SAO PAULO, Brazil, MAY 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).- For the first time in the history of the Consolota Missionaries, a non-Italian will hold the post of general superior.
The 11th general chapter of the missionaries, being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, elected Father Aquileo Fiorentini of Brazil to direct the institute.
A statement from the missionaries points out that in addition to the Brazilian superior, each general counselor comes from a different country: “an expression of our international and multicultural reality.”
Father Fiorentini, 53, who will head the institute for the next six years, was born in Tucunduya, Rio Grande do Sul.
He studied philosophy in Sao Paulo and theology, missiology and spirituality in Rome, where he obtained a degree in psychology. He has worked in Mozambique and Brazil, and had been the institute’s general counselor for the past six years.
The general chapter also elected Italian Father Stefano Camerlengo, 48, as deputy superior and first counselor. Previous to the election he was deputy superior in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The second counselor is Spanish Father Francisco López Vázquez, 51, who was superior in South Korea; the third counselor is Portuguese Father Antonio Manuel de Jesús Fernández, 37, formerly Superior in Roraima, in the Brazilian Amazon; and the fourth counselor is Kenyan Father Matthew Ouma, 40, to date deputy superior in Kenya.
Blessed Joseph Allamano (1851-1926) of Turin, Italy, founded the missionaries in 1901. A priest, he was rector of the city’s most important Marian shrine, dedicated to the “Madonna Consolata.”
The missionaries are dedicated to the evangelization of peoples, and number approximately 1,000.
They work in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa, Congo, and the Ivory Coast); the Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Venezuela, the United States and Canada); Asia (Korea and Mongolia) and Europe (Spain, England, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland).
Blessed Joseph Allamano defined the Consolata Missionaries as “a family of persons, priests and laity, who are committed to take the Gospel to the world,” explained the institute.