Rome, December 20, 2002
To the Visitors of the Congregation of the Mission
My very dear Confreres,
May the grace of Our Lord be always with you!
As you know, last month the provincial treasurers took part in a week-long meeting here in Rome. At different times during the week, I was with them and sensed among them a deeply fraternal spirit. I also heard much positive feedback about the conferences and the discussions. During the meeting, a number of concrete suggestions emerged. I have just discussed these with the Treasurer General and the members of the General Council.
I am very happy that we were able to offer this ongoing formation experience and hope that it bears much fruit in the administration of the goods of your province, as well as in your future planning. I encourage you to continue to look for other ongoing formation programs for your provincial treasurer. I also urge you to prepare treasurers, on both the provincial and local levels, for the future. In light of the positive evaluations of this meeting, I foresee that similar meetings of all the Provincial Treasurers will continue to be held once every six years or so.
Last year the Treasurer General sent a questionnaire to all the provincial treasurers. In it he asked them if they thought it might be helpful to have regional meetings of provincial treasurers in the intervening years between international meetings. The overwhelming response was that such meetings would be beneficial. During last month's meeting, the treasurers reaffirmed this proposal. Having spoken with the members of the General Council and the Treasurer General, I find myself in agreement with the proposal and want to ask you to facilitate its implementation. Meetings on the regional level (paralleling the regions covered by the five Visitors' conferences) will allow the treasurers to treat regional economic concerns and questions in a way that cannot be done in a meeting of all the provincial treasurers of the Congregation.
While in Rome, the treasurers met in regional groups and began to explore concrete possibilities about when, where, and how such meetings might be held in the coming years. It was agreed that one of the provincial treasurers of each region will contact the President of each Conference of Visitors to report to you about this. Would you please, within your Conference of Visitors, assist in setting in motion the preparation for a future regional meeting of your Provincial Treasurers, particularly by naming a confrere or a small commission to begin organizing such a meeting (in coordination with the schedule of the Treasurer General), by providing input on the topics that should be treated, and by assuring that your own Provincial Treasurer takes part.
It is my hope that these efforts will help us to continue to administer well the goods entrusted to us, which are the patrimony of the poor.
Your brother in St. Vincent,
Robert P. Maloney, C.M.