Fr Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, Jesuit Superior General since January 2008, resigned his office today, during the first plenary session of the Society’s 36th General Congregation. He handed over the facilitation of the Congregation to Fr James E. Grummer SJ, a Wisconsin Province Jesuit who has been General Counsellor of the Society since 2005.
Fr Nicolás, who turned 80 last April, indicated in 2014 his intention of resigning and called a General Congregation for 2016 in order to appoint a successor. The election of his successor will take place later during these proceedings, after a period of consultation known as ‘murmurationes’. It is likely though not necessary that the new Father General will come from the ranks of the delegates gathered in Rome.
The Jesuit community in the Gregorian is playing host to thirty-five of these delegates. Irish Jesuit Gerry Whelan, a member of that community, is enjoying the buzz their company brings.
“Breakfast is no longer quite the affair that it used to be!” he commented. “However, they bring with them an excitement and anticipation. These individuals are most interesting people: kind, willing to chat, unpretentious, and, when you speak with them, you recognize that each represents a real excellence in his own field. Will they produce a new Fr. General for us within the week?”