Rome, July 1, 2001
To the Visitors of the Congregation of the Mission
My very dear Confreres,
May the grace of Our Lord be always with you!
As I mentioned during our meeting in Dublin, I am enacting, in accord with Article 107, 2°, and with the unanimous consent of the members of the General Council, a general ordinance applicable in all of the provinces of the Congregation.
The ordinance reads as follows:
In each province of the Congregation of the Mission a finance committee will be established. It shall be presided over by the provincial superior or his delegate. It shall be composed of the provincial treasurer and at least three other members, knowledgeable in financial matters and the related portions of civil law, some of whom may be lay persons. It shall have an advisory role, offering recommendations to the provincial and the members of his council. The members of the finance committee shall be appointed by the provincial for a three-year term, which is renewable.
The enclosed document, which I hope you will find useful, sets the ordinance in a broader context; namely, the proper administration of the temporal goods of the Congregation, which are the “patrimony of the poor” (C. 148 § 1) and the need for great transparency in rendering accounts of the receipts and expenditures of our houses, provinces, and the Congregation as a whole, as well as about the status of our patrimony.
I ask you to examine this document carefully with the members of your council and, if you have not already done so, to establish a finance committee by January 1, 2002.
During the next General Assembly, we will have the opportunity to evaluate the functioning of such committees. With all of the members of the General Council, I hope that they will be of great help to the provinces in administering our goods well and in avoiding some of the serious problems which have arisen in recent years.
Your brother in St. Vincent,
Robert P. Maloney, C.M.