Give, fight, toil and labour

19 June 2014 | by Norman Tanner

Over the next two years the worldwide head of the Society of Jesus, Fr Adolfo Nicolás, will be preparing to step down. As this weekend Heythrop College marks the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the English Jesuits in Louvain, a historian looks at recent trends in the society and surveys the future There have been joys and trials for Fr Adolfo Nicolás during his time as Superior General. The decline in the overall number of Jesuits has continued but there has been new blood from the developing world and these indigenous Jesuits are giving a new self-confidence to the order as well as adventurous innovation. To glimpse what the future may hold, it may help to survey what has happened in the past 50 years. The upbeat mood at the start of this period is captured well by

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