Adolfo Nicolas Elected Superior General

AMDG Father Adolfo Nicolas, of Spain, has been elected today as the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, by the Delegates of the 35th General Congregation, and his election has been confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI. Here is some biographical information about Father General, from the official communique: Born in Palencia (in Spain) on 29 April 1936. Entered the Jesuit novitiate at Aranjuez in the Toletana Province (Spain) in 1953 Received his Licentiate in Philosophy in 1960 at Alcalá, Madrid and then studied theology in Tokyo. Ordained a priest on 17 March 1967 in Tokyo. From 1968-1971 completed his master’s degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Professor of systematic theology at Sophia University in Tokyo beginning in 1971. Director of the Pastoral Institute of Manila (1978-1984). Rector of the Jesuit scholasticate (training young Jesuits) in Tokyo (1991-1993). Provincial of Japan (1993-1999). Since 2004 he has been the moderator of the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania. Father General speaks Spanish, Japanese, English, French and Italian. And a comment from your correspondent in New York... Today, every one of the almost 20,000 Jesuits has a new leader. And each of those Jesuits will, at some point today, pray in thanksgiving to God for the election of Father Nicolas, the man who succeeds the estimable Father Kolvenbach. Also, every Jesuit, young and old, will be devouring information about their new Superior General for clues about his outlook on the future of the Society of Jesus. Interestingly, like Father Nicolas, Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General before Father Kolvenbach, had also been Provincial of Japan, something that helped Father Arrupe understand the world, and the church, from a non-European perspective. Father Nicolas, a distinguished theologian, has spent most of his Jesuit life in the Far East, has been responsible for training young Jesuits, and also has had much experience in governance and administration. The delegates have chosen a man with a solid background in theology, extensive experience in a country that is largely non-Christian, and an admirable combination of administrative skills, to lead them into the 21st century. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam! James Martin, SJ
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
12 years 5 months ago
Jim, Thanks for your brief post on Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, our new Father General. I was up early this morning to check for the news about the election and I can't tell you how happy I am that the man called to lead us is Fr. Nicolas. I had the privilege of of meeting him in 1994 when he was the provincial of Japan. I met him again last summer in Manila while on an official visit to Asia on behalf of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Both times I experienced him as hospitable, simple, warm, friendly, and honest. Fr. Nicolas is an excellent theologian and an extraordinary leader. He is a man of vision and scope, a very capable administrator but also someone capable of stirring our hearts. He catches some of the best qualities of his two predecessors -- Fr. Pedro Arrupe and Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. With God's grace, he will lead and guide us well. I, for one, believe that on this day the Lord has visited the Society of Jesus and the Church. We are indeed richly blessed! Kevin Burke, S.J.
12 years 5 months ago
Thanks for your comment, Kevin. I have been hearing all day from Jesuits who are delighted, and grateful to God, for Father Nicolas's election. Father General has already been described to me by Jesuits who know him as "warm," "wise," "serene," and having a "terrific sense of humor." I encourage anyyone who is interested to check out the wonderful website that Creighton has been sponsoring, which includes not only interesting documentation, but some extremely moving photos of Father Nicolas's election. (Rather than list the site's address, here, you can just Google "GC 35" and "Creighton" and get there just as fast.)
12 years 5 months ago
Blessings to all the members of the Society of Jesus! I know nothing of the man, but Fr. Martin, I do remember with great warmth your chapter on Fr. Pedro Arrupe in My Life with the Saints. If your newly-elected superior is eliciting a reaction which recalls the fatherly love with which Fr. Arrupe lead the Order, then it must be that God has blessed you all, and the greater Church, as well. May the Spirit of God, through the intercession of Mary, Our Mother of Good Counsel, continue to guide you all in your dedicated service to Christ and His Church! Peace in Christ, Michael Hallman

Advertisement

The latest from america

America Media won top awards for best essay, best feature article and best multimedia package series.
America StaffJuly 06, 2020
In this May 31, 2016 file photo, three-time best sound-track Oscar winner Ennio Morricone answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Rome. Morricone died Monday, July 6, 2020 in a Rome hospital at the age of 91. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
In 2014 Morricone premiered his first-ever Mass in the Church of the Gesu, the Jesuits’ main church in Rome.
Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell walks with others toward the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., on June 8. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Having been raised in mostly Black churches, Tevin Williams found and embraced Catholicism. But he writes that the church must make it a priority to address racism.
Tevin WilliamsJuly 06, 2020
Apotheosis of St. Louis is a statue of King Louis IX of France, namesake of St. Louis, Missouri, located in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (photo: Wikimedia).
If our first instinct is to defend “the church,” have we really learned the lessons of the sexual abuse crisis?
Eve TushnetJuly 06, 2020