We are posting today the second part of this brief history of our Institute, presenting who were its Superiors General

Curious fact: just as in the first part all Superiors were of French origin, the last seven Superiors General we present now are from different countries: four Canadians, two Spaniards, and one American.

If you want to know more about our origins and the first three Superiors General of our Institute, go to “Who’s Who in Our Foundation”. If you want to know who were the Superiors General from 1859 to 1952, you can read Part 1.

10th Superior General: Brother Josaphat (1052-1964)

– First Superior General from Canada (and the first one who is not from France).

– Concerned about the formation of brothers, he opened forty new formation houses and promoted universitary studies.

– The Second Vatican Council began.

– Missionary expansion: Cameroon, 1953; New Caledonia, 1954; England, 1955; Colombia, 1956; Zambia, 1956; Ivory Coast, 1957; Philippines, 1959; Senegal, 1959; Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 1961; Congo, 1962; Australia, 1964.

– He ruled the Institute during its greatest expansion. In 1964, the Institute had 2,894 professed and 174 novices.

11th Superior General: Brother Jules Ledoux (1964-1970)

– From Canada, like his predecessor.

– 1964’s Chapter, between novelty and tradition in the framework of the Second Vatican Council. Return to Baptism’s name, change of the cassock, liturgy of the hours as a prayer…

– The Council was instructed to prepare a revised draft of the Rules. An extraordinary General Chapter was called, but it left aside the General Council and prepared a new text.

– The principle of introduction to priesthood was approved.

– Foundation in two new countries: Ecuador (South America) and Vanuatu (Oceania).

– The number of brothers began to decrease due to the exits and the smaller number of incorporations. In 1970, the number of professed has fallen to 2,488 and the number of novices to 111.

12th Superior General: Brother Maurice Ratté (1970-1982)

– Third Canadian Superior General.

– His priority was to spread the Institute’s ad experimentum Rule of Life.

– Collegiality and decentralization was his new style of government.

– In the 150th anniversary of the foundation, he made a call to “return to the sources”: Father André Coindre and Brother Polycarp.

– He was very accepted among the Congregations of brothers, which he represented sometimes before the Pope.

13th Superior General: Brother Jean Charles Daineault (1982-1988)

– Fourth Canadian Superior General.

– His first objective was the Church’s approval of the Rule of Life.

– The 200th Anniversary of the heroic virtues of Brother Polycarp (ie. when he became Venerable) was celebrated during his mandate.

– He began the merging of the Canadian Provinces.

– The priesthood is evaluated in the Institute, in order to achieve the difficult balance between decentralization and unity.

– New presences in: Peru, 1982; Chad, 1982; French Polynesia, 1982; Togo, 1985; Guinea (Conakry), 1986.

– The Institute had 1,663 members: 70% living in the Northern Hemisphere with an average age of 57 years old, and 30% in the Southern Hemisphere with an average age of 45.1 years old.

14th Superior General: Brother Jesús Marín (1988-1994)

– First Superior General from Spain.

– His priorities were: vocation ministry and formation, life of prayer, spirituality, apostolic renewal of local communities, community apostolic projects.

– International commissions were created as an important means of animation: formation, structures, international session in Rome, priesthood in the Institute, spirituality, etc.

– The CIAC (International Center André Coindre) is founded in Lyon with the purpose of reanimate the studies of our origins.

– The International Session in Rome was renewed for ongoing formation of the brothers.

– Publication of the Formation Guide for brothers.

– He was a member of the Board of the Union of Superiors General.

– He left the Institute and was ordained secular priest after his mandate.

15th Superior General: Brother BErnard Couvillion (1994-2006)

– First American Superior General.

– His priorities were: listening to the cry of poor and hopeless children, revision of structures, funding of the solidarity in the Institute.

– He published the document “An ethic of constant vigilance”, concerning the sexual abuse of minors.

– The General Chapter of 2000, in the spirit of the Great Jubilee, took up the figure of Father André Coindre.

– He was welcomed by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute. He also received a letter from the Pope.

– He was a member of the Board of the Union of Superiors General.

– New foundation in Papua New Guinea.

– At that moment, the number of brothers were 1,196 and 48 novices.

16th Superior General: Brother José Ignacio Carmona

– Second Spanish Superior General, although he has developed his apostolate primarily in Colombia.

– The General Chapter in 2006 approved the revision of the Rule of Life with variations in the part of Structures and Government.

– A special importance is given to sharing the charism, the co-responsibility of brothers and laymen in the Institute’s works, and the joint formation for the prophetic mission.

– The mission of Amatongas (Mozambique) is founded, with an international community.

– There are nowadays about 1,000 brothers. The number decreases in the Northern Hemisphere and increases in the Southern Hemisphere.

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