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 23, 2019 — “The Jesuits first had to learn to say: “We are responsible,” then “We are sorry,” and finally, “We need your help.” This is how Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ, summarizes the evolving relations between the Jesuits and indigenous peoples.

May 23, 2019 — Humility, communion, and renunciation are three "essential elements" for the Church to go forward, Pope Francis sayd in his homily during Mass with representatives of Caritas Internationalis.

May 23, 2019 — The history of Saint Francis Xavier Church and of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s Shrine is a story of coming together which still exists today.

May 23, 2019 — Last May 9, Pope Francis turned words into more concrete actions by publishing the “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” Motu Proprio.

May 23, 2019 — Here is a brief summary of news and events that have happened or will happen in the next few days.

Father Jean-Marie Rocheleau died on May 20, 2019, in the infirmary of Richelieu. He was in his 101st year and in religious life for 84 years. He is known to host the "Radio Sacré-Cœur" programs. He dedicated himself to giving the Spiritual Exercises to religious sisters, especially in Quebec.

May 16, 2019 — This past Saturday, May 11, the Jesuit Province of Canada celebrated the priestly ordination of Adam Douglas Hincks, SJ (Canada) and Edward Dawson Penton, SJ (Canada) and 5 diaconal ordinations at Saint Paul's Basilica in Toronto.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits

Jesuit (Winter 2019)



Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

Prenant appui sur l’importance qu’Ignace accordait à son expérience personnelle de ...