Concilium Bulletin September 2020
Togo Senatus: September Senatus meeting was held but with all restrictions in place: only 2 officers from each Council and each praesidium were allowed to attend. No apostolic work is permitted at the moment, while some Parish priests have accepted for the meeting to resume. Work consists of helping to guide the parishioners in keeping to the rules of social distancing, etc. They hope to have the Acies ceremonies on the 11th October and pray that all will go well.
Word from the other Councils in this group is similar, assisting at Mass in the church or on-line and praying the Legion prayers together when possible.
Cameroun Douala Senatus: While the latest report shows that praesidia are having their meetings when permitted, some parishes don’t allow any meetings to take place. No apostolic work is taking place, but Legion prayers are said together wherever possible. No council meetings, but planning is ongoing for the centenary celebrations next year.
Malabo: No meetings allowed. WhatsApp groups set up to enable communication but not clear what they are communicating. They encourage each other and exchange views and pray with each other. They coordinated with the other groups in the Archdiocese re apostolate which they could carry out. The praesidia in remote areas can continue with their praesidia meetings and Legion work. They have not been affected by the virus.
Frankfurt Senatus: The Senatus is carefully observing all the necessary precautions in regard to conducting the meeting in a safe manner during the pandemic.
Curia Darmstadt has 6 praesidia with 27 full members and 3 probationers and 4 juniors and 500 auxiliaries. All praesidia have resumed weekly meetings and apostolic work since restrictions were lifted at the end of June. Extension is planned for 2 parishes in October and further extension is planned for Florstadt. Works include, organisation of Eucharistic Adoration, conducting Prayer Services in hospitals, visitation of homes of newly baptised babies and supporting faith formation groups.
Regia Munich was visited by the Senatus. The Korean Curia has 16 praesidia comprising 142 active and 218 auxiliary members and 6 praetorians. No meetings have taken place during the pandemic. Legion prayers are recited weekly on WhatsApp.
Regia Cologne: During lockdown members said Legion Prayers at a definite time each week. A prayer line was offered to people over the telephone and contact maintained with the lonely and housebound. During the virus period legionaries discovered a renewed openness and interest in the Legion apostolate, active and auxiliary.
Comitium Berlin: No meeting of the Comitium was held owing to the severe sickness of two officers.
Comitium Zurich has 10 praesidia with two praesidia in formation, totalling 50 full and 3 probationers 2300 auxiliaries, as well as a Curia with 4 praesidia. In May, June and July, Afternoon Prayer was organised, conducted by priests it consisted of Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession and Rosary. Centenary plans include a programme on the Legion on Radio Maria Switzerland.
Paris Senatus: Meetings were suspended from mid-March to mid-June. To mark the Centenary of the Legion the Senatus has requested praesidia provide details of remarkable people they have met in the Legion of Mary, the graces received through the intercession of Frank Duff and remarkable events such as conversions. The information will be collated in the form of a booklet to mark 100 years of the Legion
Vietnamese Curia has 7 praesidia consisting of 73 full and 5 probationary and 178 auxiliary members, 18 praetorians and 60 adjutorians. Works include home to home visitation, visiting and praying with the sick and elderly, distribution of the Eucharist and visiting families of different religions. A praesidium with three members forms part of a chaplaincy, its works include hospital visitation and caring for adults with disabilities. A non-practising Catholic, given a miraculous medal and leaflet decided to have his daughter baptised. He was very grateful for time and guidance offered by the legionary. Members of a praesidium of 12 have difficulty in performing their work due to the older age profile. They distribute Holy Communion at Mass and work with co-habiting couples whom they encourage towards the Sacrament of Marriage. Another praesidium has 5 full and 5 probationary members and 20 auxiliaries. The Senatus visited the praesidium to assist in finding a solution to ensure work is carried out in pairs. The Permanence in Lourdes was closed for accommodation but open to welcome pilgrims in the afternoon and at the week-ends.
Brussels Senatus: A praesidium in St. Roch, Brussels with 6 Active and 7 Auxiliary members, does home visitation and crowd contact. A non–Catholic lady they met became a Catholic and went on to convert other women from her former group. A lady they met three years ago had her marriage regularised and her children baptised.
Namur Curia has 4 praesidia with a total of 12 active and 71 auxiliary members. Though membership is low each praesidium is carrying out good apostolic work. A praesidium at the Marian Shrine at Beauraing makes wonderful contacts at the shrine.
Antwerp Regia: One praesidium resumed meetings but had to stop after 4 weeks as the virus situation had worsened. Phone contact, mainly with auxiliaries, is kept up.
Amsterdam Regia: Only one praesidium attempted to re-start but no further news.
London: Brentwood Regia: It is not yet possible to re-start meetings as many of the priests in the diocese are not able to open the churches and groups are not able to meet. The Regia is continuing to monitor the situation. The President is in contact with attached Curiae and Comitium and sends out a weekly spiritual reflection to them asking that it be shared with praesidia and the feedback is encouraging.
Central London Curia: Report covers months May to August. The Curia has been having meetings via Zoom etc. The correspondent sent on directions from Concilium Officers re such meetings and it seems that the September meeting is scheduled to take place in the Dominican Priory. A number of praesidia are keeping in touch with sick and housebound mainly by phone and doing messages when needed.
Liverpool: The last report came from the President in July with a report from a praesidium in the Isle of Man and Wrexham. The praesidium in the Isle of Man has not met since March. It has 6 members, with 29 auxiliaries and works are visiting care homes, the elderly and housebound. The praesidium reporting in Wrexham has 3 members and 4 auxiliaries and visits hospitals, and the housebound and does a variety of parish works.
Birmingham: There is no news from the Senatus because of the lockdown. The following is news pre-lockdown. The praesidium in Acocks Green gained 2 new members. Home visitation and school visits are the main works. Two returns to the Church were recorded. A new convert now attends the praesidium in Sheldon parish. As a result of statue visitation many families have had their homes blessed and consecrated to the Sacred Heart. As a result of visitation two people are now attending a Journey in Faith course.
West Birmingham Curia has 7 praesidia and their apostolate includes homes and hospital visitation, street contact, statue visitation and school rosaries
Scotland: No meetings are being held because of Covid restrictions.
Sweden: There were 4 members at the May meeting. A number of praesidia continue to meet and are doing some work and also help the priest.
A Regia, a Comitium and a Curia reported. Each council keeps a record of the number of its report, when the council was established and the territory it governs. It also provides a short description of the territory in which it works. All councils carry out excellent apostolic works bringing many back to the Faith.
A Comitium with 14 senior and 4 junior curiae has 1513 senior and 337 junior members, 482 Praetorian, 4024 Auxiliary and 496 Adjutorian members. 144 marriages were regularised, 16 were helped to avoid having an abortion. In early July 20% were holding meetings but by the end of July no meetings were permitted.
The former President, now correspondent, has promised to supply outstanding minutes. April 2020 is the last meeting held but some praesidia continue to meet.
The Spiritual Director gave words of encouragement and support. Legionaries contacted people absent from Mass, prayers were recited at wakes and funerals. In conjunction with a Religious sister the legionaries teach catechism to prisoners.
A praesidium of 8 teaches catechism at Sunday school, instruct pupils for the Sacraments. Pre-lockdown the sick were visited, statue and home visitation was carried out.
There has been no communication for over 2 years from the Comitium in the Karachi area. The Cardinal Archbishop has been written to asking it the Legion still exists there – reply awaited.
Chennai Regia: during lockdown the Rosary was recited by all at the time that coincided with their weekly meetings. Via a WhatsApp group members have had discussion on ‘Can We Be Saints’ and they are promoting the Cause of Frank Duff and to set up Frank Duff prayer meetings. A telecast Mass to mark the Legion’s 99th anniversary was arranged by the Spiritual Director and the Archbishop.
Mumbai Senatus: Pre-lockdown Enthronement of homes to the Sacred Heart, visitation of street children, lepers and the bereaved were undertaken. A school junior praesidium helps in the laundry, chapel and at a grotto. The legionaries paid great tribute to their Correspondent Sr. Aileen O’Donoghue whom they met in person when they visited Concilium in 2017. Their centenary year started from September 2020 to 2021. They are obtaining testimonies from 100 legionaries and are preparing a Facebook page to promote Legion membership.
Kottar Regia: last meeting held was in March 2020. The Kottar Cathedral Comitium reported 1566 active, 711 Auxiliary, 211 Praetorian and 122 Adjutorian members. Home and hospital visitation, counselling alcoholics, promotion of family Rosary, catechism and instruction was done. 5 new praesidia were set up in a camp for Sri Lankan refugees. Due to the high numbers who have contracted and died as a result of Covid-19 the lockdown does not permit any meetings taking place.
Kerala Senatus: 2 Comitia reported home and hospital visitation to people of all faiths is the main works. Instead of a Senatus meeting in December the Spiritual Director conducted a day of prayer at which 700 attended. The correspondent pointed out that the two meetings should have happened on different days. During lockdown the Senatus president is making contact with all attached councils.
Vishakhapatnam Regia: 22 praesidia started in the 3 months up to 31 January. 1,000 attended the Curia Reunion in December. A continuous Rosary was recited on 24th March to pray for the defeat of the Virus.
Karnataka Senatus: During the Pandemic they recited the Legion prayers daily. Prior to lockdown visitation of praesidia and curiae had taken place. The members were sad that they could not attend the funeral of their former Spiritual Director who died as a result of contracting the Virus.
By order of the Government and Church authorities no meetings are permitted since 17 March 2020. The members continue to say the Daily Catena and to coincide with their weekly meetings the fully Legion prayers are recited. Before the lockdown home and hospital visitation was carried out. The Rosary was recited at a grotto and a shrine of Our Lady was cared for. The members also assist in their local churches.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Comitia: Cork Comitium: Officers meet each month to monitor praesidia and other matters. They were to have a Comitium meeting scheduled for 9th September 2020, but it was cancelled on foot of the Governments latest ruling. A number of praesidia have recommenced weekly meetings. Works undertaken by praesidia include attending at nightly Rosary at Grottos and a Mass Rock, acting at stewards in the church at weekends and for First Holy Communion and Confirmation and one member drove a Eucharistic Minister to the home of a housebound person who had not received Holy Communion for three years. Weekly Zoom meetings are held with all the members of one praesidium and have visitors on-line from Dublin, Kerry and England. Fr Marius O’Reilly has also joined them on Zoom.
Queen of Peace Curia have held Zoom Meetings and held a face-to-face meeting in May. A praesidium in Turners Cross have had face-to-face meeting recently and members attend the Rosary in Daunt Square, City Centre on Saturdays.
Muire na nGrás Curia: A praesidium held a meeting on 7 September to mark the founding of the Legion in 1921. Members distribute Holy Communion to the housebound observing social distancing.
Coronata Curia: A praesidium is cleaning at a local cemetery.
Mid Clare: In East Clare Curia area legionaries have not returned back to holding meetings in their normal meeting room in keeping with their Parish request. Meetings are held in their homes reciting the Legion Prayers, Spiritual Reading and Fr Bede McGregor’s Allocution’s online. In Killaloe prior to lockdown Adoration was held daily at 3pm with the Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by three Rosaries attended by legionaries from Killaloe and Castleconnell as well as some local people some of whom were auxiliaries. On the introduction of lockdown the 3pm prayer hour moved to being held on the Skype platform including some using WhatsApp at which at one stage they had 12 people praying with legionaries from Castleconnell Toomgraney Shannon and Killaloe.
Thurles: The first Comitium meeting since lockdown took place on 26th August with 9 in attendance. Some praesidia have not received permission to return to their meetings. At present statues of Our Lady are being given to people known to the legionaries and Templetuohy statue is in the Nursing Home. A discussion was held on the “Divine Mercy Devotion”. The Bishop will be approached to celebrate a Mass for the Centenary of the Legion of Mary 2021. They discussed the holding of an Acies Ceremony in Thurles on 7 October in the Cathedral at 7pm. The Annual Retreat was held in Roscrea on 8 March, given by Fr. Michael Kennedy. It was a lovely spiritual day.
Curiae: Birr and Roscrea: About six or seven of the Praesidia are meeting. They recite the Rosary in the churches.
Limerick: February minutes were presented at the Curia meeting on 6 August. There were three Curia officers and four praesidia officers present. There was a discussion on giving Miraculous Medals to schools. It was reported that one praesidium every year give a Miraculous Medal, a Rosary and a Rosary leaflet to Confirmation classes in three schools. A report was given on the Students Transition Year Show 2020 held in Thomond Park Limerick on 23rd. January in which the Legion were invited to participate. It was attended by most of the Transition Year students in Limerick and surrounding areas. The Legion table with a statue of Our Lady was popular with students. 300 Medals with leaflets were distributed to students and others manning the exhibit stations. Many contacts were made promoting the faith, Our Lady and the Legion.
Lismore: Neither of the praesidia or the Curia has returned to regular meetings as of yet but are keeping up their Rosary at home. The Secretary keeps in touch with the Curia Officers and the President in the local Praesidia.
Waterford: The Curia has arranged a blessing of Breffni Close Housing Estate on 24th September. Glenmore legionaries recite the Rosary at weekend Masses.
DUBLIN NORTHSIDE CURIAE
A praesidium of five active and three auxiliary members gave their annual report. They undertake street apostolate in the city centre where they offer the gift of a Miraculous Medal to passers-by, explaining its meaning and significance. They encourage many who are lapsed to return to practising their faith and listen to many homeless people who share their problems with them. A young Irish man, who had converted to Islam, accepted the gift of the Miraculous Medal and listened to the legionaries speak to him about the Catholic Church. Book barrow apostolate provides a good focal point to engage in conversation with people about the Catholic faith. A quarterly meeting for the promotion of the Cause of the Servant of God Frank Duff includes prayer, reading, hymns and discussion. A young Filipino woman, who was very ill in hospital with no family in the country, was visited by legionaries who prayed with her in the weeks leading up to her death.
A small group of legionaries and parishioners pray the Rosary in the Legion house after daily Mass as the church is closed for cleaning. Currently, four out of ten praesidia are meeting weekly. Works carried out at present include the computerisation of Frank Duff’s books, work in the Regina Coeli hostel and letterbox delivery of the Maria Legionis journal.
A praesidium of 10 active and 50 auxiliaries reported. Works include Fatima statue visitation, running a parish shop, home to home visitation and outreach to members of the Travelling community. After initially declining the invitation to receive the Pilgrim Virgin statue into her home, one lady later changed her mind and invited legionaries into her home and told them of her delight to have Our Lady’s statue before flying to the US to bring an ill child for treatment. Rosary beads and Miraculous Medals are offered to the children before First Holy Communion and Confirmation each year. After a promotion by the parish priest, 200 statues of St Joseph were sold at the parish shop. One praesidium distributed prayer leaflets for the Cause of Venerable Edel Quinn after all weekend Masses and promoted the prayer on home visitation. Another praesidium has included the prayer for the canonisation of Frank Duff after the Rosary prayer in the church after daily Mass. All praesidia in the curia have resumed weekly meetings.
Porta Coeli Curia
A newly-established praesidium currently has one full member and a spiritual director and is supported by legionaries from the curia at the weekly meeting. Home visitation led to meeting three housebound residents who wished to have a First Friday visit from the parish priest, which was subsequently arranged. Many people met on home visitation were happy to receive the gift of the Miraculous Medal.
The three hostel praesidia have continued to operate during the current crisis and legionaries give thanks to God and Our Lady that the hostels remain free of the virus. A praesidium is holding meetings in Blanchardstown. The praesidium in Cabra West gathers at the grotto in the church grounds once a week to recite the Rosary with an average of 12 people in attendance.
Praesidia are trying to regroup at present. The All-Night Vigil in the Morning Star hostel takes place monthly in honour and reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The vigil on 4th September 2020 was its first anniversary and each month even through the COVID 19 pandemic the numbers attending have grown. Each Vigil commences with Holy Mass at 9 pm on the Friday night and closes with Holy Mass at 9 am on the Saturday morning. Last month 15 participants completed the Vigil in its entirety.
CENTRAL AMERICA AND MEXICO
There are 2 Senatus and 5 Regiae directly affiliated to Concilium. All Mexico is in lockdown but most of the councils hold virtual meetings which are very successful. They usually recite the Rosary and Legion prayers, spiritual Reading and Allocutio and a short report from each attached council sharing experiences of efforts at carrying out apostolates. Most of the councils celebrated a Mass or a tridium of Masses to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Legion. They also have plans to continue with activities in preparation for the Centenary.
Mexico City Senatus: The Senatus met on line for the first time on 30th August. Meetings are not allowed except in Tulancingo where they were able to hold the Comitium meeting. Every Thursday the Senatus Officers and the Spiritual Director come together to study the Cardinal points of the Legion Apostolate.
Merida Senatus: There has been no report even though the correspondent made contact.
Guadalajara Regia: Due to the age of the praesidia officers it is not possible to hold virtual meetings but they keep in contact with each other, auxiliaries and special cases by telephone.
Monterrey Regia: The correspondent was invited to participate in the virtual Regia meeting. The Spiritual Director of the Regia encouraged legionaries to unite with the parish priests, offer to help where possible and participate in parish activities.
Durango Regia: In Durango the situation is similar; they also mentioned that they receive the Concilium Bulletin every month for which they are very grateful.
Monterrey Regia: As well as the Regia Zoom meeting they also visited the attached council meetings by Zoom.
Hermosillo Regia: The two attached Curiae of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez transmit the Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy by video link and Facebook every day. A few legionaries died due to the virus, including a loyal member who was president of a Curia and correspondent.
El Salvador Senatus: As well as the usual Covid problems in El Salvador they have had very bad weather, storms, homes swept away, many deaths including legionaries and some legionaries left the Legion. Some legionaries from a praesidium visited homes to recite the rosary where a member of the family died.
Costa Rica Senatus: They celebrated the 99th anniversary with a vigil and Mass by social network. They also receive the monthly bulletin. There is no mention of any further activity.
Honduras Regia: A very successful retreat by Zoom was held recently. Every Tuesday they hold the Legion weekly meetings. They also started the Novena to Our Lady by Zoom. However, there is no mention of council meetings.
Panama Regia: The Regia meetings was suspended in March, a virtual meeting was held in April but not clear if they continued with this arrangement. They suspended their extension plans and are dedicating time to make the True Devotion to Our Lady known. A praesidium of 5 members is working towards setting up a junior praesidium. An attached Comitium does virtual visits via zoom to families with children encouraging prayer and they also promote devotion to Frank Duff. They celebrated the 99 anniversary with a Mass via zoom. However, there is no indication that they are in contact with any of the attached councils.
Managua Regia Nicaragua: There are 3 comitia, 4 curiae including one junior Curia affiliated to the Regia of Managua. During the past few months due to Covid 19 the Regia kept in touch with the councils via Zoom and the councils in turn kept in contact virtually also where possible. All councils celebrated the Acies ceremony virtually and subsequently put it up on their Facebook page via video. Some praesidia helped in their parishes with all the changes arising from the restrictions. In the case of two praesidia in formation, it was not possible to continue giving them the support they needed. The attached councils have now been notified that the Regia meeting will resume from September and the attached councils will all be visited before December.