Cistercians Re-elect Abbot General

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ROME, SEPT. 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The General Chapter of the Cistercian Order ended with the re-election of Abbot General Maur Esteva Alsina of the Catalan monastery of Poblet.



Also re-elected as the order's procurator general was Father Meinrad Toman.

Brother Lluc Torcal, secretary of the General Chapter, told ZENIT that a novelty was introduced in the chapter which just concluded in the premises of the Salesianum of Rome.

"The abbot presidents of each congregation," he said, "[…] made a digital -- audiovisual -- presentation of the monasteries that comprise it, something which was very well received and which allowed the monasteries and communities to get to know one another visibly."

The general chapter addressed the challenge posed by declining vocations, already addressed in the general chapter of 2000, as well as the topic of monastic and Cistercian identity.

Brother Torcal added that the conferences "have dealt with topics such as the evangelical sources of vocation, continuing formation, the 'munus docendi' [teaching ministry] of the abbot, especially in relation to the rule."

The Cistercians now number 1,499 monks worldwide, including 696 priests, and 883 nuns.