Concilium Bulletin September 2021
Comitium minutes for July and August. 10 attended in July and 16 in August. 3 praesidia and 1 Curia reported but no details were provided. Extension efforts are made. The Curia meetings resumed in April 2021 and one member from each praesidium could attend. A small-scale Acies was held in March. During May a praesidium conducted an online Rosary with many joining in from near and far.
The Senatus held 5 meetings during 2020 and just 1 during 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions especially in Colombo the capital which was badly hit with infections. Plans for the Centenary have been put on hold. However on the 8th of September a special Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in the Verbum Catholic TV Studio. The Legion prayers, discussion on the Legion and Mass were televised. Social media has been used by members to keep in touch either daily or weekly. All members were asked to say the prayers daily and to read the Handbook. The junior Curia also keeps in touch with its members through Zoom. Daily Rosary is at 6 p.m., 54 day Rosary were organised in November, The Way of the Cross was conducted during Lent and inspirational quotations were posted on YouTube.
The Legion’s Centenary was marked by each council arranging an online Eucharistic celebration. The aim was thanksgiving and to pray for departed legionaries. Some events were live streamed. A few could not hold events even online due to the civil war. 100 participated on Zoom for the Senatus celebration with the Senatus and 4 Comitia hosting daily from 10 to 11.30 a.m. They said it was a joy for members to see each other.
Kottar Regia: Minutes for January and February 2021. Meetings were held up to April when restrictions were in place due to the pandemic.
Kerala Senatus: 25 attended the Acies ceremony on the 12th of April after which the State went into lockdown. The Spiritual Director prepared a course on Marian Spirituality which was conducted online.
Mumbai Senatus: No Senatus meetings have yet been held. Some praesidia and councils hold Zoom meetings. Phone contact is made with Auxiliary members and parishioners. Cardinal Oswald celebrated Mass online on the 7th of September for the Centenary. A separate Mass was arranged in Delhi for the 3 Curiae in that Archdiocese.
Visakhapatnam Regia: A letter was received in August 2021. No face to face meetings have been held since March 2020. Zoom meetings were held to keep communication open. One diocese celebrated a Centenary Mass on the 12th of March.
There are now 6 praesidia (4 senior and 2 junior) which were formed into a Curia in Mary 2021 with Fr. Bernardo as Spiritual Director. They held their meetings throughout the pandemic and from photos supplied there is a spirit of joy and zeal evident. Fr. Bernardo de Nardo was 1 of 50 people permitted to attend the Opening Mass in Francis Street parish, Dublin on 3 September 2021.
Brussels Senatus: For 12 weeks, the Senatus conducted a study of the Handbook, up to and including Ch.12 in the course of which each legionary was encouraged to deepen knowledge of the legion system. On the 26th of June a Senatus meeting was held, the first since October 20th. Meetings were held in August and September also. On the 7th of September a Centenary Mass, presided over by Msgr. Jean Kockerois, and 4 concelebrants was celebrated in Brussels Basilica. Approximately 80 legionaries attended. The Belgian Catholic newspaper ‘Dimanche’ published a centre page feature article on the Legion in its 15th August edition. At the August meeting 2 praesidia of Curia Welkenraedt reported. Crowd contact, mainly to young people, took place during the summer months. Transport to Mass was provided for two persons with disabilities. Antwerp Regia: Some praesidia have resumed meetings in Antwerp and Peperinge and some Centenary celebrations took place at local level.
Paris Senatus: meetings resumed in March. During lockdown a lot of praesidia members prayed the Legion prayers over the phone. Various praesidia report that following lockdown numbers attending weekly meetings are greatly reduced. In October 2020 the President, Secretary and Treasurer were elected for 2nd terms. There followed a discussion pertaining to the organisation of the Senatus. Some members believe that another Curia needs to be created in Paris as the number of praesidia affiliated to the Senatus is too many. The President and Secretary visited Monsignor Marsset, Auxiliary Bishop to highlight the work of the Legion in Paris and also to bring to his attention the fact that the Senatus is searching for a Spiritual Director. On November 20th Sr.Miriam Teixeira, Asst. Treasurer of the Senatus passed away. She was very active in the apostolate and took charge of the Permanence in Lourdes schedule.
Amsterdam Regia: Centenary celebrations took place on Saturday the 10th of September in Amsterdam with Bishop Jan Hendrickken and Fr. Peter Klos, Spiritual Director celebrating Mass, which included the Acies. Very few praesidia are meeting but some members are following legion meetings and events on Mary’s Channel of Grace.
Frankfurt Senatus: Council meetings have resumed since July and about 50% of praesidia are meeting. Br. Duff’s Anniversary Mass will be celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio on the 7th of November in Frankfurt Cathedral. In preparation for the Centenary a study of the life and spirituality of Br. Duff is being prepared by the Senatus Officers for use at Senatus meetings. A new praesidium has been established in Oberhausen.
Munich: The auxiliary Bishop of Munich celebrated the Centenary Mass on 6th September. Legionaries have persevered with street apostolate, public Rosaries, prayer vigils and statue visitation and telephone calls to the sick and housebound. A praesidium in Erfurt maintained contact by letter with auxiliaries and nursing home residents during the pandemic. On the 12th of September the Bishop of Mainz accompanied legionaries on a Pilgrimage to Maria Einsiedl. Extension work amongst the Polish community is planned by Stuttgart Comitium. Austrian and German legionaries took part in a P.P.C. project in Munich during which 325 contacts were made on a street project and many miraculous medals were distributed. Six legionaries participated in a project in Magdeburg for which the Priest wrote to express thanks. The 33 day Marian Consecration culminated on 7th of June with 20 Masses offered, inclusive of the Consecration throughout Germany for legionaries, active and auxiliary. 100 people made the Consecration at 5 of the Masses arranged by Darmstandt Curia, 4 Masses were arranged by Frieburg Comitium. The 30th Anniversary of the death of Hilda Firtel will take place in December and to mark it a graveside commemoration will take place with the possibility of attending Mass afterwards in St. Gallus.
Councils under the Caretakership of Frankfurt
The Acies and 33 Day Marian consecration were celebrated on 26th of June in Osornoje. The Curia is being supported by the Senatus via Zoom and the Officers of Kazakhstan and Siberia Curiae are invited to attend the November Senatus meeting and Frank Duff Mass
The Bergen Curia has 3 praesidia, comprising 20 active and 74 auxiliaries. Works include visitation to the sick, housebound and the bereaved and 41 online prayer meetings were organised.
Birmingham Senatus: The Senatus resumed meeting in August with a very small attendance. The main item was the Centenary Mass at St. Chads to be celebrated by Fr. John Peyton as well as local celebrations. During lockdown Senatus officers’ meeting was held via zoom and similar meetings with officers of attached Councils – these had good participation. In June legionaries in one praesidium delivered Sacred Heart Enthronement leaflets to 8 homes and another praesidium prayed the Rosary (via MS Teams) with different Year Groups at St. Edwards primary school, Selly Park.
Northampton Comitium: Bishop David Oakley, who is a former active member, preached a very moving homily at the centenary Mass. The Legion was his path to priesthood and he sees it as a perfect way of living out one’s Baptism.
Liverpool Senatus: The Senatus meeting resumed on 12th of September. Very few praesidia have resumed their meeting. Visitation to the sick and housebound is allowed subject to rules and regulations. The president and his wife have held their meeting weekly and have done regular street contact and as well as book barrow work in Manchester which they have found to be very fruitful. Attached Councils and praesidia currently not meeting are being encouraged to do so. Isle of Man members are meeting and plan to hold events using DVDs to promote the legion.
Brentwood Regia: Meeting resumed on 26th of August. The Officerships of President, Vice President and Treasurer’s, first term had expired and all three were re-elected. A praesidium visited people recommended by the P.P.C. team and one parishioner is under guidance of the priest for RCIA.
East Brentwood Curia has 10 senior praesidia, one University praesidium and 1 junior praesidium. Works include door to door visitation, visits to sick and housebound, distribution of Catholic literature and visitation of nursing homes and sheltered accommodation. A non-Catholic who attends Mass has commenced instruction in the Faith. A family of 4 children were baptised and received 1st Holy Communion. Juniors distribute miraculous medals and rosaries to family and friends.
Central London Curia: Actual meetings resumed in June and minutes to August received. Four praesidia featured. Some of the work done mainly by phone, included, checking on sick and needy and bereaved. The Curia held an evangelisation project in Hampstead Park which they found very encouraging. Many contacts were made with the miraculous medal and different leaflets distributed. An enclosed retreat was held and the Centenary Mass being celebrated by Bishop McAleenan was organised for 4th of September.
Swansea Curia: The apostolate to homosexuals is continuing.
Senatus of Scotland: Senatus meeting was to resume its meeting on 12th of September. Each Council will be asked to give a short report on how many legionaries have returned to their meeting and any difficulties that have arisen.
The Curia continued to meet and celebrated the Centenary with Holy Mass celebrated by Cardinal Anders Arbolillis on the 15th of September. The Curia plans a five Day programme on 5 consecutive Wednesdays in September in Sodertalje church with Mass, prayers talks etc. in Arabic, English and Swedish. Br and Sr. Kirstein plan to visit Sweden from 13th to the 23rd of September to be present at Centenary celebrations and to visit praesidia in Stockholm.
The praesidium has resumed its meeting which takes place each Sunday at 3 pm. The sick and needy are visited and the praesidium has been given the responsibility of disinfecting the church after Sunday Mass.
The praesidium in Tonsberg which has 6 active and 25 auxiliary members is not permitted to hold its meeting yet. Contact is kept with auxiliaries by phone and house calls where the Rosary is prayed. Mass to celebrate the Centenary was planned for 7th of September. Drammen praesidium meetings have resumed since August. There are 8 members and 1 probationer. A virtual Rosary and faith life-sharing with parishioners and participants from other countries takes place. Mass to celebrate the Legion Centenary was to take place on 7th of September.
IRISH PROVINCIAL REPORT
Cork: The Comitium organised a Centenary Mass for Tuesday 7th of September, 2021. Bishop Fintan Gavin was the celebrant. The proceedings opened with the Rosary and Legion prayers followed by Mass at 7.30pm. The event was live streamed on the Cathedral website and was also recorded.
Thurles: The Comitium held its first meeting since September 2020 on 25th of August with an attendance of 13. When meetings were not taking place Fr. Michael Kennedy Zoomed every Monday with the Legion prayers and Rosary. Templetuohy praesidium has 5 members. They had the Rosary for May at a shrine in the village, organized Divine Mercy Novena on line and prayed the Stations of the Cross for Lent. Many members joined on Zoom with Fr. Colm Mannion, O.P. for the 33 Day Consecration.
Birr/Roscrea: They are starting to go back to physical meetings. Some members have participated in Mary’s Channel of Grace.
Limerick: The Curia meets each month on line. The limited agenda consists of the Legion prayers, Spiritual Reading and the Spiritual Director gives an Allocutio. A Mass to celebrate the Centenary is due to take place on 16th of October.
Ross: Of the 8 praesidia in the Curia 5 are still not meeting. Skibbereen praesidium resumed its meetings on 9th of August. There are 9 members attending. Because of restrictions they are unable to undertake home visitation. The main work now is church sanitizing and stewarding. The elderly who were being visited are telephoned and transport is provided for some elderly to attend Sunday Mass. The newsletter is still prepared and sent out. Mass on Sunday 5th of September celebrated the Centenary of the Legion. All former legionaries were written to informing them of this. Photographs and various items relating to the praesidium in the parish were on display and also some Legion literature and prayer cards for the three Legion candidates for canonisation. The praesidium is hopeful that one or two new members may result from contacts made. The praesidium in Clonakilty was due to resume its meeting shortly. Dararra praesidium holds its meeting via Zoom. Members recited the Rosary at the local grotto.
Lismore: The Curia organised a Centenary Mass in Mount Melleray Abbey Church on the 5th of September 2021 to celebrate the founding of the Legion of Mary by Frank Duff in September 1921. Legionaries from Dungarvan and Lismore attended. After the Mass, they visited the memorial plaque to Frank Duff in the Abbey grounds and recited one decade of the Rosary at Our Lady’s Statue, also in the Abbey grounds. The Curia hopes to commence Curia meetings at the end of September.
Dublin Southside Curiae
Annunciata Curia: At the August Curia meeting, a praesidium of six active and fifteen auxiliary members gave their annual report. They undertake home visitation and offer a parish information leaflet with times of Masses which is very popular with residents. Members engage in apostolate to the Muslim community through home visitation and street contact. They distribute the Message on Interreligious Dialogue from the Vatican which is generally accepted with interest. The legionaries feel that “heart speaking to heart” is the best approach rather than formal dialogue and were made very welcome on three visits to a Muslim family during the year. The Miraculous Medal was accepted by a father from Pakistan, three Malaysian students and a young man from Saudi Arabia. Residents of a nursing home were visited six times by legionaries, including a Christmas sing-along of carols and “Golden Oldies” which was enjoyed by residents, staff and legionaries alike.
Gloriosa Curia: Instead of an annual praesidium report at the August Curia meeting, a short report was taken on current activities by praesidia. Two members of one praesidium have begun to meet in Mt. Olivet house. They recited a public rosary in a prominent place once a week when possible. Our Lady Mother of the Church, Palmerstown pray a public rosary once a week at which up to nine people attend. Our Lady of the Valley, Bluebell was able to meet online during the restrictions. They have recruited three new members of whom all have taken the Legion Promise. Regular visits are undertaken to the travelling community in Labre Park. The praesidium has also been handing out spare journals and other literature with a covering letter to residents. Our Lady of Mount Carmel praesidium have begun to meet via Skype. Works included cleaning and stewarding duties in the church and distribution of journals. A public Rosary is recited after every daily Mass in the courtyard of the church. Members put together a pack to distribute when the opportunity arose. It includes prayer cards, Rosary beads and a miraculous medal.
Mater Ecclesiae Curia: Members continue to meet online. Public Rosaries take place weekly. Personal contacts also are on-going with Trust cards and Frank Duff leaflets offered as well as Miraculous Medals. Recruitment efforts are reported on regularly and many members are making efforts to contact about seven people per week with an invitation to consider Legion membership.
Our Lady of Fatima Curia: As parish centres and rooms are not yet opened to the public, praesidium and Curia meetings have yet to resume. Garda Vetting for all the members is currently being updated. Sadly, some active members have had to cease active membership for health and/or family reasons. For the Legion Centenary, members of one praesidium erected the Legion altar beside Our Lady’s altar in the parish church. It was on display for two days. A framed picture of Frank Duff was placed on Our Lady’s altar. Prayer and explanatory leaflets with a contact number for the local praesidium were placed nearby. At Mass on Tuesday 7th of September, the parish priest gave a short but inspiring few words on the Legion and appealed for new members, resulting in some inquiries about the Legion from parishioners.
Ancilla Domini Curia: At the August Curia meeting, a praesidium of four members gave their report, covering a two-year period. The main work undertaken is weekly street contact in the Temple Bar area. Many contacts are made each week, with some people very moved by legionaries praying with them. The Miraculous Medal and prayer leaflet, Rosary and Frank Duff prayer leaflet are offered. Recruiting takes places by two legionaries before the weekly praesidium meeting.
Abidjan Senatus: The Centenary celebrations began in March 2021 during the Acies and celebrations were started in the parishes and dioceses of the country. They had several activities within the framework of the Centenary; (a) the National Gathering of Legionary Youth at the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Prix in Yamoussoukro in May 2021;( b) they organized a pilgrimage to Aboisso in the diocese of Grand Bassam where the first praesidium in Ivory Coast was created;(c) a discussion and reflection meeting on the Legion in Ivory Coast from July 30th to August 1st, 2021;( d) there will be a Legionary Week in all the parishes of Ivory Coast to make the Legion and its pioneers known to all the Catholic faithful from Sunday, September 5th to Sunday September 12th, 2021; (e) on Saturday September 11th to Sunday September 12th they are organizing a great Marian vigil at the Basilica of Notre Dame de Yamoussoukro with Solemn Mass on Sunday September 12th at 7 a.m. celebrated by Monsignor Boniface Ziri, president of the Episcopal Commission in charge of the laity and by Bishop Raymond Ahoua, of Grand Bassam diocese.
Douala Senatus: May minutes received. As was originally planned, the opening ceremonies of the beginning of the centenary year were widely organised.
In Douala, a preliminary session was held with the diocesan chaplains on the 9th and 10th February last, which included a Mass for the national beginning of the Centenary year. The 12 week study of the handbook was promoted by all councils in the Cameroun. In Yaoundé Regia, the opening Mass was concelebrated with many priests and hundreds of legionaries present. Bertoua Regia held their opening ceremony on the 5th of March. Many councils have now fully restarted. In one parish in the Regia of Yaoundé they found 4 working praesidia by Rwandese legionaries and they have now been integrated and a new Curia will be formed. Also 3 new junior praesidia were established. In the Diocese of Bafoussam a Mass was organised in the central prison of Mbouda. The same council reports 112 converts and a praesidium of 38 juniors. Nkongsamba will try to organise several Exploratio Dominicalis projects. Bafia also set up a new junior praesidium. Bertoua mentions a new Curia in Bindima. Overall the works mentioned are home, hospital and visitation of the elderly, prisons, orphanages and the destitute. Many conversions are noted in most councils and the Acies was widely held.
Lomé Senatus: A PPC project to Bassar in Togo was planned from August 13th -24th. Amoutive Curia, Mother of the Redemptorist has a praesidium in a police barracks. Works reported on include home and hospital visitation, crowd contact, the book-barrow and the running of catechism classes. A number of abortions were prevented and one girl was assisted until the baby was born. Some conversions were also mentioned. In Kisito an Exploratio Dominicalis was held and a new junior praesidium is projected to start. In Vogan 1 adult praesidium split and 4 new praesidia are in the making. In Agoe-Nyive they are hoping to set up a new Curia and they mention the baptism of a 67 year old. In Tsevie 2 new praesidia are hoped to get started as well as a new praesidium in the French zone of Boloumoji and in Kpalime a new Curia is being set up. They also mention 25 baptisms. An English speaking Curia is planned for the Lomé Cathedral area.
Conakry: Comitium Our Lady of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners has 6 attached praesidia and 4 Curiae with 1016 active and 305 auxiliary members. Works are home and hospital visitation and the running of catechism classes. Two new praesidia have been created.
MEXICO and CENTRAL AMERICA
Senatus: The Senatus meetings are still conducted virtually and have been for some time. At the May meeting the Regia of Leon, which administers the Legion in two Archdioceses and eight dioceses, reported. Since the month of May they have been meeting physically but with a low attendance. An attached Comitium reported 3 new praesidia and another Comitium reported 1 new junior and two new senior praesidia. 104 new members were recruited. 768 people went to confession, one after 20 years and another after 40 years, 34 committed to not take alcohol, 8 attend drug rehabilitation centres, 68 Enthronement of homes to the Sacred Heart, 11 returns to the faith and 5 marriages regularised.
Merida Senatus: The Senatus has been meeting virtually. A Comitium and a praesidium reported. Most of the praesidia are helping with duties in the different parishes. The Comitium recruited 98 members. The praesidium is doing concrete work e.g. contact with families, the sick in their home, and Consecration of homes to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Two young men made their First Confession.
Guadalajara Regia: Since the month of April the Regia is meeting again although with reduced attendance. A virtual Congress was held with good attendance and interesting topics. Most of the praesidia and councils have returned to face to face meetings and the usual Legion works. They are visiting the families of the deceased, promoting devotion to Our Lady and reciting the rosary in parishes, bringing the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and generally helping to re-establish parish groups and parish activity. They have started to visit the Rehabilitation Centre. There are two praesidia in formation.
Monterrey Regia: Most praesidia and councils including the Regia have returned to functioning normally with improved attendance. Efforts were made to celebrate the Centenary with the restrictions including the organisation of a Triduum. They also visited the families of the deceased. During Lent the legionaries brought the Blessed Ashes to the sick, The Stations of the Cross were celebrated as they processed by 14 different homes. Dawn Rosaries were organised each First Saturday of the month.
Hermosillo Regia: Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the Regia plans to celebrate the Centenary. Among other initiatives a study of the book Baptism of Fire has been undertaken by many legionaries. Between virtual meetings and face to face meetings the Regia has progressed positively. Elections for president and secretary are due and they plan to hold them as soon as they can hold a meeting with good attendance.
Durango Regia: The Regia is unable to meet yet but they hope to be able to celebrate the Centenary. However, the residents in the Penitential Centre together with the members of the two praesidia who carry out the apostolate in the Centre have had a very good spiritual retreat as part of the Centenary celebrations. The legionaries help the different organisations in the diocese; they expect a good response to their invitations to the different Centenary celebrations. They expect this will make the Legion of Mary better known throughout the diocese.
Tegucigalpa Senatus: The Senatus is still limited by the Covid but the celebrations for the Centenary have been encouraging especially in the distant attached Comitia. A 25 page booklet with a complete history of the Legion of Mary since its initiation in 1956 to date has been produced and printed for every legionary in the Senatus area. Since 2015 they have organised eight National Legionary Meetings. These meetings are very encouraging because communication is difficult, the personal contact and exchange of views is very valuable. On 7th of September they celebrated a solemn Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Suyapa presided over by Cardinal Oscar A Rodriguez Maradiaga who encouraged the legionaries to continue working with young people. They decided to hold the Senatus meeting in person in September.
Regia of Managua: The Regia continues to hold monthly meetings with a smaller attendance. Every Saturday a Legion programme is broadcast from Radio Maria. Reports indicate that legionaries have been participating in the various parish activities e.g. sanitizing and cleaning of churches etc. All councils organised a Mass on or near the 7th of September as well as a Dawn Rosary on the 4th of September. An attached praesidium maintains contact with some parishioners via the telephone and the recitation of the Rosary via Facebook.
Panama Regia: The Regia had been meeting via WhatsApp but returned to face to face meetings in August with a low attendance. The president of the Regia encouraged all praesidia to direct a special invitation to the young persons. Due to problems in the Cathedral at the last minute, the different councils celebrated the Centenary in their local parishes. In October the Centenary Mass for the Senatus area will be celebrated, presided over by the Archbishop. During this time the correspondents and councils have maintained contact.
Senatus of San Salvador: The council is composed of 2 Regia, 4 Comitia, 5 Curiae, 15 adult praesidia and one junior praesidium. Even though the virus is still active they continue to meet in person, with about 45% attendance at the Senatus meetings. A sister who prayed for the conversion of her family was heard. She is preparing her daughter and another young girl for baptism. A praesidium reported that of its 9 members, 7 are praetorians.
Senatus: The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica nominated Rev. P. Mario Eduardo Zuñiga Solano to attend to the Senatus. The Senatus resumed its meetings in July and continues with a reduced attendance. The Centenary celebrations took place.