San Francisco Senatus of the Legion of Mary
Council Reports given at the December, 2009, San Francisco Senatus (Archived News Notes and Web Site)

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1)  Oakland Comitium:  There are good extension efforts, and a new junior praesidium is being formed.  Br. Perlas visited the Comitium, which was very well run.  One key to their success is that the Spiritual Director of the Comitium is  available, so that members can consult him.  The Comitium Day of recollection was led by a priest from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the same congregation as for the Comitium spiritual director.  One problem was a Praesidium that had to close. (report by Br. Perlas, Correspondent)

2) North San Mateo Curia: (report by Sr. Perlas, Curia president) They have a total of 23 attached praesidia, including 3 junior praesidia, one men’s praesidium and one family praesidium.  They have a total of 222 active members and 1,875 auxiliary members.  Attendance at council meetings is 75%.  They have received a favorable reply from the pastor at St. Dunstan’s to a request to extend the Legion of Mary to that parish.  Works of evangelization include, door to door visitation, apostolate to the crowd, book barrow, homebound ministry, prison ministry, pilgrim virgin and enthronement of the Sacred Heart.  They also do pro-life work including side-walk counseling.  Several members participated in the Peregrinatio Pro Christo.  They have asked each praesidium to keep a log of each member’s weekly recruitment attempts.
There followed an extensive report on the Curia Family Praesidia, which is lengthy and important enough to be added as a supplement, pages 4 & 5, at the end of this Senatus News Notes.

3) Mission Excelsior Curia:  The curia has a total of 95 active members.  Fr. Bonjean, Salesian father, their spiritual director has been transferred to another area.  Fr. Edward Liptak, another Salesian from Corpus Christi parish, has volunteered to be the spiritual director of the curia.  He spent 30 years in Kenya in a minor seminary, and saw a great increase in the number of Catholics.  Fr. Liptak gave a retreat at St. Peter and Paul Church for Advent.  Br. McCormick is very happy that he is the spiritual director.  The curia vice-president had a heart attack but now in good health and back on the job.  Extension efforts continue among Spanish speaking at Corpus Christi and also at Mission Dolores.  A Columban drive was held there.  Each praesidium is choosing the location of book barrows and apostolates to the crowd.  They have good chairmen for committees and they have appointed nine new praesidium officers.  A board meeting for the curia officers is held each month.  Almost all praesidia have been visited.  Fr. Liptak is encouraging members to undertake the study of apologetics.  Fr. Francis Filice spoke at the curia meeting to encourage members on prison ministry.  Br McCormick added that door to door visits on the Senatus PPC went so very well, not always the case in our city. (report by Br. McCormick, Curia President)

4) Idaho Comitium: Two annual reports were given in the last quarter.  A new Legion of Mary website has been launched by Our Lady of the Smile praesidium.  An effort to form a junior praesidium is being made.  Our Lady of Hope praesidium prepared 24 children for baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation.  They bring Holy Communion to two medical centers and make referrals to the priest for confession and Sacrament of the Sick.  They visited youth of the state juvenile correction facility. (Report by Sr. Peterson, Correspondent)

Supplement to the December 2009 News Notes:

Report and Floor Discussion of the Family Praesidium, Mary Mother of the Holy Eucharist and Family

Concilium is very interested in the (proposed) formation of Family Praesidia, so the activities of a first Family Praesidium,  is an important Curia report. At present, the Legion Handbook does not include a Family Praesidia, but the fact that the Concilium Bulletin discusses the Family Praesidium in the May, 2009 edition, indicates the importance of this issue.
Br. Perlas provides some background, on why the Family Praesidium is needed:  Membership in Legion Junior Praesidia is declining, because of new police restrictions - fingerprinting and ID checks, which are discouraging to sponsoring Adult Legionaries, and because of insurance and transportation problems.  Therefore, the practical nature of the Family Praesidium, which eliminates the need for police provisions, is evident. The Family Praesidium can help to extend the Legion to youth and to their parents, thus filling the gap left by declining Junior Praesidium membership.

What follows below is the Family Praesidium Report, and a Question and Answer Session from the Senatus Floor.

First, The Praesidium Report:

The Praesidium is now in its fifth year.  They meet each Friday evening and have 14 active members, nine parent (senior members) and 5 children (junior members).  They divide their works into works done by senior members only, works done by junior members only, and family apostolic works done by senior and junior members together.  Four senior members did door to door visitation, along with three junior members.  Two senior members teach CCD, Three senior members are Coordinators for the parish daily 12 hour Eucharistic Adoration .  Four senior members organized summer activities for the youth of the parish.  The junior members are assigned to report the Sunday gospel and homily, and they are also assigned study topics, and Spirit of Nazareth work. They recruit friends and classmates to the Legion of Mary and also remind them of Sunday Mass.  Three junior members serve Mass.  The parents monitor the spiritual formation of their children. Family apostolic works include recruiting 12 families to host the Pilgrim Virgin, promoting family Eucharistic hours, organizing the parish family choir, and distributing Respect Life literature.  They plan to increase the number of door to door visits during the next year, and also to campaign for a Family Adoration Hour and Sacred Heart Enthronement, as well as organizing family-oriented activities centering on sports, social and religious activities.  In the past year the members have been in contact with a new RCIA prospect and with a Protestant family expressing interest in the Catholic faith.  Several of the junior members have said they felt a call to a priestly vocation. 

What follows is a series of Questions from the Senatus Floor, probing various aspects of the Family Praesidium. 

1)  The Present extent of the Legion Family Praesidium
Br. Miller asked if the family praesidium format is approved beyond this one praesidium. Br. Marten replied that it is not, as of this time. 

2)  The problem that difficult Adult Legion Work presents to Juniors:
Sr. Fabi asked "How can children participate in door to door work, because of  confidentiality needs, and also the danger that children may be exposed to worldly problems?"  Br. Perlas replied that the older children should learn about the higher apostolic works of the Legion, and that the parents should make the decisions about the suitability of difficult situations for the children.  Fr. Goode stated that his biggest concern is that the juniors in the family praesidium would be exposed to evil.  Confidentiality is also a problem, and since it is difficult to recruit whole families, information may be passed from child to child.   Br. Perlas said that if there is a situation to which children should not be exposed, that it should be documented and presented to the senior praesidium (to which the family praesidium is attached) for follow up.  Fr. Goode repeated that he objects to children going door to door with adults.  Sr. Fabi said that a verbal report to the praesidium is also required if there is something learned in the apostolate, and this may also expose children to worldly problems.  Br. Perlas said that if in the event of a problem in a report, then the children are pulled aside beforehand, but that this is hardly ever the case.  Fr.  Goode said that, even as his first work as a deacon, he was struck by the presence of evil while doing home visitation, and there are certainly situations which are not suitable for children. 

3)  Support from the Floor, for the Family Praesidium.

Sr. Murata said that the family praesidium has been proposed by Concilium and should be supported.  She said that the praesidium knows the restrictions which parents must put on their children.  She said that the many positive features outweigh any negative.  Br. Perlas said that the family praesidium came about because parents wanted to be with their children.  Br. Miller said that juniors are allowed to do a wide range of apostolates, and that age 16 and up should be doing senior work according to the handbook.

4)  Council And Concilium Responsibility for Continued Family Praesidium Work:

 Br. Marten suggested a visitation to the praesidium.  He asked the body to think about how we can help this family praesidium  to make it better, to present it to the world.  A visiting legionary said that if Concilium agrees to the family praesidium, then any decisions about it is also in their hands.  Br. Perlas said that if this succeeds people in other countries will benefit.  Sr. Murata said that this shows that the handbook doesn’t always fit every circumstance.  Br. Dymond said that it belongs in the hands of the Concilium, and that Senatus needs  their input, and possibly we may have to go in person to Concilium.  Br. Ramirez said that since, the Concilium approved it as an experiment, we should explore a wide variety of programs for youth, exploring how to improve the experiment.  Br. Perlas said that there was an analysis of the benefits of the Family Praesidium in the 25 page letter that was presented to the Concilium, prepared by the North San Mateo Curia.  Br. Frost asked for patience among those with different opinions.  He strongly encourages that the Family Praesidium be allowed to go forward because of the many positive aspects, and also because he has seen that the Concilium has been very positive in support. Br. Williams said that during the PPC at St. Finn Barr he brought his young nephews along to invite people to the Church  and they were enthusiastic, so children can do work.  Br. Perlas would like to invite Concilium visitors to the family praesidium.  Br. Marten asked for patience as we go forward with this in the spring. 

*Totus Tuus*

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