After two months of work, the Jesuit General Congregation will end Thursday evening with a Mass of Thanksgiving at Rome’s Church of the Gesu, where Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola is buried.
Before then, the 200+ delegates expect to debate and finalize two documents: one on collaboration with others and another on Jesuit identity. A document on the internal governance of the Society of Jesus was approved Friday and another on the meaning of obedience was adopted Monday. While the General Congregation Web site has provided brief introductions to the documents, they were not made public immediately.
On the same site, members of the General Congregation communications team have posted the complete transcript of their long interview with Father Adolfo Nicolas, who was elected superior general of the Society of Jesus Jan. 19. The Jesuit communicators even asked him about being elected to such a big job at the age of 71. Father Nicolas said that on Day Three of the four-day, one-on-one conversations that precede the election of a Jesuit superior, his confreres starting asking him about his health. “I have never been in any community where Jesuits were so concerned with it,” he said. That’s when he started realizing people were considering him a serious candidate.
The General Congregation began with the delegates voting to accept the resignation of Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as superior general. Father Nicolas and the other members of the General Congregation formally thanked him for his service Saturday, presenting him with a long ovation and an icon. Before the end of March, Father Kolvenbach will return to Lebanon where he worked for many years.