Concilium Bulletin September 2018
Two new praesidia have been set up and three more in formation. Contact has been made with the Bishop in Jordan in the hopes of re-introducing the Legion to that country. As they plan to organise a Congress the correspondent passed on the practical advice given on this subject by Fr. John Peyton at a recent Concilium meeting.
The second praesidium started in April 2018 with 4 members had many visitors but few persevered so far. They have 5 auxiliary members. Hospital and home visitation is done as well as an apostolate to street girls. The other praesidium has 6 members, all Indian students who return home for the summer. They visit in the centre run by the Mother Teresa sisters and do street contact.
The Curia sent its Annual Report to March 2018. They have 16 praesidia, mainly Urdu-speaking, plus 9 English-speaking praesidia. The majority of members are female who despite challenges, are very committed. Much visitation is done praying especially with troubled families.
One Comitium reported participation in wakes and funerals with people of all faiths. 200 prisoners attend Mass despite only a small number being Catholics. They are being taught the basic prayers and love joining in the singing at Mass. A Curia of 13 praesidia has 1,000 auxiliary members. They are emphasising the importance of devotion to the Sacred Heart in their apostolate. A Korean praesidium is instructing an atheist and 2 other Koreans approached legionaries asking for instruction.
Legionaries prepared 450 for Baptism; they also arrange and attend funerals of people of all faiths and promote devotion to the Sacred Heart.
The apostolate includes giving instruction in the faith to Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, family reconciliations and encouraging the lapsed to return to practice. 73 conversions took place, and many adults were prepared for the Sacraments.
Mumbai Senatus: The Spiritual Director’s Conference had 28 priests and the Bishop attending. Many returns to the Sacraments were reported through home and prison visitation. Great help is being given to the Legion in Nepal.
Kerala Senatus: This area of India has suffered greatly with flooding. The correspondent sent a message of sympathy to the council.
Pondicherry Senatus: Home and hospital visitation is widely undertaken.
Chennai Regia: Extension was undertaken in an area 700km away from Chennai. A question has been raised as to whether or not this area belongs to the Regia.
Kottar Regia is made up of 12 Comitia, 9 Curiae and 10 praesidia. Extension and setting up of higher councils are on-going. 93 legionaries took part in Exploratio Dominicalis projects. The Regia has a programme of preparation in place for the Legion’s Centenary.
Amsterdam Regia: An extension project was held in Venlo. The Cape Verde Curia in Rotterdam does home to home and hospital visitation.
Brussels Senatus: An afternoon of evangelisation was organised by the Senatus around the Church of St. Mary Madeleine in Jette, Brussels. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed and legionaries, in pairs, did contact work around the square and encouraged those met to pray and light a candle in the Church. Miraculous Medals and scapulars were distributed. The main works of the 3 praesidia reporting were home visitation and assisting in the parish. A Marian Procession led by the Parish Priest took place in October.
Frankfurt Senatus: 30 Officers from the Augsburg and Stuttgart Comitia, attached to Munich Regia attended a training day for officers which was deemed a great success. Seven legionaries from Munich took part in a ‘One Day Spring School’, which included street apostolate. 2,500 pilgrims took part in the 62nd Legion Pilgrim Walk for Pentecost. The new data regulations have caused restrictions on legionaries visiting men’s hostels in Munich and concerns have also been expressed with regard to this matter in Freiburg Comitium. In this council a camping apostolate is undertaken during the summer months. Book barrow work and street apostolate is being done in the cities of Munich, Augsburg, Stuttgart and in the towns of Heroldsbach and Gemering. In Munich outreach has been made to the Maronite Community and it is hoped to present the Legion to them. There are 17 attached praesidia, one recently established in the Korean Curia, Frankfurt. This Curia is celebrating its 25th. Jubilee.
Councils under the Caretakership of Frankfurt
Curia of Siberia has 5 praesidia with 21 active and 10 auxiliary members. Among the works being done is caring for pre-school children in a local convent. A visit to the Curiae of Siberia and Kazakstan is being planned.
The praesidium in Tonsberg has 9 active and 24 auxiliary members. Catechism classes are given to 7 children. Transport, when needed, is provided for parishioners to attend Sunday Mass. Hospital visitation is done and also the sick and elderly in their homes are visited.
Drammen: The praesidium has 6 active and 15 auxiliary members Visitation of the sick in their homes and in hospital is done and promotion of the Rosary and Bible sharing continues. The praesidium organised a three-day Retreat, which had an attendance of 32; it was described as a wonderful and meaningful encounter with the Lord.
Birmingham Senatus: The Senatus Spiritual Director and Officers have had a meeting with the Archbishop to discuss the Centenary of the Legion. At a Night Fever organised by the praesidium in Solihull 40 people went into the Church, lit candles and prayed. Many good contacts were made with youth who were so willing to listen. A new work started by the same praesidium is Café meetings for parents whose children attend the local school. The praesidium in Hadsworth reported two people received into the Church. As a result of statue visitation by legionaries in Sheldon parish 25 people had their homes blessed and consecrated to the Sacred Heart. Coventry Curia reported many good contacts with those of other faiths and none, and also lapsed Catholics in the course of crowd contact. West Birmingham Curia is planning to complete 1,000 home to home visits and 100 statue visitations for the Centenary of the Legion. Birmingham Junior Curia has 4 praesidia attached.
Northampton Comitium has 84 active and 220 auxiliaries members. A recruitment drive in Aylesbury yielded 3 prospective active and 4 auxiliary members.
Liverpool Senatus: Two legionaries from the Senatus went to the Isle of Man to visit praesidia and take part in extension.
Middlesborough Comitium reported an entire family being received into the Church. Worall Curia is upgrading its works.
Southwark Comitium: Three Curiae reported with 3, 2, and 8 senior praesidia attached, the latter having a junior praesidium. Nine praesidia reported, with a total active membership of 56. Works include door to door visitation, crowd contact, Pilgrim statue visitation and book barrow apostolate. One praesidium reported a young family resuming practice after many years and another reported a lapsed lady requesting the last rites and now regularly receiving Holy Communion. Recruiting and extension are on-going.
Brentwood Comitium: Visitation of praesidia is undertaken diligently. One praesidium, at the request of the Parish Priest has been showing a DVD series on Our Lady, with good attendance and one lady has become a legionary. Brentwood East Curia has 10 senior, I University and 3 junior praesidia. Some praesidia do home to home visitation. Central London Curia: The report covers May to August. Four Annual Reports were taken with active membership of 3, 6, 7 and 8. Works include crowd contact, door to door, nursing home, and hospital visitation, plus visits to the sick and elderly. One praesidium which recites the Rosary at Speakers Corner once a month has been asked by Park Police to discontinue this in the interest of safety, because of recent terrorist activity. Other groups have been requested to do the same. A new praesidium of students has been started in Newman House University. West Middlesex Curia heard a report from a junior praesidium of 8 active members. Works include helping with the First Holy Communion catechism class in the parish. Their plans include organising Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for youth. Hammersmith Curia: The three reporting praesidia have a membership of 5, 9 and 7 and works include visitation of three Care Homes and visitation of sick and elderly and taking Holy Communion to the housebound.
Senatus of Scotland: Grennock Curia reported excellent contacts in Paisley, Greenock, and Port Glasgoe during Christmas. Great recruiting efforts and book barrow apostolate were carried out.
Swansea Curia has 7 praesidia with 44 members. A weekly outreach to street girls has commenced.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cloyne Comitium: Midleton praesidium has 5 members having lost 2 through illness and accidental death. They do regular home visitation with the Fatima statue and give special attention to some very needy cases. They continue to have a May altar at the Co-op Store where they engage in crowd contact, distribute Miraculous Medals and prayer leaflets. Two members are involved in the Apostolate of the Alliance of the Two Hearts. East Cloyne Curia: The 10 members of Mallow praesidium do home visitation with the Fatima statue and distributed 224 First Holy Communion and 20 Confirmation packs to local schools. West Cloyne Curia is still without a President.
Cork Comitium: A praesidium of 5 members reported that during the year they have had a greater demand for the Pilgrim Statue and feel that it is due to an increased awareness of the benefits of prayer to Our Lady. A discussion took place on “Reactivate the Patrician Movement in Cork”. One member said that we will always gain knowledge by attending a Patrician meeting and be better able to speak about the faith. A praesidium runs a club for boys aged 8-12 years for 2 hours each week and during the night they recite a decade of the Rosary and have a short religious talk. During the summer months they recite the Rosary at a grotto and undertake home visitation before reciting the Rosary. Coronata Curia: A praesidium of 5 members do home visitation, recite a weekly public Rosary, bring the Eucharist to patients on Sundays and are involved in training and care of the altar servers in the parish. Muire na Gras Curia: Although they have 10 praesidia the numbers in some of them are very low. Street contact is done during the Jazz festival. Queen of Peace Curia: A praesidium with 6 members do home, hospital, statue and Simon community visitation and promote the Miraculous Medal and 2 members do street contact on a weekly basis. Another praesidium gives out Miraculous Medals after parish Masses on 8th December. Efforts are being made to get a praesidium started in the SMA parish, Blackrock Road.
Kerry Comitium: The Procession with the Fatima statue continues through Killarney each month until October with the recitation of the Rosary and contact being done. The annual Mass for the Servant of God Frank Duff was held in Currow in July. Legionaries from the Comitium joined the MEP project in Charleville where many people were contacted. The Frank Duff prayer group which started last September continues to thrive with good attendances.
Mid Clare Comitium: Corofin praesidium has 5 members who visit hospitals, nursing homes the elderly and those living alone in their homes. Fatima statue took place for a few months with the statue being left in homes for a week. Shannon praesidium has 3 members and 19 auxiliaries. Works include Pilgrim statue visitation to the Filipino community in the town. Miraculous Medals and Legion prayer cards were given to the First Holy Communion class and to homes in Newmarket-on-Fergus for a number of months to celebrate the apparition at Fatima. Clarecastle praesidium has 7 members who visit hospitals and a Day Care Centre. They have 13 Advent and Lenten home prayers groups who come together for a special Mass at Christmas and Easter. Members are no longer able to do home visitation for health and age reasons. As only 2 people attended the meeting in May to re-start the praesidium in Ennis they are currently attending Clarecastle praesidium.
Birr/Roscrea Curia: The praesidium in Citeaux Hall, Roscrea has 7 members who undertake nursing home visitation, organize Knock Pilgrimage, have a book barrow, organized a half day Retreat, have a Patrician group and run as junior praesidium. They are also involved in the annual Youth 2000 weekend event in the Cistercian college at which 800 young people take part. Membership in the junior praesidium has collapsed to only one boy at present. They have 2 senior officers and perhaps in the autumn they can revive the group. Dunkerrin praesidium has 4 members who are responsible for most of the activities in the parish Church and Chapel of Ease at Barna. These include arranging the readings and prayers of the faithful and Rosaries and Stations of the Cross at various times during the year. They also visit the sick in hospitals and nursing homes.
Limerick Curia: A reporting praesidium has 8 members and 37 auxiliaries. Works include home visitation to parishioners and university students living in the parish. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima is brought to parishioners encouraging them in the Rosary. With the priests’ permission and teachers present they addressed 170 Confirmation classes in 3 schools giving each child a Rosary, Rosary leaflet and a Miraculous Medal.
Lismore Curia: Members are encouraged to recruit auxiliary members through contacting local groups. Praesidia visitation is undertaken. One praesidium held Friday Rosary evenings during May.
Ross Curia: There is one vacancy in the 9 attached Curiae. Clonakilty praesidium has a parish curate as its new Spiritual Director. Barryroe praesidium members sell Catholic papers, do Church cleaning and hospital visitation. The Rosary was recited at Our Lady’s grotto each evening during the months of May and October and in both cemeteries during November. Miraculous Medals were given to the First Holy Communicants.
Waterford Curia had a very good attendance at their May Procession. The Curia is ensuring that everything discussed at their June Congress will be followed up.
Bethlehem Curia: Four praesidia undertook contact work around transport hubs to mark the Anniversary of the birth of Alfie Lambe. A praesidium of two full, two probationary and twenty-four auxiliaries is in its 92nd year and the main works undertaken are home and hospital visitation plus street contact. Members highlight the Sacrament of Confession, devotion to Mary and the Family Consecration prayer cards which they find particularly helpful on home visitation. Two Patrician meetings discussed ‘Preparing for the World Meeting of Families 2018’ and ‘Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament’.
Presentata Curia: Members of a praesidium in one parish undertake home visitation where they employ the Rosary leaflet to communicate the essentials of the Catholic faith in a simple and concise way to many people of different faiths. A weekly social with singing, dancing, prayer and a cup of tea is organised in Presentata House for residents of local hostels. A praesidium of six members reported on their very successful work of Pilgrim statue visitation and encouraging the family Rosary. The praesidium in another parish receives a very positive response to the Two Hearts family consecration prayer offered on home visitation.
Veneranda Curia: Legionaries visit female prisoners in Mountjoy Prison twice weekly and engage in follow-up and after-care of the women when released. One lady, recovering from drug addiction, still has the Miraculous Medal given to her in prison many years ago by legionaries. Many lapsed Catholics are met during crowd contact and invited to return to the practice of their faith.
Porta Coeli Curia: Legionaries in a praesidium which is low in membership are encouraged by the attendance at their meetings of two Ugandan priests working in their parish, both of whom are helping to recruit new members to the praesidium. Works undertaken include home visitation, visitation of the sick and housebound, distribution of the Maria Legionis and parish newsletter. A praesidium of five active members, thirty-five full and eleven probationary auxiliaries visits the sick and elderly, distributes over 60 Maria Legionis and undertakes home visitation to encourage Mass attendance, Eucharistic Adoration and recitation of the Rosary.
Exaltata Curia: A praesidium of eleven full and one auxiliary member in one parish promotes a monthly Mass for the African community and visits people encountering difficulties to pray the Rosary with them. Street contact is undertaken weekly around a shopping centre and community centre. Planning is underway for Exploratio Pro Christo projects.
Senatus of Abidjan: One Regia, four Comitia, three Curiae and five praesidia reported with a total membership of: 12,944 active, including 2,276 Praetorians, 2,276 auxiliaries, including 1,204 Adjutorians and 2,115 probationers. They made 123,906 visits and had 1,417,087 contacts which included 380,949 Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses, various sects and people of no religion. They visited 113,100 sick people in their homes and 398,417 in hospitals resulting in: families being reconciled 338; marriages regularised 893; returns to Holy Mass 790; Baptisms 8,519; Confirmations 1,635; Sacrament of the Sick 3,955; Sacrament of Reconciliation 3,391; Catechumens recruited 15,057. They have 1,206 legionaries teaching Catechism. Two new Curiae and three new praesidia were established.
Lome Senatus: A detailed report from the visit to Conakry was given. Preparations are made for the 2 PPC projects: 1 to Ghana and 1 in Togo as well as their forthcoming visit to Senegal. Several Curiae held a Congress and many projects of Exploratio Dominalis were mentioned in the reports as well as new Curiae and praesidia, both senior and junior being set up. A junior Curia reported on doing street contact, Adoration and recruiting after Masses. The junior movement is well represented in all reports. Home, prison and hospital visitation as well as teaching catechism are among the works done. Sotouboua Comitium reported 48 conversions. One legionary made her final profession as a religious sister and another was ordained a deacon.
Dakar Comitium: Works include home, hospital and prison visitation, plus teaching catechism. Many Muslims were among the contacts. Baptisms, returns to the Sacraments, and marriages regularised were reported. Correspondents were appointed for distant regions.
Douala Senatus: One Curia and several new praesidia were established in Douala and in the Regia of Yahounde preparations are under way for a new Comitium. Four new Curiae and 5 new junior praesidia were set-up in Bafia. The Regia in Bertoua is in the process of setting up a new Comitium. In Bamenda Comitium there are 2 praesidia in the prisons where the legionaries teach the prisoners to become catechists.
Ouagadougou Comitium reports the holding of the Comitium meeting each month and also 3 special formation meetings open to all members of the 24 Curiae within the Comitium. On the initiative of Abbé Kiswendsida Narcisse Guigma, the National Spiritual Director, a nationwide meeting was held at Fada with Bishop Pierre Claver Yenpaabu Malgo in attendance all day. Among the 85 attendees, seven Dioceses were represented. On May 1st each year, a special visitation of the sick is carried out, 500 sick persons of all ages and religions being visited in this year’s outreach. In the week by week work of home visitation, over 10,000 persons were reached during the 4-months under review. The Legion is also the chief animator of the service of prayer at Our Lady of Yagma National Shrine.
Benin Republic Regia: Latest minutes indicate a faithful working of the Legion system with senior and junior praesidia, senior and junior Curiae and Patrician groups. The Regia also has charge of the Legion in the Republics of Niger, with one Curia in Niamey and one in Gabon. Libreville and Oyem each have a Comitium.
Mali Comitium, currently in the caretaker ship of the Senatus of Ivory Coast at Abidjan, has been undertaking extension with several Curiae in formation and a praesidium about to be formed at Timbuktu.
Senatus of Brazzaville: During this period four praesidia, six Curiae, four Comitia and two Regiae reported a membership of approx. 12,000 active members, including about 500 are probationers. Home visitation and teaching catechism features in many reports, highlighting many returns to the Sacraments, undertaking instruction in the Catholic faith and bringing of the Sacraments to the housebound. Much visitation of the sick, prisoners, orphans and bereaved is undertaken. Twenty probationary members in one Curia took the Legion Promise during June. Community Rosaries during May and October are greatly supported by legionaries. A praesidium was restarted after many years supported by the parish priest and local Curia.
Regia of Malabo: After instruction in the faith a couple received the Sacrament of Matrimony. Legionaries attend wakes where they lead prayers and hymns. There are 3 praesidia on the Island of Annobon where the Legion was recently established. The new members help with the cleaning up of cemeteries, as well as continuing to recruit to increase the number of praesidia on the Island.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Mexico City Senatus: True Devotion to the Nation initiatives included: encouraging people to use water sparingly; cleaning streets; recycling plastic. Regia of Acapulco reported 6 new Curiae and 12 new praesidia in the Regia area. One senior and two junior praesidia are in the Mixteco language. A couple was persuaded not to pursue abortion. The Comitium of Tulancingo reported the presence of the Legion in one of its three Dioceses. The Legion exists in 25 of the 106 parishes in this Diocese. Works include visits to a psychiatric hospital, a Drug Rehabilitation Centre, and a prison. The Senatus treasurer’s books from 2014 to 2017 have been audited.
Merida Senatus: An attached Comitium controls the Legion in 4 of the 5 parishes in the Comitium area. 10 active and 15 auxiliaries were recruited on street contact work. Of 800 invitations to join the Legion 40 accepted and 18 persevered. An attached Curia reported one new praesidiuim. Almost all reports indicate contact with members of the different sects and some members of such sects have returned to the Church. Councils also report great numbers of auxiliaries and Praetorians. Guadalajara Regia: Legionaries lead prayers at wakes and visit the families of the bereaved. A special effort has been made to meet and invite the young people to Sunday Mass. A junior praesidium prepares and organises spiritual exercises during Lent. Monterrey Regia: Efforts are being made to set up junior praesidia. A Curia approached the prison authorities with the intention of forming a praesidium in the jail. To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Legion in Monterrey a Mass was organised in different areas each month. This initiative was very successful and made the Legion better known in the various areas. Durango Regia: A very successful effort was made in June to promote Consecration of the homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They like the idea of studying a map to identify new areas for extension. A talk was organised in a Seminary to introduce the Seminarians to the Legion.
Teguciagalpa Senatus: A new Comitium has been set up in the Diocese of Comayagua with 5 Curiae; there is already a Comitium with 14 Curiae in the Diocese. Legionaries are working hard with young people, forming prayer groups with children.
Senatus of San Salvador: There are 2 junior praesidia in the Comitium and a number in affiliated councils. An attached Comitium has only one praesidium attached; steps are being taken to correct this situation. A Curia reported giving talks on evangelisation, prayer and reflection to groups of the police force to counteract talks given by Protestant missionaries.
Managua Regia: A men’s praesidium has been set up in the town of Masaya but follow up visits have been suspended for the present due to political unrest. The new members continue with the weekly meeting and work.
Costa Rica Senatus: Four Comitia and one Curia reported. 12 legionaries are Ministers of the Eucharist; they visit distant areas where there is no priest as well as helping in the parish.
Panama Regia: All the legionaries are committed to preparation for the World Youth Conference which will take place in Panama next year. The officers are making a special visit to the attached Comitia. A day Retreat and discussion on certain points of Legion spirituality and Legion commitment is being organised in each council.
WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES
(22nd – 25 August 2018)
For the World Meeting of Families in the RDS, Dublin, the Legion of Mary had stand 31/2. It was staffed from 8.a.m. to 8.p.m. Monday to Friday and for a half day on Saturday. The stand was very busy throughout, with a constant number of visitors.
Many were very pleased to see the Legion stand and encouraged the legionaries in their work; many also praised the work of the Legion in different countries, and several asked for prayers.
Among the visitors to the stand was Irene Vazhure a legionary from Harare in Zimbabwe, also legionaries from United Arab Emirates.
A Legion Handbook was given to a priest from Iceland who was asked to try to start the Legion in preparation for the Centenary; also a Handbook was given to a seminarian, who is a follower of St. Peter, based in Bavaria. Bishop Horan, O. Carmelite promised to put Concilium in touch with the Legion in Mutare Diocese and said they have thousands of legionaries. A priest from Mozambique, working in Zimbabwe said he would put Concilium in touch with the Legion in Mozambique.
A number of the Irish Bishops and the 4 Archbishops visited the stand. They were all very encouraging.
Philip Milligan, Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life visited the stand and spent a couple of hours on Monday with the Concilium officers.
The names of about ten people were received for active membership.
On the Saturday morning Mass was concelebrated at 10.00 a.m. Among the celebrants was His Eminence Cardinal Mario Zenari, Papal Nuncio to Syria. After Mass the legionaries met with the Nuncio and sent their warmest greetings, good wishes and prayers to fellow legionaries in Syria.
Many people from various countries who were in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families paid a visit to Concilium headquarters and Frank Duff’s house, including a Bishop, a Priest and a Nun from Japan who spent some time admiring the first Legion altar and looking at the photographs of Envoys, four of whom were responsible for setting up and spreading the Legion in Japan. Like so many other visitors they enjoyed a cup of tea and a tour of Frank Duff’s house. They deeply appreciated the time and hospitality given to them. The Bishop is considering having the Legion in his Diocese and will give it further consideration on his return home.
Sincere thanks to all the legionaries who helped in any way.