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Two Asians elected to Claretian general government

MANILA (Agencies) : For the first time, a Filipino priest was elected to the new general government of the Claretians worldwide. 

In an election held in Rome on September 9, Father Leo Dalmao, current provincial superior of The Philippines, was elected consultor and prefect of formation, according to a report from CBCP News.

It is the same office served for 12 years by Father Mathew Vattamattam of India, before he was earlier elected as the 13th superior general of the congregation.

Father Vattamattam is the first Asian to become the superior general of the congregation in its 166 year history.

Father Vattamattam, 56-year-old, hails from Kerala in South India. He joined the congregation on the 3 July 1974 and was ordained priest on 10 May 1986. In 1994 he  completed a licentiate programme in systematic theology and psychology at the Gregorian University in Rome.

He served as the novice master of Province of Bangalore before being elected to the general government as the prefect of formation of the congregation in 2003.

The 45-year-old Father Dalmao was ordained in May 1997 and is a native of Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

At present, he is also a co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in The Philippines.

The election coincided with their 25th general chapter, bringing together representatives of over 3,000 Claretians in 65 countries.

Other elected officials include: Father Henry Omonisaye of West Nigera as consultor without prefecture; Father Manuel Tamargo of Spain as consultor and general economer; and provincial superior of Portugal Province Father Artur Teixeira as consultor-prefect of Apostolate;

Father Gonzalo Fernandez was also reelected consultor-prefect of spirituality while Brother Carlos Verga of the Province of San Jose del Sur was named consultor-prefect of youth-vocation ministry.

The officials will serve in their new posts for the next six years from 2016 to 2022.