India: new head of Missionaries of Charity elected

 India: new head of Missionaries of Charity elected

The Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, elected Sister Mary Prema as its new superior general on Tuesday.

The German-born nun replaces Sister Nirmala Joshi, who was re-elected for a third time on March 13. Sister Nirmala has led the congregation since 1997, after taking over from its founder.

"It is now officially announced that Sister M Prema is the new superior general," Sister Christie, the congregation's spokesperson, told UCA News. The Missionaries of Charity (MC) sisters usually use only one name.

The election took place a day before the congregation's general chapter was scheduled to conclude. It began on 1 February.

Sources close to the congregation said the nuns had to have a second election as Sister Nirmala had requested to be relieved from such duties, citing ill health and a desire to live a contemplative life in the congregation.

Her appointment for a third term would have required papal approval since the congregation's constitution allows for only two six-year terms for this position.

Before the chapter began, Church circles in Calcutta had mentioned Sister Prema as one of the possible candidates to succeed Sister Nirmala.

A hundred and sixty-three electors, who are currently attending the chapter at a secluded location about 30 kilometres away from Kolkata, also elected Sister Joseph as the assistant superior general and first councilor. Other councilors are Sisters Joanna, Adriana and Joseph Maria.

The electors comprise 74 Indians, while the rest are from other countries.

Source: UCAN

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