1. My visitations to the provinces are somehow the novelty of recent times. The Treasurer General (TG) has always had the duty of visiting the provinces and he has done so also in the past, but perhaps more rarely, and usually on the invitation of an Assistant General or of a provincial superior. Recently, though, the General Council has invited the TG to fulfil also this task as it is stated in the General Directory for Finance. The suggestions made by the General Council for Finance and the invitations of the provinces have become so numerous that I can hardly answer them all. The next Intercapitular Assembly will be an opportunity to programme with some Provincials my visits for 2007.
I wish to underline the willingness to establish the basis for a new style of service in the Institute: a Treasurer general at the service of the Provinces to guide the provincial and delegation treasurers, to offer his technical-administrative expertise in order to properly set up an administration that is in line with the General Administration, to animate the Confreres on Chapter’s issues that concern finances, to maintain a serene control of the outlying administrations, so that the Institute may preserve its constitutional unity.
It is naturally necessary that in the TG’s office in Rome there are people who are self sufficient and who, also, preserve the unity through responsibility.

2. Appointment of Bro. João Da Silva Ferreira to work in the Treasurer General’s office. The Bro. João is now in London for the study of English, which is essential in this office. The plan is that Bro. João gradually takes over the office’s administration, so that the treasurer general (hopefully my successor) will have more time to serve the provinces.
Fr. Elio Zanei carries on with his service till his new destination, which will naturally be after the handing over to Bro. João.
Fr. Antonio Gonzalo Dasilva Fernández, provincial treasurer of Togo-Ghana-Bénin, has been appointed as the new continental councillor for finance for French-speaking Africa, taking over from Bro. João.

3. Intercapitular
In the month of September we will have this important meeting of capitular evaluation. If we look at it from the viewpoint of sensitisation and coordination of Comboni life, the meeting will be more than just an evaluation.
From the economic side, we should find confirmation of the implementation of the Unalienable Assets, as discussed and studied in the various Continental Assemblies of treasurers.
The Common Fund should also find space for sharing our experiences and the objectives we want to achieve. In this perspective, we must certainly grow in the dimension of unity in missionary praxis. To discover this provincial missionary plan will also be the task of the process of the Ratio Missionis.
Ethical behaviour and transparency, proposed by the General Chapter, will be adequately treated in the Code of Conduct that will also be presented at the Intercapitular.

4. Financial report
The general administration’s Financial Report for the year 2005 was sent to all the treasurers, so that they may have an idea of the financial situation of the Institute and present it to the Confreres at a provincial assembly. A copy will be presented to the provincials and delegates at the Intercapitular Assembly so that they may look at it and, if necessary, ask for explanations from the treasurer general.
From the analysis of the report it appears that we have sufficient income. There are, nevertheless, six provinces that have not given any contribution, whether because they are themselves in financial difficulties or because they feel they have contributed to the Institute in other ways.
The balance of the working assets for 2005 shows that it is above the limit of two years that was fixed by the General Chapter 1997. The General Administration is looking at some proposals for utilising this amount made by the General council for finance.
One of the proposals is about a pension plan for confreres who in their old age will not be able to benefit from any pension system. The GC asks to check which provinces and delegations have concrete proposals for a pension system that can be used for the members of provinces and delegations in the South of the world.
You could already send a reply to this question: “In your province or delegation is there any form of pension, or a pension scheme under study?” The answers are to be sent to the treasurer general. Thanks.

5. Provincial financial reports
All the provinces, with the exception of two, have sent their report in time for the Financial General Council’s meeting. The general opinion has been positive. The general and particular observations will be soon sent to you, possibly before leaving for the Intercapitular in Mexico.

6. Documentation. From time to time I have been sending you essays to help you in reflecting on economic issues and as an updating of what is going on in the mission and religious field. In July to the English-speaking provinces I have sent two copies of the minutes of the SEDOS Workshop 2005 “Mission and Money – Perspective from Religious Life”. Also previously summaries of two chapters of a book by J. Bonk “Missions and Money”. I am planning to send you the final part, the conclusion, of this book. Anyone interested in having the book itself in English may request it from the TG.

7.





Next commitments of the treasurer general:

date

commitment

place

end

08/08/2006

visit to Eritrea

 

18 August

01/09/2006

Intercapitular

Mexico

29/09/2006

15/10/2006

CONSULTA

Rome

15 Nov.

14/11/2006

Technical economic council

Rome

16/11/2006

24/11/2006

visit to Centrafrica

Bangui

02/12/2006

15/02/2007

visit to Tchad

 

28/02/2007

March 2007

CONSULTA

Rome

 

17/04/2007

Economic council – continents

Rome

20/04/2007

Year 2007

visit to NAP

 

 

 

visit to Centro-America

 

 

 

visit to Italy

 

 

 

visit to Perù

 

 

May 2007

Financial European Assembly

Limone

 

June 2007

CONSULTA

Rome

 

October 2007

CONSULTA

Rome

 

September 2008

General Assembly for Treasurers

Rome

 



Dear confreres, I wish you all a favourable service to the Province and to the Insti-tute, carried out in a prophetic spirit. The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah: “If you utter noble, not despicable thoughts, you shall be as my own mouths” (Jr 15:19). May everyone find in you what is God’s will for all.

Information Newsletter – General Secretariat for Finance