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Jesuit Terms N

Nadal, Jerome [Jeronimo in Spanish] (1507-1580)

Spanish Jesuit; promulgator of Constitutions

Ignatius sent Nadal as his trusted ambassador to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Austria to promulgate and explain the newly-composed Constitutions of the order.

Nadal made use of the new medium of perspective illustrations to enhance the realism of Pictures of the Gospel Stories. Matteo Ricci took this work with him to China and thus introduced the art and science of perspective to that forbidden country.

Nadal is considered by historian John O’Malley to be one of the three absolutely central figures (along with Polanco and Ignatius himself) in the founding and early development of the Society of Jesus (The First Jesuits [Harvard, 1993]).

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New Testament

See "Old / New Testament"

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Newman, John Henry (1801-1890)

Cardinal, Beatified, British educator and theologian, writer, orator

Born in London, Newman was the eldest of a family with three sons and three daughters. At the age of 15 he attended Trinity College, Oxford, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He held academic and pastoral assignments having been ordained as an Anglican clergyman and serving as a teacher at Oxford University. Founder of the Oxford Movement (whose members are often associated with the University of Oxford, wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in medieval times to restore ritual expression), he eventually became a Catholic in 1845 and was ordained in the Catholic Church in 1847. In 1854, Newman went to Dublin as rector of the newly established Catholic University of Ireland which evolved into the University College, Dublin, the largest university in Ireland. It was here that he published a volume of lectures, The Idea of a University, which explained his philosophy of education. For instance, he described knowledge as, “The indispensable condition of expansion of mind, and the instrument of attaining to it” and the importance of a wide range of academic possibilities. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in Birmingham, England on September 19, 2010.  


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Nicolás, Adolfo (1936- )

30th superior general of the Society of Jesus, elected by General Congregation 35 in January 2008. The delegates were evidently thinking of the global reality of our broken, lovable 21st-century world, and in electing Adolfo Nicolás they were choosing indeed a great-hearted man with extensive cross-cultural experience and a global worldview.

A native of Spain, Nicolás entered the Jesuits in 1953. In 1960 he left for Japan and four years of language study. From 1964-1968, he studied theology in Tokyo and was ordained a priest there. After three years of doctoral studies in Rome, he returned to Tokyo and taught systematic theology at the Jesuit-sponsored Sophia University from 1971 to 1978, and again from 1984 to 1993.

From 1978 to 1984, he was director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (Manila, Philippines), which had wide influence in the theological renewal of all Asia in the aftermath of Vatican II. In 1993, he was appointed provincial of the Jesuit Province of Japan, and in this capacity he participated in General Congregation 34 (1995) and was elected secretary of the congregation.

On completing his term as provincial, he chose to live in a poor parish in Tokyo, where, amid great difficulties, he was able to help thousands of Philippine and other Asian immigrants. At the time of his election as superior general, he was head of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, a vast territory.

Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education Today
Superior General Adolfo Nicolas, S.J.
Mexico City, April 23, 2010

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Nineteenth Annotation Retreat

Also called "The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life"

Ignatius of Loyola foresaw that not everyone would be able to make his full Spiritual Exercises by withdrawing from home and work and devoting 30 days full time to them.  He thus asked people making the Exercises part-time to do two things: (1) to set aside an hour daily for prayer (but this like so much in the Exercises is adaptable to the individual person) and (2) to see a guide for processing what is happening in the prayer and the rest of life and get individualized guidance every week or two.   This process would continue for seven months or more—a large commitment.  (In this version one week part time equals about one day full time.) 

Ignatius wrote about this possibility in “Annotation 19,” one of the “Introductory Observations” at the beginning of the book of the Exercises.   Most lay people who make the full Exercises today do so in this extended way. 

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Nostra Aetate

Nostra Aetate (Latin for “In Our Time” or “In Our Age”), Vatican Council II’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, is a statement on interreligious dialogue promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI; thus, the 5Oth anniversary is celebrated in 2015.
See the document which includes:
- a statement on the unity of the origin of all people.
- the will of the Catholic Church to accept other religions.
- a description of some commonalities of Islam, Christianity and Catholicism.
- an account on the bond that ties Christians to Jews and a denunciation of
anti-Semitism.


For more information see the Nostra Aetate Resource page

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Novitiate/Novice

The stages of Jesuit formation

The first two years of a Jesuit's formation. A Novice engages in the study of Jesuit history and Jesuit life (including the vows common to all forms of religious life), the making of the full Spiritual Exercises over 30 days and other "experiments" like insertion among the poor, work in hospitals, going on pilgrimage, work in a Jesuit-sponsored ministry while living in community with Jesuits who have completed their course of (early) formation.

See also Stages of Formation, First StudiesRegency, Theology, and Tertianship.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"