Tag Archives: Adolfo Nicolas Pachon

Jesuit General to resign

Pope Francis and Adolfo NicolasFather Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, plans to submit his resignation in late 2016. He has the approval of Pope Francis. Father Nicolas, 78, is citing his advanced age. He was elected to head the Society of Jesus on 19 January 2008.
This is a surprise announcement that does not represent a good discernment, unless there are other issues, other and age, at play that we are not privy to hear.
Nicolas wrote 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.”
According to the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus state, Father Nicolas has convoked a General Congregation of Jesuits –the 36th since 1540 to elect his successor “during the final months of 2016.”
Until the General Congregation accepts his resignation, Nicolas remains Superior General.  The successor will be elected and approved by the Roman Pontiff.
The last Jesuit to resign was Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the 29th General who served from 1983-2008, who succeeded the Servant of God Father Pedro Arrupe.

Francis writes to Adolfo: thanks for prayers and unconditional service to the Church and Christ’s Vicar

Here is the letter of Pope Francis to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Adolfo Nicolás in response to Jesuit’s letter to His Holiness last week (which you can read here). No mincing of words: thank you for prayers and pledge, an assurance of the Jesuits unconditional service to the Church and the Vicar of Christ. A very debatable position of the Jesuits in the last 50 years. As you can see in the photo, Father General went to visit with the Pope this week.

Dear Father Nicolás,

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I received with great joy the kind letter you sent me, in your name and that of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of my election to the See of Peter, in which you assure me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry as well as your full disposition to continue serving – unconditionally – the Church and the Vicar of Christ according to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola. My heartfelt thanks for this sign of affection and closeness, which I am happy to reciprocate, asking the Lord to illuminate and accompany all Jesuits, so that faithful to the charism received and following in the footsteps of the saints of our beloved Order, they may be evangelical leaven in the world in their pastoral action, but above all in the witness of a life totally dedicated to the service of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, seeking unceasingly the glory of God and the good of souls.

With these sentiments, I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and to entrust me to the loving protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother in heaven, while as a sign of God’s abundant graces, I give you the Apostolic Blessing with special affection, which I also extend to all those who cooperate with the Society of Jesus in her activities, those who benefit from her good deeds and participate in her spirituality.


Vatican, 16 March 2013

Jesuit Superior General writes to Pope Francis

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In the name of the Society of Jesus, I give thanks to God for the election of our new Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., which opens for the Church a path full of hope.


All of us Jesuits accompany with our prayers our brother and we thank him for his generosity in accepting the responsibility of guiding the Church at this crucial time. The name of “Francis” by which we shall now know him evokes for us the Holy Father’s evangelical spirit of closeness to the poor, his identification with simple people, and his commitment to the renewal of the Church. From the very first moment in which he appeared before the people of God, he gave visible witness to his simplicity, his humility, his pastoral experience and his spiritual depth.


“The distinguishing mark of our Society is that it is . . . a companionship . . . bound to the Roman Pontiff by a special bond of love and service.” (Complementary Norms, No. 2, § 2) Thus, we share the joy of the whole Church, and at the same time, wish to express our renewed availability to be sent into the vineyard of the Lord, according to the spirit of our special vow of obedience, that so distinctively unites us with the Holy Father (General Congregation 35, Decree 1, No. 17).


P. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

Superior General

Rome, 14 March 2013

Bernardo de Hoyos beatified

Today, in Valladolid, Spain, Father Bernardo de Hoyos (1711-1735) was beatified. I previously mentioned Father de Hoyos on this blog. Here is a précis of Father Adolfo Nicolás’ letter to the Jesuits. The full text of the letter can be read here Bernard de Hoyos letter.pdf

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“He is considered the first apostle of the Sacred Heart in Spain. To recapture who he was and what he contributed, I offer some biographical information that should be understood in the religious and cultural context of the 18th century.” Thus begins Nicolás’ for this occasion. More than a century ago, in 1895, the cause for Father De Hoyos was introduced; due to many ecclesiastical vicissitudes and the political history of Spain, it was repeatedly postponed. Father Nicolás, in his letter, traces the major events in the very short life of the newly beatified who died on the 29th of November 1735 at the age of 24. Near to the time of his death, de Hoyos was ordained a priest and in Tertianship.

“His reputation for holiness,” the letter continues. “spread immediately after his death.  However, because of the difficult situation in which the Society found itself opposed by the Jansenists, the cause for beatification was not introduced at that time.  Later the suppression of the Society would leave many projects unfinished. When the Society was restored in 1814 by Pope Pius VII, a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart emerged in the whole Church. In accord with the religious sensibilities of the time, the reborn Society dedicated itself to the spread and propagation of this devotion with significant results.” The letter outlines the steps of this recovery of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, beginning with Jesuits’ General Congregation 31st  in 1965, through the generalate of Father Pedro Arrupe and then with generalate of Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach.

Then Father Nicolás goes on: “Bernardo de Hoyos’s passion for the Heart of Jesus faithfully corresponds to the devotion that Saint Ignatius felt for Jesus poor and humble, before whom he asks that our affections be moved in order to accompany Him in each step of His life: As companions with him on mission, his way is our way (GC35, D.2, nº 14), so that in what we do in the world there must always be a transparency to God (GC35, D. 2, nº 10). On the occasion of this beatification, I invite the whole Society, together with our collaborators, to renew our personal love of Jesus Christ and to open ourselves to the grace of identifying ourselves with Him, so that in Nadal’s words, we might understand with His understanding; will with His will; remember with His memory; and that our entire being, living, and doing be not centered in us, but in Christ (MHSI vol 90. p.122; GC35, D. 2, nº14), as the  cornerstone of the particular vocation to which each of us has been called.”

Father Nicolás concludes his letter: “May the Father who has hidden these things from the wise and the learned and has revealed them to the childlike (Mt 11, 25) through the intercession of Blessed Bernardo de Hoyos, grant the Society the grace of accomplishing its mission of being in the Church a loving response to Him who was pierced by the pain and the aggressive injustice of a world in need of forgiveness and reconciliation.”
May Blessed Bernardo de Hoyos show us the way to the Heart of Jesus!

Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík dead at 91

Tomáš Špidlík.jpgThe staff of the Centro Aletti with faith in the life-giving power of the Lord’s Resurrection announced the death of Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík Friday, 16 April 2010 at 9 pm.

The In making their announcement the staff of the Centro Aletti expressed their gratitude to God for the Cardinal’s many years through his gift of paternity and wisdom. They ask that all of us to be united in prayer to accompany the Cardinal’s soul to his ultimate and definitive passage to eternal life.

The Cardinal’s wake will be at the Centro Aletti until Monday, April 19. On Tuesday, April 20 the Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Vatican Basilica at 11:30 am celebrated by Angelo Cardinal Sodano with the Holy Father concluding the Liturgy with a homily and the prayers of final commendation.

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Let us pray.

By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer has dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servant Tomáš in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham’s bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and mothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.

The Holy Father’s telegram to the superior general of the Society Jesus, Father Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, reads:

“The pious demise of Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, distinguished Jesuit and zealous servant of the Gospel, has aroused deep commotion in my heart. It is with profound gratitude that I recall his solid faith, his paternal affability and his intense cultural and ecclesial labours, especially as an authoritative expert on Eastern Christian spirituality. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, by the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and St. Ignatius of Loyola, He may give the deceased cardinal the eternal prize promised to His faithful disciples. And to you, to the Society of Jesus, and to everyone who knew him and appreciated his gifts of mind and heart, I send a heartfelt and comforting apostolic blessing.

We give thanks to the Lord for blessing us with this wise and holy priest and cardinal!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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