When the Jesuits announced Saturday that members of their General Congregation elected Father Adolfo Nicolas to be the new superior general, they put out a fairly bare-bones biography. Although not much was added to the biography, the Jesuits soon revamped the announcement into an election-day ”chronicle.”
Sunday evening’s Mass of Thanksgiving in the Church of the Gesu, where the order’s founder St. Ignatius is buried, gave the public an opportunity to form a first impression of new superior, who was born in Spain but has ministered in Asia for 40 years.
Little by little, Jesuits among the 217 electors are writing about the man they believe the Holy Spirit led them to elect. Several of the testimonials are on the Internet, including one by the Jesuit provincial of the Philippines, Father Daniel Patrick Huang, who has lived and worked with Father Nicolas.
Another portrait — a visual one — is being offered to news media and Web sites by Jesuit Father Don Doll. On the roof of the Jesuit headquarters, just a block from St. Peter’s Square, he also took a group photograph of all 225 participants in to the General Congregation. One Jesuit had said that getting all of the Jesuits on the roof and looking at the camera at the same time would be like “herding cats.”
The Jesuits thoughtfully have included photos of the heights Father Doll had to go to in order to get the shot.
PHOTO: Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas takes the oath of office as superior general of the Society of Jesus at the order’s 35th General Congregation Jan. 19 in Rome. (CNS/Don Doll, S.J.)