This morning in Rome, the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus elected Father Adolfo Nicolás as the 30th superior general of the Society
. A 71-year-old Spaniard who has spent much of his Jesuit life in Japan, Father Nicolás has a keen understanding both of the universality of the Church and of the challenges that the contemporary Society faces in preaching the Gospel in a great variety of cultural and social environments. Though Father Nicolás comes well-prepared for the task of leading the Society of Jesus in the 21st century, the details of his biography link him with some of the Society's earliest traditions. As a Spaniard, he represents the nation that produced St. Ignatius of Loyola, five other Jesuit generals, and scores of Jesuit saints and beati. With his decades of experience in Japan, Father Nicolás also represents what might fairly be described as the Jesuit Order's lifelong love affair with the Far East.
Trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit, I believe that the General Congregation's choice of a new superior general is God's choice as well. Today I join with my brother Jesuits around the world in giving thanks to God for the election of our new leader and in praying for Father Nicolás as he begins his service as General. May God bless him and grant him all the grace that he needs to faithfully discharge the responsibilities that have been entrusted to him. AMDG.