Inside the Jesuit General Congregation

After the opening Mass for the Jesuit’s General Congregation and the election of the congregation officers last week, the Jesuit press office wasn’t exactly rolling out reams of reports. In fact, there was nothing.

Father Jose DeVera, the press officer, and his staff were patient with repeated phone calls and gave a general idea of what the 225 congregation delegate were doing, but that’s all. And an e-mail to a Jesuit friend on the inside didn’t yield anything more than a teasing rebuke from Father DeVera, who found out about it.

So, until his office sent out a press release today announcing that the General Congregation had accepted the resignation of Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as superior general, the only thing to do was looked at the photographs taken by Jesuit Father Don Doll and surf the Internet for new entries from Jesuit delegate-bloggers. Two writing in English are Father Dave Schultenover, a professor of theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and Father Fernando Franco, a Basque-born member of the Jesuit’s Gujarat province in India and director of the Jesuits’ Social Justice Secretariat in Rome.

The rest of the week promises to be even quieter as the delegates devote Tuesday through Friday to silence, prayer and quiet conversations in preparation for the election Saturday of the society’s 30th superior general.

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