Jesuit Curia Honors Memory of Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, with New Website

December 6, 2017 — Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, passed away on November 26, 2016; one year later he was remembered by the Jesuit Curia in Rome with the launch of a new website, kolvenbach.jesuitgeneral.org.

Additionally, on Nov. 24, Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ, renamed the library at the Curia the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach Library. Fr. Kolvenbach was an avid user of the library throughout his stay at the Curia.


Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ, renamed the Jesuit Curia library after Fr. Kolvenbach. 

The new website is dedicated to the life and work of Fr. Kolvenbach and includes a biography, testimonials, archives of speeches and photographs, and Fr. Kolvenbach’s writings on the themes of religious life, Ignatian spirituality, and Ignatian pedagogy.

Born in Druten, Netherlands, on Nov. 30, 1928, Fr. Kolvenbach lived most of his teen years during the German occupation of the Netherlands. He came to know the Society of Jesus through his secondary studies at Canisius College, and after a year of studying Latin and Greek, he entered the Jesuit novitiate on Sept. 7, 1948.


He studied philosophy at the Berchmans Institute of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and was sent to Lebanon in 1958. From the start of his new assignment, he dedicated himself to the study of Arabic through direct contact with people. In his new mission in the Near East, he specialized in the Armenian language and literature, and he studied at St. Joseph’s University in Beirut for four years.


Fr. Kolvenbach (right) concelebrating Mass with Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, 28th Superior General of the Society.

Fr. Kolvenbach was ordained a priest in the Armenian Rite on June 29, 1961. He continued to study philosophy and linguistics in Beirut and Paris. He served as a both a professor of linguistics at St. Joseph University and as vice-provincial of the Jesuits’ Near East Vice-Province, which includes Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. In 1981 he was appointed as rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, a position he held until his election as Superior General in 1983.


Fr. Kolvenbach's audience with Pope Saint John Paul II.

As Superior General, Fr. Kolvenbach visited as many Jesuit provinces and individual Jesuits as he could. In 1995 he directed the Jesuits’ General Congregation 34, which addressed issues including the mission of the Society in the modern world.

In February 2006, Fr. Kolvenbach informed the members of the Society of Jesus of his intention, with the consent of Pope Benedict XVI, to step down. His resignation was accepted at General Congregation 35 in 2008. Upon retirement Fr. Kolvenbach returned to Beirut, making his home in a Jesuit community, where he served as assistant librarian.

Visit kolvenbach.jesuitgeneral.org to learn more.





Recent News

May 27, 2020 — On Wednesday, 22 April 2020, Erik Oland, Provincial of the Jesuits of Canada, received notice that an outbreak of COVID-19 had been declared at our infirmary in Pickering, Ontario. By Monday, 27 April, five Jesuits had arrived to provide personal care and custodial support.

May 25, 2020 — What was Fr. Nicolás' impact on Canadian Jesuits and the Jesuit Province of Canada? What contributions did he offer to Jesuits around the world? We present here the testimonies of four Jesuits from Canada and an international one.

May 25, 2020 – In two of the more memorable and elegantly simple ceremonies in recent history, Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, ordained 5 deacons and Kevin Kelly, SJ (CAN), to the priesthood.

Father Mike Murray died on 18 May, 2020 at the Ajax Pickering Hospital. He was in his 83rd year and had been a Jesuit for 63 years. He served as the first director of Anishinabe Spiritual Centre. In 2010, was appointed as President of Loyola High School in Montreal.

Father Charlie Sitter died peacefully on May 9 at René Goupil House in Pickering, ON. He was in his 94th years and was a Jesuit for 75 years. He had a passion for books and art and thus, he would serve his various communities as house librarian and artistic decorator.

FX Johnson died on 3 May at René Goupil House, Pickering. He was 93 years old and in his 68th year as a Jesuit. In 1969, he began his long career as a parish priest, hospital chaplain, and pastoral worker and spent a lot of his Jesuit life on the move from one pastoral assignment to another.

Fr. Norm Dodge died peacefully in the Lord, surrounded by fellow Jesuits, on May 2 at Rene Goupil House, Pickering. He was 92 years old and was a Jesuit for 67 years. He was well suited to pastoral care ministry, always with a cheerful disposition, patient and a good listener.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

CJI Mission News (Winter 2020)

Canadian Jesuits



Anishinabe Spiritual Centre
The Anishinabe Spiritual Centre is a place of peace, a beautiful retreat space, a welcoming ...