Dominican Secular Institute of Orleans Elects New General Moderator

On 7 August 2022, the electoral and deliberative General Assembly of the Dominican Secular Institute of Orleans elected its new General Superior and General Council for a six-year term. For the first time in the history of the Institute, a Polish woman—Agnieszka Kuryś—now heads the institute.

The assembly was held in Angers, France, from August 5 to 10 this year. It should have been held a year earlier, but the pandemic situation made it impossible for members from different continents to meet in person. Thus, a dispensation was obtained from Abp. Michel Aupetit, the Archbishop of Paris, under whose jurisdiction the Institute currently falls. With fr. Philippe Jeannin, OP, accompanying the electoral procedures, the General Council was completed by the first Assistant Annick Masson from France, who is also the former General Superior, the second Assistant Marie-Evelyne Irel from Ivory Coast, and two councilors from Poland.

The elections were followed by the Deliberative Assembly. The delegates reflected on how to draw from the spiritual richness of the heritage of St. Dominic. Members from different parts of the world shared their reflections and discussed the direction of the Institute’s development in the coming years. They exchanged on topics related to formation, adapted to the needs of different cultures, as well as on the possibility of cooperation between the Provinces of Poland and France in the field of ongoing formation. They underlined the importance of fraternity and the need to pray for one another.

Agnieszka Kuryś was born in 1957 in Warsaw, Poland and still lives there. She studied French language and literature at the University of Warsaw, and now works as an interpreter for French and Polish and likewise as a translator mainly of books in the field of theology and Catholic spirituality. In 2010, she entered the Dominican Secular Institute in Orleans and eventually made her perpetual vows in 2017.

The Dominican Secular Institute of Orleans was created in France in 1890. It was founded by Jeanne Leplâtre. A few years later, the Rule of Life was confirmed by the then Bishop of Orleans. Consecrated persons belonging to the community were to lead the apostolic life in their present life situation. In 1941, the Institute was officially aggregated to the Order of Preachers. Shortly thereafter, the Polish Province was established. The present name of the Institute has existed since 1964. Having been founded under the name of Jesus Crucified, the community has as its patronal feast the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

At present, the members of the Institute form two provinces – France and Poland, and live in several countries: France, Poland, Great Britain, Hungary, Lithuania, Ivory Coast, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Vietnam, and the Reunion Island. Members from different countries or regions form groups that maintain frequent contacts. At present, the Institute has just under 100 members.

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