At the General Chapter (held every six years) four friars are elected to be the General Councillors representing the four geographical areas of the Order: (1) Africa, (2) the Americas, (3) Asia-Australia-Oceania and (4) Europe. The General Councillors are a link between their respective geographic areas and the General Council. Together with the other members of the General Council they also share in the responsibility of promoting the common good of the entire Order.
At the General Chapter in September 2019, Fathers Conrad Mutizamhepo (Africa), Luis Maza Subero (the Americas), Robert Thomas Puthussery (Asia-Australia-Oceania) and Richard Byrne (Europe) were elected as the General Councillors for the Order.
Fr. Richard Byrne, O.Carm. is the General Councillor for Europe
Father Richard was born in Dublin in 1969 and was educated by the Carmelites in Terenure College. He made his simple profession in 1989 and, following his philosophical and theological studies at the Milltown Institute, was ordained a priest in 1996. He was a member of the Terenure College Carmelite Community for over twenty years holding a variety of roles: subject teacher of accounting and religious education, school chaplain, rugby coach, and school principal. During those years, in University College Dublin, Fr. Richard also completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree (BComm) and his Doctoral Studies (PhD) on the distinctiveness of Catholic education.
In 2015, he was elected Prior Provincial of the Irish Province and was re-elected Provincial in 2018. In Ireland, Fr Richard was appointed as the Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership which provided a national service of support for Catholic schooling in Ireland. In his spare time in Dublin, Fr. Richard was a rugby referee and refereed school and adult matches all over his home province of Leinster.
At the General Chapter in 2019, he was elected General Councillor of Europe to serve for a six year term 2019-2025. His areas of responsibility are the Commission for Liturgy and Prayer and the Communications Task Force.