New Carmelite Prior General and Council elected

Thursday, 19 September 2019

During the second week of the Carmelite Order's General Chapter in Rome, a new Prior General and his Council were elected for a six-year term by friar delegates from around the world.

The new Prior General is Fr. Míceál O'Neill, O.Carm., a friar of the Irish Province. Doctor O'Neill has been in many ministries within the Order, including time in Latin America, and most recently as Prior of CISA (the Order's international study house in Rome).


Most Rev. Fr. Míceál O'Neill, O.Carm.


The Vice Prior General is Fr. Benny Phang, O.Carm. Father Benny is from the Indonesian Province, and for the last six years has served as Councillor General for Asia, Australia, and Oceania.

Father Michael Farrugia, O.Carm., was re-elected as Procurator General. He is from the Maltese Province. The Procurator General is the Order's canon lawyer and liaison with the Holy See. Father Michael filled this office in the previous term of the General Council (2013-19), in which a major task was to oversee the process of drafting new Constitutions for the friars which will be voted on in the coming days.

Father Christian Körner, O.Carm., was elected Bursar General. Father Christian has served as Vice Prior General of the Order for the last two terms (12 years), and comes to his new role with experience, having overseen the Order's finances in recent times as 'administrator pro tempore' (temporary administrator).


Left-right: Fr. Christian Körner; Fr. Benny Phang; Fr. Michael Farrugia.


A further four members of the General Council represent the geographic regions of the Order.

The General Councillor for Africa is Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, O.Carm., from Zimbabwe (a mission of the Irish Province) who served in this role in the previous term (2013-19).

The General Councillor for the Americas is Fr. Luis Maza Subero, O.Carm., a Venezualan friar of the Catalonian Province where he is currently Prior Provincial.

The General Councillor for Asia, Australia & Oceania is Fr. Robert Thomas Puthussery, O.Carm., from the Indian Province of St. Thomas. [He is very well known in the British Province, having lived in London whilst studying for his doctorate.]

The General Councillor for Europe is Fr. Richard Byrne, O.Carm., of the Irish Province, where he is currently Prior Provincial.



Video footage of the members of the General Council accepting their elections can be viewed on YouTube.

The British Province wishes our brothers many congratulations, thanks them for their willingness to serve, and assures them of our prayers and support for their new ministries.



Text: Dr. Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.