The new number of EUR-News is issued this time without delay, after the approval of the 2009 estimate, because there is some communication to be shared.
1.1. What truly takes first place is the World Financial Crisis of which everybody is aware, with different tones and characters. All seem to know, in general terms, the causes, effects and consequences. The big wave of this crisis will be a transformation into an economic crisis, of which we shall hear people speak of in the future, but which consequences are already felt in this financial year, even by us Comboni Missionaries. Strange to say, but not too much, the well-off Provinces have paid the consequences, obviously because they had some savings set aside, which have been eroded by the crisis. In this first phase, the one who had not put money aside, did not notice anything new, except the devaluation of the dollar, diminished in these last months, the usual devaluation of the local currency and the increase in prices. The second phase will see an economic crises in all Countries, and despite the contrary opinion of some economists, this will take place even in the poorer Countries, because obviously, the rich will make their losses fall on those who have fewer possibilities of reaction.
2. The General Administration has succeeded in avoiding the worse, by preserving the benefit as interests according to the estimate, also thanks to some reimbursements due from investments of past years. The investments of the current year, even if they did not cause any loss, did not obtain a relevant positive rate. Providence has offered some extraordinary income from some inheritance, and the sale of real estate inherited in past years. Among so many positive notes, one must register a very strong loss because of devaluation in exchange, because the politics of differentiation of currency, this year, has penalized all currencies in relation to the Euro and above all to the British Sterling.
3. Anyhow, thanks to the positive result, the General Administration has approved the option proposed by the Economic Council, to use the benefit of the active interests, included those from the capitals of the General Administration, in order to raise the rate to be distributed among the deposits with the General Bursar’s Office, as a way of helping the Provinces. A similar supporting politics, as a subsidy “una tantum” had been applied also last year in favor of Dioceses and other bodies having a deposit with the accounting “Service of the Local Church” kept by the General Bursar’s Office. The General Council is keen on underlying that with this positive result granted to deposits, it does not intend to denounce the losses suffered by some Comboni Procures, but on the contrary, to be thankful to them for the service rendered and for the risk they run in the effort of helping the Confreres at the service of less developed Countries.
4. In the Curia, the works of restructuring the rooms of the wing of the library, are practically finished. The Confreres of the Renewal Course and the community of Fathers and Brothers Students are already there. The wing is ready to welcome the Capitulars in September. The capitular hall has been renewed in its electronic structure for the vocal interventions, and the voting system in first place. Other lesser works will be done in the near future, on the lift and on the application of the fire alarm security.
5. The General Council has accepted the proposal of collaboration as Institute in the realization of the so-called “Shrine of the Founder”, at Limone on Garda. The project foresees an expense superior to Euro 1.500.000. The G.C. sets aside Euro 500.000; it asks the Provinces to collaborate with a similar globalsum, and the rest will be charged to the Italian Province.
6. We are on the way towards the Special Ordinary General Chapter. As Assembly of Bursars, at our meeting in Pesaro, September 2008, we made our proposals, both with the document “Economy and Mission” in which we expounded the principles on which it is based (and at times one ought to base) our economic life for the mission, and the approved motions, which express our actual feeling on Comboni life. All of us trust that this voice of ours may be listened to, but we also want to take the opportunity of the provincial and continental moments of preparation to the Chapter, to sensitize our Confreres on the shared lines.
Certainly EUR-News will make its voice heard after the approval of the 2008 financial report, presenting the news that will come immediately before the realization of the Chapter.
A. Lwanga Guarda