Concilium Bulletin September 2019
A Comitium in northern Thailand keeps in touch with legionaries in Laos. Children attending state schools are encouraged to attend catechism classes. Youths in institutions and prisoners are visited. One Curia has over 1,000 auxiliary members. A praesidium shares the Good News with people of other faiths. English is taught to workers in a hospital and refugees are visited. Catholics in remote areas are visited to help them feel part of the Christian community.
May Altars and processions were promoted. Sick of all faiths were prayed with. Enthronement of homes to the Sacred Heart feature in many reports as does Sunday schools, encouraging the lapsed to return and arranging for marriages to be rectified.
Kottar Regia: 25 new praesidia and 2 Curiae were established. 1,000 legionaries took part in extension. In the aftermath of Cyclone Gaja much relief work was undertaken by legionaries. As a result of Exploratio Dominicalis projects many homes were visited. Sivagangai Comitium held a Congress.
Kerala Senatus: Homes and hospitals visited, catechism taught, street contact and book barrow was suggested by the Correspondent. Kottayam Comitium has 1,060 members and 75 probationers plus 290 auxiliaries.
Karnataka Senatus: A special committee is being formed to prepare for the Centenary. Hindus, Muslims and Protestants are met on hospital visitation. The newly appointed Spiritual Director suggested that members pass the baton on to the younger generation while acknowledging the good work being done by all legionaries.
Little news is coming from Karachi. It has been agreed that a letter would issue from the Concilium to urge more regular contact and for Minutes which are outstanding for about 1 year.
Mumbai Senatus sent two representatives to Nepal for 2 weeks and conducted a training day. They undertook extension, setting up a new praesidium in St. Paul’s parish Bagaan. This brings to 6 the number of praesidia in Nepal.
Yangon Senatus: Works include preparing people for the Sacraments, home and hospital visitation, helping with funeral services, and Sacred Heart Enthronement.
Senatus of Vietnam: At the Concilium meeting visitors from Vietnam gave a report from their Senatus which was established in 1992 and consists of 5 Regia, 41 Comitia, 426 Curiae, 5,251 praesidia, 67,965 active members and 92,442 auxiliaries.
Close connections between different units north and south of the country are always performed with instructions from Concilium. Apostolic works: Most of the active legionaries work in their own parishes. Close attention is given to developing junior legionaries by senior members. Development of the Legion in the cities and in river-surrounded areas is limited due to straitened circumstances, but the mountainous remote areas such as Banmethuoc Regia (Centre), Hanoi (North), Namha and Hunghoa have got quite a bit of development. The Senatus plans to hold a 2nd nation-wide meeting from 14th to 17th October 2019; also a nation-wide meeting of instructors of junior members 11th -12th June 2020.
Brussels Senatus: Two praesidia reported. In Saint Guidon, Anderlecht, the praesidium has 18 active and 6 auxiliary members and the praesidium in Etterbeek has 5 active, 39 auxiliary and 7 adjutorian members. Street contact is done by legionaries in Saint Guidon during which a Muslim man praised the work and encouraged the legionaries to continue with it. A couple visited, agreed to have their marriage regularised and invited one of the members to be a witness to their marriage. Home, hospital and nursing home visitation are among the works being done by legionaries in Etterbeek. 6 Belgian legionaries participated in a Peregrinatio Pro Christo project in Holzheim in France and 7 in a project in Brittany. 4 helped at the Permanence in Lourdes.
Amsterdam Regia: An Exploratio Dominicalis project took place and recruiting efforts are planned for some areas. The praesidium in Heerlen celebrated 75 years in existence in May. One praesidium carries out an apostolate to the Portuguese community. Another praesidium visits the red light district and helps Mother Teresa sisters in work for the poor and homeless. Works for a praesidium with 4 members includes the running of a monthly Patrician meeting.
Birmingham Senatus: A Conference for Priests was held in May with 16 present including 8 priests. Two of the Priests said that they would like to start the Legion. Three praesidia featured in reports. A praesidium of 8 members in Oxford conducts Children’s Liturgy at the Sunday Mass, does hospital visitation and regularly visits a former Parish Priest who is now in a Care Home. Pilgrim Statue visitation is prominent amongst the works of two other praesidia. In Sheldon parish around 26 homes have had the statue and many have had their homes consecrated to the Sacred Heart. One lady received into the Church at Easter is now teaching the Children’s Liturgy. West Birmingham Curia reports the gaining of 2 new members following prayers to Edel Quinn. The book barrow apostolate in Bristol city is on-going with many good contacts. Birmingham junior Curia has 4 praesidia. Members helped at the Alfie Lambe Mass in January and one gave a Talk on Alfie. Much follow up to the lapsed is being done by legionaries in Coventry Curia. Northampton Comitium. (Under caretakership of Birmingham Senatus): Following on a recruiting drive and explanatory meeting in Wycombe it is hoped to start a praesidium. Home and hospital visitation and street apostolate are amongst the works being done as well as leading Baptism classes and instruction of children for the Sacraments.
Liverpool Senatus: A new praesidium has started in St. Peter and Paul’s parish, The New Brighton report covers May to August and in all 11 praesidia featured with total active membership of 63. Amongst the works are some home to home visitation, book barrow, helping with catechetical programme, consecration of homes with the help of the Parish Priest, Pilgrim statue visitation and bringing Holy Communion to the sick. Members of one praesidium contact parents as they pass the Church and invite them to pay a visit. Some visit the Church regularly now. Extension is carried out in some of the Curiae.
Senatus of Scotland: The praesidium attached to Glasgow University has 9 active and 15 auxiliary members and they also have a Spiritual Director. Works include home visitation, park contact, book barrow, the latter being done outside the University Library. This work has generated many discussions during which the Catholic Faith is explained and leaflets and Miraculous Medals distributed. Patrician meetings were also organised. Annunciata Curia has 5 praesidia totalling 16 active and 126 auxiliary members and works include home to home, hospital and care homes visitation. Several recruiting drives have been held. Ayrshire Curia has 2 praesidia with 10 active and 95 auxiliary members. Works include visitation of the family of newly-baptised children with a small prayer book and Miraculous Medals. One Curia with 3 praesidia has a total membership of 26.
Southwark Comitium: (London). Reports were received from 3 Curiae incorporating 20 senior and 3 junior praesidia totalling 136 senior active and 357 auxiliary members. All the main Legion works are done. Many legionaries are catechists and help with Children’s Liturgy, RCIA, Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Praesidia are encouraged to promote the Causes and report any favours received. Legionaries in Guernsey gather on the 4th Sunday of each month and pray the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary for the Beatification of Venerable Edel Quinn. Hammersmith Curia: Two praesidia reported, one with 6 active and 12 auxiliary members and the other with 3 active and 8 auxiliary members. Extension is on-going. Central London Curia: A new praesidium started in the parish of Westminster with 5 members. 4 reporting praesidia have a total of 19 active and 33 auxiliaries. The standard Legion apostolic works are being done. One praesidium does contact work in Hyde Park after priests give talks on the Catholic Faith.
Brentwood Comitium: Four senior praesidia with a total of 33 active, 96 auxiliary members featured in reports. A praesidium that is relatively new reported that the initial membership had dwindled to 2 but after 2 recruiting drives and a change of meeting day, now they have 8 members and full officership and all have taken the Promise. Legionaries in a junior praesidium with a membership of 12 between ages of 8 and 15 years work as altar servers, take part in upkeep of the Church, greet parishioners and give out newsletters and Mass books. Brentwood East Curia has 11 senior praesidia, 1 in the University and 1 junior praesidium. In one parish a new praesidium with 5 members was set up at the request of the priest.
New Regia at Brentwood: The inaugural Mass for the new Regia will be at 12 noon on Sat. 28th September at Brentwood Cathedral, Essex and the first meeting of the Regia will be on Sat. 19th October in St. Theresa’s Church, Newbury Park.
Praesidia directly attached to Concilium: Tonsberg: Our Lady Queen of Peace praesidium has 8 active and 25 auxiliary members and has full officership. Recruiting efforts are on-going. Works include visiting people in hospital, at home and in nursing homes.
Drammen: Our Lady of the Rosary praesidium has 9 active and 15 auxiliary members. Enthronement to the Sacred Heart, Rosary and Bible-sharing are part of their work. Curia Bergen: The development of the Curia has been greatly supported by the Swiss correspondent. Solid Legion work is being done. Two praesidia in Nordheimsund and Alvik are dormant at present. Weekly Skype Conferences are held between the correspondent and the Curia officers to support them in their work. A visitation of the Curia is planned for the autumn.
Regia Koeln is growing in membership. New members have been gained through the Legion website. Officers’ schools or training days are planned for the Curiae of Hamburg and Essen. The Senatus officers are diligently supporting the growth of new praesidia and carefully safeguarding the methods as described in the Handbook. A new Korean presidium will be attached to the Korean Curia of Hamburg.
Comitium Berlin has 8 praesidia and a Curia with 4 praesidia, 106 active members, 21 Praetorians, 7 Adjutorians and 206 auxiliaries. The Senatus advised the Comitium against organising Pilgrimages to shrines not fully recognised by the Church. Each month the council studies some aspect of legionary spirituality and life. A topic is prepared and presented by one of the officers at each meeting. One of the topics studied was ‘Vocation and mission of auxiliary members’. A junior praesidium was officially opened as the Curia of Darmstadt held its 700th meeting. The Senatus officers visited the Curia on this happy occasion. Works for the juniors include accompanying a senior legionary on home visitation. Seven legionaries, including two new legionaries, took part in a PPC project in Leipzig. They did street contact work which went well. 10 legionaries signed up for the PPC to Erfurt.
Comitium of Zurich includes 10 praesidia with 51 active and 3 probationary legionaries, 2,400 auxiliary members and a Curia with 5 praesidia in Norway. The Apostolic Nuncio to Switzerland, Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, preached a wonderful homily on the Legion of Mary at the Acies. The Comitium undertook a PPC project in Majorca with a view to establishing a praesidium among the Filipino community.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cloyne Comitium: During Lisgoold Parish Mission legionaries spent over 4 days visiting all the homes. At the request of Fr. Chris, Parish Priest, Ladysbridge they spoke at Masses in Ladysbridge and Ballymacoda to promote the Legion. 5 legionaries took part in recruiting and a praesidium has started in Ladysbridge. The Comitium is considering the 12th May 2021 as the date for the Diocesan Centenary Celebrations and the venue to be Castlemagner.
East Cloyne Comitium: Rathcormac praesidium has 6 members engaged in home, Fatima statue and hospital visitation and helping the Parish Baptism team.
Cork Comitium: A praesidium with 5 members visits elderly parishioners, nursing homes and hospitals. Senior alert alarms were secured for 15 elderly people. Over the past year they have found a greater demand for the Fatima statue due to increased awareness of the benefits of praying to Our Lady. Another praesidium operates a junior boys club during which they recite a decade of the Rosary and give a short talk on a spiritual topic. During the summer they do home visitation prior to reciting the Rosary at different areas in the parish. Queen of Peace Curia: The reporting praesidia have 6 and 5 members who do home and Pilgrim statue visitation, street contact and one of the praesidia visit the Simon Community. Coronata Curia: The 7 members of a praesidium with 25 auxiliaries visit nursing homes and are involved in helping with the Easter ceremonies. Muire no Gras Curia: A praesidium with 5 members keeps in touch with their 80 auxiliaries on a yearly basis to thank them for their support. They do street contact during the Jazz festival and run a senior citizens club.
Kerry Comitium: The Procession with the Fatima statue and contact work continues on the 13th of each month in Killarney from May to October. Four legionaries from the Comitium participated in the MEP project in June to Midleton and 3 legionaries and a Spiritual Director participated in the MEP project to Roscrea in August. One young adult was sponsored for the Youth Conference. The new praesidium which started in Killorglin has 4 members and a Spiritual Director. Two legionaries went to Carlow for the First Holy Communion of a boy who was baptized in Caherciveen 3 years ago. The legionaries were involved with the family when they lived in Kerry and kept in contact with them.
Mid Clare Comitium: Clarecastle praesidium has 5 members who visit a hospital and a Day Care centre. They coordinate 12 Advent and Lenten home prayer groups. Due to health and age-related issues members are not able to do home visitation. They promote the three Causes through their leaflet dispenser in the Church.
Thurles Comitium: Concilium visitors to a recent meeting appealed for stronger councils to help weaker councils and the Comitium will look seriously at this suggestion. A useful discussion on the importance of officers being fully acquainted with the duties of the office before being appointed, took place at the July meeting. Tipperary Curia organised a team of 27 to travel to Middleton for recruiting and the Comitium held a recruiting campaign in Ballycahill where legionaries spoke at all Masses. Cashel Curia set up a prayer group in a nursing home and uses 2 Pilgrim statues for home visitation. One praesidium organises the annual May Procession, visit the elderly living alone and organise cemetery Rosaries in November.
Birr/Roscrea Curia: Kinnitty praesidium has 7 members who are involved with a group of students in Roscrea College each week. They brought a group of boys and girls from the parish to Knock shrine and organise a dawn Easter Mass annually. Legionaries in the Cistercian monastery visit hospitals and nursing homes and operate a book barrow at the monastery Church. A Rosary Group in the Cistercian College has an average of 15 boys attending during school term. They held one Patrician meeting on the topic of ‘The Family’, and organise a residential Retreat for married couples. In preparation for the Centenary a Conference on the Devotional Outlook of the Legion will be held on Sunday 20th October. Fr. J.J. Rogers, Spiritual Director of the Curia for many years celebrated 60 years in the priesthood in Borrisokane recently. He had a praesidium in each parish he served in and received a Papal Blessing at the celebration which was arranged by the Curia.
Limerick Curia: The Edel Quinn Mass took place in the Curia house, celebrated by their Spiritual Director Fr. Tomatik, prior to the July Curia meeting. A praesidium with 6 members compiles and mails an emigrant newsletter to Abbeyfeale emigrants all over the world 8 or 9 times per year.
Lismore Curia now just 2 praesidia attached. Following a promotion weekend last October Dungarvan praesidium gained one new member and one auxiliary. In the Lismore praesidium there has been on-going recruitment resulting in 3 new members.
Ross Curia: It is hoped to restart a praesidium in September which had not been meeting for some time and a priest has agreed to become Spiritual Director. Child Safeguarding is on the agenda each month and members are advised to regularly check their emails with regard to it. Sr. Elsie Corkery, a member of the praesidium in Leap, was congratulated at the May meeting on being awarded the Benimerenti Medal for her service in the parish of Leap.
Waterford Curia: More people this year than last year attended their Rosary Procession in May. The praesidium in St. John’s parish presented their report in July but no details were given in the Minutes. The new praesidium in the Sacred Heart parish includes two members from the Indian community.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
Veneranda Curia: Members of a five-member praesidium visit female prisoners in Mountjoy prison twice-weekly. One lady, serving a life-sentence, has formed a strong relationship with the legionaries and invited them to be her guests at a First Aid award ceremony, where the officiating former politician praised the work of the Legion in the prison. Members travel to different areas of Dublin to visit ex-prisoners, many of whom have been involved in alcohol, drug and other addictions, and are warmly welcomed by the women and their families. Discussion took place at a Curia meeting on home visitation and consecration of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. It was suggested that the family choose a special day to pray the consecration prayer and to commemorate that day each year. Recruiting took place at one parish in June. Forty legionaries and friends enjoyed the Curia outing to Athlone.
Bethlehem Curia: One praesidium undertakes visitation in two parishes. Students and people of various nationalities are contacted at a book stand outside the Legion house and informed of Mass times celebrated in their native language in various Churches of the city. Two people expressed interest in the Catholic faith. Members did crowd contact at a bus station and took part in an Exploratio Dominicalis project. The importance of officerships was discussed at a Curia meeting. Visitation of praesidia is carried out regularly by the Curia.
Presentata Curia: Three reporting praesidia have a total active membership of fourteen. Works include Pilgrim statue visits, home visitation and public Rosaries. A weekly social with music, dancing and prayer is held for residents of local hostels. Patients at a Care Centre are visited and enjoy chatting and praying with the legionaries. Street contact is done at local supermarkets. Auxiliaries are visited regularly. Verifying auxiliary membership is challenging to one praesidium as many no replies are experienced on visiting homes/apartments. Legionaries also organise viewings of religious films. A lady informed them that after having the Pilgrim statue in her home for a week, her six-year old son learned to pray the Rosary.
Consolata Curia: Following persevering effort, a praesidium reduced to one member a few years ago now has three full members and one probationer. Recruiting efforts after daily Mass in addition to a Holy Hour to pray for new members have borne fruit. Almost 80% of officerships in the eleven praesidia of the Curia are filled. Residents of three local nursing homes are visited as well as pupils of a local school. A talk by a well-known former footballer arranged by legionaries was given to pupils about his faith and was very inspiring for them. Two members went on PPC. The Cause of the Servant of God Alfie Lambe is promoted by distributing prayer leaflets in parishes, hosting talks and articles printed in parish newsletters.
Douala Senatus: One new was Curia established. Works include visitation of homes, the sick both at home and in hospital and street apostolate. They also mentioned 2 conversions. CHAD, which is under caretaker ship of Douala gave a comprehensive report through their national chaplain, Father Victor Sabour Toua. The Legion is present in all 8 Dioceses and except for the Diocese of Moungo, has a Comitium in each: The 7 Comitia have a total of 108 Curiae, 637 praesidia and 18,488 active members. Junior groups exist in the various Dioceses.
Senatus of Lomé reported many conversions and Baptisms. Two Muslims are taking instruction. Exploratio Dominicalis is widely undertaken and Patrician groups operate. Works include: street contact; public Rosaries; catechesis; home, hospital and prison visitation. Four abortions were prevented; also many returns to the Church took place. One elderly lady died directly after being baptised. Four junior Curiae gave reports. A new junior Curia was set up in Avenou. The juniors invite their peers to attend Mass, pray the Rosary, go to Confession and visit the Blessed Sacrament. They also do street contact with senior members. In Kara Regia two new Curiae were set up. Two PPC projects are planned, one to Togo and another to Ghana.
Dakar Comitium has 8 Curia with 20 affiliated praesidia. Work includes home, prison and hospital visitation as well as giving catechism classes. One praesidium is being set up in the Diocese of Saint-Louis. 12 Baptisms, 12 Confirmations and 1 person returning to the Sacraments were reported. Three new praesidia were set up.
The Comitium has 4 Curia and 6 praesidia directly affiliated. Works include home, hospital, Orphanage and prison visitation. The Senatus of Lomé believes that another visit to Conakry is essential.
Senatus of Abidjan: Six praesidia, three Curiae, six Comitia and one Regia gave their Annual Reports during this period. They have a combined membership of 9,948 of whom 3,465 are Praetorian and 4,696 auxiliaries of whom 1,409 are Adjutorians. They made a large number of visits to a variety of locations and contacted many thousands of people, mostly Catholic, but also people of other faiths and no religion. They visited hundreds of sick people in their homes and in hospitals. The fruit of this work included, many families reconciled, marriages’ regularised, returns to Holy Mass and reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Reconciliation. They recruited 16,971 Catechumens and have 894 legionaries teaching them the Catechism. Seven new praesidia and one new Curia were established. They have a caretaker role for the Legion in the Republic of Mali and a new Comitium was established there in a second Diocese. This brings the number of Comitia to four’.
Malabo Regia: The 3 praesidia which reported in this period have respectively 18 members and 5 probationers, 14 members and 4 probationers and 15 members and 6 probationers. Members of the praesidium with 18 members have started praying the family Rosary each evening with their own families. Two contacts were received into the Church and one joined the Legion.
The Comitium has 12 Curiae attached. In the Diocese of Bobo-Dioulasso, the Comitium there had ceased to meet but a member who transferred her job to Abidjan and joined the Legion there, appealed to the Senatus for help in restoring the Comitium in her native town. Sr. Odette Dié, a former Senatus President obliged, came and spent time with them and got her home Comitium back working again.
REPUBLIC OF BENIN
Regia of Cotonou: Republic of Benin, a country bordering on Nigeria but using French as its commercial language, has a Regia which governs the Legion in the capital of Cotonou and throughout the rest of the country; this Regia also care-takes the three Comitia of the Legion in the Republic of Gabon. As the reports from Gabon are beginning to falter, consideration may need to be given to a formal visitation from Benin. Gabon is 600 miles away across the Gulf of Guinea
REPUBLIC OF NIGER
Regia of Republic of Niger: The Regia has developed some special works for youth under the name of Frank Duff Clubs which are doing well.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Mexico City Senatus: The attached Regia of Puebla organised a PPC to Veracruz during Holy Week. They visited 375 homes and contacted almost 1,000 people. Talks were held for children and 166 attended. 60 young people attended another talk and 261 adults attended a third talk. Three praesidia were set up. Fifty nine legionaries attended a formation day where Power point presentations covered different topics e.g. official visitation of praesidia and councils and reports to Curia and higher councils. The attached Regia of Leon has 9 Comitia, 17 Curiae and 9 praesidia comprising 5,900 legionaries of which 381 are juniors, 466 Praetorians and 8,000 auxiliaries. Of the 547 parishes in the Regia area 147 have the Legion. A map showing the areas with and without the Legion was shown to the meeting when they presented their report to the Senatus. Various Legion works are carried out including street contact. There were 13 returns to the Sacraments, 194 children, 40 young people and 88 adults were baptised. There is one Curia and 16 praesidia in 11 parishes attached to the Comitium of Cuautitlan. 70 parishes are without the Legion.
Merida Senatus: Resulting from constant home visitation over 2,000 lapsed were met, some of whom had joined other religions and some agreed after a number of visits to return to the practice of the Catholic faith and two joined the Legion. The Rosary and prayers are recited at wakes usually at the request of the family of the deceased. Legionaries are actively recruiting with many new members.
Durango Regia: An attached Curia reported setting up 2 new praesidia. The attached Comitium of Mazatlán with 7 Curiae and 17 praesidia attached emphasises prayer, training and work which is reflected in marriages regularised and adults and children baptised. The Bishop of the neighbouring diocese Tepic Nayarit gave permission to start the Legion in his Diocese and before starting he conducted a Retreat for the extension workers.
Guadalajara Regia: Legionaries visit the sick in their homes and in hospital, sometimes in the company of a priest. They lead the Rosary and prayers at wakes. A young drug addict is encouraged to stay off drugs.
Monterrey Regia: Enthronement of homes to the Sacred Heart was carried out extensively by one Curia while another Curia is trying to extend in parishes currently without the Legion and a third Curia organises a dawn Rosary procession through the streets of the parish at 6 a.m. in the month of May with good attendance.
Hermosillo Regia: Minutes from the Regia indicate that there are no vacant officerships. The officers are very active and the council is working well after a period of setbacks and problems. The two Curiae: Tijuana and Mexicali, which were transferred from the Senatus of Los Angeles are working well and two correspondents have been appointed.
Regia of Tegucigalpa organised the 7th formation meeting with the theme “Do whatever He tells you”. Attendance, particularly of young people was good. Progress was made in regularising marriages, home visitation, and returns to the Sacraments.
Managua Regia: Two attached Comitia report two new praesidia and others in formation. Problems due to the delicate political situation resulted in a poor attendance at the Regia meetings. A praesidium prepares parents and God-parents for the Baptism of children.
Senatus of San Salvador: During a period of 4 months 4 Curiae, 2 senior and 2 junior praesidia reported. Among the works are celebration of the Word in communities and prisons and helping the dying in their homes.
Regia of Panama: Two Curiae and 7 praesidia reported during this period. Each year Mass is celebrated on 7th September with a good attendance of legionaries and friends. A committee has been set up to prepare for the Centenary. The plan for extension includes setting up the Legion in parishes where there is no Legion and in Colleges. Intense evangelisation was carried out in a semi-abandoned area during a number of days. The Causes of Frank Duff, Venerable Edel Quinn and Alfie Lambe are promoted.
Senatus of San Jose: 4 Comitia, 3 Curia and one praesidium reported during this period. 2 adult and 7 junior praesidia were set up. An attached Curia is concentrating on visiting the schools and Colleges attempting to set up junior praesidia and encouraging the young people to pray the Rosary.