Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits, announced his intention to resign in late 2016 after he turns 80.
Previously, Canada's Jesuits were divided into French- and English-speaking provinces. Combining the men would challenge them to work across one of Canada's most enduring cultural divides.
Pope Francis confirmed the head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and named among its new members Australian Cardinal George Pell, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis.
The Vatican announced Saturday that the pope confirmed Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz as prefect of the congregation, the Vatican office that oversees the world's religious orders.
Religion is less a code of doctrines and teachings than a sensitivity to the "dimensions of transcendence" that underlie the human experience, the head of the Jesuit order said.
Fr. John Dear will leave the Jesuits after 32 years in the order, which says he was "obstinately disobedient" to its directives.