Jeremy Dixon writes of Day 9, July 5: Habemus Superiorem Generalem!
Our day began with mass celebrated by Fr. Greg, his last as superior general. At the end of mass, Bishop Varghese led the assembled confreres in a prayer of blessing over him. As we settled into our meeting space, our tellers, Csaba Vass of Hungary and Vinicius Teixeira of Brazil, distributed and then collected the ballots. On the third ballot, Fr. Tomaz Mavric from the Vice-Province of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, was elected to be the 25th Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity. He took an oath of fidelity and then Fr. Greg led a blessing for our new superior general. Then after the official act of election was read, the confreres cheered and went to individually congratulate Fr. Tomaz.
When we returned for the afternoon, we heard from four seminarians in Mozambique about their hopes for the future of the Congregation. Then, with Fr. Tomaz now seated as assembly president, the assembly first approved three decrees from previous assemblies to remain in effect, with some small changes in wording.
They then turned to discuss various postulata (proposals) offered by the provincial assemblies. The first postulatum regarded a change in our statutes regarding the approval of provincials (68, 1). Proposed by the General Council, it changed the wording to note that different provinces have different lengths for terms of office. After much debate and discussion, the commission decided to table approval so that it could be reworked.
The second postulatum proposed changing the statute (89,2) having more delegates to the General Assembly from each province to foster better discussions and discernment. It was approved with 79% of the vote.
With that, the assembly adjourned for the day. They will begin tomorrow by meeting in continental groupings.