Head of Jesuits visits Ireland for first time

September 10, 2009 in General, News

The Father Superior of the Jesuits worldwide will make his first ever trip to Ireland this week. Fr Adolfo Nicolás will meet with Jesuits, their colleagues and friends in Dublin, Limerick and Belfast from Friday Sept 11th until Tuesday, September 15th. Since his election to the lifetime job, Father Adolfo has visited Jesuits and their colleagues in many parts of the world.  He is optimistic about the future of the Church and of his own Order, both of which are increasing in numbers outside their traditional European bases.

His  visit will begin in the Crescent College Comprehensive Limerick to mark its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary, this Friday, Sept 11th ,9am-1pm. Bishop Donal Murray and Church of Ireland Bishop Trevor Williams will also attend . There, Fr Adolfo Nicolás will say mass and address pupils, staff, Jesuits and friends of the school. Jesuits, pupils and representatives from Jesuit schools in Dublin, Galway and Naas will also travel to Limerick for the celebration. At 2pm Fr General will launch the Jesuit Refugee Centre’s annual report in the Jesuit Centre for Spirituality, Limerick before returning to Dublin.

Fr Nicolás says that the challenge facing people of faith today is that of finding and sharing God no matter where they are. He says the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius, had the vision of a God who is to be found ‘in all things’, and particularly among those overlooked by society. The leader of the Jesuits  will challenge Jesuits and those who work with them or are educated by them “to be present to those who live on the edges, weighed down with a poverty that carries with it the terror of not knowing how they will survive and the pain of feeling that nobody really cares.” He will assure them that “people animated by the vision of St Ignatius, who knew that God was at work in the world, can find imaginative, practical ways of showing God’s care to those who need it most.”

According to Fr John Dardis SJ, the Irish Jesuit Provincial, “Our Fr General is coming at a crucial time in the Irish church. Irish Jesuits want to play their part in renewing the church along with laypeople, the diocesan clergy and other religious.”

On Saturday Fr Nicolás will meet with Jesuits, and their work colleagues in Gonzaga College, Dublin. There he will also spend time with pupils of the school, recently returned from volunteer work with Jesuit Mission projects in Zambia.

Fr Nicolás will celebrate 11 o clock Mass in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, on Sunday September 13th, before travelling to Belfast to meet with the Jesuit communities in the North.

A short biog of Fr Nicolás is attached with this email. Photos of all public events will be distributed to relevant media outlets
For further information contact: Ms Pat Coyle, Manager, Jesuit Communication Centre

Mob: 086 819 0029 or visit www.jesuit.ie

Fr Nicolás is not available for interview