The Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Fr Arturo Sosa has appointed Fr Christopher Llanos SJ of the Canadian Province the Regional Superior of Guyana.
This territory was expanded on October 1 to include the Jesuit community of Kingston, Jamaica, of which Fr Llanos was its Superior. He will succeed Fr Paul Martin who has been Regional Superior since 2011.
Catholic Standard reported that Fr Llanos was to travel to Georgetown to take up his new responsibilities after October 1. He told the diocesan weekly that while he is saddened at the prospect of having to give up much of the work he’s currently doing, he’s happy to serve a mission with an emphasis on integrating Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana.
Fr Llanos said over the years, “many Jesuits have heard me express my love for Guyana and the mission there. Integrating a wider, English-speaking Caribbean apostolic endeavour is indeed a challenging but exciting call.”
Fr Llanos, born in Trinidad in 1960, migrated to Canada in the 1970s. He joined the Canadian Jesuits in August 1986, though the two years of novitiate were his longest continuous stay in that country.
He did philosophy studies in Chicago, and Regency—a two to three-year formation programme of a candidate to the Society of Jesus—in Kingston where he taught at both the primary and high school levels.
He was ordained in 1996 following four years of theological studies in Venezuela. After parish work back in Jamaica, Fr Llanos obtained a licentiate at what is now Boston College and a doctorate at Harvard, where he specialised in the Church’s Social Thought and Public Policy with an emphasis on international migration.
Since then he has lived in Jamaica, where he has held the posts of Novice Master and Superior, teaching all the while at the diocesan seminary in Trinidad and Tobago and at St Michael’s Theological College, both associated with The University of the West Indies. For the last 12 years he has also worked in the Sixth Form at St George’s College.
The British Provincial Fr Damian Howard SJ expressed delight at Fr Llanos’ appointment. He said the British and Guyanese Jesuits were looking forward to welcoming their Jamaican brothers. He added, “Fr Llanos has a good knowledge of Guyana and a proven track record of effective apostolic planning and leadership; he will have all my support as he discerns how to take the Caribbean mission forward.”