Superior General and Council
The highest governing authority in the Congregation of Holy Cross is the General Chapter. It is an assembly composed of ex-officio and elected delegates from all Provinces and Vicariates. A unique feature of a Holy Cross General Chapter is that it must have of an equal number of priest and brother delegates, a principle known in the Congregation as parity. This parity is also reflected in the membership of the General Council.
One of the main responsibilities of the General Chapter, which ordinarily meets every six years, is to elect the Superior General, the Vicar General, and the Second General Assistant. The Superior General, in consultation with these two elected Assistants, must appoint at least two, and may appoint up to four, additional General Assistants, to form the General Council. The Superior General, with the help of the General Council, is personally charged with the pastoral and administrative leadership of the Congregation. The most recent General Chapter took place in 2022.
The following members of the Congregation are serving as Superior General and on the General Council.
Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C.
Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and is a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame High School in West Haven. Inspired by the brothers and their vocation at Notre Dame, Br. Bednarczyk entered the former Eastern Province of Brothers in 1975 and began his formation at Moreau Hall on the campus of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. He professed his First Vows in 1979 in Sacred Heart Church in Bennington, Vermont, and later his Final Vows in 1985 at St. Joseph Center in Valatie, New York. During this time, Br. Bednarczyk graduated from Stonehill College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and from Fordham University in New York, New York, with a Master’s Degree in Religion and Religious Education. After 12 years working as a teacher, administrator, and campus minister at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, and Notre Dame International School in Rome, Italy, Br. Bednarczyk served as Vocation Director for his province for nine years. He also worked for three years as Formation Director and served several terms on his Provincial Council. In July of 2002, Br. Paul assumed the role of Executive Director of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), where he oversaw this professional organization of religious vocation directors consisting of over 900 members in 15 countries. Within this capacity, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations. Br. Bednarczyk spearheaded four major studies on religious vocations, the most famous being the 2009 NRVC/CARA Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life. He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Praesidium Religious Services, the Corporate Board of Holy Cross Family Ministries, and on several international Holy Cross commissions. Br. Bednarczyk has published several articles on vocation ministry. In addition to his retreat work, he has been invited to give workshops in vocation ministry throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Br. Bednarczyk was serving as Executive Director of NRVC when the 2016 General Chapter elected him the Congregation's First General Assistant and Vicar. He was still serving in that position at the time of his election as the Congregation’s 14th Superior General, succeeding Fr. Robert L. Epping, C.S.C. He will assume responsibilities at the Congregation’s Superior General at the close of the General Chapter on July 8. Br. Paul is a member of the Moreau Province in Austin, Texas.
Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C.
Vicar General, First General Assistant
Born in the State of Kerala in South India, Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C., is a member of the North East India Province. He has been a religious for 44 years and a priest for 38 years. He has significant experience in parish ministry, vocation animation, formation ministry, and education. He also served as Provincial of the North East Province, and before that, for several years, as Vocation Facilitator followed by Director of Formation in Aymanam, Kerala. He was the Principal of Holy Cross School, Agartala which currently has an enrollment of 4,500 students. He is also the founding President/Principal of Holy Cross College Agartala which currently offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses. In 2015 he received the "Best Principals of India 2015" award from the "All India Association of Christian Higher Education" (AIACHE). He combines his board room experience with his experience in cross-cultural ministry. With undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Theology, Fr. Kallarackal holds a Master's Degree in English Literature from Madras University, and a Doctorate in Religious Education from Fordham University, New York. Fr. Emmanuel was serving as School Chaplain at Cathedral High School, sponsored by the Midwest Province, and assisting with sacramental ministry at St. Joan of Arc Parish, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the time of his election by the 2022 General Chapter to the General Council. Fr. Emmanuel moved to the Holy Cross Generalate in Rome where he currently resides.
Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, C.S.C.
Second General Assistant
Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, C.S.C., is a member of the St. Joseph Province and comes from Nagari in the Archdiocese of Dhaka. After attending St. Nicholas High School run by the Brothers of Holy Cross, he did his college studies at Notre Dame College Dhaka. He also holds a Bachelor's in Education from Khan Bahadur Teachers' Training College, which is affiliated with Dhaka University, and a Master’s in English Literature, also from Dhaka University. He also received training in Spiritual Counseling and Group Dynamics from the Institute of St. Anselm, Kent, in the United Kingdom. Br. Prodip made his First Profession in Holy Cross in 1986, and his Final Vows in 1990. He has served as a Vocation Promoter, Formator, Headmaster of St. Nicholas High School, Principal of St. Placid's School and College, and, up until his election to the General Council by the 2022 General Chapter, Principal of St. Gregory's High School and College in Dhaka, which has more than 4,500 students. Besides his ministry in education, Br. Prodip has served on the Provincial Council of St. Joseph's Province for eighteen years, twice as Vicar. He has been active on different education-related commissions such as the Chittagong Archdiocesan Education Commission, Dhaka Archdiocesan Education Commission, and the Bangladesh Catholic Education Board. Br. Prodip Placid resides at the Holy Cross Generalate in Rome.
Fr. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C.
Third General Assistant
Fr. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., a member of the U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas. He first met Holy Cross at the University of Notre Dame in 1998, when he enrolled as a first-year student. He graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations. That same summer he entered the Postulant Program at Moreau Seminary. After graduating with a Master's in Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, he professed Final Vows on August 25, 2007, and was ordained a priest on March 29, 2008. In his religious priesthood, Fr. Andrew has served two stints in parish ministry in Arizona and Colorado. He also worked in the Vocations Office for his Province. Since 2015, he has been the Director of the House of Formation in Santiago, Chile, which gathers religious from Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru for their post-novitiate formation. He joined the District Council in 2016, and in 2021 received the additional responsibility of serving as the Assistant District Superior in Chile. Fr. Andrew has also co-edited a number of books on the Holy Cross tradition and spirituality with Ave Maria Press, where he has also served as a member of the Board of Directors. Fr. Andrew lives at the Holy Cross Generalate.
Br. Bertrand Nee Wayoe, C.S.C.
Fourth General Assistant
After attending St. John's Secondary School in Sekondi, Br. Nee entered the Brothers of Holy Cross, District of West Africa, and professed his First Vows in 1978 and his Final Vows in 1986. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Sociology from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, and a Master's Degree in Psychology and Pastoral Counseling from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Br. Nee served as Vocation Director, Director of Novices, and Formation Director. Well respected in the Church of Ghana, Br. Nee is frequently invited to direct and preach retreats. He also served four years as the director of the Diocesan Pastoral Center in the Diocese of Goaso. Since 2018, Br. Nee had served as the Director of the Institute for Continuing Formation, an international formation center dedicated to the ongoing formation and spiritual renewal for religious, diocesan priests, and laity in Elmina. He was holding that responsibility when he was appointed to the General Council. Br. Nee makes his home at the Holy Cross Generalate in Rome.
Fr. Vijai Amirtharaj, C.S.C.
Fifth General Assistant
Fr. Vijai Amirtharaj, C.S.C., a member of the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu, was born in Karungudi in Tamil Nadu, India. Having professed First Vows in 2000, he received a Bachelor's Degree from Mangalore University and a Bachelor of Philosophy from Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune. In 2006, Fr. Vijai was part of the first group of Indian seminarians to do their post-novitiate formation and theological studies under the auspices of the Region of English Canada. After making his Final Vows in 2008, he received his Master's in Divinity and Master's in Sacred Theology from Regis College, University of Toronto, and was ordained a priest in 2009. After receiving training in clinical pastoral education in 2009, he became the Associate Pastor of St. Kevin's Parish in Welland, Ontario, in 2010, and then Pastor in 2014. From 2015 until 2022, Fr. Vijai also served as the Superior of the Region of English Canada, which was then incorporated into the Province Canadienne. In August 2022, Fr. Vijai moved to Holy Name Parish in Toronto, where he continues to reside and work as Pastor while serving part-time on the General Council.
Br. Jonathan Beebe, C.S.C.
Sixth General Assistant
Br. Jonathan Beebe, C.S.C., a native of West Haven, Connecticut, and a graduate of Notre Dame High School, a Holy Cross school in West Haven. Br. Jonathan is a member of the Moreau Province. He professed his First Vows in 1987 and his Perpetual Vows in 1993. Having received a Bachelor of Psychology and Religious from Columbia University in New York, he also has a Master of Theological Studies from Maryknoll School of Theology in Ossining, New York, and a Master of Clinical Social Work from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Recently, Br. Jonathon received his certification as a Spiritual Director from the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Br. Jonathan has ministered as a psychotherapist for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens. He also served as the Director of Mental Health Service of South Georgia and as an Investigator for Child Protective Services in Valdosta, Georgia. A member of the Provincial Council for the Moreau Province from 2006-2022, Br. Jonathan served as the Province's Director of Formation and worked 10 years as its Vocation Director. Currently, he is the Director of Novices in the District of Chile-Peru. Br. Jonathan is frequently invited to give workshops on safe environment, vocation promotion, spirituality, mental illness, and addictions. Br. Jonathan serves as part-time General Assistant while continuing his formation ministry in Peru.