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Congregation of the Holy Cross Elects First Non-Priest Superior General…

The Congregation of Holy Cross has elected the Connecticut-born Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., as superior general. He is the first non-priest to head the congregation, as allowed under a change to church law approved by Pope Francis.

“I am humbled and grateful for the confidence and trust of my brothers in Holy Cross for allowing me the privilege to serve as their Superior General,” he said in a statement after his July 1 election by the congregation’s general chapter.

The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in France in 1837 by Blessed Basile Moreau, a priest who grew up during the French Revolution. The congregation has two separate societies for religious brothers and religious priests, which its constitutions say are “bound together in one indivisible brotherhood.” Its members work, pray, and live united by a “common founder, tradition, rule, government, way of life, and mission.”

The congregation has over 1,200 perpetually professed religious brothers and priests serving in 16 countries, the congregation website says. The Holy Cross mission has long focused on education. The congregation helped found the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and still plays a leading role at the university.

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