21 May 2020, The Tablet

Jesuits announce death of former superior general

by CNS

Jesuits announce death of former superior general

Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, right, the new superior general of the Society of Jesus, greets the previous superior general, Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, after his election in Rome Oct. 14, 2016.
CNS photo/Don Doll, SJ

Read a tribute to Father Adolfo by Father Paul Nicholson SJ

The Jesuit General Curia in Rome has announced that its former superior general, Father Adolfo Nicolas, died May 20 in Tokyo. He was 84.

He was a member of the Jesuit community of Loyola House in Kamishakujii and had been ill for several years, reported ucanews.com.

A statement said he is deeply mourned by the Jesuits of Japan and Asia-Pacific, his family and compatriots in Spain, and his many friends around the world.

“I offer my sincere condolences to the Jesuit province of Japan, to Father Nicolas' family, to the Jesuits in Spain and the Philippines and to his many friends all around the world,” said Father Arturo Sosa, current superior general.

“Father Nicolas gave of himself throughout his life. It was a life marked by intense service, calm availability and a deep ability to inculturate in Japan, where he went as a young Jesuit. It was a culture he loved dearly and to which he committed himself.

“His time as general was marked by his sense of humour, his courage, his humility and his close relationship with Pope Francis. All of us here at the Jesuit General Curia mourn him, and a special Mass will be offered here in Rome as soon as we can organise it.”

Father Sosa said all who worked with Father Nicolas in the General Curia greatly appreciated his presence.

“He will be greatly mourned throughout the society as a wise, humble and dedicated Jesuit, a man of grace and wisdom, simple, unpretentious,” he said.

Fr Arturo paid tribute in a letter to the society to “the personal style with which Father Nicolás exercised authority – always full of warmth, goodness and joy”.

He quoted a prayer which Fr Nicolás had written during his annual retreat in 2011, which ends: “Enlighten our minds and our hearts, and do not forget to makes us smile when things do not go as we wished. At the end of the day, of each one of our days, make us feel more united with you and better able to perceive and discover around us greater joy and greater hope.”

Father Nicolas had a strong relationship with Pope Benedict and close and warm bonds with Pope Francis.

Father Nicolas was born in Palencia, Spain, April 29, 1936. He entered the Society of Jesus in September 1953 and was ordained a priest March 17, 1967.

As a scholastic, he was sent to the mission of Japan, where he was a professor of theology, rector of scholastics and provincial, later dedicating himself to social work with immigrants in Tokyo.

For 10 years, he lived in the Philippines, serving as director of the East Asia Pastoral Institute and as president of the Conference of Provincials of East Asia and Oceania. After presenting his resignation as superior general of the Jesuits, he was a spiritual director at EAPI and in the Arrupe

International Residence in Manila.

Father Nicolas served as superior general of the Jesuits from January 2008 to October 2016.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated in Rome in the Church of the Gesu at a date to be determined.


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