Preamble: His name is John
It is now an osmotic experience for us Spiritans. We have now moved from the region of lower concentration (Jean Paul) to the region of higher concentration (John). The qualifications “lower” and “higher” do not in anyway demean each other because strictly speaking “John” is merely the English version of the French “Jean”. Rather, they complement each other as key players and partners in the ‘successive’ Spiritan mission of “bringing salvation to the poorest of the poor” in our world.
This partnership is one wherein Jean hands over the shovel to John so that the latter can continue the mission of digging out the best in our hearts as Spiritans. This digging or excavation is vital because without it we can neither be nor remain fervent in the Spirit. Again, this partnership is akin to the scientific experiment of osmosis because while Jean worked hard digging John must work extra hard and must dig deeper in other to take the Spiritans to the level of higher concentration -the level where all of us as Spiritans will appreciate as the Dawn of a new beginning as well as the birth of our rebirth. The movement from Jean to John therefore is one that must necessarily get us fired up in Spirit. John is thus the harbinger of Spiritual fervency. He is the forerunner of Messainic salvation of our Congregation. With John on board every Spiritan can look himself in the mirror and say, “The Kingdom of God is indeed at hand.”
The future may be unseen and unsure but one thing is clear: John will take us to the Messainic point where he will humbly say to all of us, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the Spiritans. Till then, all we can do is to listen to John’s message of RENEWAL- renewal and reawakening the Spirit in us to the osmotic level of fervency!
Son of an “Irish Zechariah”
There is no single doubt in my mind that, with this son of an Irish Zechariah on the wheels, our Congregation is going to experience a movement to higher concentration of what it means to be a Spiritan in the world of today. Let us remember however that John’s election is “Divine” because it was long foretold by the prophets. The prophecy on which every Spiritan should anchor his hope and aspirations of a better Congregation of the Holy Spirit is this:
“Don’t be afraid, Zechariah (Spiritans)! God has heard your prayers. Your wife Elizabeth (BAGAMOYO 2012) will have a son, and you must name him John. His birth will make you very happy, and many people will be glad. Your son (JOHN FOGARTY) will be a great servant of the Lord….and the power of the Holy Spirit will be with him from the time he is born in Bagamoyo” (cf. Luke 1:5-25).
The New Libermann
With our prayers and wholeheated support and with hearts completely fervent in the Spirit, John will lead the Spiritans “to turn back to the Lord their God” and the charism of their Founders. Again, John will go ahead of the Lord with the same power and spirit that Elijah had. More importantly, because of John, Spiritans will be more thoughtful of their children (the poorest of the poor). And people who now disobey God and SRL will begin to think as they ought to. That is how John will get Spiritans ready for the Lord (cf. Luke 1:57-66).
Therefore, the 11th of July 2012 will continue to be remembered as the day when the delegates of the 20th General Chapter assembling at Bagamoyo ‘picked up their tablets’ and wrote, “His name is John.” For the next eight (8) years, this son of an Irish Zechariah, Fr. John Fogarty CSSp, will serve as the Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Here comes the New Libermann!
While prophesying powerfully about John we must loudly thank Jean! From 2004 to 2012, Fr. Jean-Paul HOCH CSSp selflessly and sacrificially served the Spiritan Family and Mission. May God bless and reward him with good health and happiness.
Long live Spiritans!