The Congregation's General Chapter elected Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC (Congregatio a Sancta Cruce), as the 14th Superior General of Holy Cross on July 1.
He was the first brother to be chosen for the position in the history of the congregation.
The election of Brother Bednarczyk as the next leader of the Holy Cross Generalate was confirmed by the Vatican and announced on the Holy Cross Generalate's Facebook page.
"I am humbled and grateful that my brothers in Holy Cross have put their trust in me and given me the chance to serve as their Superior General," said Brother Bednarczyk, as reported by holycrosscongregation.org.
Brother Bednarczyk said, "The Holy Father's decision to let a brother serve as Supreme Moderator in a mixed congregation of priests and brothers is an unprecedented confirmation and validation of the religious brother's vocation in the Church."
On May 18, 2022, Pope Francis made an exception to Canon Law. This means that the Vatican Congregation can approve "at its discretion and in individual cases" the election of a brother to be the Superior General of mixed religious congregations.
Brother Bednarczyk was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He entered the Eastern Province of Brothers in 1975 and began training at Moreau Hall on the Stonehill College campus in Easton, Massachusetts.
Bother Bednarczyk holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Religion and Religious Education. In 1979, he professed his first vows at Sacred Heart Church in Bennington, Vermont, and in 1985, he professed his final vows at St. Joseph Center in Valatie, New York. Before his election, he had the Vicar General and First Assistant positions.
Blessed Basile Moreau, who started the Holy Cross, had a vision of a religious family in which all the members, whether they were priests, brothers, or sisters, would have the same respect as religious people even though they had different jobs.
The Holy See approved it as a congregation of priests and brothers on May 13, 1857.
The Congregation’s current constitution succinctly describes itself as a "religious congregation composed of two distinct societies of religion, one of the religious priests and one of the religious brothers, bound together in one indivisible brotherhood."
The structures of the congregation have long reflected this commitment to the shared dignity of its priest and brother members.
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