At the service of the congregation

Day dedicated to election of new superior general. Fr. Carlos re-elected for a second term (2024-2030)

by  Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ

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The sixth day of the General Chapter began with the Holy Eucharist celebrated in English. The main celebrant was Fr. Vien Nguyen, provincial superior of USA, who, in the chapter hall, shared his reflection on the Word of God. He remarked that the Bible is a testament of human experience, speaking of both vulnerable brokenness and gracious redemption. In the Gospel, the disciples struggled to understand the Messiah and his way, they argued who among them was the greatest. In Jesus’ response, we see how God remains patient and faithful despite our failures and shortcomings. In fact, the Heart of Jesus is the Heart of the Trinity; he is the visible image of the invisible God, full of compassion and mercy.

Following Fr. Vien’s reflection, the General Chapter proceeded with the vote for the Superior General. In a prayerful and joyful spirit, the members of the chapter elected Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú for a second term of six years (2024-2030). In his first address to the chapter participants, Fr. Carlos quoted a text for Cardinal Aquilino Bocos Merino on the “ten suggestions to a re-elected Superior General”; it is like a decalogue to remind that his re-election is not a prize, but a new opportunity to remain serving, with new enthusiasm and hope.

Fr. Carlos reflected also on the role of the members of the general council. They must not be a mere group of good managers. Rather, they are called to form a community of brothers who wish to walk together (synodality) and share a common responsibility. Their main task is not to follow their own agenda, but to work on the decisions of the chapter, in service to the whole congregation. Their ministry will be based on a trinity that they must never forget, “the Gospel, the Rule of Life, and the General Chapter.” After his remarks, chapter member met in groups to discuss the profile of general councilors, and cast a straw vote to survey possible candidates. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us in this important time of decision.

Vivat Cor Iesu + Per Cor Maria

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