The Finance Secretariat met for its biannual meeting from the 15th to the 17th of November at Casa San Alfonso in Rome. The following members were present: Vicente Soria Fleitas (Economo General), Vincent Vaz (Vice-Economo), Ivel Mendanha (General Consultor), Gerry O’Connor, Jeffrey Rolle, Ignacio Vázquez Guedán, Kingsley Ifeanyi Anoghala, Johannes Römelt, and Kevin Zubel (Auditor for the General Government).
The Finance Secretariat meets twice a year to analyse the budget as well as the statement of accounts of the General Government and the various institutions under its aegis. It also makes recommendations to the General Council for decision making regarding different Financial issues.
The agenda taken up at this meeting included the presentation of the statement of accounts for 2023, the budget for 2024, an analysis of the Investments of the General Government, online meetings with different prospective investment bankers, which included a session with the Investment consultants of the General Government, Reviewing the Financial reports and the contributions of the different units of the Congregation, Raising funds for the Alphonsian Academy, Presentation of the Budget for the Restructuring and renovation of Casa San Alfonso and raising funds for the same, and the training program on the Financial and Administration Guide for all Major Superiors and Bursars in the Congregation at the level of the Congregation. Other issues discussed included Cyber security for the General Economato, Insurance, Fire Safety for the Alphonsian Academy, and the implementation of Financial Controls at all levels of the Congregation, beginning with the General Economato. After discussing these issues, the Finance Secretariat suggested a couple of recommendations to the General Government for decision making and implementation.
Fr Rogério Gomes, the Superior General, addressed the group and thanked the members for the important work that the Secretariat does in helping the General Government manage the funds of the Congregation. Fr Ivel, while presiding at the Eucharist during the meeting, reflected on the centrality of the Gospel in the life of the Congregation and each member and the necessity of keeping focus on Gospel stewardship as the decisive norm for Financial management at all levels. The next meeting will be next year in the month of May.
Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.SS.R.