From Fr Stefan Keller, Chairman of the Fifth General Congress, and Fr Heinz-Martin Zipfel, Chairman of the Election Commission •
Dr. Christian Löhr was elected the new Rector General of the priests’ community at the Fifth General Congress of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests taking place in the priests’ house on Berg Moriah, Schoenstatt, Germany.
Helmut Rügamer was elected General Course Leader. Further elected members of the General Government are the General Consulters: Dr. Francisco A. Jimenez, Stefan Keller and Dr. Denis Ndikumana.
The new General Council: Helmut Rügamer, Dr. Denis Ndikumana, Dr. Francisco A. Jimenez, Stefan Keller (from left)
Dr. Christian Löhr, 43, is a priest of the Eichstatt Diocese in Germany. He is parish priest in the parishes of Roth and Buchenbach near Nurnberg. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2000. In addition, he is the spokesman of the Diocesan Council of Priests and member of the European Council of Priests. He is a member of the Ecumenical Commission of his diocese, as well as the commission for personnel and the pastoral council. In his doctoral thesis presented in 2003 he dealt with the subject of ecumenism.
Helmut Rügamer, who was elected General Course Leader, is a priest of the Diocese of Wurzburg and parish priest in Bergtheim.
The General Consulters are Dr. Francisco A. Jimenez, priest of the Diocese of La Vega (Dominican Republic) and parish priest of the parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Constanza. Stefan Keller is a priest of the diocese of Munster, Germany, and parish priest of St Anna Issum and Sevelen. Dr. Denis Ndikumana is a priest of the diocese of Rutana, Burundi, and Rector of the interdiocesan Seminary in Kiryama.
The Rector General of the community has been elected for twelve years; his task includes leading the community, representing it in public, and contact with over two hundred members worldwide. He is a member of the General Presidium of the international Schoenstatt Movement. In order that he can carry out his task, the Bishop of Eichstatt, Gregor Maria Hanke, has released Dr. Christian Löhr from diocesan duties from Low Sunday 2017.
The General Course Leader has to accompany the individual courses of the community spiritually, and to promote them. He has also been elected for twelve years.
The General Consulters see to the various interests and tasks in the government of the community of priests. Their term of office is six years.
The Fifth General Congress is composed of the General Government of the community, the leaders of the individual Regions and elected delegates. It consists of 34 members from eight countries (Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Germany, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Czech Republic). The languages of the Congress are German, French and Spanish.
Main subjects dealt with by the delegates to the Congress are: priestly commitment, the international Schoenstatt Centre in Belmonte, Rome, the education and continued training of the members, questions concerning the future of the international acommunity.
The term of office of the elected General Government begins on 20 January 2017.
Original: German. Translation: Mary Cole, Manchester, UK