The Jesuit Curia has approved our sharing this news, released today:
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, will submit his resignation, with the approval of Pope Francis, to the Jesuits in late 2016, because of his advanced age (78). Fr. Nicolas has, as is the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus require, convoked a General Congregation of Jesuits (the 36th in our almost 500 year history) to elect his successor "during the final months of 2016." He remains Superior General, with full powers, until the General Congregation accepts his resignation. And, as is our tradition, the General Congregation (made up of delegates from every Jesuit province around the world) will elect his successor.
He wrote in a letter to the whole Society today: "Several years have passed since my election as Superior General of the Society and I have recently reached the age of 78. Reflecting on the coming years, I have reached the personal conviction that I should take the needed steps towards submitting my resignation to a General Congregation. After obtaining the initial approval of the Assistants ad providentiam and having informed his Holiness Pope Francis, I formally consulted the Assistants ad providentiam and the Provincials, as our law requires (NC 362). The result of the consultation is favorable towards the convening of a General Congregation."
On a personal note, Father Nicolas has been notable for not only his warm personality, his deep spirituality, and his consistent calls for Jesuits to be men of depth, freedom and commitment, but also for his close relationship with Pope Francis. Father Nicolas is beloved by every Jesuit I know.