged for a couple living together for 60 years.
The Siberian Curia has 5 praesidia and the Tessera is being translated.
Kazakhanstan has 6 praesidia in the Curia.
Switzerland: There is 1 Curia in the German-speaking zone with 14 praesidia. A PPC project is planned for October.
Tonsberg: Queen of Peace praesidium has 7 active members, I probationer and 23 auxiliaries. Good contact is kept with the auxiliaries; legionaries pray the Legion prayers with them. Catechism classes are given to 12 children. Providing transport to Sunday Masses for those who need it, visiting hospitals, the housebound and many other Church activities are included in their apostolate.
Drammen: Queen of the Most Holy Rosary praesidium has 7 members. House to house Rosaries, Bible sharing and Enthronement of the Sacred Heart are on-going. A Marian Procession was held through the centre of the town of Drammen where a good number of parishioners of different nationalities were present. A representative of each nationality led a decade of the Rosary in his/her national language. The procession stopped in the middle of the busy park and a legionary spoke about Our Lady, after which songs were sung in different languages.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cloyne Comitium: An MEP project in Cobh on 27-28th June was considered a great success. 35 legionaries took part with Fr. Joe Rohan as Spiritual Director. 2,394 homes were visited and 1,717 Miraculous Medals distributed; 12 people showed interest in Legion membership. East Cloyne Curia: Rathcormac praesidium has 8 members and is engaged in home visitation with the Fatima Statue, also hospital visitation, Church Liturgy, Children’s Liturgy and promotion of the Pioneers. West Cloyne Curia: The Ballyhea Parish visitation project prior to the Parish Retreat was a great success. A former Curia member is studying for the priesthood.
Cork Comitium: Reporting praesidia run a junior and senior boys’ clubs for 8-12 and 13-17 year olds. The Rosary is recited with patients in a Care Home and the Fatima Statue brought to homes in one parish. Muire na Gras Curia: One family in a parish takes the Fatima Statue for an extended period and rotates it between family members. A person very ill with cancer attributed her cure to Our Lady of Fatima. Queen of Peace Curia: All of the reporting praesidia do home visitation; one praesidium runs a weekly Edel Quinn prayer group for young adults and is making efforts to set up a young person’s praesidium. Coronata Curia: Members of one praesidium are involved in training and taking care of altar servers in the parish. Another praesidium prepared an enactment of the Stations of the Cross; one member is on the Parish Council and another is a member of the RCIA. A discussion was held on “The Year of Mercy.”
Kerry Comitium: The Procession with Our Lady of Fatima Statue through Killarney continues on the 13th of each month until October. Legionaries recite the Rosary and do contact work during the Procession. A young legionary has undertaken to promote the three Causes on behalf of Kerry Comitium. Another young legionary has become a full time promoter for Radio Maria in Dublin. Under the auspices of Killarney Parish and with the permission of the Parish Priest, legionaries visited the three Secondary Schools and invited transition year students to visit nursing homes in the area. 36 students on a rota basis took part in this work with the legionaries. At the request of the Parish Priest legionaries in Genflesk praesidium visit the schools each May and talk to 3rd class pupils to recruit for altar servers; they are also involved in the training and preparation of rotas for altar-servers.
Mid Clare Comitium: On the First Friday of the month one reporting praesidium prepares the Altar for Eucharistic Adoration, co-ordinates and participates in the Adoration. 18 members of the Comitium attended the August meeting. East Clare Curia: Two Patrician meetings were held based on the catechism for adults. West Clare Curia: The Curia plans to hire a caravan to facilitate legionaries doing contact work during the ‘Willy Clancy Week’ Festival.
Thurles Comitium: The work of one reporting praesidium includes visitation of the sick and organising Eucharistic Adoration. Some members are on the Pastoral Council. Works of a praesidium with 9 members include home and hospital visitation; the Pilgrim Statue is brought to homes and to the local school. Works of a praesidium in Templemore includes looking after the town’s Crib and running Patricians. A junior praesidium works with the senior legionaries on hospital visitation. The Comitium Congress with the theme, “True Devotion to Mary.” took place on Saturday 3 September in the Pallotine Retreat Centre, Thurles, with excellent participation; Bishop Kieran O’Reilly, who attended the morning assembly said he encountered the Legion while ministering in Africa, adding that the organisation is very strong in French-speaking parts of Africa. The Concilium was represented by three Officers. Tipperary Curia: Four successful MEP projects have been undertaken. Murroe Curia: Home visitation and organising Eucharistic Adoration were included in the reports. Cashel Curia: Reports were received from four praesidia, including the two in Clonmel. Promotion of Venerable Edel Quinn’s Cause is on-going.
Limerick Curia: The work of one reporting praesidium includes the sale of Catholic newspapers, visitation of the elderly and door-to-door visitation, which at the Parish Priest’s request included distributing Parish Directories. They had posters printed of Mass times throughout Limerick and distributed them around all the hotels in the city with smaller versions placed in many Churches and B & B outlets within and on the outskirts of Limerick City.
Lismore Curia: Lismore praesidium undertook recruiting at the Vigil Mass and Sunday morning Masses. A member of the praesidium spoke at all Masses and the Parish Priest also spoke words of encouragement. Prayer cards were distributed to Leaving Certificate students. The Rosary was recited at Our Lady’s grotto in Dungarvan each Friday in May with a good attendance.
Ross Curia: Fr. Eamon McCarthy attended the May Curia meeting and in his address thanked the members for their membership and said there had been many vocations to the priesthood through membership of the Legion. He encouraged the promotion of Eucharistic Adoration and the cause of Frank Duff. The Curia organised a Pilgrimage to the Holy Door in Cork. The praesidium in Timoleague has 7 members whose works include hospital visitation, Church cleaning and sale of Catholic newspapers. Miraculous Medals were given to First Holy Communion children. During the month of May the Rosary was recited nightly at Our Lady’s Well with Mass on the final night.
Waterford Curia: This council has 4 praesidia attached. Their May Procession was very successful. Following the blessing of an Estate in one parish two lapsed families came to Mass the next Sunday. An Exploratio Dominicalis to this parish on 16th July had 8 legionaries taking part. They visited 105 homes. 10 lapsed and 2 potential active members were encountered. Three officers of the Curia and a member attended the August Concilium meeting.
Roscrea Curia: A praesidium with 7 members looks after Citeaux Hall in Roscrea, organises Patricians and does hospital and nursing home visitation. They helped out at the Youth 2000 Retreat in Mount St. Joseph’s Abbey, Roscrea. Kinnitty praesidium has 6 members and 6 auxiliaries. Works include Church tasks, organising Pilgrimages and promoting the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association in schools.
Presentata Curia: A praesidium of seven members runs a weekly social in Presentata House for residents of various local hostels; besides songs and dancing, hymns are sung and a decade of the Rosary is recited. Other works include home visitation, a public Rosary in May and maintaining the garden of Presentata House. A Regina Coeli Hostel praesidium has 6 full and 2 probationary members; three are Praetorians. Apart from regular Hostel duties, they organised a Retreat during which many residents went to Confession. A praesidium of six full members distributes six Maria Legionis; they have sixty auxiliary members to whom they write once a year. One member is on the Pastoral Council. Home visitation is done and a Pilgrim Statue is in circulation. One praesidium recruited five auxiliary members during the year, now having 38. As well as home visitation, hostel work and visiting the Phoenix Care Centre, they have started a Patrician group and also a Charismatic prayer group which meets every Saturday afternoon, attracting many visitors.
Exaltata Curia: The 10-member praesidium in one Parish is comprised of Irish, Nigerian and Togolese nationalities. During weekly crowd contact, usually carried out in a shopping centre, they invite fellow Africans to African Community Masses. One member attends the African Chaplaincy Pastoral Council meeting each month and reports back to the praesidium.
Bethlehem Curia: A discussion on officership and its duties took place at the July Curia meeting. 15 people, two of them legionaries, took part in a Patrician meeting on Baptism. Regina Cordium praesidium has 4 full members and one probationer. Of the 85 people invited to join during the year, three came as visitors. An afternoon of prayer to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy had 20 in attendance; two people went to Confession after many years lapsed. Prayer meetings were held twice during the year with a reasonable attendance. Public Rosaries were also recited; one of them had over forty people in attendance, including many children. Occasional street contact is done outside the Curia house. Home and nursing home visitation completes their works.
Porta Coeli Curia: A 5-member praesidium has 36 auxiliary members and 29 probationers. Their works include home visitation, visiting the sick and elderly and distributing 74 Maria Legionis.
Veneranda Curia: The new Patrician meeting in one parish had 9 patricians and 5 legionaries in attendance in June. A praesidium of five active legionaries had two members take the Promise during the year. Five auxiliary members were also recruited bringing the total to 108. The praesidium’s main works are home visitation using two Pilgrim Statues and running lending libraries in three Churches. Special cases include a man returning to the Sacraments after 40 years absence and a deathbed conversion.
Consolata Curia: A praesidium established last year has received a boost due to the recent attendance of a religious sister as Spiritual Director. A Faith & Fun Project took place over 3 Thursdays in August in another parish. Members of a praesidium with seven members include in their work visits to a nursing home where they organise singing, dancing and hymns. The parish newsletter is offered during home visitation. A Pilgrim Statue was recently introduced to parishioners and due to its popularity a second was procured; some parents said that their children reminded them to pray while the statue was in the house. A praesidium with seven active members and one Tribune recruited 12 auxiliary members and the praesidium meeting had 4 visitors during the year. Home visitation is done and also visitation of 2 nursing homes. The local Primary School was visited; Confirmation children were given religious packs and told about Frank Duff. The praesidium organised a fortnight of activities for two Transition-Year students from Spain.
REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Malabo Regia: 4 Curiae and 6 praesidia reported during this period. Big numbers of the sects are met on Legion work and some of them have returned to the Catholic Church. A new Curia reported setting up 4 praesidia. Two other Curiae with 16 and 21 praesidia reported; one has set up the first junior praesidium with 20 young persons and the other Curia is giving extra attention to two weak praesidia.
Lome Senatus: This council has I Regia in Kara, 15 Comitia, 18 senior Curiae, 11 junior Curiae, 597 praesidia and 70 junior praesidia. Of the 17,500 active members 69% are aged between 18 and 40. The Legion is present in all 7 Dioceses with every Diocese having at least one Comitium. 190 of the 215 parishes countrywide have the Legion. Their aim is that every senior Curia should have a junior Curia. The Senatus is prepared to send legionaries anywhere in Africa or further afield.
Douala Senatus: Home, hospital, prison and auxiliary visitation, plus Exploracio Dominicalis are reported. In Mbanga Comitium, Catechism classes are given to 32 prison inmates every Thursday. A new paresidium was started in Buen Prison. A new junior Curia was set up in Melong Comitium and a new senior Curia in the Diocese of Bafia. Yokadouma Bamenda Comitium reported 19 conversions and Limbe Comitium 46 conversions. A junior Curia reported that thanks to a young legionary, a whole family of Jehovah Witnesses embraced the Catholic Church.
Abidjan Senatus: During this period 1 Regia, 3 Comitia and 2 praesidia reported; they have a combined membership of nearly 98,000 active members, of whom 1,856 are Praetorians; they have 2,278 auxiliaries and 1,046 Adjutorians, made 113,000 visits to homes, the majority Catholic, the remainder Methodist, Muslim, Jehovah Witnesses and of no religion. They also visited the sick at home and in hospital. Over 15,000 Catechumens were recruited. Many marriages were regularised, also returns to Mass, Baptisms, Confirmations and Sacraments of the Sick were reported. Three new Curiae and 14 new praesidia were established.
Ouagadougou Comitium: Latest Minutes indicate that the 23 Curiae in the Diocese are functioning. A committee is working on translation of the Handbook into the local language.
Cotonou Regia, in addition to governing the Legion in the Republic of Benin, this Regia caretakes the Curiae of Niamey, Republic of Niger and the Comitium of Libreville in the Republic of Gabon, visiting both countries at intervals. At home it promotes Patrician groups and Frank Duff Clubs for youths.
REPUBLIC OF GUINEE
Fresh efforts are being made to discover if the Legion is still at work in Conarkry, where a Comitium which served all three Dioceses existed. The legionaries of Togo offered to undertake a visit.
THE REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Senatus of Our Lady of Congo: Works include teaching Catechism, preparing the liturgy, home visitation, visiting the sick, elderly, widows and the poor. 12 sick people received the Sacrament of Confession thanks to a legionary who is an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. A hospital Mass was organised by a combination of praesidia. Two people registered for catechesis and converted to the Catholic faith following contact with legionaries. Following an apostolate to a new area, a praesidium was founded with help from four former legionaries in the locality. A Regia reported the founding of 3 new praesidia, bringing their number of directly attached praesidia to 17. Plans are under way to found a new Curia in the Diocese of Dolisie.
The Senatus organised a Diocesan day Retreat on the theme, ‘With Mary at the Foot of the Cross be Witnesses of Divine Mercy,’ conducted by their Spiritual Directors’. 93 legionaries from two Comitia took part in a training session for officers on the theme, ‘Living the Truth of the Sacrament of Reconciliation,’ led by a Spiritual Director. 58 legionaries attended a training session on, ‘The Duties of Legionaries and Officers,’ organised by the Senatus officers. Despite flooding in the area, 834 legionaries took part in the Senatus Acies. One Acies was postponed because of political unrest. Legionaries are asked to pray for a return to peace and stability in the country.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Mexico City Senatus: The Senatus has acquired a new premises. The Parish Priest in the new location has given suitable accommodation for the Senatus meetings and other Legion functions. The extension worker has started extending in the Diocese of Ecatepec where the Legion does not yet exist. In the Diocese of Texcoco she helped to strengthen an existing praesidium and set up a new one by recruited 167 active and 131 auxiliaries. The Comitium of Ayutla celebrated its 25 Anniversary with a Congress. Legionaries came from the mountain area with flowers native to their region. Some Legion meetings on ranches are held in the local “Mixteco” dialect. A local priest will translate the Tesserae into that dialect. 20 legionaries attended a Summer School.
Merida Senatus: During this period 4 praesidia, 4 Curiae and 3 Comitia reported. An attached Curia closed 2 praesidia and set up two new ones. A praesidium brings a priest to the sick for Confession and the Sacrament of the Sick. A number of councils and praesidia reported recruitment efforts. One Comitium has 13 junior praesidia attached and another has a junior Curia attached. Members of the various sects are met on home visitation and a few have been convinced to return to the Catholic faith. One Comitium reported meeting 6,600 members of the sects and 17, 000 Catholics, also 34 adult Baptisms and 87 marriages.
Monterrey Regia: Legionaries do crowd contact at city bus stops and they meet mothers as they return from leaving their children to school. A new Curia was set up. During the summer, groups of legionaries organised projects in different distant Barrios, visiting all the homes and finalising each project with a Mass. The venture proved very successful with a good attendance at the Masses. They also visit a women’s prison, teaching the inmates Arts and Crafts and introducing them to prayer. A number of praesidia do book barrow work.
Durango Regia: Praesidia seem to be stronger and visits to councils are proving successful. The attached Comitium of Mazatlán with 5 Curiae and 14 praesidia is working well. Eight Retreats were organised with an attendance of over 100 at each Retreat.
Hermosillo Regia: Distant councils have been visited. A very successful Congress was organised and reports indicate good attendance and participation. The legionaries are concentrating with young people following suggestions from the Spiritual Director. Members of an attached Curia lead the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each Friday. The Church is one of the Churches in the Diocese with a Holy Door.
Senatus of Tegucigalpa: A letter is received from the correspondent each month. One Comitium has 18 Curiae and 10 praesidia attached and another Comitium has 7 Curiae and 10 praesidia attached, all working well. The attendance at the Senatus meeting has considerably improved.
San Salvador Senatus: Reports indicate 2 new Curiae, 8 adult praesidia and 5 junior praesidia. Prison authorities are limiting the legionaries in their apostolate; one allows the legionaries to help only with celebration of the Mass.
Regia of Managua: The Curia Reina de la Paz has been raised to Comitium level bringing the strength of the Regia to 3 Comitia, 3 Curiae and 17 praesidia. Extension work is progressing, the new Comitium set up one senior and 3 junior praesidia. A new Curia was set up in the Leon Comitium area to administer 5 distant praesidia and one praesidium was set up in the Granada Comitium area. A praesidium has undertaken work with Alcoholics with good success. The Secretary of the Regia went to Mexico to buy 250 Handbooks. A PPC project to Nicaragua was discussed.
Panama Regia: Five praesidia and 3 Curiae reported during this period; one of the Curiae set up a new praesidium. The Regia is guiding the councils and praesidia to review their reports. A praesidium reported that it brings a group together for scripture study and discussion.