Canadian Superior for Guyana and Jamaica
Fr General has named Fr Christopher G. Llanos SJ of the Canadian Province as the new Regional Superior of Guyana, a territory which will expand on 1st October to include the Jesuit community of Kingston, Jamaica of which Fr Llanos is currently Superior.
Fr Chris was born in Trinidad in 1960 and was raised there until his family migrated to Canada in the 1970s. At university he majored in Psychology. 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 in Kingston, Jamaica, 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, he 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 twelve years he has also worked in the Sixth Form at St. George’s College.
He will succeed Fr Paul Martin, who has been Regional Superior since 2011. Over the last few years, Fr Paul has led the Region in a process of engagement with the wider Jesuit presence in the Caribbean region. This recently led to a decision to attach the Jesuits of Jamaica, hitherto part of the Province of USA Northeast, to Guyana, a dependent region of the British Province.
The British Provincial, Fr Damian Howard, expressed delight at Fr Chris’s appointment. “The British and Guyanese Jesuits are looking forward to welcoming our Jamaican brothers later this year,” he said. “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.”
Out-going Superior, Fr Paul, commented: “With one foot in the Amazon and the other in the Caribbean, finding where Guyana fits in the process of restructuring of the Provinces has been quite a challenge. Through his work coordinating the ‘Caribbean Project’, Chris has done a tremendous job gathering together the many scattered pieces of our Jesuit presence into an apostolic network and building up a sense of shared mission. It has been a joy to work with him over the years and I am delighted that Fr General has appointed him to be the man to open a new chapter in the history of the Jesuits in Guyana as we join forces with our brothers in Jamaica to become a section of a new Caribbean Province.”
Fr Chris will travel to Georgetown to take up his new responsibilities at some stage after 1st October. Reflecting on his new mission, he commented: “While saddened at the prospect of having to give up much of the work I am doing now, I’m happy to serve a mission with an emphasis on integrating Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana. 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.”