On 18 June 2021, the General Government elected and appointed Fr. José Carlos Linhares Pontes Júnior, C.Ss.R., a Brazilian from the Vice-Province of Fortaleza, as Procurator General of the Redemptorists. He had already been serving as Vice-Procurator General since he was appointed on 14 December 2018 and succeeded Fr John Vargas, C.Ss.R. of the Denver Province, who has resigned.
The Procurator General is the one who “under the direct dependence of the General Government, represents the Congregation at the Apostolic See. He expresses his judgement when the matters in hand or the Holy See require it” (Statutes 0128, CSsR). For this reason, “the Procurator General is responsible for all the matters to be dealt with by the Congregation, the (Vice)Provinces, the houses and the individual confreres at the Holy See”. (Statutes 0129, CSsR).
Saint Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer on 09th November 1732. On 25 February 1749, Pope Benedict XIV approved the Congregation and the rules. In the same year, 1749, Fr. Francesco Maria Margotta was appointed as the first Procurator General. He was Italian, born in Calitri (Avellino) in 1699, and helped St. Alphonsus during the First General Chapter of the Redemptorists in Ciorani from October 1 to 8, 1749.
In the year 1764, Fr. Lorenzo D’Antonio was appointed as the second Procurator General. He helped prepare the second General Chapter, which took place between September 3 and October 15, 1764. The third Procurator General was Fr. Antonio Maria Tannoia (1769 – 1780). Between the years 1781-1793 and 1853-1868, the Redemptorist Congregation had two Procurators General for the matters between the Papal States, the Transalpine and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
After his ordination, Fr. José Carlos Linhares worked in the Redemptorist mission at Furancungo (Mozambique) and later sent to Rome for study. He is a civil and canon lawyer (utriusque iuris). On 21 June 2021, he started as Procurator General. May Saint Alphonsus help him in this ministry to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.