Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, of Venezuela, was elected the 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the Jesuits’ General Congregation 36 (GC 36) on October 14, 2016, in Rome. Fr. Sosa leads the Society of Jesus, the largest religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.
Fr. Sosa, who previously served as Delegate of the General for the International Houses and Works of the Society of Jesus in Rome, was elected by the 212 Jesuit electors at the General Congregation, the supreme governing body of the Society. He succeeds Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, 80, who resigned after serving as Superior General since 2008.
Fr. Sosa was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 12, 1948. He entered the Society of Jesus in September 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Catholic University Andrés Bello in Caracas, a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in political science from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Venezuela from 1996 to 2004.
Fr. Sosa, only the 31st Superior General in the Society’s 476-year history, now leads the 16,740 Jesuits worldwide. This includes approximately 12,000 priests; 1,300 brothers; 2,700 scholastics; and 753 novices.