Early Stigmatine General Chapters

Chapters 1st – 18th [1871 – 1911]

Rev. John Baptist Lenotti [1817 – +1875], the first elected Superior General, in 1871

English translation by Rev. Joseph Henchey, CSS

The supreme authority in religious communities is invested in the periodic gathering of the Confreres, charged with the responsibility of reviewing their life and legislation and to elect the leadership. There follows here the actual Minutes of the first 19 such General Chapters [1871-1914] – as a means of understanding the Stigmatine life from its origins with Fr. Bertoni.


Early Stigmatine General Chapters [## 01 - 19] [1871 - 1914]
A Reflection on Some Early Stigmatine General Chapters on the Foreign Missions and on the Choice of Ministries

Reflections on the Stigmatine General Chapters, Superiors and Councils

            At the request of our present Superior General – Fr. Rubens MIRANDA –  Frs. Zampieri and L. Guerra, and myself, have been asked to provide a reflection in our three central languages in the Congregation [Italian, English and Portuguese] –  of our Stigmatine General Chapters, Superiors and Councils. These pages will be based on the “official” sources of our Community for the most part held in our General Archives in Rome.

            From our Stigmatine tradition, we know that the General Chapters e os Councils of Superiors [these since 1970] are the legislating body of our way of life. Our effort will be to let the documents [Minutes of Chapters and meetings] speak for themselves. Should there be a difference of opinion in interpreting these pages, our hope is that through dialogue may ensue through the wonders of modern communications.

            The avowed emphasis, though, will work hand in hand with our committed purpose: that of letting our Stigmatine documents to speak to us for themselves, and may hopefully present a further insight into the sincere work and struggles of the people who have preceded us, and the decisions that have been made over the years.

            We find that our General Chapters, Councils and Generals, cover significant years of three centuries:

  1. The Second Half 19th century: On the death of the Founder, the surviving members chose Fr. John M. Marani [+ July 1, 1871] as the first successor to St. Gaspar [+ June 12, 1853]. This comprises the Introductory Part – the pre-chapter role of Fr. Marani. He would be followed by three other Fathers General in the late 19th century – all elected by General Chapters: Frs. Lenotti; P. Vignola; P. Gurisatti.
  2. The entire 20th century with the elections of Frs. J. B. Tomasi [first one chosen in the 20th century]; J. B. Zaupa; Chiesa; [Zaupa again for a 3rd term]; Martinis; Cappellina [at this time, meetings of the Councils of Superiors were initiated]; Dusi;  Moura; Nemes.
  3. The early decades of the 21st century: Frs. Meschi and Baldessari.

            Hopefully, in sharing information, we might all experience in God’s grace a deeper appreciation of our Stigmatine vocation in these challenging times.

            Follow below the first part of this work:  the reflections on the General Chapters during the time of the first five Superior Generals (Marani, Lenotti, Vignola, Gurisatti and Tomasi):

Fr. John Mary Marani the 1st Superior General [1855-1871]P. Giovanni Maria Marani, Il 1o Superiore Generale [1855 - 1871]Pe. João Maria Marani, 1o Superior Geral [1855 - 1871]
Fr. John Baptist Lenotti, the 2nd Superior General [1871 - 1875]P. Giovanni Battista Lenotti, Il 2o Superiore Generale [1871 - 1875]Pe. João Batista Lenotti, 2o Superior Geral [1871 - 1875]
Fr. Peter Vignola, the 3rd Superior General [1875 - 1891]P. Pietro Vignola, Il 3o Superiore Generale ]1875 - 1891]Pe. Pedro Vignola, 3o Superior Geral [1875 - 1891]
Fr. Pio Gurisatti, the 4th Superior General [1891 - 1911]P. Pio Gurisatti Il, il 4o Superiore Generale [1891 - 1911]Pe. Pio Gurisatti, 4o Superior Geral [1891 - 1911]
Fr. John Baptist Tomasi, the 5th Superior General [1911-1922]P. Giovanni Battista Tomasi, il 5o Superiore Generale [1911-1922] Pe. João Batista Tomasi, 5o Superior Geral [1911-1922]