Press Release
Jesuits to Celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, October 7

215 Electors to Jesuits’ General Congregation 36 Will Process from Jesuit Curia Across St. Peter’s Square Through Holy Door of Mercy at 7 a.m.

For Immediate Release

(Rome, October 6, 2016) — Like thousands of other pilgrims before them, 215 Jesuit priests and brothers will walk through the Holy Door of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica tomorrow. Processing from the Jesuit Curia, the worldwide headquarters of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a short walk from the Vatican, the group, gathered in Rome for General Congregation 36, will celebrate Mass at the altar of the Chair of St. Peter. Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, 76, of the Philippines, the eldest elector to the congregation, will preside at Mass.

During their processional tomorrow, the Jesuits will wear traditional clerical vestments, including a stole that was specifically designed for General Congregation 36. Embroidered in gold thread on white cloth, the stole bears the starburst logo and IHS, (symbol for Jesus), typically associated with the Jesuits.

Near the statue of Pope Paul III, (1534-1549), the Pope who approved the Society of Jesus in 1540, the Jesuits will pray for the work of the congregation, particularly for the upcoming vote to select the new leader who will replace Superior General Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, 80, who retired earlier this week. The new general will be only the 31st in the history of the Society of Jesus, which was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola and his companions.

The Jesuits who were appointed and elected to serve as members of General Congregation 36 represent 66 countries.


About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States

Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents all Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit

Recent Press

(Washington, D.C., February 22, 2017) — The Jesuits of the U.S., together with the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation and St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation, are deeply concerned by the recent decision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline.

(Washington, D.C., January 30, 2017) — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. denounce the Trump Administration’s Executive Order suspending and barring refugees and banning nationals of seven countries.

(Washington D.C., January 26, 2017) — The Jesuits of Canada and the United States are profoundly concerned about the Trump Administration’s actions to dramatically increase detention and deportation.

(Rome, October 14, 2016) — 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) today in Rome.

(Rome, Italy, September 30, 2016) — 215 Jesuits from 62 countries — among them 29 Americans — will elect a replacement for Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, 80, who has announced his intention to resign.

(Rome, Italy, September 27, 2016) — The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, will hold the first plenary session of General Congregation 36 in Rome on October 3.

(Washington D.C., September 22, 2016) — This fall, the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, welcomed 43 men as novices in the U.S., the largest group in the last decade.

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