EURNews n° 26
Information Newsletter Treasurer General’s Office
Rome, April 25, 2016
The Roman springtime boosts our good mood and encourages us to face the anxieties of financial life, of which I mention the main happenings.
1. Uganda: new construction. In the Consulta of March 2016, the General Council (GC) considered a single application for authorization of an extraordinary expenditure beyond the limit set by the Chapter. After considerable reflection, the GC authorized the Province of Uganda to proceed with the construction of apartments and offices in the Comboni House grounds. This initiative is in line with the commitment to locally find resources that can ensure the sustainability of the province. However, the examination of the data, after considering the costs of construction and management, does not guarantee expectations large profits. The project can be better justified as a conversion of liquid capital into real estate, hoping to make this capital better lucrative than what the interests on financial investments are now able to offer. For this enterprise to remain substainable, it’s necessary that over the years the stability of the property value is ensured through an appropriate provision of a depreciation fund. In conclusion, the project was approved, with some firm recommendations:
a) To ensure the non-interference with the activities of the community.
b) To set up a depreciation fund into which each year will be paid the equivalent of 1/25 of the total cost of construction, drawing the revenues from its rental.
c) To establish a mini-statute for the management of the assets.
d) To present an annual report to the GA on the management of the investment: as a “pilot project”, its performance is of interest also to other provinces.
2. Extraordinary Contributions to the General Administration (GA). Soon, the Secretary General will send out a letter to all the circumscriptions, where the needs for 2016 will be presented and, at the same time, provide a summary of the 2015 developments. The data show that all the extraordinary contributions received by the General Administration were redistributed among the provinces in different forms.
3. Projects. The GC has examined several requests for subsidies for the implementation of projects or small enterprises. As usual, the next projects examination session will take place in October.
4. Financial Council. The next meeting will be held on 24-27 May, 2016, to discuss the financial reports of the circumscriptions and the Gen. Administration. Other topics on the agenda are:
- Statutes of the GA Funds.
- Guidelines for auditing.
- Revision of the Statutes of the Collegio Int. Daniel Comboni.
- Pension and Insurance Funds.
The GC has reappointed Fr. Mario Locatelli and Fr. Manuel Horta as councillors for another three-year term. Fr. Paolo Latorre, provincial treasurer of Kenya, was appointed member of the Financial Council for three years, representing the African English speaking group.
5. Appointments of Treasurers. In 2016, there have been three new appointments among the circumscriptions treasurers: Fr. Giorgio Dorin for Ecuador Fr. Paulo Emanuel Loureiro for Mozambique Fr. Donohue Paul Michael for the NAP.
6. Earthquake in Ecuador. Last April 16, a massive earthquake struck Ecuador, causing hundreds of deaths and leaving thousands of people homeless. The GC has sent a contribution in favour of the victims and the General Treasury Office has made itself available to assist the circumscriptions that wish to send a concrete sign of solidarity to the people hit by the disaster.
7. Continental Assembly of the Provincial Treasurers in Africa. Fr. Angelo Giorgetti, appointed provincial superior, has sent the invitation for the next continental meeting, to be held in Maputo from 30 October to 6 November. It will be a joint meeting for the English-speaking and French-speaking groups, in order to encourage greater sharing. The main themes of the meeting will be:
- The XVIII General Chapter (funds, external auditing of accounts, sharing, etc.).
- New international rules and abolition of banking secrecy.
- Issues regarding the circumscriptions.
8. Courses in Scholasticates/CIF. Immediately after Easter, Fr. Ciuciulla and Fr. Lurati held the management course in the scholasticate of Kinshasa. The next course will be in Lima, with the date yet to be decided.
With the onset of springtime, thousands of pilgrims have started to arrive in Rome for the Jubilee Year. They are joined on their voyage – “which represents the journey each of us makes in this life" (MV 14) – by millions of people around the world in all the places where a holy door has been opened so that its crossing “make us feel part of this mystery of love and tenderness” (Pope Francis). Happy Jubilee Year to all!
Fr. Claudio Lurati