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James Martin, S.J.January 14, 2008
"With the blessing of the Holy Father granted the 20th of June 2005 and after having obtained a positive vote from the Assistants for provident care and from the Provincials of the whole Society on the seriousness of the reasons to resign, I present now to the judgement of the General Congregation my resignation as Superior General of the Society of Jesus." So wrote Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. to the 35th General Congregation. Today in Rome, the General Congregation elected to accept Father Kolvenbach’s resignation, making him the first General to resign. With his customary humor, Kolvenbach praised the delegates for the "elegant way which you have found to fire me." More seriously, he thanked his brother Jesuits, and concluded his long years of service with these moving words: "Let us be grateful to the Lord that despite a disconcerting diversity of persons and cultures, of desires and works, our union of minds and hearts has never failed, and, despite an increasing fragility, the Society retains the capacity of apostolic dialogue before the challenges of the modern world in proclaiming the one Good News. On this eve of the election of my successor and of the many decisions that the General Congregation will have to make, I unite myself with the prayer with which Saint Ignatius finished his letters: "May God our Lord in his infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us his abundant grace, so that we may know his most holy will and entirely fulfill it." For the complete story, press release, and photos, please see Creighton’s GC 35 webpage here: "GC 35 " Father Kolvenbach’s successor should be named, according to the General Congregation’s latest statement, and God willing, this coming Saturday, January 19. James Martin, S.J.
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