General Congregations of the Society of Jesus

General Congregations are the supreme legislative body of the Society of Jesus consisting of major ("provincial") superiors and locally elected representatives. It is called to elect a new superior general when the previous one dies or resigns and/or to address major issues confronting Jesuit works and Jesuit life. There have been 36 such congregations in the more than 450 years of the order. The most recent General Congregation met in October 2016.

What is a General Congregation?


Empty old brown leather shoes on pavement

Jesuit A-Z

Past General Congregations:

GC 36 - 2016
Election of Arturo Sosa, S.J. as the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Professional portrait of Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Arturo Sosa, S.J. elected as Superior General:

Additional Information About GC 36:


Additional Documents:

Graphic for the IHS Jesuit General Congregation 36, Titled Rowing in the Deep

Preparing for GC36:

Popular Links:

Information about the former Superior General's Resignation

Prayer for General Congregation 36:

God our Father, almighty and merciful,
You sent Your Son Jesus, Your living Word,
to save the human race by His life, death, and resurrection,
and You send Your Holy Spirit to inspire and accompany Your pilgrim Church on earth.

With confidence, we pray for the Society that bears the name of Jesus:
Grant the 36th General Congregation openness to hear your Spirit
so that we may live for the greater glory of your name,
faithful to our history and the example of the saints who have gone before us.

Give us the spirit to serve beneath the banner of the Cross on behalf of Your Church,
a profound love for the world You have created and entrusted to Your people,
the grace to see with Your eyes the beauty and suffering of our sisters and brothers,
hearts that beat in union with Your heart, loving You and serving You in all things.
We ask all this through Jesus, the Savior who sets us free. Amen.

Mary, Mother of the Society of Jesus, intercede for us.

All you Saints of the Society, pray for us.

- Father Severin Leitner, S.J.


GC 35 - 2008
Election of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas as the new Superior General of the Society

From January to March of 2008, the Society of Jesus celebrated the General Congregation 35. After the election of Fr. Adolfo Nicolás as new Father General, the Congregation, during two months, was debating different issues related with the mission, the structure, and the identity of the Society. This web site has been the window through which we have been witnessing to the world all this important event. Explore the Highlights of General Congregation 35


GC 34 - 1995



GC 33 - 1983
Election of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as the new Superior General of the Society



GC 32 - 1974-1975

General Congregation 32 occurred between 1974 and 1975. The congregation established Decree 4 which stated the committment to promote the issues of justice and world peace, and inculturation of the church in non-Western cultures. The discussion was in part to the large number of delegates coming from Africa and Asia. 

GC 31 - 1965-1966
Election of Fr. Pedro Arrupe as the new Superior General of the Society

General Congregation 31 met during 1965 and 1966 and issued 56 decrees. During this time, Pedro Arrupe was elected as the 28th Superior General. The decrees fall into multiple categories including: introductory decrees, the Institute,the formation of the Jesuits, religious life, the apostolate, congregations, government, and a general appendix. 

The decrees and statements from General Congregation 31

A line of people holding hands in prayer during a religious service.


A field of deep pink blazing star flowers (liatris spicata) in bloom



The Suppression of the Society of Jesus:

The Restoration of the Society of Jesus:

Featured Resources

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