New Jesuit Superior General Elected


Published: Febrary 14, 2008

FORDHAM—The new Superior General of the Society of Jesus was elected on Jan. 19 in Rome. The Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., is now Father General to nearly 20,000 Jesuits across the world, replacing the Rev. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., who retired earlier this year at age 80.

It is possible, according to the Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center(FCLC), for the General to make direct requests to the Jesuits at Fordham, though it is not likely. In that case, he would contact the head of the New York Province, the Rev. Gerald Chojnacki, S.J., who Grimes reports to. In one instance, a Jesuit faculty member was directly requested by the General to be sent to Gregorian University.

The Superior General is elected by the General Congregation of the Society, which takes over upon the resignation or death of the General, who is usually elected for life. Kolvenbach announced his resignation in February 2006, and resigned on Jan. 5 of this year, according to America, The National Catholic Weekly.

“All the people I’ve met who know [Nicolás] speak very highly of him,” Grimes said. Nicolás, who was born in Palencia, Spain in 1936, spent most of his career in Japan and the Phillipines, according to a press release. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1953, and later went on to study philosophy in Madrid, theology in Tokyo and completed his Masters degree in theology at the Gregorian Universality in Rome.