Spanish Jesuit Father Miguel Garaizábal Fontenla has been appointed as the new superior of the Thai Jesuit region.
Father Arturo Sosa SJ appointed Father Garaizábal for the regional superior role which begins Jan. 1, 2021, reported Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific Dec. 14.
Father Garaizábal succeeds Father Agustinus Sugiyo Pitoyo SJ who was regional superior since 2012.
“Born on 10 July 1942 in La Coruña, Spain, Father Garaizábal entered the Society of Jesus in 1959,” said the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific report.
In 1966 Father Garaizábal was sent to Thailand a nation that currently has nearly 400,000 Catholics. It is in Thailand that Father Garaizábal has spent his life as a missionary.
After completing theology at De Nobili College, Pune, India, and spirituality studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, he was ordained in the Thai capital of Bangkok in 1972. Four years later, Father Garaizábal went to the Philippines for tertianship in novaliches.
“In his 61 years as a Jesuit, Father Garaizábal has held various roles in the society, including as regional superior of Thailand from 1984 to 1990. In the past he has also been a student chaplain, local superior, retreat giver, spiritual director, and pastor,” said the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific report.
“Besides currently being socius to the major superior of Thailand, Father Garaizábal continues to be involved in the local Church through the spiritual guidance of seminarians, ongoing formation of the clergy, and the child protection and theological commissions of the Church,” it added.