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General Congregation 35

The General Curia of the Society of Jesus announces the opening of a General Congregation on Monday, January 7, 2008. This is the 35th General Congregation since the foundation of the Society in 1540. More than 220 Jesuits from around the world will convene at Borgo S. Spirito to elect a new Superior General and to discuss (“discern” in the language of Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Society) the apostolic challenges confronting the Society in the years ahead.

The present Superior General, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the 28th successor of Saint Ignatius, is close to 80 years of age, and has been at the helm of the Society for more than 24 years. After hearing the opinion of his Counsellors and with the assent of the Holy Father, Father Kolvenbach will present his resignation to the General Congregation. Following the election of a new Superior General, the Congregation will move to the discussion of issues suggested by the Preparatory Commission. Interventions can be made in English, Spanish, French and Italian. They will be translated into English, Spanish and French.

Word from the Holy See has reached Father General informing him that on February 21st His Holiness Benedict XVI will receive in audience the members of the General Congregation.

The numbers published regarding the participants to General Congregation 35 could lead to a certain confusion: The 225 figure members, did not include Father General who has convoked the Congregation and will preside at it, but he is also a member of the Congregation with voting rights. Therefore the correct number is 226 members of the Congregation. The number of electors does not include three ex officio members and five appointed by Father General. Consequently the number of electors of the new Superior General is 218. Fr Kolvenbach remains member of the Congregation even after the election of his successor.



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