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Br. Canísio José Willrich



New Superior of the District of Asia

05/07/2019: Vietnam

On May 3, Br. Ernesto Sánchez, Superior General, sent a letter to the Brothers of the District of Asia informing them of the appointment of Br. Canísio José Willrich as the new Superior of the District, for a three-year term.

Br. Canísio succeeds Br. Juan Castro, District leader for the past six years. This change of leadership will be effective as of August 14, at the opening of the District Chapter.

In his letter, Br. Ernesto thanked Br. Juan for his years of leading the Marists of this administrative unit: "Thanks, Juan, for your simplicity and devotedness. Your closeness to the Brothers, your capacity to listen and to build a team, along with your vast experience in Asia and your values as a Marist Brother, have helped you to offer a wonderful service to the District."

The Marist District of Aisa (MAD) consists of communities in 6 countries: Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, China and Vietnam.


Br. Canísio José Willrich

Br. Canísio was born on February 17, 1972 in São Vendelino, RS, Brazil. He is a member of the Brasil Sul-Amazônia province. He entered the Marist Juniorate in 1986 and pronounced first vows on December 8, 1992 in Passo Fundo, and made perpetual profession on November 22, 1998.

He studied theology in the PUCRS; he followed a course in catechesis and another in the psychology of education in São Paulo. He also studied English and completed a course for formators in Chile.

His work experience in the province included a number of years in initial formation and vocation ministry, as well as in social ministry, and as teacher and community animator.

Br. Canísio has been a member of the Asia District for the past eleven years. He began his preparation for Mission Ad Gentes in 2007 – an English course in South Africa and the five-month course in missiology in Davao, Philippines.

In 2008, he was sent to Vietnam, where he learned Vietnamese and worked in vocation promotion and initial formation.

He served in the novitiate in Cotabato, Philippines, from 2012 to 2014, and after two years on the staff at the novitiate in Tudella, Sri Lanka, from 2014 to 2016, he returned to Vietnam, where he now works in vocation ministry and initial formation. Presently he is secretary of the district council and is in his second term as councilor for the Marist District of Asia.

During his time in Vietnam he had three motorcycle accidents, but he admits: “Thanks to the protection of our Good Mother I am able to follow my new mission in the Marist District of Asia”.

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