Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Superior General
Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Adolfo Nicolás SJ

Adolfo Nicolás was born in Villamuriel de Cerrato, Palencia, Spain, on 29 April 1936 and entered the Jesuit novitiate of Aranjuez in 1953. He studied at the University of Alcalá, where he earned his licentiate in philosophy. In 1960, he was assigned to Japan where he studied theology at Sophia University in Tokyo. He was ordained to the priesthood on 17 March 1967.

From 1968 to 1971, Fr Nicolás studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from where he earned a doctorate in theology. Upon his return to Japan, he was made professor of systematic theology at Sophia University, teaching there for the next 30 years.

Fr Nicolás was appointed Director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines, in 1978 – a post he held for six years. He then went on to serve as rector of the theologate in Tokyo before being appointed as the Jesuit Provincial of Japan. Following his term of office as Provincial, Fr Nicolás remained in Japan, doing pastoral work among poor immigrants in Tokyo.

In 2004, Fr Nicolás returned to the Philippines after he was appointed President of the Jesuit Conference of Provincials for Eastern Asia and Oceania. A native Spanish speaker, Fr Nicolás is also fluent in Catalan, English, Italian, French, and Japanese. He was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus at its 35th General Congregation in Rome on 19 January 2008.