Fr Michael Holman SJ
New British Jesuit Provincial announced
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, has appointed Father Michael Holman SJ as the next Provincial of the British Jesuits. He will succeed Father David Smolira SJ this summer.
Fr Holman, 50, was born and brought up in Wimbledon, south London, where he was educated by the Jesuits, at Donhead Preparatory School and at Wimbledon College.
He entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Rainhill, Liverpool in 1974, and was ordained priest with six other Jesuits in the Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, in 1988 where he also made his final profession in 1997.
Fr Holman studied at Heythrop College, University of London; Campion Hall, Oxford; The Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Fordham University, New York, and holds degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Education Administration.
He has worked in Jesuit schools in Glasgow, Sheffield and latterly at Wimbledon College where he was headmaster for nine years until July 2004. Fr Holman also has pastoral experience in the field of Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction. While completing his final year of training in 1995, he worked for six months as a prison and hospital chaplain in Guyana, South America.
Presently on sabbatical in the USA, he will take up his new post on the Feast of St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, 31 July 2005. Of his appointment Fr Holman says:
'I look forward to this new opportunity to serve Jesus Christ and the Church.
'Becoming a Jesuit is the best thing that happened in my life. I am proud of the considerable contribution the British Jesuits have made and are making to the Church and wider society in the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Guyana.
'The particular gift we Jesuits bring is our rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality. This enables men and women from all walks of life to encounter Jesus Christ right at the centre of their lives and inspires them to live the Gospel more generously in response to the love they have experienced.
'There is evidence everywhere of a longing for the kind of purpose and meaning to life that only a close relationship with Jesus can satisfy. That is why the Jesuit vocation is as urgent and necessary today as it ever was.'