Rogationists elect head, 1st Filipino vicar general

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Rogationst General Goverment (L-R): Fr. Gioacchino Chiapperini, Treasurer General; Fr. Fortunato Siciliano, Secretary; Fr. Jose Maria Ezpeleta, Vicar General and Councilor; Fr. Bruno Rampazzo, Superior General; Fr. Gilson Luiz Maia, Councilor; Fr. Matteo Sanavio, Councilor; Fr. Unny Pottokaran, Councilor. (Photo: RCJ)

MANILA, July 26, 2016 – The Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus has elected Fr. Bruno Rampazzo, RCJ as the 11th successor of St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia during the just concluded XII General Chapter of the Congregation from July 21 to 22, 2016 in Rome, Italy.

59-year old Rampazzo from Padua, Italy was the congregation’s Vicar General for the past six years. Before assuming office at the General Curia, he was a missionary in the Philippines for 24 years, 12 of which were spent as the Major Superior of the Rogationist St. Matthew Province, which comprises the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, and Papua New Guinea. He completed his licentiate in Christology in Naples under the guidance of the eminent theologian Archbishop Bruno Forte.

The Chapter Assembly also elected Fr. Jose Maria Ezpeleta, RCJ as Vicar General, the first Filipino to hold the position. Prior to his election, Ezpeleta was the Vicar Provincial and Postulant Director of the Rogationist St. Matthew Province. Born in Quezon City in 1966, he became a Rogationist in 1985. He took his Licentiate in Education at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome and Master’s in English Teaching at the Ateneo De Manila University. He was a Rogationist missionary in Vietnam for nine years and in South Korea for two years.

The other three elected Councilors are:

  • Fr. Matteo Sanavio RCJ, 42-years old, Italian;
  • Fr. Unny Pottokaran RCJ, 43-years old, Indian; and
  • Fr. Gilson Luis Maia RCJ, 52-years old, Brazilian.

The General Government of the Congregation has a mandate of six years.

The Rogationist XII General Chapter opened on July 5, 2016 with a Mass presided over by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. It was a joint celebration with the Rogationist female-counterpart, the Daughters of Divine Zeal, who were also celebrating their XIII General Chapter in Rome.

The theme of the Rogationist General Chapter was “Seeing the crowd, Jesus felt compassion for them and said, ‘Rogate (Pray)”’. The Charismatic Identity in Today’s Challenges.” Pope Francis in his message to the congregation said: “Our times, more than ever, needs holy workers for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth, and so the “Rogate (Pray)” is always alive and current. Every Rogationist becomes an effective sign of the Holy Spirit who through the gospel command (to pray for workers in the harvest), continues to call and send holy apostles for the building up of the Church.” (Br. John Francis Aberion, RCJ / CBCPNews)

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