Andreas Hönisch was born on the 3rd of October, 1930, in Habelschwerdt, in the lower-Silesian county of Glatz, about 100 kilometres south of Breslau, as the third of four children. His father was a teacher at the village school. Andreas went to the very well-reputed Jesuit primary school.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Hönisch family was driven from their homeland and settled in Wattenscheid. In 1946, Andreas Hönisch entered the Jesuit boarding school of St. Aloysius College in Bad Godesberg, where he graduated in 1952. Subsequently he entered the East-German province of the Society of Jesus. He completed his novitiate under Fr. Otto Pies SJ in Bingen am Rhein.
He studied philosophy from 1954 in Pullach. In 1958 he was sent by the Jesuits for language studies in the Philippines and Japan. In 1960 he undertook theological studies at the Jesuit University of St. George in Frankfurt. On the 27th of August 1963 he was ordained a priest by Alfred Cardinal Bengsch in Berlin. After his subsequent Tertianship in Paray-le-Monial, he worked firstly (1965) as a religion teacher at the Berlin Rathenau High School; from 1966 until 1977 he worked as a chaplain at the parish of St. Albert in Gießen; from 1978 until 1982 he was a religion teacher at the High School in Langen in Hesse; and from 1981 until 1988 he was an assistant of Father Werenfried van Straaten OPraem at the aid-organisation Aid to the Church in Need.
Since his time in Pullach, Andreas Hönisch worked actively with the German Scout Association of St. George (Deutschen Pfadfinderschaft St. Georg, DPSG). In Gießen he led two large Scout groups; during his studies in St. George he led a DPSG-group in Frankfurt-Bockenheim, became acquainted with the Offenbach group "Kreuzritter" and at the same time also became acquainted with Günther Walter. In reaction to the substantial reorientation of the DPSG in the early 1970s, Father Hönisch - together with Günther Walter - founded on the 11th of February 1976 the Catholic Scouts of Europe. This happened with the express permission of his relevant superiors. Until the end of his life, Fr. Hönisch was constantly re-elected to the federal curatorship of the KPE.
Fr. Hönisch had the gift of awakening in the young people entrusted to him a life animated by faith and fidelity to the Church. He was not afraid to discuss unpopular truths of the Faith and of morals. This naturally led to controversies, including between the KPE and other youth associations. Consequently, he was encouraged by his immediate superiors in the Society of Jesus to end his work for the KPE – which would mean also leaving the youth groups alone. In the midst of his moral dilemma, he turned to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on the basis of whose express advice he continued his work for young people, and accepted his exclusion from the Jesuit Order. Thereafter he was incardinated by Bishop Josef Stimpfle in the diocese of Augsburg.
On the 30th of May, 1988, the Religious Order of the Servants of Jesus and Mary was founded by Fr. Hönisch.
When the SJM was officially recognised by Rome on the 16th of July 1994 and raised as a Congregation of Pontifical Right, the Holy See named Fr. Hönisch as the first General Superior of the new order - an office that he held for the length of his life.
On the 25th of January 2008, Fr. Hönisch died unexpectedly in the General House of the SJM in Blindenmarkt.