By Elvis Fernandes
Pilar (Goa), August 9, 2022: The Missionary Society of St. Francis Xavier, commonly referred to as the Pilar Society, has elected Fr. Nazareth Rosario Fernandes as the 19th Superior General of the Goa-based congregation.
The election took place on August 6 during the 20th general chapter of the congregation.
The Chapter also elected Fathers Steevan D’Souza as Vicar General, Anthony Joseph Fernandes as Second Councilor, Saturnino Almeida as Third Councilor, Maria Michael as Fourth Councilor, and Derick Rodrigues as Treasurer General.
The general chapter began on July 31 with the theme “In him – for all, with hope”. This was the result of the reflections of the pre-chapter committee.
The secretary of the committee, Father Santosh Mendonca, said that the quality of the union of the members of the Pilar Society In Christ is the key to any renewal and any mission.
“Being a person immersed in Christ would certainly have the spirit of Jesus and become a person for all. The terrifying experience of Covid, the socio-political situation which makes the Church insecure and the many anxieties of members within the Society we led to the inclusion of Hope in the theme of the General Chapter.
In his first address to the General Chapter, the new General said: “I may not have too many abilities, but I am available to continue the work of the Society.
The new general is from Loutolim in Goa. He is the son of Joaquim Manuel Fernandes and Maria Joaquina Fernandes. He has four brothers and one sister. He holds a degree in Church History from the Gregorian University of Rome. He is a professor at the Theological Seminary of Pilar.
He served as Rector of Pilar Niketan, Nagpur, and All India Mission Seminary, Pilar. He also worked in the missions of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was provincial of the province of Kolkata. He also served on the General Council for two terms and served as Vicar General for the past five years.
Father Fernandes led a solemn mass on August 7 in the church of the monastery of Pilar. In his homily, the general promised to respect the constitutions and traditions of the congregation and to “continue to witness and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, especially to those who have not yet known it”.
A program of congratulations followed in honor of the new general administration. Speaking on the occasion, the General expressed his gratitude to all the members and appreciated the outgoing administration for all their efforts in guiding the congregation.