A Brief Biography of
Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.

Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. was born on 30 November, 1928, in Druten, a village 20 kilometers northwest of Nijmegen, Holland. He attended Canisius College, Nijmegen, for his secondary studies where he concentrated on modern languages. On Sept. 7, 1948, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Mariendaal, Holland. Following philosophy studies completed at the Berchmans Institute in Nijmegen, he went to Lebanon where he earned his doctorate in theology at St. Joseph's University, Beirut. He was ordained a priest in 1961.

From 1963 to 1976 he studied and taught general and Oriental linguistics in diverse specialized institutes in La Haye (Holland), Paris, and Beirut; he also worked in theology of spirituality at Pomfret, Ct., in the U.S. More recently, he was professor of general linguistics at St. Joseph's University in Beirut and was the provincial (1974 1981) of the vice-province of the Middle East.

In 1981 he went to Rome and became the rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

On September 13th, 1983, he was elected 29th superior general of the Society of Jesus, during the 33rd General Congregation of the order.