The Sister Idília Maria Carneiro is the new Superior General of the Hospitaller Sisters

Within the framework of the XXII General Chapter, the Provincial Vicar of Portugal was chosen to guide the Congregation for the next six years

The Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus elected Sister Idília Maria Carneiro as the new Superior General of the Congregation for the period 2024-2030, within the framework of the XXII General Chapter that has been taking place in Rome since April 24 and which ends May 26.

“The community of sisters, after a process of discernment, elected me as Superior General. And even with a mixture of feelings within me, I want to thank you for your prayers, your friendly presence, throughout all this capitular time, and, above all, for continuing to entrust to God this path that, as a congregation, as a hospitable family, we are on performing,” she said excitedly as she addressed her first words to the hospital community.

“We continue to count on your prayers so that the hospitality within us grows and becomes a word of hope and a gesture of service to all the most fragile people, in particular, those who suffer from mental illness. Welcome and we count on you and your prayer and dedication,” she added.

Hospital experience

Sister Idília was born in Mozambique in 1966 and entered the Congregation of Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1984.

She has a degree in Social Work from the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences of Lisbon (1988-1993), she has a master’s degree in Spirituality and Ethics in Health (1997-2000) and a postgraduate degree in Human Resources Management (2004 ).

Her hospital experience has been developed in the field of management and support of the hospital mission, and in the animation of the Province and the Communities of Portugal.

Since 2018 she has been Provincial Vicariate, coordinating the Centers of the Province and the Hospital Mission area. Additionally, she has served as Superior of the Idanha Community (2012-2018); Provincial Superior of Portugal (2006-2012); 2nd Provincial Councilor, assuming the animation of hospital work (2000-2006) and Managing Director of the Bom Jesus Health Center in Braga (1997-2000).

A family at the service of Hospitality

The new Superior General will succeed Sister Anabela Carneiro, who was elected for two consecutive terms (2012-2018 and 2018-2024). Both are also blood sisters: Sister Idília is the fourth of five siblings, three of whom are Sisters Hospitallers.

During the two terms that she was at the head of the Congregation, Sister Anabela Carneiro – who has hospital experience developed mainly in the field of formation – played a fundamental role in the midst of the Pandemic. Thanks to the public-private collaboration promoted by the Congregation, more than 6,000 patients were treated globally between 2020 and 2021. Another of its milestones has been the renewal of the Constitutions of the Hospitaller Sisters – in November 2022 – by the which updated and promoted the hospital mission in the world.


About Sisters Hospitallers

The Congregation of Hospital Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a female Catholic institution that works to welcome, assist and care for people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and other illnesses, with preference for the most needy. Its mission is to evangelize the world of health, through the promotion of health, social and educational works, giving the highest priority to its commitment to society. Sisters Hospitallers was founded in Madrid (Spain) in 1881, by Saint Benedict Menni, priest of the Order of Saint John of God, together with María Josefa Recio and María Angustias Giménez, chosen by God to respond to the situation of health neglect and social exclusion of women with mental illness of the time, combining two fundamental criteria: charity and science. More information:

About the General Chapter

The General Chapter is the body that represents the entire Congregation and exercises collegial authority regarding its life and mission. It is celebrated every six years, convened by the Superior General, who is responsible for determining, with the consent of her counselors, the issues to be discussed, the time and place of its celebration, according to the rule of the Directory.
It is a space of prayerful obedience to the Holy Spirit in the search for the greatest good for the Congregation in the Church. They collaborate actively and responsibly with an attitude of docility to the Spirit, fostering an environment of intense prayer and true conversion. More information: