Adolfo Nicolás


Adolfo Nicolás

Infobox Person
name = Adolfo Nicolás Pachón


caption = Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Jesuits
birth_date = Birth date and age|1936|4|29
birth_place = Villamuriel de Cerrato, Spain
death_date =
death_place =
other_names =
known_for =
occupation = Superior General of the Society of Jesus
nationality = Spanish

"Reverend Father" Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. (born April 29, 1936) is a Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the thirtieth and current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church.

Biography

Adolfo Nicolás was born in Villamuriel de Cerrato, Palencia, and entered the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits, in the novitiate of Aranjuez in 1953 cite web |url=http://www.sjweb.info/35/newsShow.cfm?PubID=12375 |title=Election press release: Biographical Notes |accessdate=2008-01-24 |author= |date=2008-01-19 |publisher=Jesuit Press and Information Office |language=Italian|quote= "29 aprile 1936: nasce a Palencia, Spagna; 15 settembre 1953: Entra nel noviziato di Aranjuez della Provincia Toletana (Spagna); 1958-1960: Licenza in Filosofia (Alcalá, Madrid);1964-1968: Teologia a Tokyo, Giappone; 17 marzo 1967: ordinato Sacerdote a Tokyo, Giappone; 1968-1971: Master in teologia sacra alla Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma; 1971: Professore di Teologia Sistematica alla Sophia University di Tokyo, Giappone; 1978-1984: Direttore Istituto Pastorale di Manila (Filippine); 1991-1993: Rettore dello Scolasticato (Tokyo, Giappone); 1993-1999: Provinciale della Provincia di Giappone; 2004-2007: Moderatore della Conferenza Gesuita dell’Asia Orientale e Oceania". ] . He studied at the University of Alcalá, there earning his licentiate in philosophy, until 1960, whence he traveled to Japan to familiarize himself with Japanese language and culture. Nicolás entered Sophia University in Tokyo, where he studied theology, in 1964, and was later ordained to the priesthood on March 17 1967.

From 1968 to 1971, he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from where he obtained his Master's degree in theology, and later earned a doctorate in theology. Upon his return to Japan, Nicolás was made professor of systematic theology at his "alma mater" of Sophia University, teaching there for the next thirty years.

He was Director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University, in Quezon City, Philippines, from 1978 to 1984 [http://www.jesuits.ph/articles/gc35(19jan)d Fr. Adolfo Nicolas elected Superior General of the Jesuits] ] , and later served as rector of the theologate in Tokyo from 1991 to 1993, when he was appointed Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Japan. Nicolás remained in this post until 1999, and then spent three years doing pastoral work among poor immigrants in Tokyo. In 1998 he clashed with the Vatican when he and several Asian bishops requested for more local authority for Church decisions [TIME Magazine. [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1705399,00.html Will the New "Black Pope" Work?] January 19 2008] .

In 2004 he returned to the Philippines after he was named Moderator of the Jesuit Conference for Eastern Asia and Oceania [http://www.jceao.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26 JCEAO - About JCEAO ] ] . As Moderator, he was responsible for the Jesuits of several countries, including Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Micronesia, Myanmar, and East Timor.

On the second ballot of the thirty-fifth General Congregation (GC XXXV) of the Society of Jesus, Nicolás was elected as the Order’s thirtieth Superior General on January 19 2008, succeeding the Dutch Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach. His election was immediately relayed to Pope Benedict XVI, who confirmed him in the post. Many have marked the similarities between Nicolás and former Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who was also a Spanish missionary in Japan; Nicolás has described Arrupe, of whom he was once the personal barber, as a "great missionary, a national hero, a man on fire" [Whispers in the Loggia. [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2008/01/second-arrupe-on-first.html The "Second Arrupe" on the First] January 20 2008] . He leads a congregation which currently numbers 19,126 members. [ [http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=11507 catholicnewsagency.com, Spaniard Adolfo Nicolás elected new Superior General of the Jesuits] ]

In addition to his native Spanish, Nicolás can speak English, Italian, French, and Japanese.

Beliefs and values

He once stated, "Asia has a lot yet to offer the Church, to the whole Church, but we haven't done it yet. Maybe we have not been courageous enough, or we haven't taken the risks we should"cite news |first=Michael |last=McVeigh |coauthors= |title=Father Adolfo Nicolás |url=http://www.express.org.au/article.aspx?aeid=2305 |publisher=Province Express |date=2007-02-27 |accessdate=2008-01-21 ] . In an article on Fr. Nicolas, Michael McVeigh said that Nicolás has also expressed his wariness of missionaries who are more concerned with teaching and imposing orthodoxy than in having a cultural experience with the local people, saying, "Those who enter into the lives of the people, they begin to question their own positions very radically."

A month before the General Congregation that would eventually elect him, Fr. Nicolas described the General Congregation as "an event of the heart." It is "a time of intensive search and of exhilarating exchange, where questions and answers do not come lineally, but dance within us and around us, at the rhythm of fraternal and humble mutual openness." According to him, "My hope is that this happens to the whole Society of Jesus." He then emphasized that "Prayer, reflection and exchange are the gift and the contribution."cite news |first=Michael |last=Kelly, S.J. |title=What should GC35 do? |url=http://www.express.org.au/article.aspx?aeid=3921 |publisher=Province Express |date=2007-12-12 |accessdate=2008-01-21 ]

After asking why "we elicit so much admiration and so little following," he stated that one of his hopes is for the Jesuits to "begin a process of dynamic and open reflection on our religious life that might begin a process of re-creation of the Society for our times, not only in the quality of our services, but also and mostly in the quality of our personal and community witness to the Church and the World."

According to Father Paolo Molinari, the Postulator General of the Society of Jesus, Nicolas was the "optimal choice" for Superior General. Molinari views him as someone with "excellent theological formation and a great missionary spirit." "In regard to his kind of formation and the service he has done, he seems precisely to respond to the indications of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Certainly he will help us to rediscover and reinforce the Christian roots of Europe and to witness to Christ in the whole world," stated Molinari. [http://www.zenit.org/article-21553?l=english New Jesuit Superior seen as "Optimal Choice", Zenit News Agency] ]

In the homily of the Mass celebrated after his election, Nicolas emphasized service, based on the scriptural reading for that day, the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and Benedict XVI's teaching on God is love. He stated: "The more we become as servants, the more pleased God is."

Delving further on the scriptural passage and after relating an anecdote of experiences with the poor in Asia, he related poverty with having God as the only source of strength, pointing out that the Jesuit's strength is not in externals (power, media, etc.) nor in internal fortitude (research). "The poor only have God in whom to find strength. For us only God is our strength."

Nicolas also developed the following ideas: the message of the Jesuits is "a message of salvation" and the challenge of discerning the type of salvation that people today are waiting for. [http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/GC35/CG35_2008-01-20%20Homily_eng.pdf Fr. General's Homily, Gesu Church] ]

After having received a message from Pope Benedict XVI asking the Society of Jesus to affirm its fidelity to the magisterium and the Holy See, the Congregation presided by Nicolas responded with a formal declaration titled "With New Fervor and Dynamism, the Society of Jesus Responds to the Call of Benedict XVI." Nicolas said the delegates approached the question "with interest and enthusiasm and also with joy." "The Society of Jesus was born within the Church, we live in the Church, we were approved by the Church and we serve the Church. This is our vocation," he said. Unity with the pope "is the symbol of our union with Christ. It also is the guarantee that our mission will not be a 'small mission,' a project just of the Jesuits, but that our mission is the mission of the Church," Father Nicolas said. [ [http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0801316.htm Jesuits end meeting by approving decrees, confirming fidelity to pope, CNS March 7, 2008] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-religion-jesuits.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Nicol%E1s&oref=slogin Spaniard becomes new Black Pope - New York Times]
* [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2008/01/habemus-papam.html Habemus Papam: Jesuits Go Ad Orientem - Whispers in the Loggia]
* [http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=11507 Spaniard Adolfo Nicolás elected new Superior General of the Jesuits - Catholic News Agency]
* [http://www.express.org.au/article.aspx?aeid=3921 What should GC35 do? Adolfo Nicolas:Six hopes for the General Congregation]
* [http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu9B30g2Lno Youtube interview with Adolfo Nicolas]

Persondata
NAME= Pachón, Adolfo Nicolás
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Superior General of the Society of Jesus
DATE OF BIRTH= 1936-4-29
PLACE OF BIRTH= Villamuriel de Cerrato, Spain
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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