August 24 – THE PROCURATORS
The General Procurator of a religious Institute of Pontifical right is its representative to the Holy See. Our first Procurator dates back to 1910. It was, for some years, a Marist Brother, Br. Candidus, who was already the Procurator for his own Institute. He had to deal with the question of Montfortian filiation and the approval of the Constitutions (See 10 February).
He was replaced by a Brother of St Gabriel, Br. Pothin. Provincial of the Province of Midi since 1909 and staying at Saluzzo (Piedmont), Br. Pothin had quite early sent Italian juniors to Rome, to the house of the Marists. He himself was in charge of them when, appointed procurator in 1913, he came to live in the eternal city, first for a year at.43, Via XX Settembre, then at 14, Via Cernaia.
After his sudden death in 1921, he had as successor Br. Stanislas Kostka. Living in Rome since 1919, Br. Stanislas gave classes at the French higher secondary school Chateaubriand, started in 1903 by Mgr Dumaz. In 1921, with this prelate he started a boarding for the pupils of the school whose families were far; it was close to the procurator’s office, at Via Cernaia, then at 11, Via Po. He also died suddenly after only six years at a post which fitted him so well (See 9 January).
The post was occupied for twenty years (1927-1947) by the succeeding Procurator, Br. Ambroise. He lived mainly at the Parioli school, opened on 1st October He was the opposite of his predecessor. He was timid, stay-at-home, respectful of orders and polite in a somewhat stiff way. But he worked a lot and he did much to promote the cause of filiation. Sickness stopped him from continuing his work.
Br. Angelo, Director of San Gabriele, via dei Parioli, acted as interim for three years (1947-1950) until the arrival ofBr. Alessio who would also remain for three years as title holder to the post (1950-1953). He was assisted by Br. Louis de Gonzague whose competence was equalled only by his humility.
The fifth Procurator, Br. Anastase (1953-1965) was a great personality. Polite to the extreme, he was very much at ease in Roman ecclesiastical circles, while remaining very realistic with regard to their limitations.
He was replaced by a Canadian Brother, Br. Gerard Mireault, who died in 1970 at the General House which had, at its creation in 1962, become the new office of the Procurator.
He was the last Procurator to fill only this function. Since the Council of Vatican II, the activities of the Procurator were simplified and got reduced to problems of dispensations or induits. It is now fulfilled by the General Secretary.