Rome, Italy. The Superior General, Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, has announced that in the last months of this year Fr. Antonio Llamas Fortes, CMF, will become the Secretary General for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) of the Claretian Missionaries, replacing Fr. Vincent S. Anesthasiar, CMF, who has served in that role since 2016.
Fr. Antonio, of the Province of Fátima, was born in Málaga (Spain) in 1968, professed in 1988, and was ordained a priest in 1994. With mission experience in Europe, Africa, and America (where he spent five years), he will join the community of the General Curia of the Congregation after spending the last twenty-one years in the Zimbabwe Mission. His appointment is for three years (2023-2026).
Fr. Vincent, of the Kolkata Delegation, was born in Karangadu (Tamil Nadu, India) in 1960, professed in 1980, and was ordained a priest in 1988. After multiple assignments, both in education and social ministry and government, in Chennai Province, to which he used to belong, he assumed the coordination of the JPIC General Secretariat in 2016.
The General Government is grateful to Fr. Antonio and the Province of Fátima for their generosity in making this change possible, and to the Delegation of Kolkata and Fr. Vincent for the great service he has rendered.
Since 2016, Fr. Vincent has represented the Congregation in many instances, committees, and initiatives related to migrants and refugees, the response to climate change, the promotion of ecology, human rights, and interreligious dialogue. He has collaborated (in person and remotely) in many formative endeavors of numerous religious congregations and has contributed to Claretian reflection on lifestyles, responsible consumption, recycling, ethical investments, solidarity, and care for Creation.
Many Claretians and lay people linked to the Congregation, as well as the other institutions of the Claretian Family (with whom he has worked very closely) and a multitude of religious communities, are witnesses of the passion and dedication with which he has carried out his task, enriched by his presence in the JPIC committees of the Union of Superiors General (USG-UISG) and his collaboration with many other institutions.
The transition from Fr. Vincent to Fr. Antonio will occur in the last months of 2023.
The Secretariat for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation
Has as its main objective to help the struggle for justice, the building of peace, and the care for the common good become distinctive features of the spirituality, formation, and mission of the Claretian Missionaries (cf. QC 80c). It is part of the area of Solidarity and Mission (SOMI) in close relationship with the Prefecture of Apostolate, the Missions Procure, Fondazione Proclade InternazionaleONLUS and the Congregation’s Team to the United Nations.
It plays an important role in intensifying the commitment of the activities, Major Organisms, and members of the Congregation to the Social Doctrine of the Church, visible in texts such as the encyclicals Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti. In this sense, together with the other instances of SOMI, it helps to make the Dream discerned by the XXVI General Chapter a reality. It contributes to the presence of these dimensions in the spirituality of the Missionaries, in their initial and ongoing formation, and their apostolic actions and positions.
Source: Fr. Pedro Belderrain, CMF, General Prefect of the Apostolate.