Martin Maier SJ appointed the new managing director of Adveniat

Martin Maier SJ
Martin Maier, Secretary for European Affairs at the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) since 2014, has been elected as new General Manager Director of Adveniat by the German Catholic Bishop Conference.


Adveniat is the german episcopal charity-organisation for Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1961, Adveniat supports project of the Catholic Church in the entire continent. Adveniat’s financial support for charity projects each year provides help where it is needed most and where it has the greatest impact: at base level, as direct aid for the people, in particular for the poor. Last year 1900 projects received over 36 million Euro support.

Martin will finish working at JESC on 31 March and assume his new responsibility at Adveniat in the city of Essen after a time of transition and preparation on 1 september 2021. As he declared, it is not easy for him to leave Brussels, where he felt fulfilment and joy in his mission to foster visions and values for Europe. He will be dearly missed by the JESC team, his Jesuit companions and many groups and friends he accompanied.

Martin Maier, SJ on European recovery after the pandemic.

El Salvador: “home of the heart”

Martin Maier studied, among others, in El Salvador, Central America, and worked as a priest in the rural community of Jayaque in the Coffee Mountains west of the capital. He calls El Salvador his “home of heart”.

About his nomination, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, where Adveniat has its HQ, said: “With Father Dr. Martin Maier, a proven expert on Latin America is once again at the helm of Adveniat. I am sure that he will be able to enrich Adveniat’s work with his wealth of experience and to advance it effectively. With Father Dr. Maier and Ms. Tanja Himer, who has been responsible in the Adveniat office since February 15, our Catholic Latin America relief organization has a strong and competent management team”.

About Martin Maier

Martin Maier was born in Messkirch in 1960 and entered the Jesuit order in 1979. He studied philosophy, theology and music in Munich, Paris, Innsbruck and San Salvador. In the capital of Central American El Salvador, he witnessed the murders of the six Jesuits the year after his ordination and had worked with one of the murdered, Fr. Ignacio Martín-Barró, in the parish of Jayaque. Martin Maier then worked as a country pastor in Jayaque for two years. In 1993 he received his doctorate in Innsbruck with a thesis on the “Theology of Liberation by Ignacio Ellacuría and Jon Sobrino”.

After activities in the Nuremberg mission procuration of the Jesuits and the tertiary in Bangalore, India, Martin Maier worked from 1995-2009 as editor and (from 1998) as editor-in-chief of the renowned German magazine “Voices of the Times”. In 2009 he became rector of the Berchmanskolleg in Munich before moving to the European Social Center of the Jesuits in Brussels in 2014. Martin Maier has written books on liberation theology and the Holy Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero. He teaches at the University of the Jesuits (UCA) in El Salvador as well as in Mexico City and Paris.

Martin Maier

In an interview with the church newspaper of the Archdiocese of Vienna, Martin Maier reported on his experiences in El Salvador: “I came to El Salvador to study in September 1989, worked on the weekends with Father Ignacio Martín-Barró, who worked at the Central American University , in the rural parish of Jayaque and celebrated church services together with the farmers, the campesinos”.

Father Martín-Barró was one of the six Jesuits who were brutally murdered on November 16, 1989 by a special army unit. “After the funeral, the farmers of Jayaque said: Now you are our pastor! At first I was scared once. I spoke to the provincial and he said: If you want to do that, do it. I became a pastor under difficult circumstances”.

Martin Maier’s SJ favourite prayers – For Europe 

Father of mankind, Lord of history,
watch over Europe
to whom you have sent philosophers, legislators, wise people,
Forerunners in faith of your Son, who has died and has risen again

Watch over these peoples, evangelized by Peter and Paul,
by the prophets, by the monks, by the saints;
watch over these regions watered by the blood of the martyrs
and touched by the voice of the Reformers.
Watch over  the peoples united by so many ties
but also divided, over time, by hatred and war.
Help us working for a Europe of the Spirit
founded not only on economic agreements,
but also on human and eternal values.

A Europe capable of ethnic and ecumenical reconciliations,
ready to welcome the stranger, respectful of each person’s dignity.
Grant that we assume our duty with hope
to inspire and promote an understanding among peoples
which ensures in all the continents,
justice and bread, freedom and peace.

Card. Carlo Maria Martini

We thank POLITICO for sharing the appointment in the Brussels Playbook by Florian Eder:

LEAVING BRUSSELS: Martin Maier has been appointed the new managing director of Adveniat, the charity organization for Latin America of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Maier joins from the Jesuit European Social Centre in Brussels. “With Father Dr. Martin Maier, a proven expert on Latin America is once again at the helm of Adveniat,” said Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, where Adveniat has its HQ. More from Vatican News.

Excerpts were taken from Vatican News Article on the nomination.


Read Martin’s Articles here: European Affairs


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