Third Week of the 26th General Chapter

Third Week of the 26th General Chapter

Certainly, the third week of the XXVI General Chapter has been the most important week for all the Chapter members because these days, the new General Government of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer was elected. First of all, there was the election of the new Superior General, Fr. Rogério Gomes, CSsR, and then the election of the General Consultors. At the same time, the capitulars studied the postulatas presented to the Chapter, gave their opinion, and also presented suggestions and proposals on what the Chapter should propose for the Congregation.

The week of voting began soon after the morning prayer, invoking the light of the Holy Spirit so that the will of God might be revealed in the process of election. Then the groups gathered to cast their indicative vote to know the qualities or the profile expected of the Superior General. There has been discussion among members on the profile of a Superior General such as a man of God (or spirituality), prophetism, discernment (or openness to dialogue, listening), missionary spirit, hope (or animation, dynamism, creativity) were highlighted. After the two ballots, no candidate reached the two-thirds majority required for the post. Fr Rogério Gomes, of the Latin American and Caribbean Conference, São Paulo Province, Brazil, was elected Superior General with 72 votes out of 91 votes. His election was applauded at length by the assembly and celebrated in church with a joyful Te Deum, followed by the inauguration of Fr Rogério on the basis of his profession of faith and the pronouncement of his first message to the Congregation.

In the following days, the six General Consultors were elected. Each of the five Conferences presented the names of three confreres, in order of preference, to run for the post of Consultors. On the first ballot, each member was asked to write on the given ballot paper five names of his preference. On the first ballot, five Consultors were elected with an absolute majority of votes: Brother Larry Lujan, Conference of North America, and Fathers Francisco Stanula from Europe, Jairo Díaz from Latin America and the Caribbean, Ivel Mendanha from Asia-Oceania and Nicolas Ayouba from Africa-Madagascar. The sixth General Consultor, Father Paul Vinh, of the Asia-Oceania Conference, was elected in two ballots from among the candidates of all the Conferences. The capitulars must elect the Vicar General from among the six Consultors, for whose election a two-thirds majority of votes is required and no candidate has succeeded so far after the seven ballots already taken.

On Friday morning, Brother Larry Lujan arrived from the United States of America, having been elected General Consultor without being present at the Chapter. Voting also began on the postulatas on the themes of Redemptorist Identity and Redemptorist Mission. This task was made relatively easy by the fact that the postulatas had already been studied, discussed, and voted previously in the groups, and now, in the plenary voting, the capitulars have the support of a technical apparatus that collects and counts the votes in real-time. At the end of this week of work, the capitulars left with the joyful expectation of the audience with Pope Francis on Saturday morning and the trip to Pagani on Sunday for a celebration in the Basilica of St. Alphonsus Liguori, our Founder. Do keep us in your prayers as we are near the end of the XXVI General Chapter.

Father Vitor Edezio Borges, CSsR