Fr James Lengarin Elected the New Superior General of the Consolata Missionaries

Source: CISA News

Fr James Bhola Lengarin IMC is the new Superior General of the Consolata Missionaries 2023 – 2029.  The Kenyan missionary was elected during the XIV General Chapter of the Consolata Missionaries, held in Rome from May 22 to June 26, 2023.
Fr Lengarin becomes the first African Consolata Missionary to hold the position previously being the Vice General Superior.  He takes over from Fr Stefano Camerlengo who held the mandate for two terms 2011 -2023.
“We entrust Fr. James Lengarin to the Virgin Consolata and your prayers…. this Chapter asked him and he accepted to guide us as Father General for the next six years,” reads a communique from the Fr Pedro José da Silva Louro IMC, the Secretary General of the Consolata Missionaries.
Fr James Bhola Lengarin was born on April 15, 1971, in Maralal, Kenya.  In 1997 he made his perpetual profession with the Consolata Missionaries and was ordained a priest on July 18, 1999, in Wamba, Kenya.
He began his studies in theology in London, which he concluded in Rome, in 1999, with a Master’s Degree in Missiology. From 1999 to 2004 he was a missionary animator in Italy and was subsequently appointed as vice formator of the Theological Seminary of Rome-Bravetta, where he was then Rector from 2006 to 2008.
Assigned to Kenya, he was Master of Novices in the year 2008-2009 and was then appointed Director of the Consolata Language Center in Nairobi for a year. From 2010 to 2012 he was Rector of the Consolata Shrine in Nairobi. He was then appointed the Financial Administrator of the Kenya/Uganda Region in June 2012, a position he held until 2017.
In 2017 he participated in the General Chapter that elected him Vice Superior General, a position in which he has served the Institute for the last six years.
In a phone interview with CISA following his election, Fr Lengarin encouraged the missionaries to remain united.  “To the whole Consolata fraternity what I can say is that yes, our founder has always spoken about the spirit of unity, the spirit of communion, the spirit of family so wherever we are we have always to continue upholding that spirit of the family, the spirit of togetherness and the spirit of living together from different parts of the world.  That diversity for us is communion, for us is unity, and for us is what can make us to be true witnesses of the word of God. The second thing I would like them to understand is that yes these times are difficult times for everyone, it’s not only for us, it is for the church, for the world, for everyone but I tell them courage and hope in the Lord because in terms of any challenges that are there in the world ours is really to be men who take hope to the people.  Keep on walking.  Walk towards the people.  Walk with the people.  I like Luke 12 when he speaks about becoming a fire that enkindles other fires so because we are all fire but then you become a fire that enkindles other fires in the world.  I think that is something which can help us to walk together as a family and to walk together as evangelizers.”
” I was voted in because I had already done my part as the Vice General for six years, I felt that I was now ready to go away and go to the mission. Unfortunately, then my brothers selected me. I felt emotional, I was emotional because I saw that they are putting on my shoulders something very big, a very high responsibility and a very big service knowing that the general superior always matters.  He is the one who asks fathers and then he is the one at the end of the day to make decisions and to continue putting missionaries together.  I was like somebody who is being wrestled.  You don’t know whether you are confused or whether you are okay but then eventually things start getting clearer and just saying that well, if this is the will of God, and if this is the will of the institute then I can take this challenge and I continue just like Jesus himself in the garden of Gethsemane in front of the suffering he prayed to God to take the cup of suffering from him but he said, above all let your will be done and I think that if the Lord is with us who can be against us?  This is the principle which guides the whole system.”
Other missionaries elected to the General Council that will lead the Consolata Missionary Institute for the next six years are Fr Michelangelo Piovano, Vice Superior General; Fr Odhiambo Mathews Owuor, Councillor; Fr Juan Pablo De los Ríos Ramírez, Councillor; and Fr Erasto Colnel Mgalama, Councillor.
The Superior General and the Vice Superior made the Profession of Faith and the Councillors took an oath of office Tuesday evening, during the celebration of the Eucharist.
Consolata Missionary Institute was established by Blessed Joseph Allamano in 1901 in Turin, Italy.  They arrived in Africa in 1902 and have since spread across the world.  The congregation has 906 members, 518 are from Africa.